My second morning in Québec City was spent enjoying a lovely buffet hotel breakfast, checking out of Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, then taking a private tour around Québec City. We were given the option to cater the tour toward our personal interests but decided to dedicate the majority of our time toward seeing as much of the city as we could. We ended the tour with winery visits that took place on an agricultural island just outside of Québec City.
How Do You Feel About Tours?
It can be overwhelming to sift though articles and lay out a travel itinerary. It’s not easy to gauge whether it’s better to walk, drive or take a taxi because a neighborhood’s feel can’t be captured by looking at maps or browsing through photos. Plus, it’s time consuming to learn which areas are a bother to find parking or are expensive.
Hiring a personal tour guide could be advantageous in any city that has an excessive quantity of activities and sights from which to choose. While both group tours and private tours highlight a city’s best landmarks, group tours tend to run on a script giving no room for detours. A private tour can also take you through residential neighborhoods, even letting you poke your head into a shop or two. Our tour gave a good perspective of the city, showed the main sights without having to spend precious time struggling with maps creating an itinerary, and allowed us to move at our own pace.
We drove to Île d’Orléans which is an island just outside of Québec City. Known as “Quebec City’s Cornucopia,” there are farms, wineries, sugar shacks, a chocolaterie, a cheese maker, shops, restaurants and cafes and year-round outdoor activities. We passed Montmorency Falls which has a suspension bridge extending the length of the falls that I definitely want to walk when I return.
Since it was fall, some of the island’s seasonal businesses had just harvested and closed for the winter. Plenty of places were still open, so two winery visits were in order. The first was Cassis Monna & Filles which grows its own blackcurrants and specializes in crème de cassis. Their wines, liqueurs and various food products are sold in their shop. In summer, they run a cafe and sell ice cream.
The final stop was at Isle de Bacchus vineyard, best known for their ice wines. The charming house built in the mid 1600s is not to be missed when visiting Île d’Orleans.
Lunch was at Relais & Chateaux restaurant and hotel, Panache at Auberge Saint-Antoine.
Dinner at Restaurant Initiale was a tasting menu format. A tasting menu is made up of multiple preselected courses. If you can be comfortable letting the chefs decide what they would like to serve you, it is a wonderful alternative to dining out. Think of it as being a guest at a dinner party. There are places that whose dishes would satisfy a wide range of customers sometimes even letting you make a selection from each section. There are also places that push to be creative for those always seeking new and interesting flavor combinations. The number of courses in a tasting menu can range from three to more than 33, but the portion size will always attempt to be appropriate. If you’ve ever wondered how someone can be full by eating a single slice of beef, now you know that there are many other courses before and afterwards, and sometimes as many as four desserts!
Have I Been Living Under a Rock?
This short video only scratches the surface of what Québec City has to offer. I am posting it here because I am curious to know if I am the only American who has heard so little about Québec City. For those seeing anything about Québec City for the first time, are you as surprised as I was to know it is this beautiful there?
Feel free to tell me I have been living under a rock but I have never heard anyone talk about Québec City before this trip and I am still amazed it its magnificence.
It was rainy the first night but still so beautiful.