Join us in Montreal and the Eastern Townships for the rowing, above all. Consider extending your trip, coming early or staying later to explore more of this fascinating part of Canada. Here are our top 10 thing to enjoy in Montreal and the Eastern Townships before, during or after our rowing tour.
1. Visit a market.
We should have a chance to explore Atwater Market while we are in Montreal. Located near the Lachine Canal, our plan is to buy a lunch here. Once we let you in, it might be hard to get your out! My absolute favourite market in Montreal is Marché Jean Talon. Plan on a good half day for this culinary extravaganza, partly because it is a bit harder to get to. Maybe visit the day before you go home so that you can carry some treats back with you?
2. Sip some ice cider.
We seem to find vineyards to visit during many of our rowing trips in Europe, and there are some in the Eastern Townships. But why not try something even more unique. Ice cider, or even better, sparkling ice cider! Oh, what about fire cider?! There are a remarkable number of apple orchards producing these stunning products. Which one will become your favourite?
3. Stroll a section of La Route Verte.
The Trans-Canada Trail is the world’s longest recreational trail. A good portion of it passes through Québec, where it is called La Route Verte or the green route. You can hop onto it in Montreal or walk out of the door of our hotel in North Hatley onto the trail.
4. Visit the settings inspiring the Louise Penny murder mysteries.
Perhaps Inspector Armand Gamache will step out of a bistro or bookstore in Knowlton. We will row here, but also take time to stroll the quaint streets. With a little more time you can venture further in the region to truly get a feel for different settings for the books.
5. Listen to Leonard Cohen’s music.
Then visit the Tower of Songs public art homage in Montreal. He is still looking over and after us.
6. Grab a hot bagel.
Some people might associate smoked meat with Montreal, and a visit to Swartz’s Deli is worth the trip. But the city’s true culinary claim to fame are its bagels. New York might disagree, but the Montreal bagel is better because: “Compared to a “New York style bagel”, what makes the Montréal bagel the far superior is that, not only is each single bagel is made by hand, but they are poached in honey water before being baked in a wood-fire burning oven. This cooking process gives the bagel its distinctive chewiness, golden color and crust.” Yum!
7. Hike Mont-Chauve for spectacular views.
A beautiful part of the Eastern townships is Mont Orford National Park, located just north of where we will be rowing. Get a new perspective on nature from the top of this peak. Heck, if you have time, spend a few nights in the cute cabins to really immerse yourself in nature.
8. Sink into a Nordic spa.
Although the origin is Scandinavian, Canada and especially Quebec has embraced this tradition. This is taking the spa experience outside and to a whole new level. There are several to choose from, but perhaps the Strøm Nordic Spa in Sherbrooke will soak and soothe those rowing muscles perfectly.
9. Take home some chocolate.
Well, we are staying Auberge le Chocolatier after all. What else would you do?
10. Relax, enjoy, take it all in.
Québec is unique in Canada and the world. Montreal and the Eastern Townships showcase French culture but also offer echoes of English heritage. Immerse yourself in la joie de vivre de la belle province. Theses are our top 10 things to enjoy in Montreal and the Eastern Townships when not rowing. What will yours be?