A Thunderstorm, an Island, a Porch, and a Photography Book about The Porches of Île d’Orléans

I fell in love with the homes of Île d’Orléans, with their grand architecture. Not knowing much of the history of the island yet, I remember feeling like I was swept back in time, to an era of centuries ago. To an era of people savoring the outdoors and food of their island. To a place where the home was for family and friends visiting, sitting, talking, laughing, eating. All outdoors on a grand, inviting, hospitable porch.  – Debby Lee Jagerman-Dungan

The Porches of Ile d'Orleans Book

It was a dark and stormy afternoon. Which was odd, because the rest of the day, and most of the previous two days, it had been sunny and quite warm. At first it started to rain lightly. I took my rain jacket out of my backpack to cover myself, put a pack cover over my backpack, and continued on with my walking. I had just left the Les Fromages de l’Îsle d’Orléans, tasting several delicious types of locally made cheese, along with some grapes and crackers, which made a delicious snack. A few moments later, it began to rain harder. I took shelter under a tree to put on my rain pants, and to protect my camera and cell phone. I then set out for the last few miles of my 10 miles of walking for the day.

Sneaking in a few pictures in between the rain drops of a roadside cross, one of several scattered throughout the island, the rain began to pour harder, coming down in buckets. Hiding my camera once again, I saw an open barn of a farm and took shelter, along with two bicyclists. All of us hoping that the rain would lighten up. We waited. And waited. And waited.

I knew I didn’t have much further to go on my walk that day, and since I was walking the entire 42-mile Chemin Royal, the road that encircles Île d’Orléans, an island near Quebec City, Canada, I didn’t want to miss a single step. So I decided to stick it out, and kept on walking. Even with the rain that felt like I was now under a waterfall.

Porches of Ile d'Orleans

And then it began. The thunder. And lightning. Ok, I thought, not much further now. I can handle this. I persisted on until I saw one of the dozens of food specialty shops on the island. For some relief from the rain, I took shelter in La Halte des Anges, a shop that sells pies, jams, and jellies prepared from fresh local strawberries. This reminded me of all the fresh fruits and vegetables grown on the island that I had been experiencing during my days walking, available to purchase at roadside stands, pick-your-own, or created into so many delectable products. La Halte des Anges also sold lavender products also made on the island. I could smell the aroma, just as I had smelled earlier that day, as I had walked amongst a 10-acre garden of lavender, with 75,000 lavender plants at Seigneurie de l’île d’Orléans. Ironic that the loose translation of the name La Halte des Anges is “The Stopping Place of Angels.” Just what I needed, some guardian angels watching over me as the rain, thunder, and lightning would not let up.

Porches of Ile d'Orleans

It was getting to be near 5:00 now, and the shop was closing. So once again, I trudged on. Not wanting to miss a single step. But the thunder and lightning struck again. And again. And again. I began counting the seconds in between, remembering from my childhood that the fewer the seconds in between, the closer the storm. Three seconds. Two seconds. One second! Too close for comfort. Now what do I do? Although I knew I was close to my destination for the evening, I really didn’t exactly know how much further. A mile? A half a mile? I stuck my thumb out hoping to hitch a ride. No luck.

Then I saw a home. A home with a porch. A porch similar to the ones that I had been photographing dozens, no hundreds, of times during my walk around Île d’Orléans. A grand, inviting, hospitable porch, like the ones I just published in my book, “The Porches of Île d’Orléans: Seeing the Island through its Windows and Doors while Walking Chemin Royal.” (Available on Amazon.) Part of my journey around the island, aside from visiting as many of its forty food specialty shops and restaurants, bakeries, wineries, chocolateries, and twenty arts and crafts boutiques and galleries as I could, was also taking photographs of windows and doors, my favorite subject when I travel. This island has a 350-year old New France history, culture, religion, and architecture. With many homes built in the 19th, 18th, even 17th centuries, based on this New France architectural style, and some in a Québécois style, they included porches.

Porches of Ile d'Orleans

But this porch was a bit different. It was shelter, once again. I ran under it, dripping, no sopping wet. Not really minding that I myself was wet, but more trying to protect my camera and cell phone, even with it being protected already. I sat on a chair that was under the porch. I began to dream of the locally made double chocolate and hazelnut-chocolate ice creams I had earlier in the day at the Chocolaterie de l’Île d’Orléans.

Trying to figure out what to do next, in between the loud thunder, trying to think, decide. I could no longer see the fields and crops of the farmland landscape of the island. I could no longer see the mountains of Québec Province in the background, or the waters of the Saint Lawrence River surrounding the island. Île d’Orléans is an island where there are no fences between the homes and farms, where people leave their clothes hanging out on lines to dry in the fresh air. It is an island with 600 historic buildings and monuments, including parish churches and chapels. I had to breathe.

Porches of Ile d'Orleans

I decided to call the bed and breakfast that I was staying at that night, to see if they could come pick me up. I dialed, she answered. But the sound of the thunder was too loud. She could not hear me. The connection was bad. I hung up and tried again. Nope, same thing. She could not understand my need for a ride. I sat hoping the rain, and thunder, and lightning would stop.

Nope. No such luck. The thunder. The lightning. Right there. I have never been caught in a storm such as this, even in all my walking travels. Even in all my hiking and backpacking trips in the mountains.

Porches of Ile d'Orleans

Finally, noticing the garage and the car next to the porch that I was taking shelter under, I thought, aha! Perhaps the people who live in this home could take me to where I wanted to go. I knocked. On the door. A man answered. And his wife in the background. Yes! I thought. But alas, as I rattled my story to them in English, dripping wet…I’m-walking-the-island-I-have-no-bicycle-no-car-it-is-raining-no-it-is-pouring-it-is-thundering-and-lightning-and-I-am-hoping-you-could-please-give-me-a-ride-to-my-bed-and-breakfast…they looked at me like I was crazy. Well, not that I was crazy, but they just didn’t understand. They only spoke French.

