Riviére-du-Loup: 209km (130 miles) NE of Québec City; Grand Métis: 358km (222 miles) NE of Québec City; Matane: 411km (255 miles) NE of Québec City; Percé: 765km (475 miles) NE of Québec City.
The southern bank of the St. Lawrence River sweeps north, then eastward, and then back in towards itself, creating a thumb of land called the Gaspé Peninsula -- Gaspésie in French. The Gaspé is the farthest end of the province and a primordial region heaped with aged, blunt hills covered with hundreds of square miles of woodlands. Over much of its northern perimeter, slopes fall directly into the sea.
The fishing villages in the coves cut from the coast are as sparsely populated as they've always been, with eagles and elk in the high grounds. Winter here is long and harsh, making the crystal days of summer precious. All that makes it the perfect place for hiking, biking, whale-watching, and fishing in near-legendary salmon streams.
A trip here will be a complete escape from the cities, and your destination is the village of Percé at the easternmost edge of the province, along the Gulf of St. Lawrence. It's here that you'll find Rocher Percé -- Percé Rock, in English -- the famed 470m-long (1,542-ft.) butte rising from the sea. It's an astounding sight that you may be tempted to walk up to at low tide.