Sept-Îles

Rivière Sainte-Marguerite, downstream from Sainte-Marguerite 2 Dam

Sept-Îles (French for "Seven Islands") is a city in the Côte-Nord region of eastern Quebec, Canada. It is the northernmost town in Quebec with any significant population. It is among the northernmost locales with a paved connection to the rest of Quebec's road network.The population is 25,686 according to the 2011 census, with an added population of around 3000 Native Americans living in the Uashat mak Mani-Utenam Indian Reserve located in the city.

The only settlements on the paved road network that are farther north are Fermont, Radisson and Chisasibi, the latter two in the extreme western portion of the province at the north end of the James Bay Road. The remaining settlements at higher latitudes in the province are mostly isolated Cree, Innu, or Inuit villages, with access limited to seasonal gravel roads.

Understand

Sept-Îles is by no means a big, cultural or historical city; it is, however, quite a paradise for nature lovers. Surrounding areas include a lot of forests, many sandy beaches, lakes and world-renowned rivers (notably for salmon fishing).

Get in

By car

To get to Sept-Îles, one of the only options is to come by car. It is about 638 km from Quebec City, and 926 km from Montreal. The trip should take you 7-8 hours and 10-11 hours, respectively. The nearest town is Baie-Comeau, 232 km to the south-west (pop. 25 000), but there are some villages along the way.

The main road through the region is Route 138, which follows the north shore from Montréal through Tadoussac and Sept-Îles to Kegashka, a tiny village just beyond Natashquan. Beyond this point, there is no road at all for 450km (the few villages are served by outport ferry from Sept-Îles). Route 138 briefly reappears at Vieux-Fort and crosses from Blanc-Sablon into Labrador.

By plane

Domestic planes leave from Quebec and Montreal, but they are ridiculously expensive (usually around 800 $CAN; a return Montreal-Paris flight costs around the same).

By boat

Sept-Îles Marina

Relais Nordik operates a coastal ferry from Rimouski, Sept-Iles and Havre-Saint-Pierre to Anticosti island and the various coastal villages to the east which are not served by roads, bringing much-needed supplies. Space for vehicles and passengers on the M/V Bella Desgagnés must be reserved far in advance, especially in high season. The ship runs weekly, originating in Rimouski on Monday and returning from Blanc Sablon on Friday with a one or two hour stop in each village eastward to unload cargo.

By bus

By train

A train runs north on the QNS&L line through Emeril, Labrador to Schefferville, an otherwise-inaccessible mining community in northern Québec. This line does not interconnect in any way to the rest of the North American rail system; the seaport of Sept-Îles is the end of the line.

By thumb

Hitchhiking from Montreal to Quebec City is very easy; many people commute daily between those two cities.

Between Quebec City and Sept-Îles, there is only one main road (Road 138) going north-east along the shore of the St-Lawrence river. As such, hitchhiking is pretty straightforward. People travelling on this road are likely to accomplish long distances because towns and cities are few and far between. However, just going from Quebec City to Sept-Îles in your own car takes around 8 hours ; add the waiting time, and getting to Sept-Îles is likely to take you 2 days of hitchhiking. Wild camping is pretty easy during the summer months, but winter in Quebec is quite harsh and camping in winter is impossible without specialized gear (waiting for a ride at -30C is also quite dangerous). Nevertheless, if you leave very early from Quebec City (or east of there), it is possible to arrive in Sept-Îles in one day.

Get around

Car is the best way to get around the city. For places within the city, walking is quite easy, but if you want to go to the beach, or any place remotely outside the city, you will definitely need a car.

At the tourist office, you can rent bicycles for 10$/day. Helmets and bicycle locks are included.

Of course, there are also taxis. If you go out in the evening, a taxi is your only option if you don't want to walk.

See

Do

Buy

Eat

In Sept-Îles, it is possible to eat very fresh seafood, and it is what many people are looking for when coming here. Truly, all restaurants offer fresh and tasty seafood; it is all a matter of what you are looking for (price and atmosphere).

Drink

Sept-Îles being on the smaller side, there aren't that many places to drink or party. However, it is still possible to have fun.

Sleep

Budget

Mid-range

Connect

There is no GSM mobile coverage in Sept-Îles. Bell/Telus users will get 3G (UMTS) coverage within the city itself, but no signal anywhere else.

Go next

Routes through Sept-Îles

Tadoussac Baie-Comeau  W  E  Havre-Saint-Pierre (ends at Kegashka)


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, October 11, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.