The effect was immediate. As we walked the small path to our tiny house at Domaine Floravie, bordered by the river and huge fields of wildflowers, we were already in vacation mode.
There was no doubt that the next few days would be filled with relaxation and wonder.
Only a 5-hour drive from Montreal, the Bas-Saint-Laurent region is easily accessible and has much to offer.
And if you drive a bit more, you’ll quickly arrive in Gaspésie, with an extended playground.
Whether you stop here for a few days on your way to Gaspésie or for a long weekend, there is a lot to do: hiking, good food, outdoor and cultural activities.
What to do and see in the Bic and Rimouski area? Here are our best recommendations!
Parc national du Bic
The parc national du Bic is the star of the region.
With one third of its surface area located in the water, this park truly showcases the splendors that nature has to offer in the Bas-Saint-Laurent.
Islands, rocky cliffs, trails along the coastline, breathtaking panoramas… everything is there!
To explore the park, several activities are offered including hiking, sea kayaking or seal and bird watching.
On the hiking side, there are several trails of different levels, that will take you along the coastline, in the forest or up to a belvedere for breathtaking views.
Some trails are only accessible at low tide, so check the schedule before you leave.
Parc national du Bic – 3382, route 132 West, Rimouski
Pointe-au-Père maritime site
The visit of the maritime site of Pointe-au-Père is another activity that will please the whole family.
On this site, you will find the exhibition on the Empress of Ireland shipwreck, the Onondaga submarine and the lighthouse station.
The exhibition on the Empress of Ireland shipwreck
The sinking of the Empress of Ireland was the greatest tragedy in Canadian maritime history.
But since this sinking occurred at the dawn of the First World War, only two years after the sinking of the Titanic, it is less well known.
The exhibition not only tells the story of the ship, its passengers and the sinking, but also presents the diving expeditions to the wreck, reserved for experienced divers because of the particularly difficult conditions, and the preservation of the wreck.
The Onondaga submarine
The Onondaga submarine is the first submarine opened to the public in Canada.
Equipped with an audioguide, you can walk through the 90 meters on board to relive the daily life of the 70 men of this submarine.
You will see the operations room, the control room, the periscopes and sonars as well as the torpedo room.
Claustrophobes abstain, it is rather confined as a place. One of the people who was visiting at the same time than us had to leave in a hurry.
Built in 1909, the Pointe-au-Père lighthouse is the second highest lighthouse in Canada and has one of the few remaining prisms in Quebec.
Renovated a few years ago, you can admire the view of the region from the top of its 128 steps (it’s hot though!).
Tasting at the Distillerie du Saint-Laurent
In 2022, the Distillerie du Saint-Laurent moved to the magnificent site adjacent to the Pointe-au-Père maritime site.
The distillery is known for its gin Saint-Laurent, with iodized notes brought by the presence of seaweed, but the talent of the distiller does not stop with this gin. Several other gems are to be discovered on site, including limited editions.
The place, separated in 4 sections, offers a café-bar, two terraces and an inner courtyard in Biergarten mode.
You can also sign up for a product tasting and purchase many of their spirits in their store.
Consult the distillery’s website for opening hours and to reserve your seat.
Visit the Gardens of Metis
Do you have some extra time? A great day trip is to drive to Ste-Flavie and to the Jardins de Métis, less than an hour from Rimouski.
The Métis Gardens are among the most northern gardens in North America. It is a pleasure to stroll through these beautiful gardens that evolve throughout the summer season and the different blooms. You will also learn more about their creator, Elsie Reford, and the conception of these gardens.
Art installations and temporary exhibitions complete the visit.
Where to stay?
There are several options for lodging in the region, but a stay in a tiny house at Domaine Floravie is a really fun experience.
Open since 2012, this magnificent domain offers different lodging options with the tiny houses being a favorite!
These cottages are ecological, insulated with hemp wool and run on solar energy.
You will find all the necessary comfort in a compact version: dining table, kitchen, living room (for some houses), bed, shower and compost toilet.
And the site is absolutely beautiful, no matter what time of day it is.
There are a few hiking trails on the property that allow you to take beautiful walks along the river and enjoy the view.
We saved a few hours to just stay at the cottage and read outside, to the sound of the waves and the birds singing.
It’s simply heaven to be able to take the time to relax and do nothing!
Domaine Floravie – 100, Route Santerre, Rimouski, Qc
To make a reservation
Local food and eating out: our good adresses
Between local fish and seafood, gourmet stores, markets, micro-breweries, famous restaurants and small bistros, Rimouski, Le Bic and Ste-Flavie have many places to enjoy.
In Le Bic
Chez Saint-Pierre: One of the most renowned restaurants in the region is certainly Chez Saint-Pierre, under the good care of the chef Colombe Saint-Pierre. The formula has changed since our visit, but we loved our experience in 2017. (129 Rue du Mont Saint Louis, Le Bic)
Poissonnerie Doucet: If you are in a cottage, or to bring back some seafood, make a stop at this fish market located along Route 132. We enjoyed an excellent old-fashioned smoked salmon and bourgots. (2734 QC-132, Le Bic)
Folles Farines: This artisanal bakery, located in the village of Le Bic, is the perfect place to buy croissants and pastries for breakfast but also everything needed for a picnic. (113 rue Sainte Cécile du Bic, Le Bic)
Poissonnerie Gagnon: This is another fish store that we love in the region. They offer many prepared dishes (popcorn shrimp, fish cakes, trout burgers, pizza) as well as fresh fish and fresh nordic shrimps, a pure delight! (675, boul. du Rivage, Rimouski)
Le Crêpe Chignon: If you like crepes, don’t miss this place. You can make your own or choose a combination from the menu. Sweet, salty, with meat, vegetables or seafood, there is something for everyone. (140, avenue de la Cathédrale, Rimouski)
Les Halles Saint-Germain: Small indoor market, the Halles Saint-Germain has a few gourmet stores: sausage maker, sandwich shop, fishmonger, cheese shop… Next to the Halles, the Café des Halles serves hearty and inexpensive breakfasts.(121 rue Saint-Germain Ouest, Rimouski)
Ste-Flavie is known for its canteens that serve decadent poutine and other seafood dishes and its microbrewery Le Ketch.
La Cantine Ste-Flavie attracts crowds from all over and you have to be patient to have the chance to enjoy one of their poutines or lobster clubs. La Cantine des Navigateurs, a little less busy, is another good option. Check the days and hours of operation to avoid disappointment.
In both cases, arrive a little outside of meal times to reduce your wait time.
The microbrewery Le Ketch is an excellent option to enjoy one of their beers, on the terrace if the weather permits, and to have a good meal.
- Cantine Ste-Flavie: 479 Rte de la Mer, Sainte-Flavie
- Cantine des Navigateurs : Rte de la Mer, Sainte-Flavie
- Microbrewery Le Ketch: 490 Rte de la Mer, Sainte-Flavie