We’re delighted to welcome a new voice to our blog for 2017! Loren Christie is a Canadian travel expert and can often be seen and heard on TV and radio in Canada sharing his knowledge, so we’re super excited to have his writing here too.
Over the year he’ll be sharing some great insider tips to seek out those special experiences and to really make the most of your time in Canada.
For anyone looking to embrace our Canadian winter, there is no better place than romantic Québec City.
An afternoon stroll along the historic streets of Vieux Québec and La Place Royale – with its shops, restaurants and tiered, narrowed streets – is a must.
This UNESCO protected world heritage site is at its most charming when covered in a layer of powdery white snow and lit with twinkling lights.
What to do
Despite temperatures that can hit minus 20 degrees Celsius, Québecers are always ready to bundle up and make the most of the outdoors. Carnaval de Québec, running from January 27 through February 12, 2017, is one of the most famous winter festivals in the world and celebrates everything snow. Most of the activities take place just outside the old city walls on the Plains of Abraham. Try your hand at dog sledding, tobogganing or grab a photo with Bonhomme, the festival’s omni-present mascot. When a diversion from romping in the snow is required, there are a number of pop up ice bars and wooden shacks ready to serve up hot drinks. Try a coffee with Amarula or a glass of Caribou, Québec’s potent version of hot mulled wine.
Escaping the winter temperatures provides a guilt-free reason to add frequent stops for meals and libations, whether it be an artisanal coffee or a local craft beer. On a recent visit I checked out a few great spots; Chez Boulay and Légende are both charming restaurants with contemporary menus that pride themselves on their modern Québec fare. The unexpected gem was Bati Bassak, a delicious and reasonably priced Thai and Cambodian restaurant where you could bring your own wine.
Where to Stay
There are a number of hotels that are well positioned to make exploring the city easy. However, spending a night at the Hôtel de Glace, located outside the downtown core, is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. North America’s only ice hotel is rebuilt every year, with some commonly repeated services such as specialty suites, a chapel and a bar all made completely out of snow and ice. I am glad I paid attention to the sleeping instructions they sent when I visited a couple of years ago. At a brisk minus 32 degrees Celsius there was no room for error. The hotel is open this year from January 4 through to March 26.
Follow Loren on his Canada Travels: Twitter @LorenChristie, Instagram loren.christie
If these tips and suggestions have tickled your fancy to try a romantic wintery break, talk to us today to make your trip to Québec extra special.