Porches of Ile d'Orleans

So I began to use my best sign language, a language hopefully that we shared in common. As the thunder and lightening struck, and startled us all, I gestured out and pointed to the rain. They knew that. I pointed to my dripping self. They saw that. I used my index and middle finger, pointing downwards, moving side by side, to indicate walking. They seemed to get that. I pointed to their car, and used my arms and fists rotating to symbolize driving. They got that! And I pointed to the name of the bed and breakfast on my itinerary. Yes, he understood! I was rescued from the storm!

The kind gentleman went to get his keys and his rain jacket, and drove me, what turned out to be no more than a half mile to my bed and breakfast. I thanked him as best I could. Merci beaucoup! Merci beaucoup! Merci beaucoup! A thousand times.

Porches of Ile d'Orleans

The next morning, the woman at the bed and breakfast kindly drove me back to that home with the grand, inviting, hospitable porch that I took shelter under, so that I could begin my walk from where I left off, in the warm sun, on my final day of walking around the 42-mile road encircling Île d’Orléans. So as not to miss a single step, so that I could resume exploring all that this island has to offer, and so that I could continue taking pictures of the grand, inviting, hospitable porches.

Sweet Travels!

The Porches of Île d’Orléans: Seeing the Island through its Windows and Doors while Walking Chemin Royal” is my travel photography book that contains over 100 pictures of the windows, doors, and porches of the island. I even found a website that told me the year of construction of many of the homes, and I have included these years in the book. For example, homes that were built in 1920, 1900, 1890, 1865, 1777, 1700, and earlier. The book is in both English and French. Available on Amazon.

By the way, for privacy purposes, I have not included a picture the porch that I took shelter under in this blog. It is in the book though, but not identified.

Inspired from my walk around the 42-mile Chemin Royal, as well as from a song written by a French-Canadian singer-songwriter, Félix Leclerc, where he describes Île d’Orléans as “42 miles of quiet things,” I came up with “42 Reasons to Visit Île d’Orléans.” And a “Travel Guide to Île d’Orléans,” and “Tips for Walking Île d’Orléans” to assist you with your journey to the island.

Here is a list of my 42 reasons to visit Île d’Orléans, as well as a few other blogs, including My Travel Guide, My Tips for Walking, My Walking Tour, and My Book!!

My Travel Guide to Île d’Orléans.
Tips for Walking Île d’Orléans.
My Windows and Doors Photography Book, “The Porches of Île d’Orléans.”
My Walking Tour.

#1. The Quiet.
#2 through #4. The Chocolate Shops.
#5 through #10. The Wineries, Cidreries, and Vinaigreries.
#11 through #16. The Churches.
#17. The Aroma of Lavender.
#18 and #19. Recycled Folk Art and Textile Weaving.
#20. Strawberry Season.
#21 and #22. Strawberries, Raspberries, and Blackcurrants. Oh my!
#23. The Mailboxes.
#24 and #25. The Art in the Garden and The Garden of Arts.
#26 and #27. Procession Chapels and Roadside Crosses.
#28 and #29. Maple Syrup and Cheese.
#30. Parc Maritime/Maritime History.
#31 and #32. Woodworking and Blacksmithing.
#33 and #34. The Farmland and The River Scenery.
#35 and #36. Fine Dining.
#37 through #40. Accommodations.
#41 and #42. The Porches and My “Final” Reason.

My Travel Guide to Île d’Orléans – Québec City

Ile d'Orleans Travel Guide

Île d’Orléans is a small island of only 76 square miles, but with nearly 20 boutiques and galleries representing over 80 artists and craftspeople, and with over 40 businesses and restaurants representing the agritourism industry on the island, Île d’Orléans is large in what it offers the visitor. It is an island where there are no fences between the homes and farms, and where people leave their clothes hanging out to dry on a line in the fresh air. Products are locally made and businesses are locally owned. The one road that encircles the island, the 42-mile Chemin Royal (Royal Road), is referred to in a song as “forty-two miles of quiet things.” There is only one stop light on the entire island.

 

Ile d'Orleans Landscape Farmland

Located approximately 15 minutes from Québec City, Canada, about 170 miles from Montréal, and 525 miles from New York, Île d’Orléans has a 300-year old religious and cultural heritage. Whether you tour this island by car, bicycle, or even walking, the architecture of the 600 historical buildings and monuments, including churches and homes, and the landscape of farmland and the Saint Lawrence River, make Île d’Orléans an amazing place to visit, whether for a day or for a week.

I present this Île d’Orléans travel guide based on my experience of walking the Chemin Royal in four days, and from my creation of a series of blogs on the “42 Reasons to Visit Île d’Orléans.”

Food – Dining, Drink, and Dessert
From bakeries to boulangeries to bistros, and from restaurants to cafés to pubs, there is a wide variety of delicious food on Île d’Orléans. You can find anything from local, regional, and Québécoise style cuisine, to a variety of European style foods, including French, English, and Italian. There is also Asian cuisine, and one restaurant offers international cuisine made from local products. A countryside grocery store, a fine selection of wineries and breweries, and three chocolate and candy shops on the island, all round out any meal. Many restaurants offer terrace seating to enjoy the panoramic view while you dine.

