Picnic Day in Île d’Orléans

Just 15 minutes from downtown Québec City is located Île d’Orleans. The island has been described as the “microcosm of traditional Quebec” and as the “cradle of French civilization in North America.”


On a sunny Monday morning of October, Karine and I drove across the solo bridge, entering a land of farming and agriculture.


We acquired provisions in St-Pierre, filling our basket of local terrines, confits, cheeses and wine for our picnic. We also grabbed cheese curds as a snack for the road.


Elegant houses dating back from the French regime lined the single road.

We stopped in St-Famille to meet up with our friend Mathieu who works on an orchard. We drove the rough terrain with a 4×4 vehicle, then parked between apple trees, facing the stunning views of the Beaupré shoreline and Mt St-Anne.


We popped the bubbles and devoured the supplies.

We continued our drive to the far end of the island, towards the village of St-François, passing pasture farms and more beautiful ancestral homes.


I snapped a picture of the church, originally built in 1734, and rebuilt in 1992 by consequences of a fire that destroyed it 1988 (my mother remembers having coffee at St-Francois Church with the priest in 1976).


We carried on towards the picturesque village of St-Jean, where charming little houses dating from 1825 to 1860 stand along the road.


We drove along the beautiful scenery stretching along the banks of St-Laurent River and peeked at the bluffs of Lévis.


Coming at the end of our island tour, we stopped at St-Pétronille and glimpsed at the beautiful city of Québec.


We had a delightful surprise when we departed the island: a beautiful rainbow arching across the sky.