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Trois-Pistoles, Québec

By Nathan M. Killoran

Looking for the travel experience that you just can't get in a big city? Visit Trois-Pistoles, Québec! Nestled between the magnificent St. Lawrence River and rolling green hills, it makes an idyllic destination. Located two hours northeast of Québec City, Trois-Pistoles is easily accessible by highway and rail. Despite its relatively small size (only about 4,000 people), this quaint harbor town has all of the facilities that a traveler would need, such as banks, hospital, and bus and train stations. The town's small size gives a much more relaxed, safe atmosphere than a big city, but that doesn't mean there's nothing to do! Trois-Pistoles boasts a unique blend of small-town setting with countless recreational opportunities.

The entire town is easily accessible on foot, and there are also great deals at the numerous bike rental shops. Weary travelers can stay at the local hotel or campground, but if you're interested in an authentic small-town Québec experience, the townspeople are famous for welcoming guests into their homes. As a guest, rather than a tourist, you can appreciate all that the town has to offer. Located in the most francophone part of Québec, Trois-Pistoles is rich in Québecois culture and history. To discover the town's culture, look no further than its famous landmark, l'Église de Notre Dame des Neiges, a huge church in the centre of town. Built with equal parts of brick and folklore, the end result is a stunning display of architecture. The town's history lives on in the Parc de l'aventure des Basques, which houses a museum of relics from the town's founding over 300 years ago by settlers from the Basque region of France. Here you can also check out a game of  pic-basque, a unique sport played against a gigantic wall.

If the outdoors is your thing, there are plenty of opportunities: you can explore national and provincial park trails, visit the bird sanctuary on the nearby Île-aux-Basques, go swimming or cliff jumping at the local waterfalls, have a campfire on the beach, and go kayaking or whale-watching on the St. Lawrence. There are also many places to watch the famous sunset over the river (just get there before the crowds!). After the sun sets, the night sky fills with the dancing of magnificent northern lights. If it is a rainy day, you can visit the numerous art galleries and historical buildings or relax with a lemonade at one of the local cafés. At night, the many bars, restaurants, and clubs that line the town's main streets offer great after-hours entertainment. So if you're looking for a unique travel experience, Trois-Pistoles' serene, yet colorful, atmosphere offers the perfect opportunity.

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