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A Zen winter in Authentic Québec: the art of letting go in the Lanaudière and Mauricie regions

February 10, 2023

A Zen winter in Authentic Québec: the art of letting go in the Lanaudière and Mauricie regions © Étienne Boisvert
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What if we approached Québec winters from a Zen angle? Lanaudière and Mauricie regions are within a short distance and easily accessible from Montréal and Québec City, moreover they have what you need to slow down and put your feet up. Here are some tips on how to unwind in Authentic Québec.

Lanaudière and Mauricie: two neighbouring regions looking out for your best interests

Authentic Québec regions are positioned between two of the province’s major urban cities, making it an ideal and stress-free destination. The short distance allows for more time to visit and make the most of a trip to the area. Sightseeing along the river, going north through the boreal forest, or driving through quaint country roads and charming villages, Authentic Québec is a year-round tourism destination. Set against a scenic natural background travellers can delight in various outdoor and indoor activities; it is a perfect blend to get us to slow down and recharge our batteries.

Being outdoors in nature can be a detoxifying experience. An idyllic view such as a frozen lake or undergrowth trail is just within walking or snowshoeing distance. Mother Nature blossoms in our two beautiful regions like nowhere else in our national and regional parks. Countless ecotourism and soft adventure activities practised by hoteliers, innkeepers, outfitters, local artisans and conservationists help to maintain sustainable principals across the territory. As a result of nurturing our ecosystem, we reap the fruits of our labour and the beneficial rewards of our natural landscape.

© Étienne Boisvert

Authentic Québec takes the business of well-being seriously

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Lanaudière and Maurice regions really have everything you need to create valuable moments of rejuvenation this winter: scenic landscapes, soft adventure activities, meaningful encounters and the best wellness experts. Far enough from the daily grind and the stress of city life and yet, just a hop skip and away into a euphoric natural state of well-being. You will discover exceptional places entirely dedicated to pampering our body’s overall health and experience moments of pure bliss. Authentic Québec is not just any destination it is a breath of fresh air for our heart and soul.

Here are three of our favourite Scandinavian inspired Nordic baths that are absolute must-see spas. La Source Bains Nordiques is in the town of Rawdon, just an hour’s drive from Montréal in Lanaudière, it is one of the most renowned spas in Québec. Surrounded by mountains and forests enjoy the benefits of thermotherapy in a sumptuous natural setting. In terms of design, the facility is furnished with state-of-the-art spa equipment. La Source Bains Nordiques has integrated an ecological system with nature such as a geothermal spa, ventilation, insulation, recycling, and an organic roof. Everything is designed for an optimal wellness adventure with a minimal impact on the environment. The alternating hot a cold baths, a massage or cleansing treatment is truly an ethereal experience like no other.

Natur’Eau Spa & Chalets is situated just a notch further east in the hinterland of Lanaudière in the town of Mandeville. The spa is another great wellness destination. It is a picturesque setting of log cabins and cottages within a forest landscape and it has top-notch spa facilities. There are three outdoor hot tubs, a nordic bath with a waterfall, a turkish bath, finnish sauna, fire pit, relaxation areas, yurt and an aromatherapy room. Besides the baths and spa facilities here, you will want to extend your stay and take advantage of the charming accommodations and dining facilities.

One of Authentic Québec’s greatest strengths is its ability to reinvent itself regardless of the landscape. KiNipi Nordic Spa & Lodging is a wellness center within an urban setting. The spa is just 10 minutes away from the city center of Trois-Rivières, the capital city of the Mauricie region. Here is another opportunity to indulge in the ritual of thermotherapy: going from the heated outdoor pools to the finnish sauna or the hammam, then plunge into the cold water for a few seconds, or as long as you can stand it, next sit back and relax.  You repeat the hot and cold process, as many times as needed or until you feel totally relaxed and sense your worries just melt away. And let’s not forget to treat yourself to a massage or to one of the many body and beauty treatments offered at the center. To complete your spa day, overnight in one of Hotel’s suites or relish in a fine dining experience; the menu includes many regional and local produce from the area. Who would of have thought, La Dolce Vita could be found in a bathrobe!

Authentic Québec – goes green when everything is white?

Put yourself first and make it a priority this winter to really take care of you. Surrounded by an opulent winter landscape covered all in white, Authentic Québec regions are a sure bet to finding peaceful environments that ensure a relaxing mind and body experience. The beneficial effect of returning back to basics is multiplied tenfold. Visiting Lanaudière and Mauricie regions is a great opportunity to explore a host of winter outdoor activities and the warmth of lodgings designed in harmony with nature. Visiting Authentic Québec is also a chance to travel to a place where vacation and nature are one of the same.

Let’s begin by exploring some of the best in the Mauricie region. The name already says it all … Nature Nature, is a series of minimalist cabins, mini-houses and refuges. Bordered by the St. Maurice River and surrounded by a mountainous landscape, the lodgings coexist seamlessly in the natural environment. They offer a unique experience to reconnect with nature.  Nature Nature accommodations are aligned with the principals and concept of slow design, not only are they original but they are also sustainable, the perfect marriage of eco-responsibility and ultimate comfort. A must on your list of places to visit!

