There are things to do year-round. From May through June, you can find the islands’ freshest lobster rolls. The high season in the Magdalen Islands runs through July and August. After a busy day on the water, visitors can sit back to enjoy fresh lobster, as well as other seafood and fish. The islands are known for offering a palette of unique tastes, including local cheeses, smoked fish, microbrews and artisanal wines. With so much to offer, it’s no surprise that these islands have long been known as Quebec’s maritime playground!
Perhaps one of the most interesting things about the Magdalen Islands is that each island has its own unique culture, handed down from the earliest inhabitants and carefully preserved to this day.
Grosse-Île, for instance, is inhabited mostly by English-speaking Madelinots of Scottish ancestry. Known as Quebec’s lobster capital since 1994, Grande-Entrée is home to more than 100 lobster boats and a vibrant fishing culture. Pointe-aux-Loups has only about 50 houses set amidst a spectacular sandy oasis, while the treeless Havre aux Maisons features red cliffs and colourfully painted homes. Cap aux Meules is the second-largest island and home to the greatest number of Madelinots, with a more urbanized flair. The first Acadians in the region settled on Havre-Aubert – the most forested island in the archipelago – and it retains their distinct culture. Finally, tiny Entry Island, with its population of 100, is accessible only via ferry. The eighth island, Île Brion, has been an uninhabited ecological reserve since 1988.
Whether you’re there to sample the unique experiences, the tasty local cuisine or the distinctive culture, the Magdalen Islands are Canada’s best-kept seaside secret. These jewels in the Gulf of St. Lawrence might be tiny, but they’ll loom large in your memory of unforgettable vacations. Best of all, they’re right here at home.