During our visit to Montreal, we decide to take a day trip and venture into the Laurentian Mountains for the scenery and a chance to see extraordinary Autumn foliage. The Laurentians is a naturally rich region located on the Canadian Shield that attracts montrealers for a varieties of outdoor activities.
We depart early after a substantial breakfast. We take Route 15 for the 130 kms (80 miles) to Mont Tremblant National Park. We stop at a very comprehensive tourist information office at Saint-Jerome and come out with far more information than we could ever need for a one-day jaunt!
By 11:00 am we are arriving at Mont Tremblant, the best of mountain resorts in the Province of Quebec. As one drives north the heavily wooded mountains get higher, but similar to New England, these are rounded ancient mountains, not sharp and spectacular peaks such as the Rockies or Alps.
Before arriving at the town, we stop and stroll along an attractive lakeside path. This is part of a “rails to trails” project. Once “Le P’tit Train du Nord” ran 200 kms from Montreal to Saint-Laurent right through all the resorts in the Laurentian Mountains. Now it’s a marvelous trail for biking and hiking. The idea that you can now cycle 120 miles through beautiful scenery downhill all the way on a smooth trail is indeed remarkable. We see some of the most colourful fall foliage of our whole trip along this lovely trail. http://www.canadatrails.ca/tct/qc/ptittrain.html
After driving through “old” Mt. Tremblant, we arrive at the new resort area. This is a spanking new development. The whole mountain village is built in typical Québécois style as an integral complex of lovely condominiums and hotels, shops and restaurants on pedestrian precincts, all overshadowed by the ski slopes. It’s a summer and winter destination, very attractive and photogenic. http://tremblant.com.
After some refreshments and a walk around the town, we decide to ascend by cable car to the 875 mt. (2,871 ft) summit of Mont Tremblant. It’s a glorious day, sunny and clear. We could not ask for better weather. As we ride in the gondola, we see lots of people climbing the paths to the top. It looks like awfully hard work, and perhaps once upon a time we would have enjoyed doing this. The views for the top are spectacular over the 22,000 sq. km of national park cloaked in dazzling autumn foliage, and the bustling town down below.
Returning to Montreal, we decide to enter a local supermarket to buy some lunch supplies. What a surprise. It seems like we have flown from North America to France as soon as we walk through the door. Virtually everything is in French, and the products on display are exactly what you would expect to find in a Parisian supermarket. Miryam was able to purchase her favourite black olives from barrels, something unheard of in the U.S. Although I looked for my “Marmite”, I was only able to find “Vegemite”, the Australian equivalent. http://www.britishdelights.com/marmite.htm
By 8:00 pm we are back in Montreal and enjoying the wonderful French-Canadian cuisine.
Miami Springs FL USA
How neat would it be to be able to record exactly how many miles you have flown in a given year or number years? What type of service you will receive prior to boarding the plane as well on the plane and for the duration of your flight?
I would love to know the differences between economy, business, preferred and first class on airlines in 2009 from a fellow flier’s point of view, and not rely on the airlines promotional photos of what level of satisfaction I can expect.
These questions and more related to airline and airplane status can now be quickly asked and answered on our new travel affiliate www.flightscore.com. This particular resource will help savvy travelers - since it allows registered members not only to write reviews on various flights they taken, but to read reviews and view images of cabins, seats, restrooms, even photos demonstrating meal quality or lack thereof.
Flightscore.com is an intuitive website offering additional services that go further than just reviewing current flights in close to real time. After registering and submitting a review, flightscore will easily track your air miles flown and display them in a wonderful graphic image for you view at a glance. Not limited to just air miles flown, flightscore will track cleanliness, seat comfort, food quality and including guest experience. - Adds Rob from Flightscore.com "All reviews are getting calculated to produce Top List for the different Flight Classes. we also track the flights from users to provide them Flight Statistics for their most flown Airlines, the miles they have flown, etc.... all is displayed on a nice Flash Map".
From submitted Flight Reviews we build Airline Quality Top Lists for you to compare Airlines with prior to your next Flight. FlightScore.com automatically keeps track of where you have flown to and then easily makes maps showing your flight routes. www.flightscore.com
We are pleased to offer this affiliation with flightscore.com says Dean Floreani. Simply put, the fact that at a glance, you can have instant access to a “real persons opinion” about their experience with a modern day airline... makes this resource a valuable travel tool for many going forward.
Visit their website and get tracking your statistics today! Just look for the flightscore.com banner near the bottom of the www.timesharingstyle.com home page.
Note: Even though many reviews are in languages other than English, do not be discouraged. The website provides accumulated rating profiles and precise top ten lists of airlines and flights then, displayed in the English language to get the overall impression and rating of your fellow world travelers.
When you think about vacationing in Tremblant, Qc, you think nothing else but skiing, right? Wrong! Spring offers a whole new look on outdoor activities in the most peaceful and relaxing way... Imagine taking a stroll in the village to the shushing sounds of the swollen streams and rivers surrounding Lake Moore. Enjoying the chirping of the birds, the awakening scents of nature revealed by the melting snow and welcoming the warming sunrays with a sigh of relief.... Aaaah!!! Spring is finally here!
