Drive a segment of Canada's Québec province on this scenic eight-day road trip from Montréal to Québec City. You'll explore Montréal's charming Old Port, join a food tour in Mile End, and wander the cobblestone streets of Old Montréal before you pick up your rental and drive to Québec City, the province's capital. Enjoy a walking tour of its historic district and discover Jacques-Cartier National Park independently, pausing to sample maple taffy at a typical sugar shack on your return trip to Montréal.


  • Ride Canada's largest observation wheel, La Grande Roue de Montréal
  • Enjoy panoramic views of Montréal from the top of Mount Royal
  • Visit beautiful Parc National de La Mauricie on your way to Québec City
  • Discover Île d'Orléans, the "birthplace" of Francophones in North America

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Montréal, Explore Canada's Second-Largest City Montréal
Day 2 Mile End Food Tour, Visit the Olympic Stadium Montréal
Day 3 Old Montréal Walking Tour, Discover Mount Royal Montréal
Day 4 Drive to Québec City via Parc National de La Mauricie Québec City
Day 5 Old Québec Walking Tour, Explore Île d'Orléans, Visit Montmorency Falls Québec City
Day 6 Explore Jacques-Cartier National Park at Your Own Pace Québec City
Day 7 Drive to Montréal via Cabane à Sucre Chez Dany Montréal
Day 8 Visit Montréal's Chinatown, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Montréal, Explore Canada's Second-Largest City

Take a ride on La Grande Roue de Montréal for panoramic views of Montreal

Welcome to Montréal, a charming city set on an island in the St. Lawrence River. Meet your driver outside the airport to transfer to your hotel, where you can check in and freshen up. When you're ready, venture out to explore the city independently. An excellent place to start is the historic Old Port, where you can wander down the promenade and enjoy picturesque views of the river and city skyline. Visit the Montréal Science Centre overlooking the river to learn about space exploration, biodiversity, and technology and embark on a journey through the universe in the immersive IMAX theater.

Stop at Bonsecours Market to peruse the treasure trove of artisanal boutiques, craft shops, and gourmet eateries. Then, take a ride on La Grande Roue de Montréal, Canada's largest observation wheel, set on the riverbank. Enjoy panoramic views of Old Montréal and the modern skyline from your climate-controlled pod before ending the night at one of the restaurants overlooking the water. If you're unsure what to order, consider a Montréal-style steak seasoned with a mix of black and white pepper, garlic, cilantro, dill seed, and salt.

Day 2: Mile End Food Tour, Visit the Olympic Stadium

Try a delicious Montreal-style bagel at St Viateur Bagel

You might want to skip breakfast this morning as today's activity is a food tour in Mile End, a laid-back neighborhood with an artsy vibe full of delicious food, Canadian and international. Start with a Montreal-style bagel, renowned for its distinctive chewy texture and slightly sweet flavor, at St Viateur Bagel. Then, your next stop might be Schwartz's Deli to indulge in a classic smoked meat sandwich piled high with thinly sliced beef brisket. You can't leave without trying the beloved Canadian dish that originated in Québec, poutine, made with crispy fries topped with cheese curds and gravy.

La Banquise is a great option for poutine as you can try the classic version or add toppings like bacon, onions, hot dogs, or peppers. End the food tour at one of the area's top breweries to wash everything down with a craft beer. With a full stomach, enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. You could head to the Olympic Stadium, built for the 1976 Summer Olympics, to explore the venue and the Sports Hall of Fame within, showcasing memorabilia and exhibits celebrating the country's sports heroes and achievements.

Day 3: Old Montréal Walking Tour, Discover Mount Royal

Follow your guide down the cobblestone streets on a walking tour of Old Montréal

Join your guide for a 1.5-hour walking tour of Old Montréal this morning, the city's historic district. Wander down the cobblestone road lined with Victorian-era buildings, bustling squares, and picturesque row houses to see landmarks like City Hall, Place Royale, and the Gothic-Revival Notre-Dame Basilica. While you walk, your guide will share insight into how the city transformed from a French colonial outpost to the thriving Canadian metropolis it is today. After the tour, the rest of the day is yours to spend as you wish. 

Consider visiting Mount Royal, known simply as "The Mountain" by locals. There's plenty to do in the mountaintop park, from enjoying panoramic views of the city, picnicking on the grass, or going on a hike to traverse one of the many trails. You might also like to stop at Smith House to learn about the park's history, ecology, and recreational activities if you're unsure what to do. In the evening, make your way to Plateau Mont-Royal, a trendy neighborhood full of cozy bistros, colorful cafés, and intimate eateries, to find somewhere for dinner.

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Day 4: Drive to Québec City via Parc National de La Mauricie

Drive to Quebec City with a stop at Parc de La Mauricie
Stretch your legs on a hike to Weber Falls in Parc National de La Mauricie

Trade Québec's largest city for its capital, Québec City, as you pick up your rental car and hit the road for a three-hour drive this morning. On the way, make a short detour to Parc National de La Mauricie, a haven for nature enthusiasts nestled in the Laurentian Mountains. Stretch your legs on one of the many trails, such as Les Cascades, which takes you to several waterfalls, including the impressive Weber Falls. After exploring the park, complete the drive to your hotel to check in, then spend the rest of the day exploring the city at your own pace.

