Now that Canada has reopened its borders to fully vaccinated American tourists, you might be thinking about booking a journey up north. And, yes, the winter season is right around the corner, but if you’re looking to embrace that time of year, Christmas in Quebec is a premier option.
Quebec is the largest of Canada’s 13 provinces. Bordering the U.S. states of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, and New York, it is of course known for its strong French influence. And while the area is mostly French-speaking, English speakers can easily navigate this tourism-friendly province. Bonus: Quebec is also known for its historic and European flair – minus the transatlantic flight.
Keeping in mind that it’s an ideal spot for couples, families, and adventure-seekers alike, here are 3 ways to celebrate Christmas in Quebec:
A Romantic Christmas in Quebec
Without a doubt, the best place for a romantic and luxurious Christmas in Quebec is Quebec City. Start by booking your stay at the iconic Fairmont le Château Frontenac hotel, whose castle-like architecture and commanding presence make it impossible to miss. Rooms and suites have plenty of European charm, and offer sweeping views of the Old Town or the Saint Lawrence River. Indulge in afternoon tea in an elegant tea room, or a bottle of Champagne and Cuban cigars in the evening.
For fine dining, head to Restaurant Tanière3 on the Rue Saint-Pierre. Book the Chef’s Counter for a private dining experience and a chance to watch the culinary team at work. Afterwards, stroll through historic Old Quebec, a UNESCO World Heritage site full of charm and romance.
Art enthusiasts should visit the Musée national des beaux-arts de Québec (the fine arts museum of Quebec), whose vast collection includes works by provincial and international artists. Then, head back to the Old Town for Christmas shopping among the numerous antique shops and local boutiques.
And don’t miss the German Christmas Market, which runs from November 25-December 23. Cozy up together while sipping mulled wine in a winter wonderland – a Christmas in Quebec must!
A Family Christmas in Quebec
Families might prefer to base their travel out of Montreal – a cosmopolitan city with tons of kid-friendly activities right at arm’s length.
For 5-star lodging, we recommend the Ritz-Carlton or the Four Seasons Hotel. Both have central locations, world-class service, and indoor pools – which the kids will love in the winter season. There are perks for the parents as well, including internationally-recognized chef Marcus Samuelsson’s first Canadian restaurant (at the Four Seasons), and luxurious spa treatments (at the Ritz).
If you’re staying indoors, head to the Montreal Science Center, where kids can explore a hands-on experience. The little ones will love Mini Mondo, an interactive exploration of the world around us. Kids aged 8+ will tackle innovation and technology challenges at the Fabrik Creativity Factory. The Pointe à Callière Archeology and History Complex is also chock full of family-friendly exhibits.
Heading outside, ice skating and tubing options abound. The Beaver Lake Skating Rink, located in the Mt. Royal park, has a serene setting and an on-site restaurant serving post-skate hot chocolate and other treats. The same park also offers tubing and other outdoor winter activities. Head to Parc Jean-Drapeau for the annual Fête des neiges (Snow Festival) – a family-friendly event with tubing, ice carving, and carnival shows. Indoor skating can be found at Atrium le 1000, for those who prefer to say a little warmer!
And of course, Montreal is home to a number of Christmas markets, featuring kid-pleasing treats like maple syrup taffy, hot cider, and all the cakes and cookies you can imagine. Bolder eaters might opt to try the Québécois specialty, poutine – French fries topped with cheese curds and brown gravy.
For families looking to get away from it all, winter resorts offer snowy landscapes and plenty of outdoor activities. Check out the Villages vacances valcartier (also a great spot for summer fun), or the uber-charming wooded skating paths at Domaine de la forêt perdue, which doesn’t offer on-site lodging, but partners with nearby locations.
An Adventure Christmas in Quebec
Adventure seekers will find plenty to keep them active in Quebec. Downhill skiers should check out the Mont Tremblant in the Laurentien Mountains is a must for its European-esque charm and world-class pistes. Meanwhile, Le Massif de Charlevoix gifts adventurers with sprawling views of the Saint Lawrence River as they make their way down the slopes. Here, more than half of the runs are graded for only the most advanced skiers, and you’ll find the highest vertical drop east of the Canadian Rockies.
Want to try something new? If you’ve never been dogsledding the Escapade Huskimo resort is an excellent place to start. Rent one of their lodges or log cottages, (some include hot tubs or outdoor fire pits), then head out on the sled adventure of a lifetime. Snowshoeing, sledding, and spa appointments are also available.
And don’t sleep on snow tubing as an adventure-seeker’s activity. The runs at Super Glissades just outside of Montreal are not for the faint of heart. After a day flying down the trails, partake in adventuresome dining at Jerome Ferrer Europea, run by chef Jérôme Ferrer, one of the featured chefs of the exclusive Relais & Châteaux rating system.
Ready to Plan Your Christmas in Quebec?
Our team at Lugos Travel can arrange a no-cost first call with you to discuss your Christmas in Quebec travel dreams.
If you’ve spent years struggling with online travel booking sites, or not getting the kind of personalized experience out of your trips that you’d like, we’re confident you’ll love working with us. And we look forward to giving you the luxurious (and stress-free) holiday getaway you deserve.
Contact us here to get started.