Charlevoix is the name given to the stretch of country along the left bank of the St Lawrence River, from Côte de Beaupré as far as Saquenay. It gets its name from the Jesuit François Xavier De-Charlevoix (1682-1761), who published the first historical record of Canada in 1744. Extensive forests, mountains and the St Lawrence give Charlevoix its charm.The first settlers arrived in Charlevoix early in the 18th c., when farmers, hunters and lumberjacks began to put down roots here in small numbers, at first in Petite-Rivière-St-François, then in Baie-St-Paul and on the Île aux Coudres.After 1760 many Scottish Highlanders emigrated to Charlevoix. The Scottish ancestry of their descendants is still to be found in the names commonly met in this area, such as Warren, Harvey or Blackburn.Before the first road was built in 1824 the St Lawrence River provided the only means of access. As a result professions linked with sea-faring continued to dominate here into the 20th c. Today the woodworking industry, with giant resources at its command, still plays an important role.
Ile aux Coudres, Canada
From St-Joseph-de-la-Rive boats ply to Île aux Coudres, which lies in the Baie-St-Paul, about 3km /2mi off the bank of the St Lawrence. Jacques Cartier was the first to land here on September 6th 1535 and gave it its present name because of the large number of hazelnut bushes he found growing on the island.With its many stone houses and windmills the Île aux Coudres must be one of the most idyllic regions of Québec province.On September 7th 1535 the famous Guillaume le Breton, one of the two priests who had accompanied Cartier on his expedition, celebrated the first mass to be held in the new French colony. There is a memorial to this event in St-Bernard. In St-Louis visitors can explore the interior of one of the many ships which have run aground here. The schooner "Mont-St-Louis" today houses the "Musée des voitures d'eau", which is open daily in summer, and provides background on the history of sea-faring in this area. Also worth a visit are the two 18th c. Desgagné windmills and Maison Leclerc in La Baleine which contains some old Québec furniture; the latter is open daily in summer.
From the enchanting hamlet of Port-au-Persil there is a wonderful view of the Île aux Lièvres.Highlights in Port-au-Persil include a late 19th Century church and the waterfront area by the quay. The town also has all the regular tourist amenities with hotels, bed and breakfasts, and restaurants.
In the upper-class villa district of Pointe-au-Pic can be found one of the oldest hotels in Canada, the luxury Manoir Richelieu.The Manoir Richelieu is part of the Fairmont Hotels chain and stands overlooking the sea.
Saint Simeon, Canada
Saint Siméon is a village along the shores of the St Lawrence that offers many recreational opportunities, including hiking, boating, and whale watching in season. Saint Siméon is the location for ferry service to Rivière-du-Loup.
La Malbaie, Canada
The name of this little industrial town, which translates into English as "Bad Bay", is attributed to Samuel de Champlain, whose ship ran aground here in 1608.