Travel Diaries: Christmas in Quebec

Quebec is a charming city at any time of the year, but it's magical beauty truly shines around the holidays. The old cobblestone streets are lined with twinkling lights, trimmed in garlands of pine, and blanketed by a dusting of fresh snow. Locals and guests, alike, duck into quaint shops and cafes to escape the chilly air, while the melodic French language is heard almost everywhere you go. When it's time to venture into the winter wonderland, dogsleds race through the snowy woods, and the jingle of bells is heard as a team of horses pull a wooden sleigh through the swirling snow. Toboggan runs, skiing, snow tubing, and snowball fights are the only activities on the day's agenda until it's time to warm up inside the chateau with a cup of hot chocolate. Come along and explore this snowy winter wonderland with me!

A trip to the basilica of Sainte Anne de Beaupré is definitely a must-do! The cathedral is over 350 years old and welcomes over 1 million guests every year to it's spectacular halls. With glowing stained glass, twinkling rose windows, beautiful arching ceilings, and columns filled with crutches left behind from miracle healings, this place is absolutely breathtaking. One can't help but be in awe of the lavish detail and reverent beauty. 

Sleigh rides through the snow are quintessentially winter, and it is worth braving the cold for a beautiful journey through the forest. We happened upon a kind, french-speaking farmer who was delighted to take us on a tour through his beautiful snow-covered woodland. There's something about the sound of jingle bells on horses that brings to life all the cheerful carols sung over the years.

A short drive into the mountains brought us to Valcartier. During the rest of the year, this place operates as a water park, but in the winter, it transforms into a snowy playground for skiing, snow tubing, sledding, and more. I highly recommend snow tubing down the multiple runs that provide a generous amount of fun and laughter.

We stayed at the Chateau Frontenac, which, in my opinion, is the absolute best place to stay while enjoying the beauty and charm of Quebec City. With a rich history of 123 years of operation; beautifully appointed rooms and suites; impeccable, personalized service; toboggan runs; splendid views; hallways lined with rows of sparkling Christmas trees; and a collection of delicious restaurants, this place is not to be missed.

The streets of lower Quebec are something straight out of a postcard. Cheerfully decorated shops, German Christmas markets, and cafes provide the perfect atmosphere for a little Christmas shopping and dining. Visit Santa and his elves in the main square, and duck into Cochon Dingue for a quick lunch. Before you head back to the Chateau, pick up a sweet treat or two from Madame Gigi's where the most beautiful confectionary delights are made in house everyday! One thing is for sure, Quebec provides a bountiful collection of culinary treasures. From charming French cafes and traditional Canadian eateries, to upscale and trendy dining establishments, brilliant chefs will provide you with dazzling dishes sure to delight every discerning palate. 

A dash through the snow with your own team of highly trained and thoroughly excited huskies is an experience of a lifetime! As the sunlight sparkles through the snowy trees, hold on tight to the sled while you are whisked off on a magical, high-speed adventure, and yes, you get to drive. Be sure to take time after to play with your sweet and talented canine team to say thanks for the fun! I also recommend strapping on some snowshoes and heading out on one of the nearby trails.

Au revoir, Quebec! You are truly something out of a fairytale. 
Have you visited before? 


Liz said...

Looks like the trip of a lifetime! Definitely added to my bucket list. Thank you for sharing! xo

Candice said...

@Liz it definitely was one for the books! You should go!! :)

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