Initially settled by the French and named for the second son of King Francis I, Henri II, the Duke of Orléans, it was in the 19th and early 20th century, that several boat-building yards operated on the island, especially in Saint-Laurent-de-l’Île-d’Orléans. Together with the thriving fishing industry of that era, it gave the Island of Orleans a maritime character. The Island of Orleans retained its traditional rural way of life until 1935, when construction was completed on the Pont de l’Île bridge, allowing much more traffic. The crossing connects to the Chemin Royal, which was set to music in 1975 by francophone singer Félix Leclerc, in his song “Le Tour de L’île.” In spite of this, the island has maintained its pastoral image and historic character, with more than 600 buildings classified or recognized as heritage property. In 1990, the entire island was designated a National Historic Site of Canada. Today the island is a mix of suburban communities and farms and a popular destination for day-trippers and bicyclists.
Île d’Orléans is part of a small archipelago of islands in the St. Lawrence River (most of which are privately owned). Île d’Orléans has 7,500 residents scattered across six parishes on a rural wonderland twice the size of Manhattan. This is a must- see island especially in the summer and into fall, when it’s bursting with treasures from small-scale farms, wineries, and culinary artisans. Nicknamed “Garden of Quebec,” there’s a lot more to like about historic Île d’Orléans with each parish offering something different.
Sainte-Pétronille is the smallest parish on Île d’Orléans, but it is not without its highlights, including the well-known inn and restaurant La Goéliche. With floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the St. Lawrence, this is an ideal place to stop for a sunset dinner or if dessert is your passion, Chocolaterie d’Orleans, housed in a beautiful Victorian home, offers more than 20 flavors of ice cream in the summer and into fall. Oh yum!
Your home- away- from- home on this Interlude to the north, is the luxurious Hotel Le Concorde Quebec, located in the heart of beautiful Quebec City; and conveniently located to nearby museums, activities, attractions and major events of the region. Its imposing structure offers a beautiful view of majestic Quebec City and its numerous parks and green spaces.
Hotel Le Concorde Quebec is within walking distance of major touristic attractions of Old-Quebec, such as Grande Allee, the Musee de la Civilisation, place D’Youville, the Plains of Abraham, the Petit Champlain district and many others. Also, there are numerous surrounding restaurants offering great culinary experiences and the opportunity to discover Quebec City’s gourmet specialties.
Plan to take advantage of your stay in the heart of downtown to unwind! Located on the 4th floor of the hotel, you will find an urban spa – perfect to help you relax and savor the amenities offered. Featuring an indoor heated pool, two spas and saunas. Perfection!
Please read the complete itinerary and plan on enjoying two beautiful and interesting cities on this charming Interlude to Canada.
Eadie, Interlude Blog Team
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