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Overview

To find the Îles de la Madeleine on the map you will have to look in the Gulf of St. Lawrence about 60 miles north of Prince Edward Island. There five sandy islands provide a summer paradise for travelers. While a part of the Province of Quebec, they are more a part of the coastal regions of the Maritime provinces. Their history is deeply tied to the fishing industry. Following the Acadian expulsion in 1755, many Acadians came to the islands. Strangely, the entire group of islands belonged to a grant-holder until in 1895 the law allowed islanders to buy the land they had been farming for decades. Distinctly Francophonic, few islanders ...

To find the Îles de la Madeleine on the map you will have to look in the Gulf of St. Lawrence about 60 miles north of Prince Edward Island. There five sandy islands provide a summer paradise for travelers. While a part of the Province of Quebec, they are more a part of the coastal regions of the Maritime provinces. Their history is deeply tied to the fishing industry. Following the Acadian expulsion in 1755, many Acadians came to the islands. Strangely, the entire group of islands belonged to a grant-holder until in 1895 the law allowed islanders to buy the land they had been farming for decades. Distinctly Francophonic, few islanders speak English. Fishing is still a major employer here, but tourism has steadily become more important. While, sections of the islands have large red sandstone cliffs like those on Prince Edward Island, much of the shoreline is sandy beach. Long sand spits connect Île du Harve, Île du Cap aux Meules, Île de Havre aux Maisons and Grosse Île, creating large saltwater lagoons perfect for paddling kayaks and swimming. The entire east end of Grosse Île is a nature reserve. People come to the islands for the French culture, wonderful food and warm friendly people, but also for swimming, paddle sports, kite flying, bird watching, wind and kite surfing, scuba and cave exploring and unfettered cycling.

Barbara Rogers
About the Expert

Barbara Radcliffe Rogers has written or coauthored more than 30 guidebooks, including The Portugal Traveler, Drive Around Portugal, City Spots Munich, City Spots Helsinki, City Spots Stockholm, Eating New England, and the Maine section of Thomas Cook's Independent Traveller USA.

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Barbara Rogers for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: The islands are located closer to PEI and Nova Scotia but are a province of Quebec.
  • Language: English and French
  • Currency: Canadian Dollar
  • Research: Wikipedia
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    The best time to come is June through August. It can be beautiful in May and September without all the Quebec tourists, but it’s cooler then.