Fine Dining
Chocolate Shops

 Ile d'Orleans Restaurants

Ile d'Orleans Desserts

Lodging and Accommodations
There are many options for sleeping on Île d’Orléans, with nearly 40 choices including beds and breakfasts (gîtes), inns and auberges, tourist homes, and hotels. You can also rent an entire fully-equipped cottage, or go camping in one of two campgrounds, one of which is rated “five-star.”

Accommodations

Ile d'Orleans Lodging

Transportation to and on Île d’Orléans
Québec City is the gateway to Île d’Orléans. Most likely you will visit this city first, and then travel to Île d’Orléans. You can get to Québec City by airplane, car, bus, or train, and from there, you can get to Île d’Orléans via car (either your own or renting one), or via taxi or a limousine service. Once on the island, transportation is via car, bicycle, or walking, as I did.

Tips for Walking

Ile d'Orleans Transportation

Arts and Crafts
Île d’Orléans is an art-lovers paradise. The island is home to over 80 artists and craftspeople, with a complete range of art forms exhibited in nearly 20 galleries and boutiques. These shops display and sell anything from paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and silkscreen, to stained glass, leather, jewelry, weaving, woodworking, and blacksmithing. One gallery alone exhibits arts and crafts created by nearly 60 local Québec artists, and there are even a few antique stores on the island.

Recycled Folk Art and Textile Weaving
The Art in the Garden and The Garden of Arts
Woodworking and Blacksmithing

Ile d'Orleans Arts and Crafts

Agritourism
Known as the “Garden of Québec,” most of Île d’Orléans is devoted to agricultural and horticultural activity, producing a wide range of fruits and vegetables, vineyards, dairy, honey, maple, poultry, and fish. As you travel along the Chemin Royal, there are plenty of opportunities to stop at roadside stands to buy fresh fruit and vegetables, and you can pick your own fruit and vegetables in the orchards. A large number of businesses create a wide variety of products based on what is grown on the island. Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, apples, grapes, and blackcurrants, just to name a few fruits, are created into jams, jellies, vinegars, wines, ciders, and pies, just to name a few products.

Wineries, Cidreries, Vinaigreries
Strawberry Season
Strawberries and Raspberries and Blackcurrants
Maple Syrup and Cheese

Ile d'Orleans Agritourism

Things to do Outside
Strolling through gardens and parks, playing a round of golf, climbing an observation tower, and fishing are just a few of the things to do outside on Île d’Orléans. There is even one garden in particular where you can experience a 10-acre field filled with over 75,000 lavender plants, as well as a fruit garden, a five senses garden, and an Amerindian, Japanese, and Zen gardens all in one location. Children can enjoy a petting zoo, and a summer and day camp, and the entire family can enjoy taking a boat excursion on the Saint Lawrence River to surrounding islands. Walking and bicycling around Île d’Orléans are two ways to see the island at a different pace.

The Aroma of Lavender

Ile d'Orleans Outdoors

Religious Heritage
There is a great religious patrimony on Île d’Orléans. Each of the six parishes on the island has a church as a focal point, many dating from the early 18th century into the 19th century. In addition to eight churches total on Île d’Orléans, there are also six procession chapels, five calvaries, 19 roadside crosses, an oratory, and a cemetery. They are all places to visit not only for the religion, but also for the history, and their grand art and architecture.

The Churches
Procession Chapels and Roadside Crosses

Ile d'Orleans Churches

History and Culture
Île d’Orléans has a 300 year-old New France history, and an even longer native history. With over 600 buildings and monuments considered to have significant heritage value by the Government of Québec, and a rich maritime history, there are plenty of places to visit to get the feel of all the historical and cultural heritage of the island. You can visit historical homes, a place to learn history of the island, a genealogy center, a maritime park, and a museum honoring the French-Canadian singer-songwriter Félix-Leclerc who wrote the song Le Tour de L’ Île, The Tour of the Island, which describes Île d’Orléans as “forty-two miles of quiet things.” There is also a Memorial to the Founding Families which honors the genealogy and centuries-old ancestral heritage of the 300 founding families of Île d’Orléans.

Parc Maritime de Saint-Laurent and the Maritime History

Ile d'Orleans History

Landscapes, Homes, Porches, and More
In addition to all the food, arts and crafts, agritourism, things to do outside, religious, cultural, and historical heritage on Île d’Orléans, there are many other reasons to travel to the island. The landscape of farmland, with its farmhouses, barns, fields, and crops, and the river scenery of the Saint Lawrence River is beautiful. The views beyond the water include Québec City, Canada and the Laurentian Mountains to the north, and part of the Québec Province to the south.

The architecture of the homes is fascinating as well, especially with their grand porches. Based on the historical and cultural heritage of the island, the porches of the homes are quite unique in-and-of themselves, and offer one of my favorite reasons to visit Île d’Orléans.

Ile d'Orleans Culture

I always like to find something unique about a place when I travel there, something that I can photograph as a different way of describing a place. In addition to the porches, one such subject is the mailboxes of Île d’Orléans, which in my interpretation, are a small-scale representation of the island itself.

 

Ile d'Orleans Architecture

Another reason of mine to visit Île d’Orléans is the “quiet,” as described in Félix-Leclerc’s song. Even though there are many activities on the island, it is also a place to enjoy the scenery, and the slow pace. Instead of the hustle-and-bustle, traffic, and noise of a big city, Île d’Orléans has a small, quiet, country feel.

Finally, my blog on the porches of Île d’Orléans also talks about my “final” 42nd reason to visit the island.

