Montérégie, a region of getaways!Montérégie is a vast extent of territory made up of numerous hills and valleys that spans over 11,000 square kilometers. The region owes its name to the abundant hills that dot its landscape. Conveniently located south of the Island of Montréal, midway between Québec City and Ottawa, Montérégie possesses a rich touristic diversity and is endowed with a unique blend of culture, agriculture and heritage. Bearing witness to its rich historical past and proud of its innovations, Montérégie invites you to discover the riches of its terroir!
Whatever the season, Montérégie offers an unforgettable getaway everyone will enjoy. Sports enthusiasts, campers, culture seekers, nature lovers and food connoisseurs alike will all find something to thrill and excite them during the summer or fall seasons, as will skiers, skaters and snowshoers in winter. From North to South, East to West, Montérégie offers a full array of attractions and fascinating experiences.
Discover the riches of the region's four distinct sectors: Suroît, South-Shore, Richelieu River and Montérégie-East.
Witness to a rich past
The name Montérégie stems from "Montérégiennes", the name of several hills surging from the plain. Mounts Saint-Bruno, Saint-Hilaire, Rougemont, Saint-Grégoire and Yamaska form an imaginary line between the Island of Montréal and the Appalachian Mountain Range.
Surrounded by lakes and rivers, Montérégie served as a stage for several historic battles. For a long time, the area was an outpost that served to protect the colony against Iroquois, English and American attacks. The Richelieu River, which crosses Montérégie on a North-South axis, was formerly used as a commercial waterway before fortifications were built on its banks to defend the population against military attacks. Enjoy one of the several cruises that can be taken on its waters and discover the numerous National Historic Sites scattered throughout the region.
Boasting a rich history and heritage, Montérégie possesses the most diversified cultural mosaic in Québec. Third most important region in Québec when it comes to cultural tourism, the region is home to an impressive number of historic sites, museums and interpretation centres.
Proud of its innovations
The first Canadian railway to link La Prairie to Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu was inaugurated in Montérégie, as was the first international railway line between Longueuil and Portland. Enjoy a stopover at Exporail, The Canadian Railway Museum, to view Canada's most impressive railway collection and one of the finest in North America.
While driving along the American border, take time to admire Canada's oldest covered bridge, which was built in Powerscourt in 1861. The very first lock canal in North America was also built in the Suroît sector of Montérégie, in Coteau-du-Lac.
Montérégie proudly boasts the Lake Saint-Pierre Biosphere Reserve in the Sorel area. Lake Saint-Pierre has been designated as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO; the region is a major component of the St. Lawrence River's ecosystem. There are over 500 biosphere reserves throughout the world, including 15 in Canada and 4 in Québec, which are all typical of the other existing large ecosystems on the planet. The region's unique environment is home to countless priceless treasures.
A rich terroir
Rightfully described as the "Garden of Québec", Montérégie invites you to yield to your senses as you discover the wonderful offerings of the region's agricultural producers. Montérégie producers are passionate individuals who are proud to share their know-how and who graciously invite you to visit their facilities. Agricultural tourism is a key activity in
the region. An excellent way to discover the riches of the area is with "pick-your-own" outings; a great number of producers let you walk through their fields from April until the end of fall, to gather a variety of fruits and vegetables to nibble on or take home to cook.
As Québec's leading region when it comes to cider and apple production, Montérégie distinguishes itself, among other things, by its Cider Route, which lets you discover fourteen regional cider mills. These mills offer superior quality products, as a result of their know-how and innovative artistry. The region is also a pioneer in the creation of ice cider.
Wine enthusiasts, the regional vineyards await you with open arms to help you discover and sample Québec wines, produced from 100% Monteregian grapes! The Montérégie Wine Route offers a cocktail adventure where red, white, rosé, sparkling and ice wines are showcased. Cheers!
In spring, Montérégie truly bears the title of gourmet destination when comes sugaring-off time. It is the region with the greatest number of sugar shacks catering to tourists. In the spring and fall seasons, some twenty of the region's top chefs demonstrate the extent of their talent and creativity by proposing gastronomical menus featuring apples and maple syrup.
By bike, on foot or by car
Montérégie is a destination of choice for bicycle enthusiasts. Its network comprises nearly 600 bicycle paths, 200 km of bikeways and 180 km of designated shared roadways for all types of cyclists. Twenty-four roadways crisscross the region and take you along picturesque roads that cross valleys and rivers, where you will discover historical villages and bucolic landscapes.
In Montérégie, you will find a number of cultural, historical, outdoor and agrotourism events, each one fascinating as well as exciting.
The region has several summer theatres ready to entertain you, among them the Théâtre de la Dame de Coeur, which will amaze you with its giant puppets and theatre under the stars.
The Expo de Saint-Hyacinthe, which is held from July 26 to August 5, is a unique opportunity to discover farm animals as well as an array of activities and shows. With more than 2,000 animals and activities for the whole family, this event is a must!
The International Balloon Festival of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu is also one of the region's must-see events. The festival is held August 11 to 19. Watch as over one hundred hot air balloons–about fifteen of which have special shapes – take flight and delight both young and old alike. Every night during the International Balloon Festival, the biggest stars of the moment perform live on stage. The whole family will enjoy the many playgrounds and leisure areas available to the thousands of festival-goers in search of amusement.
Last but not least, be sure to visit Parc Safari and experience an unforgettable day with your whole Family. The park is home to over 800 animals waiting to be discovered! Enjoy a ride along the safari drive-thru in the wildlife reserve, walk along the deer trail, and take advantage of the interactive animal presentations. Don't miss out on your chance to observe the lions up close through the glass walkway, and visit the insectarium!
Enjoy your discoveries!