Visiting Quebec’s Mont Tremblant In The Winter
Quebec is one of the most beautiful regions to explore in Canada in the winter. You may have probably heard about places such as Montréal and Quebec City which are known for their European flair and old world charm. But did you know that another city Mont Tremblant also has its own unique appeal?
Albeit a little different from the two major cities in Quebec, Mont Tremblant is the perfect winter destination especially for outdoor activities. From a Scandinavian bath experience to skiing to dogsledding, there’s nothing that you can’t do in this incredible town.
THINGS TO DO AND SEE
1. Go skiing or snowboarding
One of the best winter adventures to indulge in Mont Tremblant is, no doubt, skiing or snowboarding!
Like Whistler and Banff, it is one of the most popular and prominent ski destinations in Canada. And for good reasons.
Located merely 80 miles from Montréal, it is easily accessible and convenient for ski and snowboard lovers looking to get away for the weekend. It is not only open year-round but is also considered as one of the most affordable ski resorts in the country.
For instance, for the winter season of 2017 and 2018 (with the exception of holidays), an adult skier would pay only 84.55 Canadian dollars for one day if the lift ticket is reserved three days in advance.
If you plan to ski more frequently during the winter season, it may be worth getting one of those winter ski passes.
2. Dog sledding
One of the most unique experiences from the trip to Mont Tremblant is dog sledding.
The entire adventure comes in two rounds. With demonstrations from the experienced guides of Expedition Wolf, you get to drive the dog sled through the forest yourself and also be the passenger of the ride (in no order). Honestly, the drive requires a little bit of force but it’s not really that complicated. If you ever need assistance, the guides are really friendly and will always be there to help you out!
Halfway through the ride, we were offered free hot chocolate and snacks in a small hut before returning to the starting point for the second round.
What I also love about this adventure is bonding time with the huskies!
Fun fact: At least 80 percent of the huskies from Expedition Wolf are rescue dogs. Also, they are all named in First Nations language for some reason.
3. Treat yourself to a spa day
What better way to relax and unwind after a long day of winter activities than indulging in some Nordic spa? Look no further than Scandinave Spa!
Over here, you get a truly rejuvenating experience with access to the hot baths and different massages that suits your needs the best. As the Spa is located along the shore of the Diable River, you even get to admire the view of the river while in the hot bath.
Also, feel free to relax at the main lounge while sipping on a hot beverage and having some light bites of your choice after the whole bath and massage experience.
TIP: For all ski lovers, Scandinave Spa offers a package of one ski ticket and one bath access for only around 110 Canadian dollars!
For more information, check out their Packages.
4. Grab a beer
Another great way to experience the culture of Quebec is to taste the local craft beer!
With the craft beer market in Quebec expanding in recent years, more microbreweries and pubs have popped up. One of my favourite pubs gotta be Microbrasserie St-Arnould – they offer great selections of various kinds of beer with a choice of 4, 8 or 10 flavours!
Located in the St Jovite area, this pub is just within walking distance to most stores and restaurants located in downtown Mont Tremblant.
I also recommend heading to Microbrasserie La Diable for their beer, great food and energetic vibe. By the way, be sure to try one of their best beers – the Devil’s Brew!
5. Take the Panoramic Gondola ride
Get a panoramic view of the Tremblant Village by taking the gondola all the way to the summit. On a day with clear skies and great weather, the view would be really beautiful!
TIP: To take the gondola ride to the top of the hill, you need to head to the top of the village first. It can be reached either by walking up or taking the free gondola lift. But I highly recommend the latter (for the great views especially)!
6. Try your luck
Not sure where else to go? Want to warm up somewhere?
Try your luck at the Casino Tremblant – where you’ll find tons of slot machines and game options. If you’re starving, check out the amazing restaurant Altitude. From brunch to main courses to the full dining experience, you’re in for a treat.
TIP: Get your free casino card at the reception. With that card, you are eligible for discounts on most meals at the Altitude Restaurant. Also, everyone gets a free gondola ride from the Village to the Casino! But, make sure to check their schedules beforehand.
7. Explore the Village and Lake Tremblant
If you’re not into skiing, snowboarding or any other winter activities, don’t worry!
Keep yourself occupied by walking around the Tremblant Village. You can find several retail and dessert stores over here, and a great selection of restaurants to choose from.
If the weather permits, be sure to walk around the Lake Tremblant area as well.
During winter season, many trails are off limits to the public but you can still walk on the sideways to admire the view. It’s not that far of a walk from the Village by the way.
