Sentiers entre Vents et Marées

 

Sentiers entre vents et marées, Îles de la Madeleine

Dreaming about discovering the Islands in a new way? Then come along for a walk on the trails Sentiers entre Vents et Marées, either by yourself or with a group. This walking trail goes around the Islands through natural and groomed trails, as well as back roads and long stretches of beaches (where possible).

Thirteen septs lasting anywhere from 10 to 27 km shape this 225 km long secure and marked circuit, which promotes the protection of our environment. As for the level of difficulty, it ranges from intermediate to difficult.

The trails suggest some stops in various villages of the archipelago. With its outstanding landscapes, this long trek offers a combination of physical, cultural and spiritual aspects.

Carnet des sentiers et parcours de randonnée pédestreNEW !

A booklet illustrating hiking trails and circuits going around the islands is now available!
Get it now at the Tourist Information Desk for $ 20.00.

The Steps

STEP 1 - Baie de Plaisance

Étape 1 - Sentiers entre vents et marées, Îles de la Madeleine

 

FROM CAP-AUX-MEULES TO HAVRE-AUBERT

Distance: 27 km
Duration: 7 hours
Level: Intermediate (half the trail is on sand)

Walk along the Sentier du Littoral  and smaller back roads to reach the magnificent beach of La Martinique, which lasts 13 km long. At the end of this costal stretch, discover Les Demoiselles, in Havre-Aubert - small hills offering an incredible viewpoint.

Itinerary

Map

STEP 2 - Bout du Banc

Étape 2 - Sentiers entre vents et marées, Îles de la Madeleine

 

FROM HAVRE-AUBERT TO BASSIN

Distance: 26 km
Duration: 7 hours
Level: Difficult (half the trail is on loose sand and at an angle)

Walk near the historic site of La Grave (save some time to spend a couple of hours there during your stay). Discover the beach hosting the sandcastle contest before setting off on a long journey along the Sandy Hook. Here, you might feel like you are on the edge of the world... you will understand why once you reach the Bout du Banc.

WARNING !

It is not recommended to venture towards the Bout du Banc alone.

Itinerary

Map

STEP 3 - Bassin

Step 3 - Sentiers entre vents et marées, Îles de la Madeleine

 

JOURNEY ACROSS THE ISLAND OF HAVRE-AUBERT

Distance: 22 km
Duration: 6 hours
Level: Intermediate

Travel along various roads running between the sea and the hills - a journey offering beautiful viewpoints on colourful houses. The harbour and the lighthouse of L'Anse-à-la-Cabane both deserve to be seen. The last bit of this trail goes through a little woodlot sheltered from the wind, which is located on an uncrowded winding route.

WARNING !

Caution is required on smaller unpaved roads, as you may encounter a few motor vehicles.

Itinerary

Map

STEP 4 - La Martinique

Step 4 - Sentiers entre vents et marées, Îles de la Madeleine

 

FROM HAVRE-AUBERT TO L'ÉTANG-DU-NORD

Distance: 22 km
Duration: 6 hours
Level: Intermediate

Half the trail runs along Route 199, which offers an incredible view on the bay of Havre aux Basques. You can take advantage of the 5 entry points to the beach of La Martinique and walk on sand whenever you feel like it. Once you reach the end of Havre aux Basques, you can come back on the road. At this point, follow a nice woody trail and smaller back roads to reach the Dune de l'Ouest. Don't miss out on the amazing sunsets at the Site de La Côte.

Itinerary

Map

STEP 5 - Les Caps

Step 5 - Sentiers entre vents et marées, Îles de la Madeleine

 

FROM L'ÉTANG-DU-NORD TO FATIMA

Distance: 14 km
Duration: 4 hours
Level: Intermediate

After admiring the magnificent sculpture called Monument aux pêcheurs, at La Côte, walk along the shoreline in a trail made for bikers and walkers, which leads to the Cap Hérissé. A small detour allows you to see the lighthouse from up-close and admire the cliffs of Belle-Anse. Then, it is time to discover the village of Fatima. Since this step is rather short, follow the loop that goes around the township of Cap-Vert and L'Anse-aux-Baleiniers.

WARNING !

Please don't go near the cliffs, as erosion did some sneaky damages.