The Farmland and The River Scenery
The Mailboxes
The Quiet – 42 Reasons to Visit Île d’Orléans
The Porches and My “Final” Reason (out of 42) to Visit Île d’Orléans

Contact Information
In addition to this Île d’Orléans travel guide, for more information, if you need help with planning your trip, or if you have any questions about the island, please visit the Île d’Orléans tourism website, or contact the Île d’Orléans tourism office who will be more than happy to provide assistance. You may call them toll free at 1-866-941-9411, local phone at 418-828-9411, fax at 418-828-2335, or email them at accueil@iledorleans.com. You can also write them via their website on their Useful Information/Contact Us page.

Sweet Travels!

Some information in this blog was obtained from the Île d’Orléans tourism website.

My walking tour of Île d’Orléans was sponsored by Tourisme Québec (Québec Original) and Québec City Tourism (Québec Region). For more information, please visit:

Tourisme Île d’Orléans
Quebéc Region
Quebéc Region-Québec City and Area-Île d’Orléans
Quebéc Original

Here is a list of my 42 reasons to visit Île d’Orléans, as well as a few other blogs, including My Travel Guide, My Tips for Walking, My Walking Tour, and My Book!!

My Travel Guide to Île d’Orléans.
Tips for Walking Île d’Orléans.
My Windows and Doors Photography Book, “The Porches of Île d’Orléans.”
My Walking Tour.

#1. The Quiet.
#2 through #4. The Chocolate Shops.
#5 through #10. The Wineries, Cidreries, and Vinaigreries.
#11 through #16. The Churches.
#17. The Aroma of Lavender.
#18 and #19. Recycled Folk Art and Textile Weaving.
#20. Strawberry Season.
#21 and #22. Strawberries, Raspberries, and Blackcurrants. Oh my!
#23. The Mailboxes.
#24 and #25. The Art in the Garden and The Garden of Arts.
#26 and #27. Procession Chapels and Roadside Crosses.
#28 and #29. Maple Syrup and Cheese.
#30. Parc Maritime/Maritime History.
#31 and #32. Woodworking and Blacksmithing.
#33 and #34. The Farmland and The River Scenery.
#35 and #36. Fine Dining.
#37 through #40. Accommodations.
#41 and #42. The Porches and My “Final” Reason.

Tips for Walking Île d’Orléans

In the middle of the mighty St. Lawrence River, but within sight of Québec City, sits Île d’Orléans, an entire island that is a designated historical district. The traditional Québec countryside is preserved here in this, the cradle of New France. Visitors can delight in the island’s plentiful (and flavourful) agricultural heritage nestled amid gorgeous scenery. – Official Tourism Site for Île d’Orléans

I am honored to be one of the few people to walk the 42-mile Chemin Royal (Royal Road) that encircles Île d’Orléans, an amazing island near Québec City, Canada. This experience combined my love of the island based on a previous trip there, and my love of walking based on other walking travels that I have done.

 

Ile d'Orleans Tourist Map

Île d’Orléans is a small island of only 76 square miles, but offers a lot for the visitor. Known as the “Garden of Québec,” it is rich in its 300 year-old history, and its agritourism as a major industry. There are shops and roadside stands that specialize in agricultural products, and sell fresh fruits and vegetables grown on the island. The island is home to over 80 artists and craftspeople, with a complete range of art forms exhibited in their galleries and boutiques. There are historical, cultural, and religious places to visit, including centuries-old churches, a maritime park, and a genealogy center. The farm and river scenery is endless. Indulge in a wide range of food – from chocolate shops, cheese shops, and sugar shacks, to restaurants, bistros, cafés, and pubs. Enjoy drinks in several wineries and breweries. Perhaps visit a theater, a museum, and do some fishing or play a round of golf. To end each day, there are many comfortable places to sleep. And the list goes on. In fact I came up with 42 reasons to visit Île d’Orléans during my walk.

 

Ile d'Orleans Tourist Maps

While most people drive around the island, and others tour the island by bicycle, I thought I would provide some tips for walking Île d’Orléans based on my amazing experience.

1. Take your time, by taking at least five days to walk Île d’Orléans. I walked the island in four days, at an average of 10 miles per day. While I enjoy walking long distances, I found that due to the timing of when some businesses opened in the morning, or closed in the afternoon, I was not able to visit some of them due fitting in the 10 miles of walking, plus spending quality time visiting each business. I believe that if one takes at least five days to walk the island, then there would be more opportunities to visit more businesses, and spend quality time in each one.

Ile d'Orleans Tourist Guide Booklets

2. Book accommodations ahead of time, and make sure food is available near the accommodations. While I had my accommodations booked for me, I would suggest doing the same, especially in the busy summer, and especially with walking. It would be better to know your walking distance for each day based on where your accommodations are, and to be rest assured (pun intended) that at the end of each day, there will be a comfortable place to sleep. Also, be sure that either the accommodations has a restaurant for dinner, provides food or has a restaurant for breakfast, or there is a restaurant near by for your meals. You will then be rest assured that you will eat well, too.

3. Start in Québec City. Well don’t start walking in Québec City, but spend the beginning of your trip here. You will most likely fly, drive, or take the train to Québec City anyway as it is the gateway to get to Île d’Orléans. Spend a few days in Québec City enjoying what they have to offer. Then take a taxi or use a limousine service for the approximate 15-minute drive from Québec City across the Pont de L’Île bridge over the Saint Lawrence River to Île d’Orléans.

Ile d'Orleans Visitors Center4. Make the Visitor’s Center your first stop. They have booklets, brochures, maps and lots of helpful information about the island. Any questions you might have can be answered there. Also, it is very easy to find any business on the island, as each shop, restaurant, accommodation, or activity is numbered with a sign, which corresponds to the numbers on the maps. By the way, I traveled counter-clockwise around the island, but I suppose one could go in either direction.

