Are you finding life to be a bit overwhelming? Between work, meals, fitness and all your other responsibilities, finding time to recharge your batteries might sometimes feel like an unattainable goal. The 21st century being what it is, our smartphones and social networks keep us connected (for better or for worse) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, making it seem impossible to get away and take a break. That’s why we came up with a list of 5 destinations to relax, unwind, disconnect and recharge. And because we think a stress-free holiday doesn’t start with standing in line at the airport, our suggestions are all within a roadtrip away. Ready to book the perfect vacation?
A Peaceful Time in Nature at Auberge de Montagne des Chic-Chocs
If you want to combine your love of the great outdoors, mountain sports and relaxation in an all-inclusive setting, head to the heart of the Réserve faunique de Matane. There, you’ll get a breathtaking view of the forest and a chance to enjoy daily guided (or self-guided) outdoor activities. Hiking, mountain biking, paddle board, nature walks, all these are included in your stay and equipment is provided. There is no TV, no telephone, no alarm clock and, above all, no traffic noise. Yup, not one car in sight. Since it’s perched at an altitude of 615 metres, the only way to get there is by taking the shuttle bus, which is a service that is included in your package. Three delicious meals are served each day, with local and seasonal ingredients. Don’t expect a crowd at dinner time. A maximum of 36 guests can stay at the Chic-Chocs. After a long hike, unwind in the spa with a good glass of wine. Unless you prefer to rest by the fireplace and admire the landscape? That’s about the only decision you’ll have to make, since the friendly staff pretty much takes care of everything else for you! It’s like a super-deluxe adult summer camp.
A Yoga Getaway at the Balcon Chez Juliette
Yoga has an extraordinary way of helping us forget about our worries to let us focus on the present moment. If a session in the middle of your chaotic week is no longer enough (we understand that) why not go on yoga vacation? Although there are many well-known yoga retreats in Quebec, we have a huge crush on a well-kept secret in Saint-Mathieu du Parc in the Mauricie, Au Balcon chez Juliette. This quaint cottage on the shores of Lac Goulet offers a loft or cabin for rent. The white walls and bold accessories of the rooms make it a relaxing and happy location to be in. You can take private or semi-private yoga courses during your stay or join in one of their group classes. Check out the Facebook page and be on the lookout for their yoga events. A healthy breakfast is provided, with tons of fresh fruits to give your body a vitamin C boost and well-deserved treat. If you’re tired of resting, you can always go for a hike on one of the many trails around the cabin or go for a swim in the lake. A place to discover!
A Silent Retreat at Abbaye of Saint-Benoît-du-Lac
The Abbaye of Saint-Benoît-du-Lac is, to this day, the home of a group of Benedictine monks who live in prayer, community life, daily work… and silence. Silence! Silence! Imagine, no Ding! Ding! from an email coming in on your phone, no angry drivers honking the horn, no neighbour mowing his lawn at 7 a.m. on Saturday. Not a sound. Absolute silence. This is what a stay at the abbaye has in store for you, with its silent individual retreats. The place is modest but welcoming and meals are included. You will also discover the delicious cheese, cider and jams made by the monks, delicacies whose reputation is well established! The surrounding landscape is stunning, with wide-open spaces and gardens. Be warned, there is no wifi and phones are not allowed. The perfect solution to really unwind.
Le Monastère des Augustines: Good for the Soul, Mind and Body
If you are looking for a destination that has it all, the Monastère is your best bet. Silent retreats, meditation, yoga, knitting, workshops about global health and much more are available during your stay. They truly have everything to take care of your body and mind. This haven of peace in the heart of Old Quebec has been completely restored. You’ll fall in love with its modern architecture and soothing surroundings. Different packages are offered and nights in monastic rooms are available for a total immersion into the lifestyle of the Augustines.
Spa and Massage in the Heart of the Forest at Auberge Sacacomie
Finally, for some of us, a truly relaxing destination isn’t one if it doesn’t include access to a spa and a good massage. There is no shortage of spas in Quebec, but if you are looking for a multi-day escape, might as well pick a place with A+ rooms. While you are at it, how about a little nature therapy at the same time? Sacacomie has all this and more! Located in the heart of the forest in Saint-Alexis-des-Monts, this huge log cabin (more like a log castle if you ask us) has different packages which include services such as massage, facial care and access to the spa. Speaking of which, enjoy the breathtaking view of the wilderness from their Finnish sauna, indoor pool, whirlpool or waterfall. After such a hard day (right?) enjoy a gourmet dinner. Doesn’t get better than that, does it? So, is your suitcase packed yet?