Itinerary

Map

STEP 6 - Dune du Nord

Step 6 - Sentiers entre vents et marées, Îles de la Madeleine

 

FROM FATIMA TO POINTE-AUX-LOUPS

Distance: 19 km
Duration: 5 hours
Level: Difficult (most of the trail is on loose sand and at an angle)

The Grand Plaquier is worth the detour, as it offers great viewpoints on both Havre-aux-Maisons (just in front) and the bay of Cap-Vert. Halfway through the trail sits a stranded barge dated from 1988, part of which is covered with sand. Lastly, continue your journey towards Pointe-aux-Loups, while admiring the inner bay much loved by the community of kitesurfers.

WARNING !

If you feel like going for a swim, go ahead, but be extremely careful as the currents are really strong.

Itinerary

Map

STEP 7 - Grosse-Île

Étape 7 - Sentiers entre vents et marées, Îles de la Madeleine

 

FROM POINTE-AUX-LOUPS TO GROSSE-ÎLE

Distance: 20 km
Duration: 5 hours
Level: Intermediate

In Pointe-aux-Loups, take a moment to visit the Quai Nord and the Quai Sud. Further along, pass the Mines Seleine - the salt mine of Grosse-Île. In this English-speaking village, follow Rock Mountain Road, which offers great viewpoints that are well worth the detour. Visit the small Anglican Church of Holy Trinity, and have a look at the stained-glass windows in which Jesus put on his rubber boots, just like local fishermen do.

Itinerary

Map

STEP 8 - Old Harry

Step 8 - Sentiers entre vents et marées, Îles de la Madeleine

 

FROM GROSSE-ÎLE TO OLD HARRY

Distance: 10 km
Duration: 3 hours
Level: Intermediate

If you feel like it, extend this brief step by visiting both the fishing harbour of Grosse-Île-Nord and this part of the English-speaking village. Then, reach the parking area of Les Marais salés and enter the National Wildlife Area via an incredible trail. At this point, enjoy a wonderful scenery made of wild vegetation and sand dunes. Exit at the parking area of L'Échouerie and, once in Old Harry, reach the great stretch of beach called La Grande Échouerie.

Itinerary

Map

STEP 9 - Grande-Entrée

Step 9 - Sentiers entre vents et marées, Îles de la Madeleine

 

FROM OLD HARRY TO GRANDE-ENTRÉE

Distance: 16 km
Duration: 4 hours
Level: Intermediate (partly on the road)

After crossing the township of Old Harry, walk on the fabulous Île Boudreau. While strolling along the beach leading to the fishing harbour of Grande-Entrée (the main harbour of the Islands), discover beautiful sceneries. The Site de La Pointe offers various services in season. Lastly, ride with the wind along the cliffs until the nice little church  of the village.

This trail will be enhanced over the years, and will eventually run along the cliffs as well as inland.

Itinerary

Map

STEP 10 - Dune-du-Sud

Step 10 - Sentiers entre vents et marées, Îles de la Madeleine

 

FROM GRANDE-ENTRÉE TO HAVRE-AUX-MAISONS

Distance: 11 km
Duration: 3 hours
Level: Intermediate

There you are, at the end of the fishing hook that shapes the Islands. Leaving early in the morning with public transportation, hop off at the Chemin de La Cormorandière. From this point, a smaller road takes you to the Dune du Sud for several kilometres of walking on sand. Enjoy a great view on the bay of Pointe-aux-Loups and the long stretch of wild vegetation.

Itinerary

Map

STEP 11 - Havre-aux-Maisons

Step 11 - Sentiers entre vents et marées, Îles de la Madeleine

 

JOURNEY ACROSS THE ISLAND

Distance: 16 km
Duration: 4 hours
Level: Intermediate

Legend says a treasure is hidden on this island - will you be the one to find it? Walk along a series of smaller roads and enjoy wonderful viewpoints. Throughout the trail, feel free to visit the various businesses coming your way, which offer delicious local products. This trail ends near a pretty marina.

Itinerary

Map

STEP 12 - Île centrale

Step 12 - Sentiers entre vents et marées, Îles de la Madeleine

 

FROM HAVRE-AUX-MAISONS TO CAP-AUX-MEULES

Distance: 13 km
Duration: 4 hours
Level: Intermediate

Cross the bridge and get to the island of Cap-aux-Meules where smaller back roads run through various townships. Then, follow a woody road leading to the Butte du Vent - a summit offering a 360-degree viewpoint. Visit the incredible wooden church of La Vernière, which became a heritage building in 1992. While passing through the village of Cap-aux-Meules (the administrative and service centre of the archipelago), reach the Place des gens de mer, where it all began.