Ile d'Orleans Number Signs

5. Pack light. Since you will be walking, and thus taking all your belongings with you without the use of a car, or panniers on your bike, I suggest bringing as little as possible. I had a small backpack on my back for items like my extra clothes (I only took two pairs of pants and 3 tops), rain gear, toiletries, etc. I also used a hip pack on my front for items like my camera, cell phone, map, etc. Don’t worry about wearing some of the same clothes more than once. And don’t forget your journal and pen if you want to take notes, and your Passport.

6. Pack for all types of weather, including sun and rain. It was hot when I went in July. And I mean hot. A hat and sunscreen were essential. But, one afternoon, I also experienced a very heavy down pour of rain, along with thunder and lightening. So also pack rain gear, not only for yourself, but for your important belongings, like protecting that camera and cell phone. Because of the down pour, I actually had to stop walking for a while, and take shelter in an open barn, and under the roof of someone’s porch.

Ile d'Orleans Royal Road7. Wear comfortable shoes. Since we are on the subject of what to pack, comfortable walking shoes is important. You will be walking mostly on pavement, even though there is also some gravel and grass. Hiking boots might be too much, as Île d’Orléans is a relatively flat island with no hills, but some comfortable waterproof walking shoes are necessary. I had some trail running shoes that worked well. With walking about 10 miles a day, believe me, my feet thanked me for the comfort. Oh, and bring extra socks. That is always helpful, too, when walking longer distances. I did have a pair of flip-flops for the evening to rest my feet as well.

8. Please be wary of the potential for blisters. Since we are the subject of feet, when walking long distances, blisters are always a possibility. Do what you can to prevent yourself from forming any blisters, such as proper socks and shoes, and stop if you start to feel a hot spot. Be sure to carry blister treatment in case you develop a blister. There are lots of options and information about this on the internet. I actually started to develop a blister, and took care of it right away, so that my trip would continue.

9. Plan ahead for food and water. While there is definitely an abundance of food and water sources on the island, whether it be a full restaurant, or a roadside fruit stand, there are a few places as you walk where there actually is no food or water for a couple of miles. Carry a water bottle with you (this will help with the potential hot weather, too), and put a snack in your pack just in case. But also don’t worry. Within a few miles, there will be something.

10. Most people who work on the island are bilingual. While French is the dominant language on the island, I found that the majority of people in the businesses, with a few exceptions, also spoke English.

Ile d'Orleans Chemin Royal11. You probably won’t get lost. The maps you obtained at the Visitor’s Center are more for knowing where all the businesses are located, rather than for finding your way. There is one main road that encircles the entire island, Chemin Royal, so if you follow that road the entire way, you won’t get lost. There are a few roads that cross through the middle of the island as well, which I didn’t take, but if you decide to venture down those roads, they will eventually connect with Chemin Royal. Although, now that I think about it, there were a few smaller roads in some of the villages for homes, which again I did not venture down, but if you do, remember that this is an island, and you will eventually come across water.

Ile d'Orleans Triangle Safety Reflector12. Please be careful. I put this near the end of all the tips, not to discourage you from walking Île d’Orléans, but to caution you to please be careful when walking. Île d’Orléans is not really established for walkers. Not many people walk the island, and there are only some sidewalks in the villages. You are mostly walking on shoulder of the road, along with cars and bicycles. There are no pedestrian only areas, or designated hiking or walking trails. In fact, there are places where the shoulder of the road was narrow, or even non-existent. Be aware of this. Look. Listen. Perhaps walk facing oncoming traffic. Use extra caution as drivers may not be used to seeing walkers along the road. Even bicyclists may not be aware much of walkers, so watch for them as well. I yielded to both cars and bicyclists. Follow basic rules and regulations just like you would when walking in a big city. Stay as clearly to the sides of the road as you can. I stopped and waited for drivers when there was no shoulder. I walked on someone’s lawn a few times in order to give extra distance between myself and the cars. And, I actually wore a triangular-shaped orange and yellow reflecting safety sign on my backpack, even though I walked during the day.

Ile d'Orleans Bicycle13. You could also drive or bike Île d’Orléans. If walking is not your thing, I suggest please go to Île d’Orléans anyway, and travel around via car or bicycle. There is an audio guide for your CD player in your car which is over two hours long to listen to as you travel around. You can plan your trip into themes as an option, such as arts and crafts, historical and cultural sites, religious heritage, and food, food, food. Île d’Orléans is worth the trip, whether for a day, or for several days, no matter what your transportation method is. (Note that you probably would want a good, reliable road or touring bike, rather than a bike like the one in this decorative picture.)

14. Contact information. If you need help with planning your trip, or have any questions about the island, the Île d’Orléans tourism office will be more than happy to provide assistance. This website has an abundance of information. You may call them toll free at 1-866-941-9411, local phone at 418-828-9411, fax at 418-828-2335, or email them at accueil@iledorleans.com. You can also write them via their website on their Useful Information/Contact Us page.

15. GO and HAVE FUN. Île d’Orléans is an amazing place to visit. I want to go back yet again someday, take my husband, and take at least five days to walk the island. If not six or seven days.

Sweet Travels!

Here is a list of my 42 reasons to visit Île d’Orléans, as well as a few other blogs, including My Travel Guide, My Tips for Walking, My Walking Tour, and My Book!!

My Travel Guide to Île d’Orléans.
Tips for Walking Île d’Orléans.
My Windows and Doors Photography Book, “The Porches of Île d’Orléans.”
My Walking Tour.

