Travel responsibly and sustainably

A playful look at the sea

Kitesurf in the Îles de la Madeleine


From May onwards, some days on the Magdalen Islands are defined by the omnipresence of the ocean. On these days, sea is in the air. We breathe the salty breeze from within classrooms or deep in the woods, from the coffee shop to the docks, from the hills to the church... Over the last few weeks of spring, the Islanders reconnect with the sea. It starts with the fishermen, who lead the way in hundreds of colourful boats to go harvest delicacies from the Gulf. We also see more and more of a new type of adventurers reclaiming these waters. With this growing interest in water sports, the archipelago's seascape is changing. For even though entire generations have kept an eye on the horizon, it's only in recent years that Islanders have started to look at the sea as a source of entertainment.

Playing in the waves in the Îles de la Madeleine

An ambiguous relationship

Sunset in the Îles de la MadeleineIslanders all share a deep respect for the sea. Background for our everyday life, the sea remains first and foremost a trade. The ocean is a livelihood - both a source of food and of income.

We also know how cruel the swell can be - the Magdalen Islands have seen one of the greatest numbers of shipwrecks in North America.

This complex love-hate relationship with the sea is still felt by the present inhabitants of the archipelago.

The sea, a playground?

It takes a long time to get to know the many personalities and ever-changing moods of this environment. After so many visitors and newcomers choosing to take advantage of the Maggies' exceptional bodies of water, long-time residents are also starting to see the ocean as the playground it can be. A new generation of Islanders is proudly falling for water sports that can only be practiced here. It's a new passionate take on seafaring, and an opportunity envied by sports amateurs from all over the globe. Did you know that the Polyvalente des Iles, the local high school, now offers kite surfing as an extracurricular option to many of its students?

Kitesurf in the Îles de la Madeleine

Kitesurf in the Îles de la Madeleine

The Islands' many bodies of saltwater offer a great range of features, especially for such a small territory. And thanks to the archipelago's size, it only takes a few minutes of travel to notice and enjoy this remarkable diversity!

For quiet, warmer, shallower waters, head to the lagoons. These are the conditions preferred and sought-after by kite surfers and windsurfers worldwide.

Sailing around the Îles de la Madeleine

In one of our many bays, you'll find the perfect setting for a day of sea kayaking, scuba diving or sailing. Sea enthusiasts can be seen all-summer long hanging around their favourite marina.

And, last but not least, the more daring of us all shall jump in the open waters of the Gulf, where thrills seekers find their match when faced with a series of truly impressive waves.

Are you ready for a headfirst dive into our endless playground?

Par Jean-Étienne Solomon

As a Madelinot, I am one of the many locals who enjoy the archipelago no matter the season and revisit a land that never ceases to amaze and evolve.

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