City Escape: Québec City to the Island of Orléans
The tour starts at the Fontaine de Tourny, travels around Québec City and the Plains of Abraham to Quai des cageux along the Promenade de Champlain to the point where you can see the old Québec Bridge over the Saint Lawrence River. It continues through the historic part of Québec along Quartier Petit Champlain to the fountain facing Gare du Palais. We then ride to the Island of Orleans which inspired the poet Félix Leclerc. Everywhere you turn there are orchards, historic homes, and unforgettable scenery—so, take your time.
Approximately 75 miles
Fontaine de Tourny, facing Assemblée Nationale (Parliament of Québec)
Resto de la Plage offers a delightful menu of seafood, pizza, and burgers with a relaxing view of the St. Lawrence River. Find it at 4879, chemin Royal Saint-Jean-de-l’Île-d’Orléans, QC, (418) 829-3315
Scenery (4 out of 5)
From the entry close to the walled part of historic Québec to the top of the observation tower in St-François de l’Île d’Orléans, great views and vistas abound. Naturally, fall colors enhance them.
Traffic (3 out of 5)
From light to heavy around the historic parts to little or none on L’Île d’Orleans most of the time.
Difficulty (2 out of 5)
Take it easy, there’s no need to rush. Keep your eyes on the road and stop frequently to capture the view.
Road conditions (4 out of 5)
Well paved all around. May be a bit rough during the spring.
Points of Interest
La Fontaine de Tourny
The tour start, at the Fontaine de Tourny (right in front of Parliament Building), is a beautiful meeting place. The fountain was inaugurated on July 3, 2007, as a gift from the Simons department stores to honor Québec City’s 400th anniversary.
La Gare du Palais
Opened in 1915, the station was named for its proximity to the Palace of the Intendant of New France. Built in Château de la Loire style, it’s magnificent, although the station’s stained-glass dome was installed backward, showing a map of Canada in that regard.
L’Île d’Orléans is considered the cradle of French civilization in Canada. Aboriginals called the island Minigo, the “enchanted island.” In 1535, Jacques Cartier named it Bacchus Isle for the many grapes growing there. He later renamed it Île d’Orléans, in honor of the Duke of Orléans, the son of the King of France, François I. History, agriculture, and suggested visits are presented on the website.
Espace Félix Leclerc
This site is dedicated to the works of Québec poet Félix Leclerc. Across the street, you can stroll the same paths by the wooded areas and fields that so inspired this celebrated poet and singer.