#1. The Quiet.
#2 through #4. The Chocolate Shops.
#5 through #10. The Wineries, Cidreries, and Vinaigreries.
#11 through #16. The Churches.
#17. The Aroma of Lavender.
#18 and #19. Recycled Folk Art and Textile Weaving.
#20. Strawberry Season.
#21 and #22. Strawberries, Raspberries, and Blackcurrants. Oh my!
#23. The Mailboxes.
#24 and #25. The Art in the Garden and The Garden of Arts.
#26 and #27. Procession Chapels and Roadside Crosses.
#28 and #29. Maple Syrup and Cheese.
#30. Parc Maritime/Maritime History.
#31 and #32. Woodworking and Blacksmithing.
#33 and #34. The Farmland and The River Scenery.
#35 and #36. Fine Dining.
#37 through #40. Accommodations.
#41 and #42. The Porches and My “Final” Reason.

My walking tour of Île d’Orléans was sponsored by Tourisme Québec (Québec Original) and Québec City Tourism (Québec Region). For more information, please visit:

Tourisme Île d’Orléans
Quebéc Region
Quebéc Region-Québec City and Area-Île d’Orléans
Quebéc Original

The Porches of Île d’Orléans, and My “Final” Reason (out of 42) to Visit Île d’Orléans

June 2014 update to this blog: The travel photography book project that I mention in this blog that I had wanted to create is done! It is called, “The Porches of Île d’Orléans: Seeing the Island through its Windows and Doors while walking Chemin Royal,” and it is available on Amazon.

Ile d'Orleans Porches

The porches of Île d’Orléans. With their brilliant and varied colors, their adorned windows and doors, the decorations of flowers and other items displayed on the porches, and their many places to sit and relax. I just loved photographing as many porches as I could during my 42-mile walk around Chemin Royal (Royal Road) that encircles Île d’Orléans. And I photographed a lot of them! So my 41st reason, out of my 42 reasons to visit Île d’Orléans, is the fabulous porches.

 

Ile d'Orleans Porches

I wanted to learn more about the homes of Île d’Orléans, knowing that this island is full of history, so I did some research. From an interesting website I found on the family history and genealogy of the Lachance and Bussell families, of which the Lachance family has ancestors who lived on the island in the 1600’s, I discovered this from their Île d’Orléans history page: The architecture on Île d’Orléans “has a 350-year-old history. Many of the buildings have been deemed of great historical value. The first houses were patterned after the French houses that they were familiar with in France. The houses were small and centered around a fireplace that was used both for heat and cooking. They were built of wood with thatched roofs. As time passed they designed houses that were larger and more adapted to the weather conditions.” I find this kind of information completely fascinating.

This website also noted that on Île d’Orléans, “There are over 600 historically important buildings on the island, and strict controls have ensured that even new buildings adhere to the original character.”

 

Ile d'Orleans Porches

A few other websites explain that possibly many of the houses date back to the French Régime of the 18th century, some follow traditional New France architecture, or are also done in a “Québécois style,” which can be described as a style with open porches, and where “windows and doors were often outlined in color.”

 

Ile d'Orleans Porches

For fun, I also did a search and came across a few websites with homes currently for sale on Île d’Orléans. They advertise the property style of some homes as “heritage” or “ancestral,” with some for sale that were built back in 1820, 1821, 1847, 1889, and even 1786. How cool is that!

 

Ile d'Orleans Porches

I loved photographing these fabulous porches of Île d’Orléans! With the pictures in this blog, plus with the many, many more photos I took, I plan on creating a photography book on the porches, windows, and doors of Île d’Orléans. I am very excited about this project, and will post a blog when it is complete!

 **********

And now…my “final” reason to visit Île d’Orléans…

I have written 41 reasons to visit Île d’Orléans. Ranging from the quiet, to the farmland and river scenery, to the many, many various arts and crafts. Ranging from the fresh roadside fruit stands, to the chocolate shops, to the maple syrup and cheese, to the fine dining in restaurants. From the aroma of lavender, to the wineries, cidreries, and vinaigraries. From the religion of the churches, procession chapels, and roadside crosses, to the restful accommodations. From the maritime history, to the mailboxes, and to the porches.

 

Ile d'Orleans Porches

However, the reasons go on. And on. And on. So my 42nd reason to visit Île d’Orléans is ALL the other reasons that I did not mention in my series of blogs. For example, there are many other specialty arts and crafts boutiques and galleries; there are antique stores; there are many other restaurants, bistros, cafés, and pubs. There are many more accommodations; a few other churches; and some historical homes to visit. There are other places that specialize in agri-tourism and specialty food shops, with an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables depending on the season; there is a duck and geese farm; other wineries and breweries; bakeries; a fish shop and a place to go fishing; a theater and a museum; a genealogy center; a grocery store. One can take excursions on the Saint Lawrence River to other islands, play a round of golf, climb an observation tower, and visit a small petting zoo. There is a summer and day camp for children, a book store in a park, and depending on what month you are there, you may come across a special event. Based on this list, I’m sure that I could come up with another 42 reasons to visit Île d’Orléans and write a second series of blogs.

 

Ile d'Orleans Porches

The reason that I chose to write about “42” reasons to visit Île d’Orléans is because of the “42” mile Chemin Royal that encircles the island. I used mileage as my measurement because I live in the United States, where we measure in miles. However, if I lived in Canada, I would be using kilometers instead of miles. In kilometers, Chemin Royal is 67. Therefore, I suppose I could have done a series of blogs on the “67 reasons to visit Île d’Orléans” instead, and would have filled each and every reason. Again, my 42nd reason to visit Île d’Orléans is ALL the other reasons to visit this amazing island.

