Quebec is an invigorating place to visit from November through March. No matter whether the weather is frosty, foggy, powdery, or bright and sunny, it’s a unique time for fun and festivities. The whole region comes alive with the snow, and there are exhilarating activities for everyone.
Here are four things to do in Quebec this winter:
- Attend the Winter Carnival
Ever since the New French colonized Quebec, they have been following a rowdy tradition of getting together just before Lent to eat, drink and be merry. The result is the world’s largest winter carnival, which was first held in 1824 and which has enriched its program of activities from one winter to the next. This year, the festival will be taking place from January 27 to February 12, 2011. Attractions include activities for all ages, including snow baths, night parades, snow slides, giant foosball, snow sculptures, shows, sleigh rides, and skating. As a couple, you can head to the Ice Palace. Bundle up and give your loved one a kiss as you are surrounded by a magical construction made entirely out of ice.
- Watch them skate like crazy at Red Bull Crashed Ice
Red Bull Crashed Ice is a combination of of icehockey, downhill skating and boardercross. At speeds of up to 50 km/h, the skaters will take racing in the ice track full of turns, jumps and underpasses. Crash-landings are guaranteed in this head-to-head race, for only the two fastest contestants in each heat qualify for the next round. After the incredible success of 2011, Red Bull Crashed returns to the historic district of Quebec City for the World Championship Season Finale on March 17, 2012. On this day, you can join 90,000 screaming fans and watch 80 participants soar downhill.
- Rappel and canyon down frozen cascades
Canyoning is a vertical watersport that involves traveling down canyons using a variety of techniques that may include walking, scrambling, climbing, jumping, abseiling and/or swimming. In 2000, the first descents in Quebec started at the Jean-Larose Falls, situated at the foot of Mont-Sainte-Anne. Since then, numerous other locations for canyoning have been added. During the winter, the summer techniques and knowledge are adapted to ice conditions. If you’re up for a bit of adventure, try ice canyoning – Quebec is the only location to offer this unique sport in all of North America.
4. Stay at the Hôtel de Glace
At the Hôtel de Glace, you can enjoy a cozy night’s sleep in a room made entirely of ice. Located at only 10 minutes from downtown Quebec City, the establishment is unique in America, and since its opening in 2001, has seduced over half a million visitors. Whether you are staying the night or just sipping a cocktail at the bar at -5°C, you will be surrounded by crystalline ice sculptures and enormous snow vaults. Some suites even come with their own fireplace and spa. Or you can tie the knot in the frost-covered chapel. As you can see, the options abound. This year, the hotel will be open from January 6th to March 25th, 2012. If all this sounds a little too cold for you, you can find affordable accommodation options in Quebec city and beyond at cheaphotels.org.