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Route des Navigateurs

Much more than a river

Entering the Bas-Saint-Laurent from La Pocatière in the Kamouraska region, you will go through a string of quiet villages — Route 132 is free of heavy highway traffic — whose Victorian riverfront homes recall the turn-of the-century resort era.

From Rivière-du-Loup, the river widens to 23 kilometres, and is referred to as the “sea”. This is the start of “La Route des Phares”. You can visit three lighthouses in the Bas-Saint-Laurent region.

This is also the place for island tours and whale watching cruises. Stop off in the Trois-Pistoles area to hear some tall tales and encounter the Basque culture.

From Saint-Simon to Bic, the route runs briefly alongside rocky outcroppings and bars. The river appears through the mountains and the Bic islands, making this one of the most spectacular landscapes in the region. Stop at Bic National Park; you’ll find a multitude of activities that let you enjoy the natural beauties of this site.

Rimouski, the regional urban centre, faces the river. Stroll along the shore walk or go to the sandy beach at Sainte-Luce, a few kilometres further.
Even if you are a captain or a young sailor, come to sail on the route des Navigateurs!
History
The route des Navigateurs was born in 1996 as a project pilot designed to encourage tourists to use the road 132 to cross the region and to take advantage of attractions. In this way, Tourisme Bas-Saint-Laurent put forward a way of supporting the tourism industry affected by the arrival of Highway 20.

In 2002 and 2006, the renewal of the Route des Navigateurs was granted within the framework of the program of roads and organized trips of Tourisme Québec. In 2006, modifications were made to the road, ensuring that the course was not only the road 132 but the closer way to the river, for example by borrowing streets inside the villages of Kamouraska, Notre-Dame-du-Portage, Isle-Verte, Trois-Pistoles and Sainte-Luce.

The Route des Navigateurs is also the witness of the colonization of the region. The residents of Bas-Saint-Laurent have a special relationship with the Saint-Lawrence river, not only by the products they take out from, which are often their work, but because the river is a part of their identity.

Everyone feels privileged to live near this great river. Today, tourists enjoy the soothing side, the activities and the beauty of the sunsets of the Bas-Saint-Laurent.

To learn more about the history of the Bas-Saint-Laurent, visit:
http://bassaintlaurent.org/region/histoire.htm (in french only)