You could visit the Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec to browse the extensive fine arts collection from the 17th century to the present. Admire the masterpieces from Québécois artists alongside works by renowned Canadian and international creators as you browse permanent exhibitions focusing on art in the early French colonies to contemporary works. In the evening, consider a relaxing cruise along the St. Lawrence River to get a different perspective of key landmarks, like the historic Old Port and La Citadelle, a star-shaped fortress, all illuminated with a warm glow. 

Day 5: Old Québec Walking Tour, Explore Île d'Orléans, Visit Montmorency Falls

Wander through the charming Petit-Champlain district on your walking tour of Old Québec

After breakfast, venture out on a walking tour of the UNESCO-listed Old Québec, the only walled city left north of Mexico. Follow the narrow cobblestone streets past centuries-old architecture and learn about the city's history as a French colony. Marvel at iconic landmarks such as the towering Fairmont Château Frontenac, the historic Place Royale, and the picturesque Petit-Champlain district. Following the tour, the rest of the day is yours to spend as you wish. Opt to drive the 15 minutes to discover Île d'Orléans (Island of Orleans) on the St. Lawrence River, one of Québec's first colonies.

When you arrive, rent a bike to cycle along the waterfront, stopping at quaint roadside stands to sample fresh produce, artisanal cheeses, and homemade treats. Explore historic sites such as the Église Sainte-Famille (Sainte-Famille Church) and the Maison de nos Aïeux (House of Our Ancestors), where you can learn about the island's colonial past and the lives of its early settlers. Don't miss the Chocolaterie de l'Ile d'Orleans on the island's western tip to sample delicious Belgian chocolate. On your way back to the city, stop at Montmorency Falls to admire the cascade over 270 feet (83 m) taller than Niagara Falls. 

Day 6: Explore Jacques-Cartier National Park at Your Own Pace

Rent a kayak and paddle down the tranquil Jacques-Cartier River

Leave the city behind for the day as you drive 45 minutes to the Jacques-Cartier National Park to explore the pristine forests, meandering rivers, and rugged mountain peaks at your own pace. Follow one of the many hiking trails or participate in canoeing, kayaking, or wildlife watching to spot moose, black bears, and beavers. Those who want to hike will find a route suited for every skill level and interest, but if you're overwhelmed by the choices, you could book a guided tour that will take you to scenic viewpoints, revealing panoramic views of the park's natural beauty.

If you visit during winter, there are plenty of seasonal activities to partake in as well, such as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snow tubing, or sledding. After a day in the park, return to the city and head to Saint-Roch, a vibrant neighborhood known for its hip and eclectic dining scene. With a mix of trendy cafés, gastropubs, and innovative eateries, it shouldn't be hard to find somewhere to grab a bite to eat and have a drink here. 

Day 7: Drive to Montréal via Cabane à Sucre Chez Dany

Stop at Cabane à Sucre Chez Dany to try fresh maple taffy

This morning, it's time to return to Montréal on a three-hour drive through the picturesque countryside. On the way, stop at a cabane à sucre (sugar shack), like Cabane à Sucre Chez Dany, to learn about maple syrup and sample it. Sugar shacks are popular during maple syrup season between mid-February and the end of April, but some are open year-round. Step inside, where you'll be immediately surrounded by the sweet, syrupy smell. If you're interested, you can go on a guided tour of the maple groves to learn about maple syrup production, from tree tapping to sap collection and boiling.

Then, sample maple taffy, a sweet treat made by pouring hot maple syrup onto packed snow or ice and rolling it onto a stick to create a chewy and delicious candy. Back on the road, complete the drive to your hotel in Montréal or make one last stop in Trois-Rivières, which has an array of eateries, museums, and attractions like the Forges du Saint-Maurice, the first iron mine and refinery in North America. When you arrive in the city, return your rental car and check into your hotel. Then, book a cruise down another portion of the St. Lawrence River to see more of the city's landmarks, like the Jacques-Cartier Bridge.

Day 8: Visit Montréal's Chinatown, Depart

Walk through the Traditional Chinese gateway to discover Montréal's Chinatown

Over the last eight days, you've seen some of the best natural landscapes and charming cities that Québec has to offer. Unfortunately, your journey draws to a close today. If you have time before your flight, make your way to Chinatown, one of the oldest in North America. Admire the traditional Chinese architecture housing shops, restaurants, and boutiques. Shop for souvenirs or indulge in traditional dishes like Peking duck or barbecue pork. When it's time, return to your hotel to grab your bags and meet your driver to transfer to the airport for your flight home. Safe travels!

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Map of Self-Drive Highlights of Montréal & Québec City - 8 Days
Map of Self-Drive Highlights of Montréal & Québec City - 8 Days