Kayak Quebec’s Iles de la Madeleine [Video]
This episode of Paddle Tales takes us to a destination Ken Whiting has been wanting to kayak more than any other: Quebec’s “Iles de la Madeleine”…
The Madeleine Islands offer Wonderful Kayaking
The Iles de la Madeleine (or for us English speakers, the Madeleine Islands) is a chain of islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence with 200 miles of sand beaches, dramatic cliffs with sea caves, and quaint villages.
The coasts of these islands are known for their red cliffs, composed of iron and sand. Because of the high sand content, they’re very susceptible to erosion. Waves and storms have created incredible sea caves, wonderful to explore from a kayak.
There are plenty of protected waters in bays, and then there’s open sea kayaking on the exposed coasts. These, of course, provide the biggest and most dramatic sea caves. And because of the weather and erosion, these caves are changing every year.
As in many places, photos and videos can’t compare with experiencing the real thing. Ken says these coastlines are “hands-down one of the coolest places I’ve ever explored!”
Kayak Surfing and More
Old Harry Beach, on the far end of the Madeleine archipelago, is known for its big clean waves. Perfect for kayak surfing.
On the day a couple local guides took Ken, the waves weren’t as big as they wished for. So they introduced Ken to another popular activity here: swimming!
Donned in a thick wet suit and his PFD, Ken followed his new friends off a small cliff and into the waters of the Gulf. Swimming in the sea caves was another brand new and very cool experience!
Besides kayaking, the islands have several local breweries and bakeries (Quebec is known for its bakeries, thanks for its French origins). This area also has dairy farms that produce fresh local cheeses.
Of course, due to its seaside location, seafood is on the menu is most places. Ken tries some of the local smoked herring and fresh-dug boiled clams.
Ken concludes his visit with this:
“To say my expectations had been met is a huge understatement. Everything about this experience was incredible! And I can’t wait to come back and share the experience with my family.”
For more about Iles de la Madeleine, head over to the area’s official tourism site.
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