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Destination inspiration: Percé, Canada

A boat trip gives the best view of Percé Rock

A boat trip gives the best view of Percé Rock

Why go?

Canada’s Gaspé Peninsula is a land of monumental rock formations, rugged islands, and jaw-dropping wildlife. It’s here that you’ll find the little seaside town of Percé, spread out along the coastline as it tapers to a jagged point.

The town takes its name from Rocher Percé (French for ‘pierced rock’), a massive hunk of limestone and shale that juts out from the headland, with a naturally formed arch that sits just above the sea’s surface. One of Percé’s most popular activities is a boat trip to the rock for a close-up view – and who knows, you might come across a humpback whale or two on the way.

Bonaventure Island's stunning gannet colony

Bonaventure Island's stunning gannet colony

Keep sailing and you’ll soon spy Bonaventure Island, a national park that’s full of idyllic hiking trails across meadows, with the odd lonesome shack the only sign of human presence. That’s because this island belongs to the birds. Bonaventure’s home to one of the world’s largest gannet colonies, a squawking, fluttering mass of white feathers. Stop by for a curious avian end to an afternoon’s trotting around nature.
Back on terra firma, the only way to sate your sailor’s hunger is with a seafood dinner. An old favourite with local sea dogs, Maison du Pêcheur Restaurant serves up creamy seafood chowder and succulent lobster that’ll leave you hankering to come back.

The view over the town and Percé Rock

The view over the town and Percé Rock

When to go?

Percé and the Gaspé Peninsula are a year-round destination for lovers of the great outdoors. In winter, the cutest-named mountains around, the Chic-Chocs, are a fantastic – and relatively unknown – downhill skiing destination. And as for summer, the long days and warmer temperatures bring dreamy boat trips and sun-kissed hikes.

Hôtel le Mirage

Hôtel le Mirage

Where to stay?

Hôtel le Mirage – Percé, Canada

This hotel is located on a hilltop to give an even better vantage point for views of Rocher Percé. Aside from the amazing views from the balconies, Booking.com guests highlight the friendly staff and tasty breakfast. Just be prepared to shell out a little extra for the on-site crêpes.

Riotel Percé

Riotel Percé

Riotel Percé – Percé, Canada

Booking.com guests agree that Riotel’s central location is extremely handy for easy access to Percé’s fabulous seafood restaurants. After all that fine dining, maybe it’s no coincidence that they also rate the hotel’s beds as some of the comfiest in town.

Au Pic de l’Aurore Motel-Chalets

Au Pic de l’Aurore Motel-Chalets

Au Pic de l’Aurore Motel-Chalets – Percé, Canada

These chalets all have spacious balconies, most of which have fantastic views out to sea. For cooler times of year, there are wood fires to keep you cosy and warm. Booking.com guests also leave rave reviews about the breakfast, complete with a choice of muffin or croissant.