Itinerary

Map

STEP 13 - Île d'Entrée

Step 13 - Sentiers entre vents et marées, Îles de la Madeleine

 

JOURNEY ACROSS THE ISLAND

Distance: 6 km
Duration: 2 hours
Level: Intermediate

Home of an English-speaking community of Scottish and Irish descent, Entry Island is the only inhabited land off the coast of the archipelago. Follow a trail that runs near a pretty Anglican church and a small museum, and climb up the Big Hill - the highest summit of the Islands culminating at 174 metres. Fall under the spell on the charming green pastures and the bare landscape of this one-of-a-kind island.

Itinerary

Map

 

Suggestion of itineraries 

Sentiers entre Vents et Marées / 8-day itinerary (French only)

Sentiers entre Vents et Marées / 15-day itinerary (French only)

 

About

A few years ago, local walkers who wandered along the Camino de Santiago joined forces to create a long-distance walking trail throughout the archipelago. In the spring of 2016, the committee of the trails Sentiers entre Vents et Marées (SEVEM) presented its project via the Club de plein air des Îles (outdoor club) with the help of various partners. Trail markers where installed during the summer of 2017.

And it keeps growing! Over time, some steps will be modified due to rights of way acquisition on private lands, a process that will last a few years in order to maximize the wealth of this circuit.

Discovering the Islands on foot - an invitation to explore our hidden treasures...

We wish you an unforgettable experience!

The committee of the trails Sentiers entre Vents et Marées

The logo

Logo Sentiers entre vents et marées

The stylish shell refers to the Camino de Santiago and includes a tree structure of a scheme illustrating personal growth or the happiness of the walker. As for the colours, they are a reminder of the Acadian flag, which holds the roots of numerous Madelinots.

The Carnet du Louvoyeur

Ultimate souvenir-tool, the Carnet du Louvoyeur will allow you to look back on your trip at any given time. It is available for purchase ($20, cash only) in the following locations:

 

This document contains 13 numbered boxes corresponding to the various step numbers. The dotted lines inside the boxes will be useful for those wishing to split a step in two. For each step, you can get the stamps of selected businesses with the date of your visit. The list of authorized establishments can be found on the bottom of each step description. Please note that the businesses are located before the end of each step. Make sure you pop in while passing by so you won't have to go back. If you didn't manage to get the stamp of any given step, send an email to the  for assistance.

The certificate "L'Estran"

"Estran" is a geography term which refers to the part of the coastline between the highest and lowest water conditions. This is how we chose to name the certificate given at the end of your journey on the trails Sentiers entre Vents et Marées (at least 12 steps out of the 13 steps completed). Signed by the mayor of the Municipality of the Îles-de-la-Madeleine, "L'Estran", your certificate of completion, will be given to you (free of charge) at the Tourism Bureau (128, ch. Principal, Cap-aux-Meules) when showing your "Carnet du Louvoyeur" with stamps pertaining to at least 12 steps out of the 13 steps.

The badge

Macaron des Sentiers entre Vents et MaréesThe badge of the trails Sentiers entre Vents et Marées is available for purchase ($5, cash only) in the same locations as the Carnet.

 

Trail Markers

logos Sentiers entre vents et marées

Markers are located in strategic places (forks, junctions, turns, etc.) along the trails. They consist of metal panels (illustration 1 and 2) and stylish shells or arrows (illustrations 3 and 4) posted on various items (sign posts, power poles, rocks, etc.). It is recommended to stay on the designated trails.

WARNING !

All trail markers point in the same direction.

Helpful tips

This multi-day hike does not include any services. Thus, all walkers are fully responsible for their safety, as well as the organization of their stay on the Islands and all associated costs. Trails are open from May 15th to October 15th.

Services

For the long stretches without services, it is absolutely necessary to carry enough food and water for the day.

Using the Official Tourist Guide, it is recommended to locate the services offered in each step as they might be necessary along the way (pharmacy, food services, etc.).

Please note that some public restrooms are only open during summertime.

On the beach

For the long strolls on beaches, it is recommended to wear good walking shoes and avoid walking barefoot or using sandals.