 

**********

Ok. I will throw in a bonus, a 43rd reason to visit Île d’Orléans – it’s close proximity to Québec City. In fact, you are more likely to visit Québec City first, as it would be your gateway to get to Île d’Orléans. And believe me, there are almost certainly 42 reasons to visit Québec City as well.

 

Ile d'Orleans Porches

Now that my series of reasons to visit Île d’Orléans is complete, I will actually be doing two more blogs on the island. The next blog is a “tips on walking” the island. I am one of the few to walk the island, as traveling by car or bicycle are more common, and I will share a few words of wisdom my from experience. My final blog will be a recap of all my reasons – kind of like a one-stop travel guide, helping with organizing your trip to Île d’Orléans.

 

Ile d'Orleans Porches

Before I end this blog however, I will say that I love Île d’Orléans. I fell in love with the island several years ago when I had the chance to visit for the first time, for only an hour. In that hour I knew I wanted to go back. Then earlier this summer, I had the chance to go back. Four days of walking the 42 miles. Taking notes for these blogs; taking thousands of pictures; talking to many people who work and live on the island; enjoying the scenery; learning about the history, culture, religion; visiting the shops and galleries and boutiques; eating and eating and sleeping, etc., etc., etc. At only about 73 square miles, this tiny island offers so much for the visitor. All I can say to end this series of blogs is that I would love to go back to Île d’Orléans yet again to see what else I can discover, and to come up with even more reasons to visit Île d’Orléans.

 

Ile d'Orleans Porches

(Oh, and I would love to buy one of those ancestral homes from the 18th or 19th centuries, with those fabulous porches.)

Sweet Travels!

Here is a list of my 42 reasons to visit Île d’Orléans, as well as a few other blogs, including My Travel Guide, My Tips for Walking, My Walking Tour, and My Book!!

My Travel Guide to Île d’Orléans.
Tips for Walking Île d’Orléans.
My Windows and Doors Photography Book, “The Porches of Île d’Orléans.”
My Walking Tour.

#1. The Quiet.
#2 through #4. The Chocolate Shops.
#5 through #10. The Wineries, Cidreries, and Vinaigreries.
#11 through #16. The Churches.
#17. The Aroma of Lavender.
#18 and #19. Recycled Folk Art and Textile Weaving.
#20. Strawberry Season.
#21 and #22. Strawberries, Raspberries, and Blackcurrants. Oh my!
#23. The Mailboxes.
#24 and #25. The Art in the Garden and The Garden of Arts.
#26 and #27. Procession Chapels and Roadside Crosses.
#28 and #29. Maple Syrup and Cheese.
#30. Parc Maritime/Maritime History.
#31 and #32. Woodworking and Blacksmithing.
#33 and #34. The Farmland and The River Scenery.
#35 and #36. Fine Dining.
#37 through #40. Accommodations.
#41 and #42. The Porches and My “Final” Reason.

My walking tour of Île d’Orléans was sponsored by Tourisme Québec (Québec Original) and Québec City Tourism (Québec Region). For more information, please visit:

Tourisme Île d’Orléans
Quebéc Region
Quebéc Region-Québec City and Area-Île d’Orléans
Quebéc Original

Accommodations on Île d’Orléans

Nothing beats relaxing in a tastefully decorated room after spending a thrilling day exploring the wonders of our little island! – Official Tourism Site for Île d’Orléans

I slept well during my travels on Île d’Orléans. Part of it was because I walked an average of 10 miles a day around the 42-mile Chemin Royal (Royal Road) that encircles the island. But the bigger reason for my restful nights was because of my accommodations on Île d’Orléans – the comfortable, quiet lodging that I stayed in, and the friendly people who owned or worked at the places to stay.

Île d’Orléans has many, many options for sleeping. At least 30, if not near 40 choices, on this small island. Anything from bed-and-breakfasts, to inns and auberges; from tourist homes, some in ancestral/centuries-old homes, to a hotel; from renting an entire cottage to camping, including one “five-star” campground. Many of the accommodations have great views, and many include food or have restaurants. One place even offers massage and yoga. I stayed in four places, and here they are in the order of my first through fourth nights on Île d’Orléans, an island near Québec City, Canada.

Le Moulin de Saint Laurent Cottages Ile d'Orleans

Le Moulin de Saint Laurent Cottages Ile d'Orleans Riverfront

The first place I stayed in was my very own riverfront cottage. My very own little house, with all the comforts of home. Le Moulin de Saint Laurent rents cottages from a choice of nine “fully equipped houses that can accommodate 2 to 10 people.” (But I was by myself, so really they accommodate 1 to 10 people.) Most of these homes have private balconies with a view of the Saint Lawrence River. They have fully equipped kitchens, living rooms, even washers and dryers. Like I said, all the comforts of home.

 

Le Moulin de Saint Laurent Cottages Ile d'Orleans Living Room

Le Moulin de Saint Laurent Cottages Ile d'Orleans Kitchen

Le Moulin de Saint Laurent Cottages Ile d'Orleans Bedroom

Of course, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms and sizes of the cottages varies, depending on your needs. This family-owned business also has a great restaurant, which has the best dessert ever that I just covered in my previous blog on fine dining on Île d’Orléans. Located in Saint Laurent Parish, Le Moulin de Saint Laurent even provided me with breakfast in my cottage which they left in my kitchen. A basket of fruit, breads, croissants, and muffins, even peanut butter and jelly, coffee, tea, and juice. Having your very own house makes this a very fun place to stay for a night, or more.

