Day 1: Burlington, Vermont
Highlights: BurlingtonMake your way to downtown Burlington and the Marriott Courtyard Burlington Harbor. This is a newer Courtyard and overlooks Lake Champlain in Burlington - Vermont's vibrant and cosmopolitan small city that features an active arts and outdoors culture. The hotel is just a few blocks from the Church Street Marketplace, Burlington's pedestrian-friendly commercial district. Numerous shops and restaurants, complete with the works of local artisans and fresh, locally sourced foods, await your discovery. Stroll to the waterfront and enjoy views across the sparkling waters of Lake Champlain to the Adirondack Mountains that frame the skyline. We'll put the sunsets over Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks up against any in the world. Enjoy dinner on your own at one of many local establishments. No cycling today.
Lodging: Courtyard Burlington Harbor
Day 2: North Hero, VT
Highlights: Lake Champlain & Valley FarmlandFollowing breakfast at the hotel, meet your tour leaders at 10:00am in the outdoor courtyard and patio area behind the hotel. Following your bike fitting, you will ride north out of Burlington on the Island Line. This rail trail parallels the shores of Lake Champlain and leads to a bike ferry used to cross "the cut" to the Champlain Islands. The cut was left so that boats could pass in and out of a large protected bay after the old railroad ceased to operate. Visit Vermont's first vineyard and winery for a tour and tasting, followed by a picnic lunch. Cycle by rolling fields patchwork farmland en route to North Hero. Much of the region retains its agricultural heritage firmly rooted in apples and dairy. After settling into your room at the Shore Acres Inn, take a swim in the lake or visit the village and the eclectic Hero's Welcome General Store. Dinner is in the Lake Champlain room of the Inn this evening. Cycling Option: 32 miles.
Lodging: Shore Acres Inn
Day 3: Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, QC
Highlights: Isle LaMotte, Fort Lennox and the RichelieuEnjoy a beautiful ride along the peaceful west shore of the Champlain Islands and visit a local cheese producer before crossing the US border into Canada. Once across the border, the roads narrow and the farmland continues for much of the ride to St-Jean-sur-Richelieu. Cross the Richelieu River which flows north out of Lake Champlain on its way to rendezvous with the St. Lawrence. Stop for a bite to eat and a visit to a small producer of local wine in St. Paul de L'ile Aux Noix. History buffs in the group might choose to visit Fort Lennox, built on a strategically important island in the middle of the Richelieu River. The island, Ile aux Noix, was alternately occupied by the British, French and Americans during the late 1700's and early 1800's. The British used it as an important ship building site for the decisive battle of 1814 that would prove to be the final naval battle on Lake Champlain. Continue north to Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu to lodge at the cycling-oriented Auberge of local legend, Madame Boutin. Take a dip in the pool or a walk along the canal before a hearty dinner in town. Cycling Options: 47 and 62 miles.
Lodging: Auberge Harris
Day 4: Sorel, QC
Highlights: Riviére Richelieu to Fleuve Saint-LaurentWave au revoir to Madame Boutin and ride the Canal-de-Chambly north past the intricate series of locks that enables boats to avoid the un-navigable rapids of the Richelieu. In the town of Chambly, visit Fort Chambly overlooking the basin in town. The Fort is yet another reminder of the importance of controlling this waterway during the 18th and 19th Centuries. Follow the Richelieu River to the beautiful Eglise St-Marc-sur-Richelieu for a picnic lunch served by your tour leaders in the gazebo overlooking the river. Follow the Richelieu for the entire afternoon as you pedal through small villages, past tidy farms and imposing churches. The miles seem to fly by along this fabulous route and before you know it, you'll be entering the city of Sorel and witnessing the Richelieu's confluence with the mighty Saint Lawrence. The Auberge de la Rive is in a quiet section of the city overlooking the Saint Lawrence. Enjoy a dip in the pool overlooking the river and watch huge ships pass by. Grab a drink in the hotel's tavern before a delicious dinner at the hotel. Cycling Option: 60 miles.
Lodging: Auberge de la Rive
Day 5: Trois-Rivières
Highlights: The Route Verte, Trois-RivièresLeave the south shore behind on a ferry trip across the Saint Lawrence. In a few short kilometers you'll be spinning through peaceful countryside past brightly painted barns and stone houses along Québec's famed Route Verte, the longest network of bicycle routes in North America. The Route Verte also follows sections of the Chemin du Roy (King's Road) for much of the ride. The first road linking Québec City and Montreal, the Chemin du Roy is one of the oldest routes in North America having been completed in 1737. Initially a fur trading post, Trois-Rivières boasts a dynamic downtown full of museums, galleries, boutiques, cafés, and historic 18th-century buildings. The Hotel is located in a quiet section of town on the edge of the historic district which features lovely gardens and beautiful historic buildings. This evening, the group will walk to one of our favorite restaurants in a charming old neighborhood of the city. Cycling Option: 52 miles.
