I have found that one of my greatest pleasures during wintertime in Canada, is having the opportunity to indulge in physical activities by day, when the temperatures drop way below zero, and warming up by a fire afterwards, in a cozy round wood cottage.
My husband and I often drive to Quebec City, to spend quality time with family members who reside in the “country side”. It allows us to completely disconnect from living in a big City, and we particularly enjoy being close to nature. And although I absolutely adore Quebec City, we hardly ever go downtown whenever we visit, as our activities usually consist in hiking, snowshoeing, driving to Ste. Brigitte de Laval or to the Charlevoix region and marveling at the awe-inspiring nature.
One summer, as we were driving in the middle of nowhere in Ste. Brigitte de Laval, we passed by a splendid round wood property, with a sign indicating “Nord Expé”. We were so mesmerized by the beauty of the place, that we had to park our vehicle to see how gorgeous the house and its surroundings were. The view was breathtaking.
I can’t recall if there were snowmobiles parked outside, but we figured Nord Expé was a company that offered snowmobiling expeditions, as well as relaxing stays in their beautiful four-star bed & breakfast, and thought we absolutely had to try their company during winter.
On a freezing December morning, we were headed to meet Pierre, the owner of Nord Expé, to embark on an incredible snowmobiling adventure with our guide, followed by a heaven-like stay at their four-star bed & breakfast.
The forests, for as far as the eye could see, were covered in a magnificent white snow coat; the sky was cobalt blue and the cold was intense. We changed into warm snowmobiling attire, that were provided by Nord Expé: boots, gloves, jacket, pants and helmet.
Our experienced and extremely professional guide explained to us how the day would unfold and how the snowmobile worked. We embarked on a superb Skidoo Expedition and we were ready to go! The feeling was incredible: the sound of the rumbling motor, the surrounding pine trees that quickly pass before your eyes; the adrenaline was at its height. During five hours, we were alone, in the middle of the enchanting forests, experiencing what a real snowmobiling expedition looks and feels like. We stopped a few time at different refuges, to warm up by a fireplace before getting back on our snowmobiles to head to our final destination, “L’Etape”, where we had lunch before going back to the B&B. On our way, we could notice fresh hoof prints of moses but unfortunately, did not encounter wildlife. The scenery all around us was magical, wild and picturesque. We had access to breathtaking lookouts from the mountains.
The refuge see from outside and inside (below).
At the end of the day, we were exhausted and could not have dreamed of a better place to relax, than the B&B, where a fire was lit in a fabulously decorated living room, or in our room that was also absolutely gorgeous and so comfortable. There was a spa with a view on the mountains, and if you still had energy, you could go snowshoeing along the Montmorency River, just down the property.
At night, we had a healthy and delicious dinner. I’d eaten so unhealthy the previous days, that I could not have been happier to see the salmon, rice, veggies and soup arrive, and my all time favorite dessert: a chocolate fondant with a scoop of ice cream. Yum!
There was another couple and a mother with her daughter who had just arrived from France. I loved that we still had intimacy at dinner in the living room, as each duo sat a different table.
After dinner, we went back to our room and completely relaxed. It was so quiet and peaceful I couldn’t even believe my eyes.
The next morning, we had such a delicious breakfast, then took a couple pictures before leaving.
It was truly an unforgettable experience. Located at a 30 minute drive from downtown Quebec City, Nord Expé is a family owned and run business that offers private and semi private snowmobile expeditions, ranging from one to several days. Pierre and his wife, Christelle are incredibly passionate and knowledgeable about what they do and we highly recommend that you try this unique and unforgettable experience with them. For more information, check out their website http://nordexpe.com/.