Why you should consider Québec for your next family holiday
19 November 2019, 16:16 | Updated: 19 November 2019, 16:23
The Québec province of Canada is home to some of country's most extraordinary national parks, culture and wildlife
A trip to Canada is, for many of us in the UK, one of those holidays we're going to do 'at some point' and something we've 'always planned on' but never got round to booking.
Europe's proximity and convenience means north America is, understandably, often overlooked for a week away skiing, hiking, or general adventuring with the kids - but with airlines offering increasingly affordable flights to Canada and the country's relative affordability on the ground, things could be about to change.
And all of what gives the country the makings of a bucket list essential - its diverse wildlife, vast lakes, winter sports, the beautiful and incomparable landscapes most of us have only ever seen in pictures - can be found in Québec.
Québec is one of thirteen provinces that make up Canada - and is also geographically the largest. It's home to Montreal, and also borders Ontario, which contains Canada's capital City Ottawa.
The predominantly French-speaking territory is made up of some thirty national parks, which adds up to around 37,000 sq. km of protected wilderness.
As well as being a ski-lovers paradise in winter (even being home to the world's largest log cabin that has now been made into an unbelievably beautiful Fairmont hotel), it is a haven for adventure-loving families all year round.
Two of the main regions that make up Québec - Laurentides and Outaouais - are jam-packed with all the aspects that make Canada one of the most sought-after holiday destinations.
Walking and hiking in Québec
Known for its spectacular national parks and wildlife, it's no wonder that Québec is a haven for hikers.
A trip to Gatineau Park is a must for any visitors of Outaouais. It's a whopping 361 square kilometres, and home to wildlife such as black bears, beavers and wolf packs.
And - as it's situated just 2.5km from Ottowa - it's a perfect location for those squeezing in a city and country break in one.
A hike around Pink Lake (not actually pink in colour, sadly, but named after the Pink family who settled in the land in 1826) is a popular excursion for visitors to the park.
Québec: an adventure-lovers paradise
If you're a fan of outdoor sports, there really aren't many better places to go than Parc national du Mont-Tremblant in the Laurentides region.
Canoeing is one of the most popular excursions here - and kayaking down the unbelievably scenic Rivière du Diable is not to be missed. The river's calm and smooth conditions mean even the most inexperienced of canoeists can enjoy the vast mountainous landscape stress-free.
You can rent a double kayak for just $39 (£23*) for four hours.
Where to take the kids in Québec
All of the above is family-friendly, but Québec has a number of excursions created specifically with families in mind.
In Outaouais, a visit to Eco-Odyssée's water maze is a must for quality bonding time with the kids. The aim of the maze is to locate and identify various wildlife to and complete your chosen maze (you can select which level of difficulty you'd like at the start).
You travel there via ski-lift, and visitors will be treated to a spectacular light and sound show capable of mesmerising adults almost as much as children.
We recommend going at after dinner at night when it's dark to gain the most from the experience.
The water maze at Eco-Odyssée costs $42.25 (£25*) per four-seater paddle boat.
The Tonga Lumina experience costs $17.99 (£10.50*) per adult.
Where to relax in Quebec
Even the most adventurous among us need some time to unwind - and there really aren't many better places to do so than the largest spa in north America - and it's every bit as dreamy as it sounds.
Nordik Spa-Nature is situated in Outaouais, and is based on the European Nordic spa cycle (hot-warm-cold-rest-repeat). Much of the site is are situated outside amongst the nature - meaning you can enjoy spectacular mountainous views while relaxing in the jacuzzi.
Nordik Spa-Nature costs $68 (£40*) pp for access to the site, including saunas, baths and relaxation areas.
Where to stay: Laurentides
If you want to feel at one with Canadian nature, accommodation doesn't get much better than Auberge du Lac Morency - a hotel by a beautiful lake surrounded by hills and forests.
Guests have the option of a number of activities - canoeing, riding on jeeps through the forest and swimming in the lake during summer (and the rest of the year, if you're brave enough...), as well as relaxing in their Nordic-style spa - to name a few.
A studio room with balcony costs $195 (£115*).
Where to stay: Outaouais
As well as a relaxing outside spa, the garden of Wakefield Mill opens out to a waterfall - which is the perfect place to relax after a long day exploring the area.
A Standard Heritage Queen room costs $299 (£177*)
*Based on the CAD / GBP conversion rates at time of writing.