If you are pro-safeguarding mother earth, you will truly enjoy what Gollé Goulu has to offer. Gollé Gollu is an exceptional campground located near Mont-Tremblant National Park in Saint-Côme. They offer ready-to-camp sites and one-of-a-kind lodgings in Lanaudière for the most avid campers to the most curious ones; there is something here for everyone. And best of all Gollé Goulu farms bio-vegetables and fruits right on site. In season you can pick your own produce directly from the garden. Overnight during the winter season in an eco-friendly rustic cabins or in canvas tent: they have one that looks like a tepee called, a witente, and the other option is a yurt. High on their list of priorities is protecting the ecosystem. Gollé Gollu has a strong commitment towards maintaining the land’s biodiversity on a year-round basis. Here you can take long walks, tobogganing, skiing, skating, as well as taking a bath in the forest. The art of “glamping” is essentially enjoying the pleasure of the wild outdoors and yet still have certain comforts of modern living – what more do you need to just let go and relax?

© Jean-Gabriel Pothier

All-inclusive stays with a zen attitude in the boreal forest or city

When it comes to unbeatable destinations Authentic Québec regions offer unique country inns. Staying at one of the many forest country inns is another special travel experience. A total state of well-being can be experienced when you combine a peaceful night’s sleep, fine dining, savouring the local cuisine, and playing outdoors in the boreal forest. Moving further north away from the St. Lawrence River towards the boreal landscape, you will uncover country inns that are hidden gems nestled in the forest. Discover the comfort and warmth of log cabins that are surrounded by the unspoiled natural landscape – this is the Québécois art of living.

Auberge du Vieux Moulin © Jimmy Vigneux

Auberge du Vieux Moulin

The renowned Auberge du Vieux Moulin in the Lanaudière region is an excellent example of an all-inclusive country inn.  This 4-star family resort has been pampering its guests for over 25 years. Enjoy the classic all-time outdoor activities: snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, ice skating, tobogganing, dog sledding, ice fishing, snowmobiling, and come early spring, you can also experience the joys of a traditional sugar shack meal – I hope you have a sweet tooth – bring on the maple syrup!  The Inn also offers a list of indoor activities: have a few laps in the indoor pool, or a spa treatment, or a fine gourmet meal prepared by chef Yves Marcoux.  The chef’s culinary creations highlight carefully prepared dishes that incorporate the local produce. For a more intimate connection with nature let’s not forget the comforts of a lakeside cottage or a coolbox type mini-home nestled in the forest – connecting with nature has never been easier.

Auberge du Lac-à-l’Eau-Claire © Auberge du Lac-à-l’Eau-Claire

Auberge du Lac-à-l’Eau-Claire

Another great option when travelling to the Mauricie region is the Auberge du Lac-à-l’Eau-Claire in Saint-Alexis-des-Monts. The inn offers a varied number of accommodations and packages that are especially created to emphasize comfort and celebrate the uniqueness of each season. You can experience the thrills of the winter season through an array of indoor and outdoor activities:  dogsledding on forest trails, a spa day at the inn’s health center or try your hand at ice fishing. And as a special treat, savour a trout fish meal prepared by the local chef with your own catch of the day… now that is what we call connecting with nature on a whole other level.

Chemin du Roy © Regens Martin

Chemin du Roy

Getting zen in Authentic Québec can be found regardless of where you are on the landscape’s geographical latitude. The historic Chemin du Roy (King’s Road) links Montréal to Québec City. Along this route there are many quaint urban sites to visit and explore.  You will uncover how disconnection and serenity co-exist within the same sphere. For example, located just on the outskirts of Montréal is the town of the Vieux-Terrebonne. Here you are immediately transported to a bygone era, plus the town is the largest historical quarter in the Lanaudière region. The slow paced rhythm of the seigniorial site, rich with the history of our forefathers, replaces the tempo of a bustling city; it is an enchanting area to explore.  Another must-see outing is a trip to Île-des-Moulins, where strolling through the historical streets, shops and quaint restaurants is a feast for the eyes and palette.

The urban travel experience in Trois-Rivières takes it up notch. The city is home to many important heritage sites, cultural life, unique museums, and a harbour park. Due to its geographical location, with the St. Lawrence River to the south and the St. Maurice River to the east, a seaside-like atmosphere permeates throughout this urban center.

Moreover, its location along the historical route of the Chemin du Roy is an important stop for anyone visiting the area for the first time. Discover welcoming cafés, local microbreweries, and for foodie enthusiasts dine at one of the many restaurants promoting traditional Québécois foods or contemporary cuisine. Whether you are visiting the countryside, the mountains or the boreal forest regions, Authentic Québec has one of the most zen winters in store for you.

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