Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve
Would you like to discover the Mingan islands riches? Several boat operators recognized by Parks Canada offer sea excursions, so that you can get in touch with all these larger than life landscapes. Whether from Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan or Havre-Saint-Pierre on the North Shore of Quebec, you will surely find the right service to satisfy your needs.
Île aux Perroquets and Île Nue de Mingan
An authentic maritime experience skimming across the water
Depart Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan heading for Île aux Perroquets. Approaching the island, spot the iconic red and white lighthouse buildings in the distance. See Atlantic puffins and razorbills—hundreds of them! Some form rafts on the water, while others fly low over the ocean surface.
While on the island, a Parks Canada Heritage Presenter leads you through the fascinating lives of lighthouse keepers who, since 1888, have helped prevent numerous shipwrecks. The tide begins to rise. Seabirds return to the steep cliffs, bringing home the catch of the day to feed their young. As you head back to sea via Île Nue de Mingan, curious seals frolic close to the boat. The captain slows to allow passengers to enjoy the show. Île Nue comes into view revealing surreal limestone monoliths. Exposed to the wind, the island’s vegetation has adapted to the arid conditions of this extraordinary habitat called the "barrens".
A quick visit from a friendly whale would add the finishing touch to an idyllic outing!
Île aux Perroquets, île Nue de Mingan and Grande Île
Seize the opportunity to discover the largest island of the archipelago by adding a stopover to your excursion on île aux Perroquets and île Nue de Mingan. There are two concentrations of monoliths: one looks like a zoo populated by stone animals and the other like a castle. Grande Île and its attractions will certainly amaze you! You will discover breathtaking landscapes where magnificence and freedom come together. "An authentic maritime experience skimming across the water " that lasts over 5 hours!
Île Quarry and île Niapiskau
Two islands: a million and one things to explore!
Approaching Île Quarry, the boat follows the limestone cliffs of both Île du Havre and Île du Fantôme. Just as you turn to watch seabirds flying overhead, a whale makes its presence known by breaking the surface to catch its breath.
On the island, you are greeted by a Parks Canada Heritage Presenter who, during a hike, explains the adaptations of the various plant species and unveils the impressive displays of treasures delivered by the tides.
Deep in the boreal forest with its diverse lichens, the aromas change. Suddenly, a grouse scurries across the boardwalk trail.
En route, marvel at ancient limestone cliffs sculpted by the sea, standing in solitary splendour in the middle of the forest. The path that leads to Anse des Érosions and its monoliths leads through intriguing barrens and bogs. The next stop is Île Niapiskau where, at Anse des Bonnes Femmes, there are fossils and more giant limestone rock formations - check out the crocodile! There’s an owl, an eagle. Is that a wedding cake? Then, become formally introduced to the breathtaking Madame de Niapisca.
A short stop on Île Quarry, accompanied by a Parks Canada heritage presenter, allows you to discover the various natural habitats found on the islands. The shoreline, the boreal forest, the barrens, the peatland and the cliffs each have their own particularities. Anse des Érosions will certainly surprise you with the size of the flowerpot rocks, these well-known limestone giants of the archipelago.
During your stopover on Île Niapiskau, discover the monoliths, these natural sculptures, located in Anse des Bonnes Femmes. A tribute to geology. Moreover, discover 465 million years old fossils! You will notice strange shapes in the limestone rocks such as a crocodile, an owl, an eagle, a wedding cake, the impressive Madame de Niapisca and much more ...
Île du Fantôme and île Niapiskau
Unusual flora and sculptures
Sail alongside Île du Havre and its cliffs before docking on Île du Fantôme. You will discover an unusual flora. Did you know that on the entire territory of the national park reserve, there are more than 490 species of vascular plants? Enough to charm any botany enthusiast! As you walk along the maintained trail, you will meet, among other things, arctic and alpine plants known as rare or of interest, normally found in mountainous areas or beyond the 56th parallel in Quebec. The landscape of the island with its cliffs, monoliths and coastal ledges divided up like a chessboard will certainly surprise you!
On Île Niapiskau, a Parks Canada heritage presenter will teach you more about geology and fossils. Anse des Bonnes Femmes is one of the ideal sites to discover the monoliths, these sculptures shaped by the sea. Why do we find them on the islands? Where do they come from? You will be blown away by the answers you will find! Let this enchanting scenery amaze you!
Visit of the Betchouanes with a stopover on Petite île au Marteau
An island-hopping adventure
Head to the eastern sector of the national park reserve accompanied by a Parks Canada Heritage Presenter, skirting alongside the islands, admiring their unique topography and distinct features. With a little luck, you may spot a whale spraying a plume of water just metres from your boat. A moment later, glance up to spot razorbills, black guillemots, common murres, and Atlantic puffins. A stopover at Petite Île au Marteau is a must on the way back to shore. Here, there is rare Nordic vegetation to explore as well as unexpected treasures along the beach. A hiking trail leads to an infamous light station where five lighthouse keepers worked from 1915 to 1987. On the ride back, watch for the festooned cliffs of Grosse Île au Marteau and the village of Havre-Saint-Pierre.
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