 

Auberge Chaumonot Ile d'Orleans

Auberge Chaumonot Ile d'Orleans Window View

My second restful night was at Auberge Chaumonot, an inn located along the Saint Lawrence River in the Saint François Parish of Île d’Orléans. My air conditioned room (used well, as it was hot out), had a view out the window of the river. With eight rooms in total, all with private bathrooms, and either one or two queen size beds, this accommodation also offers an outdoor pool and a terrace to enjoy the view.

 

Auberge Chaumonot Ile d'Orleans Table Chairs

Auberge Chaumonot Ile d'Orleans Bed

Auberge Chaumonot has a dining room with varied table d’hôte and à la carte menus, and a lounge area. My breakfast was served buffet style. They also have a room for meetings, small conventions, and special occasions, including weddings and receptions. Set back from Chemin Royal about a kilometer, this lodging is a quiet and peaceful place to stay for a night on Île d’Orléans, or more.

 

Gite au Toit Bleu Bed and Breakfast Ile d'Orleans Blue Roof

Gite au Toit Bleu Bed and Breakfast Ile d'Orleans Bed

While the weather I had during my walk around Île d’Orléans was mostly hot, I did get hit one day with a very big thunder, lightening, and rain storm. Fortunately, when I arrived at Gîte au Toit Bleu Bed & Breakfast, LouLou, one of two owners, greeted me with great hospitality, and even helped me out by drying some of my wet clothes. Located in a house, with a blue roof, built in 1894 (how cool is that!), this B&B has five rooms ranging in different sizes. Some rooms have a shared bathroom, some have private bathrooms, all are colorfully named (“Chambre Bleu, Chambre Mauve, Chambre Or, Chambre Saumon, and Chambre Blanche”), and all are uniquely decorated. I had Chambre Blanche.

 

Gite au Toit Bleu Bed and Breakfast Ile d'Orleans Chambre Blanche

Gite au Toit Bleu Bed and Breakfast Ile d'Orleans Bath Shower

Gite au Toit Bleu Bed and Breakfast Ile d'Orleans Bathroom

Located on the grounds of Gîte au Toit Bleu is a chicken coop which supplies fresh eggs for their gourmet breakfasts. My breakfast included a fruit salad, an egg frittata, sausage, bread, tea, and fruit juice. They ask if you are vegetarian or have any diet restrictions. Located in Sainte Famille Parish, with a view of the Laurentian Mountains and the Saint Lawrence River, they speak English, French, Spanish, and Japanese. My extremely cute room, and hospitable hosts, made this B&B a wonderful place to stay for a night, or more.

 

La Grange de L'ile Auberge Ile d'Orleans

My final sleep-filled night was spent at La Grange de L’ile, where I also enjoyed a great meal in their restaurant. Set back from the road, this auberge provides eight various rooms, all with private bathrooms, queen beds, and air conditioning. Located in a 160-year old building (how cool is that!), there is also a bar, an outdoor terrace, and a great garden. Meetings, parties, weddings, and receptions can be held here, and they even offer culinary workshops for cooking enthusiasts.

 

La Grange de L'ile Auberge Ile d'Orleans Bedroom

La Grange de L'ile Auberge Ile d'Orleans Bathroom

Located in Saint Pierre Parish, La Grange de L’ile includes a hot breakfast with their rooms, served in the restaurant, which I unfortunately did not have because my flight that morning was too early. But I definitely ate well the night before, and slept well, just as their motto says: “Bon vin. Bonne table. Bonne nuit.” “Good wine. Good food. Good night.” A fourth great place to stay on Île d’Orléans for a night, or more.

So my 37th, 38th, 39th, and 40th reasons, out of my 42 reasons to visit Île d’Orléans, are Le Moulin de Saint Laurent, Auberge Chaumonot, Gîte au Toit Bleu, and La Grange de L’ile. However, I am sure that any of the other numerous accommodations on Île d’Orléans will provide just as restful, fun, peaceful, comfortable, and hospitable nights as these four did for me.

A very helpful link to assist with lodging on Île d’Orléans, which lists 38 accommodations, is the “where to stay” page from the official tourism site for Île d’Orléans.

Sweet (and restful) Travels!

Here is a list of my 42 reasons to visit Île d’Orléans, as well as a few other blogs, including My Travel Guide, My Tips for Walking, My Walking Tour, and My Book!!

My Travel Guide to Île d’Orléans.
Tips for Walking Île d’Orléans.
My Windows and Doors Photography Book, “The Porches of Île d’Orléans.”
My Walking Tour.

#1. The Quiet.
#2 through #4. The Chocolate Shops.
#5 through #10. The Wineries, Cidreries, and Vinaigreries.
#11 through #16. The Churches.
#17. The Aroma of Lavender.
#18 and #19. Recycled Folk Art and Textile Weaving.
#20. Strawberry Season.
#21 and #22. Strawberries, Raspberries, and Blackcurrants. Oh my!
#23. The Mailboxes.
#24 and #25. The Art in the Garden and The Garden of Arts.
#26 and #27. Procession Chapels and Roadside Crosses.
#28 and #29. Maple Syrup and Cheese.
#30. Parc Maritime/Maritime History.
#31 and #32. Woodworking and Blacksmithing.
#33 and #34. The Farmland and The River Scenery.
#35 and #36. Fine Dining.
#37 through #40. Accommodations.
#41 and #42. The Porches and My “Final” Reason.

My walking tour of Île d’Orléans was sponsored by Tourisme Québec (Québec Original) and Québec City Tourism (Québec Region). For more information, please visit:

Tourisme Île d’Orléans
Quebéc Region
Quebéc Region-Québec City and Area-Île d’Orléans
Quebéc Original

Also note that my accommodations were complimentary, but my opinions are my own.