Discover Magdalen Islands

The Magdalen islands are fascinating. Located right in the middle of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, they are not easy to reach but totally rewarding and worth the effort. So take the plane (expensive but fast) or a ferry-boat from Montreal (expensive and slow), from Chandler (giving you the opportunity to also visit beautiful Gaspesia) or from Souris on Prince Edward Island (the least expensive option and fastest boat connection). Try to spend a week there to fully enjoy the laid-back atmosphere of these very special and highly photogenic islands.

Houses in the Magdalen Islands
Houses in the Magdalen Islands

 

Entry island

This small dot with its green hills and steep cliffs is the first glimpse of the Magdalen islands you get when arriving by boat. Don’t limit yourself to the view from the boat and board a local ferry-boat from the main island to spend a day on Entry Island, where the english-speaking minority of the islands lives. Once there have a crab sandwich chez Brian Josey and climb up the Big Hill.

Entry Island and the Big Hill, Magdalen islands
Entry Island and the Big Hill

 

Crab sandwich at Restaurant Chez Brian Josey, Magdalen islands
Crab sandwich at Restaurant Chez Brian Josey

 

 Traditional farming on Entry Island, Magdalen islands
Traditional farming on Entry Island

 

Drying laundry and lobster traps, Magdalen islands
Drying laundry and lobster traps

 

Crab traps, Magdalen islands
Crab traps

 

Houses on Entry Island, Magdalen islands
Houses and church on Entry Island

 

Beaches and cliffs

The Magdalen islands are known for their red cliffs and endless beaches, warm in the sunset light or dramatic under grey skies. The easiest way to discover them is to rent a car on the main island and drive it all the way through, from Havre-Aubert in the south to Old-Harry in the north.

 Those red cliffs are just amazing, Magdalen islands
Those red cliffs are just amazing

 

Dramatic endless beach, Magdalen islands
Dramatic endless beach

 

Red rocks and green grass, Magdalen islands
Red rocks, green grass and deep-blue sea

 

Sunrise in the Magdalen Islands
Sunrise in the Magdalen Islands

 

Watch out! (Magdalen islands)
Watch out!

 

Birds

The Magdalen islands are a bird lover’s paradise, with all those different sea birds. I have some kind of special affection for the beautiful gannets.

Birds on a red rock, Magdalen islands
Birds on a red rock

 

Birds on the sand, Magdalen islands
Birds on the sand

 

Local distilleries

Don’t miss the Ariel raspberry liquor at Barbocheux estate, it’s to die for! Another interesting local wine producer is Poméloi, with their orchard of apples growing inside glass bottles.

Apple growing in a bottle at Poméloi Orchard, Magdalen islands
Apple growing in a bottle at Poméloi Orchard

 

Hills

Take some height at Butte du Vent (the top is easy to reach by car) to embrace the islands form above. Another nice overlook is located near Pied-de-Vent cheese farm (which I recommend to visit by the way).

The view from Butte du Vent, Magdalen islands
The view from Butte du Vent

 

Near Cap-aux-Meules and Pied-de-Vent cheese farm, Magdalen islands
Near Cap-aux-Meules and Pied-de-Vent cheese farm

 

Small lighthouse, Magdalen islands
Small lighthouse

 

Restaurants and accommodation

There are many nice restaurants in the Magdalen islands, and a lot of different hotels to choose from as well. I stayed at the intimate Havre-sur-Mer inn and was very satisfied. I also had a great paella at Auberge chez Denis à François.

Breakfast at Auberge Havre-sur-Mer, Magdalen islands
Breakfast at Auberge Havre-sur-Mer

 

Paella at Auberge Chez Denis à François, Magdalen Islands
Paella at Auberge Chez Denis à François

 

Lighthouse in the Magdalen Islands
Lighthouse in the Magdalen Islands

 

2 Replies to “Discover Magdalen Islands”

  1. Good info and great photos! I might spend a few nights on the island. How much do you think is the average daily cost to stay there? Thanks!

    1. Thanks Fabi for your comment. It depends a lot on where you stay, but for a nice hotel, a rental car and good restaurants count at least 100 CAD per person per day (+ ferry or plane tickets from mainland). But it really is a wonderful one-of-a-kind place to visit!

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