8. Take a helicopter ride
If you’re willing to spend a little more to gain a different and unique perspective of Mont Tremblant, sign up for a helicopter tour with Heli-Tremblant!
They also offer customized tours for special occasions including birthdays, marriage proposals and honey moon.
Depending on how far (and long) you want to fly and the type of experience you’re after, tour prices start from 99 Canadian dollars per person.
If you’re up for more exciting adventures and comfortable with jet skiing or riding on motorcycles, consider snowmobiling!
It may be winter but Mont Tremblant is beautiful no matter which time of the year you visit. One of the best ways to experience its natural beauty is to go snowshoeing.
As the main ecotourism centre of the city, Domaine Saint-Bernard offers over 25 km of snowshoe trails to explore at your own pace. With an abundance of nature and wildlife, it’s perfect for just anyone looking to get away from the buzz of the village and city centre.
I also highly recommend checking out Mont Tremblant National Park – the largest and oldest one in the region. The two main sectors, Diable and Pimbina, offer snowshoeing trails for visitors; they’re usually open from mid December to March every year.
If you prefer guided tours and to have everything (including transportation and admission fees) arranged in advance, D-Tour is the travel agency that you might want to contact.
Getting around Mont Tremblant
If you’re not driving, don’t worry.
The city is well served by two public buses that are operated by TCMT – line (ligne) A and B. Both buses cover the same route but the only difference lies in the duration and starting time.
Every day, Line A’s service starts earlier than B but ends later. The coverage of stops for Line A is also greater than B. If you’re staying in the village and need to get to somewhere as far as the St Jovite area (downtown Mont Tremblant), taking line A is the better option.
If, for some reason, you find yourself stuck at some point and trying to get somewhere, hitchhiking is another option. This may sound surprising but I’ve found that people in Mont Tremblant to be generally friendly and helpful! Even to my own surprise, I’ve hitchhiked twice in one day.
Where to get bus tickets
If you’re arriving by bus from Montréal, your destination would most likely be the Shell gas station. It is one of the various points of sale for bus tickets: you can get a package of 10 one-way tickets for just 25 Canadian dollars.
Alternatively, you can pay 3 dollars on the bus in cash for a one way trip.
Check out the TCMT’s website for the full list of points of sale and prices of bus passes and tickets.
Getting to Scandinave Spa
The Spa is not located in a noticeable area and requires some walking to do if you’re getting around by bus.
If you’re going from the village or ski resort, ask the bus driver to let you get off at LaBelle and Montée Ryan. Then, on your right, walk straight down for about 15 minutes and you’ll see the Spa on your left.
Where to stay
For the perfect experience and convenience of having the resort right by your doorstep and close access to some of the main sightseeing spots, stay in one of the hotels in the resort area.
If you’re looking for a luxurious style of accommodation in the village, Fairmont Tremblant would be a great choice. As a guest, you get access to amenities such as their modern spa, indoor and outdoor pool, spectacular view of the Village (and extra services like ski equipment reservations).
For a more affordable (but fairly luxurious) option, look no further than Tour des Voyageurs. It’s not only situated in the village but also close to Mont Tremblant National Park!
For budget travelers (especially backpackers), HI Mont Tremblant Hostel is by far the best option. Located in the old village, it’s in between the ski resort and the St Jovite area (downtown) and accessible by public transportation. I personally know someone who stayed there for a weekend and highly recommend it for not only the good value for money but the great hospitality of the staff as well!
Where to go grocery shopping
Your best bet is to head to downtown Mont Tremblant where most of the supermarkets are concentrated. You’ll find a few of them over there – Metro, IGA Extra, Super C and more!
Winter equipment rentals
Whether you feel like skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing or fat biking, the gears are generally available for rent at the Centre Aventure Sommet des Neiges.
Alternatively, you can go to the Activity Centre for snowmobile and snowshoe rentals. Both sites are located very close to each other, so you can always check out the other location in case one of them runs out of the gear you need.
Signing up for tours
Not sure which activity to start from in Mont Tremblant? Don’t worry! The Activity Centre got you covered.
It is the one-stop centre for tours for all kinds of winter activities and has very helpful staff who will be able to answer your inquiries on anything that is related to sightseeing. They also provide guided tours of Mont Tremblant Village though there is a cost involved.
However, you can sign up for a free guided tour of the Village at Le Grand Manitou. The only cost involved is paying a fee for the Panoramic Gondola to get there since it’s located on the summit. But the view of the Village area from the gondola is stunning, so why not. Right? 😉