A Nordic Experience Like No Other at Mont Sainte-Anne
Oftentimes, the Western Canadian regions of British Columbia and Alberta get all the attention as ski destinations. From Whistler and nearby Vancouver to Sun Peaks and Kamloops, the cities and ski resorts of the West are well known and loved. When we focus on cross country skiing in Canada, however, the poles reverse: though it tends to fly under the radar, the largest Nordic ski center in the country, and one of the finest ski destinations, is on the East Coast. Mont Sainte-Anne (which yes, is technically on the coast of the Saint Lawrence Seaway rather than the Atlantic) features a whopping 212 kilometers of spectacular cross country ski trails, arrayed across the fields and thick forest that sit between the eponymous Mont, the historic Quebec City, and the Seaway.
This vast network circles the foothills of Sainte-Anne, switchbacking and dipping amongst valley banks, and alongside the Riviere Jean Larouse. Also scattered along this one-of-a-kind trail system—and making it all the more unique—are five heated cabins for weary skiers to get warm and fill up on hot chocolate and coffee. Not only that, three of the five huts are more aptly described as chalets, which offer overnight accommodations for couples and families. These come furnished with full kitchens and fireplace heated living rooms, laundry facilities, and even saunas! Imagine spending New Year’s Eve or your wedding anniversary in a cozy common room, nestled in the snow blanketed Northern forest, with a bottle of Pinot and a baguette from the fabulous Paillard in Quebec City. ‘Memorable’ doesn’t begin to cut it.
If you like the idea of a forest ski adventure but prefer to spend your evenings some place with a little more culture, you’re in luck. The resort Chateau Mont Sainte-Anne offers world-class dining and lodging right there on the mountain—with a distinctly Quebecois flair. The accommodations range from suites to condos to penthouses, all designed with Scandanavian simplicity and comfort. Central fireplaces and large windows feature heavily in this sublime winter escape.
When it comes time to satisfy your culinary tastes in addition to your aesthetic ones, the Café Nordik imports modern Nordic flavors (inspired by the famed Noma in Copenhagen) to Quebec. Dishes like brook trout with tomato chutney, Cornish hens with tarragon and potatoes, or smoked salmon with a creamy bisque are perfectly suited for a chilly Canadian evening. These are simple dishes executed perfectly—and given its North European heritage, it is no surprise a night at Café Nordik makes for the ideal end to a day of unmatched Nordic skiing.