For those who enjoy a slow and relaxing pace of life, spring is the perfect time to visit Tremblant... enjoying the village, the great shopping deals on winter ski wear fashion and equipment, not having to line-up to the town restaurants usually buzzed with summer tourists, enjoying an early opened terrace, or even visit a sugar bush for a unique Quebec experience and succulent taste of maple syrup and toffee... at Cabane à sucre à la montage.
Other spring activities you might not have thought about...
Fishing and Hiking – As early as April, the Pourvoirie Baroux which offers over 22km of hunting and fishing territory offers early fishing trips or at the Centre touristique et éducatif des Laurentides opened from May to October offers 36 kms of trails marked with visual information signs accessible to dogs on a leash + 1 km accessible to stroller and people with wheelchair as well as offering fishing for the whole family.
Golf – taking advantage of the early birds special at most challenging golf courses such at Le Diable or, a little gentler, Le Giant. These majestic championship courses will take your breath away. Le Diable opens on May 1st and Le Géant, May 15th.
Visiting the surrounding towns and villages of the area from St-Jovite to St-Sauveur (40 minutes south) driving through Val-David and Val-Morin and Ste-Agathe des Monts...
Enjoy a great spring!
Guest columnist Lise Lorquet
The crisp natural surroundings, friendly cities and lively spirit have helped make Canada become a favorite vacation destination for travelers weary of the sun, sand and surf kind of escape. Outdoor activities abound, coupled with the urban areas' rich arts and music communities ensure that there's something for everyone.
Want to make vacations to your favorite part of Canada a regular part of your lifestyle? Consider purchasing a timeshare there. From Quebec to British Columbia there are hundreds of places to visit in this northern nation. Whether you currently live in Canada and want to explore more of your beautiful and unique country, or you're stationed elsewhere and want to see what all the fuss is about, a timeshare will allow you to travel freely.
A timeshare is a form of ownership in which multiple owners share a piece vacation home, condo or resort unit. This shared ownership helps timeshares be so cost-effective and convenient. When you buy timeshare you'll purchase as many, or as few weeks as you'd like.
They can be consecutive, but they don't have to be. Some weeks will be more expensive than others (those during prime or holiday seasons for example.) Other owners will also purchase their annual or biennial weeks there. The cost will then be shared among all of you and you'll only pay for what you use.
In fact, once you own your property outright, the only thing you'll ever have to pay to secure vacations for you and your family in your favorite region of Canada is an annual or biennial maintenance fee, respective to your usage. And because your purchase is essentially one of time, rather than actual property, it's easy to trade your time at your home resort for a week anywhere in the country, and even the world.
To do this you'll want to ensure that your timeshare is affiliated with an exchange company like RCI, II or vacation clubs like Hilton, Disney or Marriott. These organizations differ in their methods, but both allow owners to trade within their expansive networks. With affiliated timeshares, you can carve up the slopes
in Whistler one year, and hit the streets of Montreal the next.
You can find excellent deals on timeshares for sale when you buy resale. Purchasing from a resale company or previous owner, rather than directly from the resort, can often save you thousands. If you're not ready to buy yet, you can always rent timeshare
Source: The Toque
Feb 28, 2008 04:30 AM
associate travel editor
ST.-SAUVEUR, QUE. – It's hard to know if it's the biting cold or the surrounding scene that has stopped me in my snow boots.
The landscape before me is so consummately Quebecois – the iconic church perched on a snow-covered hilltop, the clapboard homes converted to shops and restaurants, the busy boulangerie, the Laurentian mountains on the horizon – that it seems I've stepped out of my car and into a postcard.
But it's the sounds, more than the sights, that send a smile across my face as a horse-drawn wagon, packed with giddy school kids, manoeuvres its way onto the main street.
And, incredibly, the best is yet to come.
In just a few hours the sun will dip behind the mountains and a delightful collection of villages spread at the foot of this horseshoe-shaped ridge of Laurentians will do their small part to turn this into The Valley of the Stars.
The soft orange glow of the house and street lights will blanket this valley 60 kilometres north of Montreal, and lines of white lights will wend their way up some 140 downhill ski runs, powering this area's reputation as the biggest night skiing operation in the world.
But that's not the only way that enterprising Quebecois have found to turn the tables on whatever Mother Nature has to throw at them each winter.
This charming corner of Quebec also boasts an eclectic collection of Nordic spas – where frigid rivers double as cool-down pools – more than 150 kilometres of cross-country trails, year-round log cabins and, in St.-Sauveur alone (pop. 9,000), phenomenal outlet shopping and almost 100 restaurants, some with their own, quaint little wine cellars.
"We have many stars, but no Starbucks," says long-time local and Chamber of Commerce general manager Pierre Urquhart, who points out that maintaining the authenticity of this historic village was a personal mission for its long-time mayor, Georges Filion, who died last year.
