Thursday, September 29, 2016

Montmorency Falls & Ile d'Orleans

There's more to Quebec than just the cities, of course!  We weren't renting a car, but we also wanted to take in the area just outside of Quebec City, particularly Montmorency Falls & Ile d'Orleans.  We checked out options via Tours Voir Quebec, and due to our travel schedule we decided on a private tour.  We had a guide, Jocelyne, as well as a driver, who met us at our hotel.  We hit the road first to the falls, taking in the scenery along the way.

We started out at the top of the falls, walking across the bridge above.  Montmorency Falls (Chute Montmorency in French) are taller than Niagara Falls, but not as wide.  The view from up high was breathtaking!  Just as pretty as the falls themselves.

We paid to take this cool cable car down to the bottom, which was kind of fun!  It's a quick trip, and you get to soak in a 360-degree view of the area.

You don't have to spend a ton of time at the falls to enjoy them, and they're definitely worth seeing!  Not too far from the city at all.

After the falls, we headed to the Ile d'Orleans, also know as the "garden" of Quebec.  Our first stop was Cassis Monna & Filles, where they produce products from black currants.  DELICIOUS!

We ended up taking home a few products, including their creme de cassis and a mustard (Dan LOVES mustard) that was a beautiful purple from the currants.  Seriously, so good.   I didn't think I'd like the sweet stuff, but it was awesome!

Our next stop was a winery, Ile de Bacchus.  We were there especially to check out their ice wines.  The grounds were stunning, and given the cold winters in Quebec, they make a good ice wine!

Our last stop was Cidrerie Bilodeau, an apple orchard and cidery.  They made so many products, not just hard cider... mustards, jams, compotes, and more.  ALL THE TASTING!  Tastings at all of these locations were add-ons to our tour, but I felt they were well worth it.  We took home cider and also apply syrup.  It's great on pancakes!

I would recommend checking out Ile d'Orleans as well as the falls.  We could have rented a car and explored on our own, but we learned from our honeymoon in Peru that nothing beats a guide.  Private guides, if you can spring for them, give you a completely personalized experience.  You take in so much more of what you see with historical and local knowledge/context.  I know a lot of people like to eschew tours and try to blend vs. be a tourist... for us, we've learned that a blend of the two are kind of perfect when you're visiting a new place, especially another country!

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