Contact Us
Map / Tours



HomeDiscover our regionPortrait of the Côte-Nord Region

Portrait of the Côte-Nord Region

Portrait of the Côte-Nord Region

The history of Côte-Nord is closely interwoven with its abundant natural resources. The Innu and Naskapi people were the first to occupy the land generations ago. In the mid-20th century, companies and workers from Québec and further afield flocked to the region, lured by its forests, powerful rivers and mineral wealth. Today, the economy is still largely based on big industry; however, it is nevertheless becoming more and more diversified.

Tadoussac and Sacré-Coeur are the gateways to the Côte-Nord. Situated at the mouth of the Saguenay Fjord, Tadoussac is a member of the World’s Most Beautiful Bays Club and the Association of the Most Beautiful Villages of Québec. Nicknamed “the cradle of New France,” this one-time fur trading post is renowned worldwide for its whale watching, abundant activities, and popular song festival, the Festival de la Chanson de Tadoussac.

Route 172 will take you to the village of Sacré-Coeur—and to sensational views of the Saguenay Fjord at various sites on the way. The Fjord Route and the Whale Route intersect at the junction of routes 172 and 138.  Back on the 138, the boreal forest rises like a sea of green from the coastal waters to dominate the North Shore landscape. In this rich ecosystem where evergreens reign supreme, plant and animal life abounds. North of the 50th parallel, the forest gradually gives way to the taiga. In the south, Route 138 hugs the estuary as it broadens into the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Along Route 138, at Baie-Comeau, you’ll cross Route 389 right where hydroelectric dams Manic-2 and Manic-5 are located. Manic-5 is the largest multiple-arch buttress dam in the world.


This route will guide you through the backcountry of the Côte-Nord towards the municipalities of Fermont and Schefferville as well as several First Nations communities. A realm of massive mines, sweeping taiga, and herds of caribou, the Caniapiscau region is a paradise for seasoned hunters, anglers, canoeists and snowmobilers.

Make your way back down Route 389 and continue your coastal journey eastward on the 138. As you travel the coast, don’t miss the many interpretation centers along the way for fascinating insights into the marine environment, whales, lighthouses, shipwrecks and other secrets of the St. Lawrence. Be sure to take advantage of Côte-Nord’s culinary diversity too. Local eateries showcase a wide variety of delectable regional products and specialties.

Forestville, Baie-Comeau, Port-Cartier, Sept-Îles, Havre-Saint-Pierre and Fermont are the Côte-Nord’s main urban centers. Each of these cities provide all the necessary services their residents need and offer visitors a multitude of different tourist attractions. Churches, museums, parks, interpretation centers, industrial visits and festivals are just some of the many attractions that showcase the region’s dynamic and effervescent nature. Be sure to discover the Côte-Nord’s great accommodations and restaurants.

At Rivière au Bouleau, you will find yourself at the gateway to the Minganie, a territory that spans all the way to Natashquan. Renowned for its folktales and legends, Minganie is home to Québec’s famous poet, Gilles Vigneault. Each year, Minganie and the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve, with its chain of around 40 islands, welcome visitors with their mysterious monoliths.


Brimming with fossils, caves, canyons and waterfalls, Île-d'Anticosti is nothing less than utopia for hunters of white-tailed deer. With this island, everything is beyond measure! From Port-Menier, the road that crosses the island brings you to amazing areas that enable you to access a multitude of outfitters, and discover flora and fauna that are unlike anything you have ever seen before.

Beyond Route 138, once you have passed Natashquan and its “folks of the land ,” Québec’s Lower North Shore awaits you. With over 15 villages scattered a 400 km coastline, 6000 inhabitants from the Innu, Québec and Newfoundland descent welcome you, eager to share their part of the world on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River.

Visiting the Côte-Nord is a 1300 km voyage along the Whale Route. Branch off onto Route 172 to admire the fjord, and then onto Route 389 to discover the northern part of the region. Embarking on the Whale Route is an unforgettable experience that takes you through awe-inspiring landscapes, maritime vistas and thriving forests. From one new discovery to another, you will be filled with wonder

Must-see destinations "Pôles"



Baie-Comeau (incluant Péninsule Manicouagan et Panoramas)

Fermont et la route 389

Port-Cartier et Sept-Îles