- Encounters with locals
- Culture (paddy field, coffee, tea ...)
- Place or Historical Monument
It was called the Ile d’Orléans by Jacques Chartier in honour of the Duke of Orleans. Today the island is a historic area of Canada and is valued for its heritage. Lots of French colonists were asked to install themselves there during the colonisation. Amongst others, the field stone houses are a remnant of French rule.
I lived in Quebec for a long time and didn't need an excuse to go to the Ile d'Orleans. It's opposite the city and it's easy and quick to get there. What's more, it's the perfect place to try fresh local products because its chief local activity, after tourism, is agriculture. I go there to pick apples nearly every Autumn. Some owners open their fields to every one so you can have a a good day picking fruit surrounded by your family or friends.
If you have a car or a bicycle it's fun to tour the island stopping at the vineyards to taste the wine, ice wine and cider. You'll need a designated driver for a car!
We knew about the Ile d'Orléans (Island of Orleans), thanks to friends who live there. Only three roads lead to the island, two of which are closed in winter. It's calm, green and dotted with farms or houses that are nestled in the countryside - peace and quiet abound. Our friends, Nicole and Dany, live in a little house that's perched on a headland. It's isolated and sunkissed. Dany had planted a vineyard and makes his own wine, a pertinent ode to the nickname Jacques Cartier gave to the island - Ile Bacchus.
We headed out by car, stopping at St François to climb up the observation tower. A hundred or so steps later and we found ourselves high above the eastern point of the island. We continued our tour, stopping at each of the island's six villages. There are lots of local crafts and beautiful churches; we were really pleased we'd visited this island, which is so close and yet so far from the city's urban buzz.