OUR FAVORITE PARTNER CARDS

New 60,000 points offer. Terms apply.

60,000 points

50,000 bonus points

Patisserie Louise and her "Nun's Farts" pastries
Patisserie Louise and her “Nun’s Farts” pastries

On the is a magical pristine body of water surrounded by enchanting villages and tall mountains. The fjord was cut out of the mountains by a glacier millions of years ago.

The journey from the Parc National du Fjord-d-Saguenay (here’s part one and part two) continues aboard the . After the Bateau Mouche docks in the quaint village of L’Anse-Saint-Jean, (St. John’s Cove), I board the free schoolbus shuttle that meets the ferry at the port in the summer. On the menu is the Covert Pont—the historic covered bridge that has been transformed into a year-round art gallery featuring the work of local artists under waterproof plexiglass.

L'Anse-Saint-Jean Cemetery
L’Anse-Saint-Jean Cemetery

The bridge is next to the daunting St. John’s stone church and the cemetery with unique Québécois headstones—white marble etched with black writing, some using wrought iron, at the same time eerie and peaceful. Then it’s time for a stop at Patisserie Louise to get Louise’s Pets de Soeur (“Nun’s Farts” pastries), Le Bistro Bar for a local Belle Gueule beer, and finally to see the ski area and luxuriate in the Nordic spa.

At the spa the three-step routine is first hot, then cold, then rest. First it’s the hot Hammam (steam room) or a large barrel sauna as long as you can stand it; next, a dip in the ice water bath; and finally, a retreat to one of three rest areas where your mind, body and soul will rejuvenate. Then, you repeat the process. This all causes the release of natural endorphins, creating a feeling of euphoria.

L'Anse Saint-Jean Nordic spa
L’Anse Saint-Jean Nordic spa

There are three silent sanctuaries where the relaxation occurs: a yurt with chaise lounges, a stone and glass room with a fireplace and individual hammocks, and the grotto, which is a cave reproduction with stone lounge chairs and purple-black lighting to highlight the “cave drawings” reproduced from Lascaux originals in France. These havens are soundless except for the New Age music. Massages and special treatments are offered on the top floor—a fish pedicure and manicure! Small Garufalo fish imported from Turkey take delight in munching on the dead skin while cleaning the feet and hands with their natural enzymes. Warning: tickling may occur!

 also offers use of the fully equipped kitchen with assigned individual drawers for guests to store food.

Kayaking on the Fjord
Kayaking on the fjord

Back on the other side of the village, a half-hour ride from the mountain, a sunset kayak trip was the plan. Our expedition was with —conveniently located across from our hotel. The extensively trained and certified guide spent an hour teaching us and dressing us with all the accoutrements for the trip. I have to say, it was one of the best experiences I have ever had, and, believe me, after all the Nordic spa treatments, I was reluctant to get out on the cool fjord at all.

The sunset was spectacular and to my surprise, I longed to keep on kayaking until I dropped. I found out that longer kayaking/camping expeditions are offered through Kayak au Fjord, but for us, dinner was waiting at L’Islet, the restaurant overlooking the fjord at the , where we each spent the night in our individual one-room condos (also overlooking the fjord). The adventure-packed day was capped off by a delicious dinner as we all splurged on filet mignon, shrimp, scalloped potatoes, red cabbage, and for dessert, the petite blueberry pie!

The next morning I went to “the city” of  to “ to see an amazing piece of work: the actual home of the artist Arthur Villeneuve which he used as his canvas for his folk paintings. This man drove his poor wife crazy by painting on every surface except her bedroom walls. Luckily for us, the house was purchased and brought to the museum, once an old paper mill which has the height to “house” it. No pun intended!

Chicoutimi's church
Chicoutimi’s church

I stayed at and loved the , a renovated 114-year-old hotel made into a chic modern boutique property in the heart of Chicoutimi. My room overlooked the  and had a view of the Saguenay River as well. We had dinner that night at their International Café, a bustling bistro that must be the most popular in town.

I slept soundly, in the morning took the elevator to the first floor and enjoyed a very good breakfast at the Hotel with lovely caring waitresses. After, I took a taxi to the bus station and boarded the bus for a two hour ride southwest to . My husband, Highroad Cam, drove from Connecticut to meet me. In the next and final article on the Québec series (which you can read here), we explore the cosmopolitan city for the weekend!

L'Anse Saint-Jean Nordic spa
L'Anse Saint-Jean Nordic spa
First step in the spa: barrel sauna
First step in the spa: barrel sauna
Relaxation room at spa
Relaxation room at spa
Fish manicure at the spa
Fish manicure at the spa
Georgie Jet in L'Anse-Saint-Jean
Georgie Jet in L'Anse-Saint-Jean
Covert Pont in L'Anse-Saint-Jean
Covert Pont in L'Anse-Saint-Jean
Covert Pont
Covert Pont
Artwork in the Covert Pont
Artwork in the Covert Pont
L'Anse-Saint-Jean farm
L'Anse-Saint-Jean farm
Bistro de L'Anse
Bistro de L'Anse
Hotel Chicoutimi room
Hotel Chicoutimi room
Chicoutimi's church
Chicoutimi's church
Hotel Chicoutimi view
Hotel Chicoutimi view
Relaxation yurt in L'Anse-Saint-Jean
Relaxation yurt in L'Anse-Saint-Jean
L'Anse-Saint-Jean Cemetery
L'Anse-Saint-Jean Cemetery
L'Anse-Saint-Jean headstone
L'Anse-Saint-Jean headstone
L'Anse-Saint-Jean house
L'Anse-Saint-Jean house
Louise of Patisserie Louise
Louise of Patisserie Louise
Patisserie Louise and her
Patisserie Louise and her "Nun's Farts" pastries
Kayak au Fjord warriors
Kayak au Fjord warriors
Out on Saguenay Fjord
Out on Saguenay Fjord
Kayaking on the fjord
Kayaking on the fjord
Sunset kayaking
Sunset kayaking
Petite blueberry pie at L'Islet
Petite blueberry pie at L'Islet
Breakfast at Chalets sur le Fjord
Breakfast at Chalets sur le Fjord
Hotel Chicoutimi's restaurant: International Café
Hotel Chicoutimi's restaurant: International Café
Belle Gueule beer
Belle Gueule beer
Dinner at International Café
Dinner at International Café
Georgie Jet

The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Rate this post