These Wellness Adventures Are a Must if You’re Visiting Quebec City
If you’re looking for a getaway, this Quebec City monastery has lots of cool wellness offerings.
Quebec City Retreat: Stay at Le Monastère des Augustines
This historical retreat is known for its unique approach to wellness. In 1639, three Augustinian nuns travelled to Quebec City to open the first hospital in the new world north of Mexico. For centuries, generations of nuns did amazing work as nurses, residing in the adjoining monastery. Now, with a declining population, the Augustinian nuns have decided to continue their legacy by opening the space to the public as a wellness retreat and hotel. Located in the historic wings of the monastery, the newly renovated Monastère des Augustines gives renewed purpose to this heritage property. Learn more and plan your stay here.
Quebec City Retreat: Where to take a day-trip
Explore Île d’Orléans, the small island nestled in the middle of the St. Lawrence River, about a 30-minute drive from Quebec City. It was once considered the cradle of New France (fun fact: the entire island is considered a historical district), and it shows. The island is renowned for its agriculture and idyllic beauty.
Quebec City Retreat: Where to jam
Check out Confiturerie Tigidou, where they create traditional jams exclusively from berries grown on the island, organic fair-trade sugar, and herbs from their garden. The agro-tourism dream all takes place in a 200-year-old restored house decorated with gems from the ’20s, and is made better by the warm, welcoming service. Treat yourself to their Strawberry-Mint Jam on a fresh scone with coffee, or stock up on their Espresso and Apple Caramel as a souvenir.
Quebec City Retreat: Where to sip
Head to Cassis Monna & Filles, a family-run business known for their award-winning black currant wine and spirits. On this gorgeous property, they make just about everything imaginable with black currants (a.k.a. cassis or gadelle noire as the Québécois say), from chocolate to honey and even mustard. These little berries are known for their healthiness — they’re anti-inflammatory and loaded with vitamin C and other antioxidants — so don’t feel bad about trying their artisanal black currant vanilla soft serve. Do a wine tasting or settle in for lunch at their restaurant, La Monnaguette. Just make sure you have a flexible schedule — the view of the cassis fields by the river will make it hard to leave.
Quebec City Retreat: Where to stop for a thrill
Ride the cable car up to Montmorency Falls. Located where the mouth of the Montmorency River drops over the cliff shore and into the St. Lawrence, the falls are 83 metres high (roughly 30 higher than Niagara Falls). If you’re just a mild thrill-seeker, take in some nature as you cross the suspension bridge across the falls. If you want the real deal, zip line. But be warned, the 300-metre zip is a fast one!
Quebec City Retreat: Where to dine
In search of a unique meal? Hop over to Chez Boulay, just a short jaunt from Le Monastère. The menu is inspired by Norway, where food is traditionally focused on the cycle of the seasons and on fish, game meat, vegetables and berries. It’s a natural connection — the Nordic climate is similar to that of Quebec. Start with the creamy Crottin de Fanny goat cheese with roasted beets, black currants, and confit shallots before moving on to the fish (this varies with the catch of the day), which is served with sauerkraut, fried clams, and steamed potatoes from Île d’Orléans. And don’t think they forgot about syrup. Opt for the profiterole with maple and peppery green alder, pumpkin seeds praline, and a maple caramel sauce for dessert.