Renowned for its splendid panoramas and remarkable natural environment, the Laurentian region is a haven for the great outdoors, for forests that stretch as far as the eye can see, for relaxation and fine dining.
Neighboring Laval and Montreal, the Laurentian region is a favorite when it comes to planning a day trip or long weekend getaway.
Do you enjoy the outdoors, water sports, agritourism or relaxation? Here are 6 things to do this summer in the Laurentians, from Oka to Mont-Tremblant.
In this article
The Laurentians at a glance
The wide range of activities available in the Laurentians is partly due to its size.
The region stretches over more than 20,000 km2 and encompasses the Lower Laurentians (Oka, St-Eustache, St-Joseph du Lac, Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines, etc.) , the Heart of the Laurentians (Sainte-Adèle, Saint-Sauveur, Estérel, Mont-Tremblant, Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Labelle, etc.) and the Upper Laurentians.
Organizing your visit
Where to stay
Chalet, hotel, inn… you’ll be spoilt for choice during your stay in the Laurentians.
Here are two options we tested during our stay, offering an all-inclusive experience with everything on site, from restaurants to activities.
Everything at Estérel Resort calls for relaxation and fine dining.
The large suites, with a kitchenette, are perfect for combining a few meals at one of the hotel’s restaurants, Le Voilier or Le Bistro à Champlain, with others on a take-out basis.
On site, of course, you can take advantage of the spa experience or relax on one of the two beach areas.
Esterel Resort – 39, boul. Fridolin-Simard, Estérel
The Grand Lodge Mont-Tremblant
Further north, in Mont-Tremblant, you can find the Grand Lodge Hôtel, with an imposing wooden lobby reminiscent of the old log hotels. Despite their slightly old-fashioned surroundings, the suites are comfortable and equipped with everything you need for a chalet-style stay: separate bedroom, living room, full kitchen, bathroom, balcony overlooking the lake, etc.
With access to Lac Ouimet and a small beach, as well as kayaks and pedal boats, it’s the perfect place to spend a few days exploring the surrounding area.
Le Grand Lodge Mont-Tremblant – 2396 rue Labelle, Mont-Tremblant
Where to eat
Here, too, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to fine dining. During our visit, we had the opportunity to sample the cuisine of the following restaurants.
New to the Estérel Resort, Le Voilier serves a creative, well-executed market cuisine. Special mention should be made of the smoked meat and burgundy platter, the Quebec tomato platter with peach, cream and buckwheat, and the perfectly cooked deer. There are also a few vegetarian and vegan options on the menu.
Please note that the restaurant is reserved exclusively for resort guests.
At Grand Lodge, the on-site restaurant is Borivage, which can be a nice option if you don’t want to cook or take the car out.
From the short menu, we liked the hearty beef tartare and tuna tataki, as well as the lamb kebab.
On another note, we also enjoyed the terrace of the St-Arnould microbrewery. With a well-executed bistro menu and great beers, it’s a great stop for an evening out or after a day of sightseeing.
6 things to do this summer in the Laurentians
1. Wine tasting in one of Quebec’s largest wine cellars
Pétrus 198, Romanée Saint-Vivant du Domaine de la Romanée-Conti 1990, Château Margaux, Château Lafite Rothschild, Château Haut-Brion… With such a fine collection, the Estérel Resort wine cellar almost needs no introduction.
Between the 2015 acquisition of part of the Bistro à Champlain collection and the development of the cellar in recent years, it is now one of the largest collections in the country, with over 20,000 bottles and 3,200 references.
During your stay at Estérel Resort, if you’re curious or passionate about wine, you should book a tasting and visit to this wine cellar(Important: tastings are only available to hotel guests).
You can sit down at a table overlooking the lake and savor the moment. It’s the perfect way to start or end an evening.
The whole point of a wine tasting here is the range of choices available. It’s not only a chance to chat with the excellent sommeliers who work there, but also to taste great bottles that would otherwise be inaccessible.
