To get away from the city. Consider going elsewhere, where time flows more slowly. Take unknown paths, walk on snow-covered trails, gaze at magnificent nature. For a weekend or a short stay, an icy trip is offered from one end of the country to the other. It is time to reconnect with nature, to rediscover the northern sap that flows through our veins. Winter is part of our DNA, it is inextricably linked to our culture, as the white season characterizes our entire nation. The boreal way of life is a key part of a healthy lifestyle here. This involves acclimatizing to the short, cold days of our winter where we enjoy the comfort of a spa. In the land of snow, there are many frosty delights. From the shores of Newfoundland to the skies of the Yukon, here are sites to discover another facet of the country, far from the endless outfitters, in cottages or in eco-friendly camping gear.
The Boreal Cocoon in Charlevoix – Les Éboulements
On the winding road, at every turn, new rocky headlands, small coves, large bays, houses with colorful roofs. The names of the villages stand out like a string of delicacies. And it is indeed a gourmet journey: cheesemakers, bakeries… the only tomato wine of its kind in the world. The flavors of Charlevoix are intoxicating. We find the perfect symbiosis between the land, the Arctic tundra, the fjord and secluded coves where we can enjoy a bewitching atmosphere. Here, the earth makes love to the river, a show for all audiences where the reference to “nordicity” takes on its true significance.
Choosing your bed – Just before the village of Les Éboulements, a discreet sign indicates the Repère Boréal. We climb a stretch of track to reach a large cube lined with wood and metal: this is the common room, half kitchen, half yoga room, with a breathtaking view over the frozen river. The latest generation of ready-made campgrounds, made of wood and recycled materials, are spread throughout the boreal forest, out of sight but entirely open to nature. We adore the panoramic bay above the bed, to surrender to the contemplation of the sublime.
To see, and do – It is imperative to make a stop at Baie-Saint-Paul, then continue along the Route des saveurs, towards La Malbaie. This is an opportunity to savour the incomparable Migneron de Charlevoix of the Migneron family, or to have a malted rendez-vous at the MicroBrasserie Charlevoix. Lastly, don’t listen to your GPS, and enjoy the coastal road, the 362, which is barely longer, and so much more scenic!
Dancing with the Stars in Yukon – Whitehorse
Evoke Yukon, and the call of the West echoes back in all of us. Naturally, our dreams as gold-seekers lure us to Dawson City, were our need for infinite space will be fulfilled instantly. But when winter comes, it’s to the skies of Whitehorse that you should be heading towards. The poetic name of this small town comes from the rapids of the Yukon River, that elicit the mane of a white horse. On the way to Alaska, we cross paths to bewitch ourselves with the luminous spectacle of our northern lights. Under the northern latitudes of the Yukon, the sky suddenly comes to life and parades before our eyes. A guaranteed return to childhood.
Choosing your bed – Located about 20 minutes south of Whitehorse, Northern Lights Resort & Spa is a true haven of peace surrounded by pine forests and mountains. It offers four detached, comfortable and impeccably equipped cottages, as well as a spa and a terrace that allows you to observe the northern lights in winter.
Calmness and delight in Newfoundland – Fogo Island
Off the north coast of Newfoundland, Fogo Island is one of those timeless landscapes. A part of the world that must be earned by taking the plane, the car and the ferry to reach it. Once there, however, you enjoy the time that suspends your course, you take a deep breath of air and nature to replenish your batteries, to the exquisite sound of peace and calm. Fogo’s chaotic landscapes, windswept pristine expanses, sharp rocks, undecided climate and capricious Atlantic make it particularly captivating. The land is so changing that the locals are talking about seven seasons, not four. Lovers of photography, get your cameras to seize all its splendor!
Choosing your bed – The Fogo Island Inn is above all a story of the heart – of an owner who originated from the island and returned there to preserve it better. The concept is bold and innovative: to create a foundation around art, crafts and culture with a showcase hotel to welcome visitors. Canadian architect Todd Saunders was commissioned to design this hotel, which has the appearance of a futuristic liner in front of the Atlantic Ocean, with steep and surprising lines that reflect its surroundings. The result is a surprising mix of tradition and avant-garde design, with a remarkable ecological sensitivity. Put on your pair of snow boots to explore the surrounding old cross country paths, and then, on the way back, relax on the roof spa overlooking the frozen lichen-covered rocks. An idyllic boreal vision.
To see, and do – Gourmets must absolutely honor the hotel table. Bread making classes, smoked fish classes, traditional Inuit meals with berries, moss and mushrooms will be served as part of their menu.
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