Lodging: Gouverneur Hôtel
Day 6: Québec City, QC
Highlights: Chemin du Roy, Deschambault, Promenade Samuel-de-Champlain, cheese makerCross the Rivières Saint-Maurice from Trois-Rivières to Cap-de-la-Madeleine en route to more rural areas. Visit a cheese producer that runs like an estate winery, making cheese only from the milk of their own cows and handling every step along the way. The route follows the Chemin du Roy and the St. Lawrence River through numerous small villages, each clustered around an impressive church. Visit the charming village of Deschambault whose beautiful church overlooks its own lovely gardens at the edge of the St. Lawrence. Watch huge ships passing on the river from the 600' wharf in Portneuf. Your tour leaders will offer a van shuttle from Portneuf to the start of the Promenade Samuel-de-Champlain bike path on the outskirts of Québec City as traffic picks up a bit beginning in Portneuf. The ride along the Promenade Samuel-de-Champlain is a stunning route by which to enter the city and leads almost to the door of Le Saint Pierre. This evening you are on your own for dinner as there are many fine options within walking distance from Le St. Pierre. Cycling Options: 45, 52 and 87 miles.
Lodging: Le Saint Pierre
Day 7: Québec
Highlights: Explore Québec City, Quartier Petit ChamplainYour lodging at Le Saint Pierre provides the perfect base for exploring this fabulous European-style city. Begin the morning touring the sites and gaining insight into the local history with an engaging local guide. The narrow streets of Quartier Petit Champlain, just a short walk from Le Saint Pierre and directly below the imposing Château Frontenac, form a scenic backdrop for photos. You will have the afternoon and evening to pursue your own interests and culinary tastes in this pedestrian-friendly city where everything is within easy walking distance from the inn. Stick with the tourist track or venture beyond the heart of the Old City for a more modern taste of today's lifestyles. For those of you who can't bear to be off your bike for a day, your guides will lead you on a ride along a city bike path during the afternoon. Cycling Option: 20 miles.
Lodging: Le Saint Pierre
Day 8: Québec City, QC
Highlights: Île d'OrléansA bike path leads to the huge bridge that crosses to rural oasis of Île d'Orléans. The island was one of the first colonies of New France and offers a glimpse of traditional Québec. Known as the "Garden of Québec", rolling farmland covers much of the island and its agricultural traditions are evident in abundant local products. Île d'Orléans has a rich cultural heritage and historic architectural masterpieces add even more beauty to the pastoral setting. Many artists live here and find its quiet and almost mystical setting a source of inspiration. Pause along the way to view their works ranging from traditional crafts to abstract sculpture. Roadside stands offer numerous opportunities to sample local wines, hard cider, berries and other fresh produce. The abundance of friendly people, scenic beauty and local products still rings true in the historic motto of Île d'Orléans: "I welcome and I nourish". This evening we will enjoy a delicious meal at one of the city's most renowned restaurants, just a short walk from Le Saint Pierre. Cycling Options: 42 and 55 miles.
Lodging: Le Saint Pierre
Day 9: Burlington, VT
Highlights: Shuttle back to BurlingtonFollowing breakfast at the inn, you will be transported back to the airport in Burlington, Vermont - roughly 4 hours driving time however border crossing times may vary. We recommend that you not schedule a flight out of BTV any earlier than 4:30pm today. Those extending their stay in Burlington will be transported to their lodging following the airport drop-off.
HighlightsBurlington, VT, Champlain Islands , The Route Verte, Portneuf, Vermont's first vineyard, Fort Lennox , Cheese maker, Québec
Includes9 days, 8 nights' accommodation; Use of a 27-30 speed bicycle; 8 breakfasts, 3 picnic lunches, 5 dinners; group transport to Burlington, VT at the conclusion of the trip; van support; snacks
Arrive/DepartBulington, Vermont (BTV)
Total Distance298-368 miles (483 - 596 km)
Daily DistanceAverage Daily Mileage 50 to 61 (81 to 99 km).
What to Expect
The terrain is quite level throughout the entire bike tour and routes average 50 miles per day. What's more, the prevailing wind will likely be at your back for much of the trip.
Click on the "pins" for details about each day's highlights.
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