Several tasting options are available, including “Le canon de la semaine”, an exceptional bottle opened on Saturday for tasting by the ounce throughout the following week. Whisky tastings are also available on site, and Esterel Resort has a fine selection.
Estérel Resort – 39, boul. Fridolin-Simard, Estérel
2. Treetop hiking
The Sentier des cimes Laurentides, a treetop hike, is the talk of the town, and with good reason.
Not only does this walk offer a different view of the forest, but the trail culminates in a 40-metre panoramic tower offering a 360-degree view of the surroundings.
Afterwards, you can complement your visit with other hiking trails, a visit to the Gourmet Sauvage boutique or lunch on the terrace of Chez Émile restaurant.
Find out all about it:Sentier des cimes Laurentides: a different view of the forest
Sentier des cimes Laurentides – 737, rue de la Pisciculture, Mont-Blanc
3. Picnic and pick-your-own at Domaine Labonté de la pomme
The Lower Laurentians is an agritourism paradise, and Labonté de la pomme is a perfect example!
While we wait for the return of the Cabane à Pommes and apple picking season, we can still go there during summer to picnic on their site.
It’s possible to order one of their feasts in advance for a picnic.
A variety of options are available, including applewood-smoked ham, apple, maple and bacon sausages, bread and cheese, coleslaw, gourmet onion soup with Oka gratin, Oka cheese fondue served in a bread bowl, charcuterie, trout smoked on site, duck confit and more.
Without reservation, you can also buy a “spontaneous” picnic kit with bread, Oka cheese, duck or deer or bison pâté, apple jelly, charcuterie, etc.
There’s a picnic area, but you can also enjoy your meal in the middle of the maple grove (bring your own blanket) or even eat indoors.
There are several hiking and biking trails nearby, so it’s also possible to combine a picnic with a ride in the area.
Depending on the time of year, you can also pick different fruits and vegetables: garlic flowers, rhubarb, morello cherries, garlic, pumpkins. And of course, don’t forget to visit the gourmet store.
Domaine Labonté de la pomme – 405 rang de l’Annonciation, Oka
4. Visit a lavender field
For a feast for the eyes and a whiff of the sublime scent of lavender, head for Maison Lavande in St-Eustache.
A variety of activities are offered all summer long. In addition to the pleasure of strolling through the flower-filled fields and picnicking, there are a few new features, including an audio tour of the fields and a small beach for taking photos.
On site, you’ll also find a number of photo booths, a bistro with a lavender-focused menu, an elevated terrace overlooking the fields, and, of course, the boutique.
Maison Lavande – 902 Chemin Fresnière, Saint-Eustache
Discover the Lower LaurentiansGourmet tour of the Lower Laurentians
5. Observing nature at Domaine Saint-Bernard
Domaine Saint-Bernard has everything for nature and birdwatching enthusiasts. A short stroll through the magnificent bird garden is a must.
The latter is specifically designed to attract a variety of bird species and includes 30 nesting boxes. There’s also a medicinal plant garden.
And hiking enthusiasts won’t be left out either, with over 37.3 km of trails, both in the forest and by the water.
Domaine Saint-Bernard – 539, chemin Saint-Bernard, Mont-Tremblant
6. Let yourself be tempted by the call of the water
Would you like to go kayaking, canoeing, pedal-boating, paddle-boarding or simply swimming? There’s no shortage of lakes and beaches in the Laurentians.
Domaine Saint-Bernard boasts a lake and beach, open from June 24 to September 1. You can swim and rent various water equipment on site.
For Grand Lodge Mont-Tremblant guests, access to a private beach on Lac Ouimet is included in the package, as are kayaks, canoes and pedal boats.
Estérel Resort also has two beach areas available to guests, with the option of renting water sports equipment and even pontoons.
And if you’re not lucky enough to stay in one of these two hotels, the Laurentians are full of public beaches.