"He never wanted to have neon. And McDonalds wasn't allowed in the centre of the village. That's why it's all authentic. It's all real. Nothing here is artificial."
St.-Sauveur village is the heart of this winter wonderland, located just off Highway 15 halfway between Montreal and Mont Tremblant.
Some 90 per cent of the locals are French and many trace their roots back to Montrealers who headed north more than 150 years ago in search of farm land. Instead they found rocks, lots of them, and turned to logging the Laurentians.
Night-skiing trails of Mont St.-Sauveur always draw a crowd, as do Nordic spas where rivers double as cool-down pools. As they cut down swaths of trees on the surrounding peaks of St.-Sauveur, Morin Heights, Avila, Gabriel and Olympia – all of them now owned by Mont Saint-Sauveur International – they created the first family ski runs. Horses hauled locals to the top.
By the 1920s a ski train would start running between Montreal and St.-Sauveur, and the first skiers – mainly students from Montreal – would rent rooms in locals' houses. By 1934, the first ski lift was installed on Mont St.-Sauveur, earning it the reputation as Quebec's "cradle of skiing."
Today, however, it is so much more.
ST.-SAUVEUR VILLAGE: Art galleries, artisan shops and cosy boutiques line the main street and it's easy to scout out all this town has to offer, from freshly baked bread at the Boulangerie Pagé to paper-thin crepes at local cafés, on a leisurely stroll.
"We're a metropolitan village when it comes to restaurants," says long-time local and area promoter Rick Strubbe of the village's 98 restaurants, everything from Moroccan to Mexican and Italian to Asian. What local favourites such as French restaurant Le Sauvignon may lack in sophistication, they make up for in charm, including waiters who kindly steer you away from the house wine and into the tiny wine cellar with its wide selection of affordable vintages.
"But if you want a Guinness and fish and chips, you go to Morin Heights," adds Strubbe, the English-speaking enclave just 10 kilometres up the road which has become a mecca for cross-country skiing and Nordic spas.
NORDIC SPAS: They've grown in number – and elegance – since the first one opened in the unlikely rural area of Morin Heights 27 years ago after a local doctor used the concept of alternating hot-water treatments followed by dips in the frigid local river to help ease his wife's back pain.
While the Polar Bear's Club remains the granddaddy of them all here, at least four others are setting the relaxation bar so much higher, from the Ofuro Spa – an Asian oasis on a babbling river – to the recently opened Spa Le Baltique, a Zen zone of saunas, outdoor steam baths, hot tubs and Nordic waterfalls surrounded by lush forest and sunsets. See spaofuro.com, spalebaltique.com and polarbearsclub.ca
CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING: The lone traffic light on the shoulder of Highway 329 just outside Morin Heights is curious and, it turns out, clever. It's for cross-country skiers who've just left point zero of the Corridor Aerobique, a 58-kilometre cycling and cross-country trail on an old railway bed, and have to cross the busy road. That corridor is the hub of some 152 kilometres of interconnecting trails that make Morin Heights Quebec's cross-country ski capital. For a complete experience, you can rent log cabins that sleep up to five people and just step out your door onto the trails. See www.mssi.ca for details.
DOWNHILL SKIING: "Night skiing is really different. You'll find an ambiance, an atmosphere that you don't find on other mountains," says Frederic Belval, a spokesperson for Mont Saint-Sauveur International. Each of the valley's five mountains (see Just the Facts for more details) offer their own experience, but the local favourite is Mont St.-Sauveur, with its adjoining Mont Avila. Together they have 49 runs and 11 lifts on about 200 metres of vertical that's somewhat more challenging than Collingwood's Blue Mountain, and one of the biggest terrain parks in Quebec. The real fun starts, however, when the sun sets and lights cast a warm glow over the trails. On weekends, the switch is flipped on all five mountains (during the week only St.-Sauveur has night skiing), and the view alone makes it worth the chilly lift ride to the top. Unfortunately, the whole after dark thing is a real magnet for young snowboarders, which can make the slopes a bit unruly at times, but still an experience not to be missed.
SHOPPING: When you need a break from the cold – and it can get bitter here – while away the hours rushing between outlet stores in St.-Sauveur's quaint and colourful "village" of outlet shops, ranging from Jones New York to Rockport, Nike, Stokes and, of course, ski and boarding shops. Developers were keen to slap up a conventional mega-mall but, thankfully, town councillors stopped them in their tracks, insisting that any shopping stay true to the village's Quebecois village feel and Laurentian heritage.
SUMMER: Winter is one thing, but the best time to come to St.-Sauveur valley is summer, when biking and hiking is at its best and there are more than 20 golf courses within a half-hour drive.
Mont St.-Sauveur becomes a wet-and-wild water park with some 20 ways to soak up the fun, from the lazy river that meanders just outside the base lodge to giant water slides and the rushing Colorado River ride which are tucked so neatly into the mountain's lush trees they're almost impossible to see – even in the Valley of the Stars.
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