Spring

Fishing boats at Grande-Entrée

Spring on the Magdalen Islands is probably the season when the Islanders are the most delighted to see new faces trickle in. Once the snow has melted and the layer of ice covering the sea gives way to boats' hulls splitting the waves, the first visitors start to land and it's all "Where are you from?" and "It's so great to see you again!" Seize those precious warmer days to discover the awakening cultural scene and embrace the unique traditions of the archipelago. There is no better time to get to know the locals and get a glimpse of what life is truly like on the Islands.

Fishermen are making sure everything is shipshape, vibrant colours are growing anew to cover the landscapes, and fresh seafood is everywhere.

Excitement is in the air

Setting day, where all fishermen head to sea to set their lobster traps, is a yearly ritual and a sight not to be missed.

Everyone is busying around the last preparations—everything must be ready on the first morning for the 325 lobster ships to leave the docks from all around the Islands. It's the perfect occasion to gather and wish the fishermen a safe and successful season. Take a stroll along the different fishing ports to fully immerse yourself in the experience, and keep an open ear! You'll notice how each village has its own regional accent.

Did you know that some fishermen offer fishing day trips? These will allow you to learn about their trade, their passion and to step right in this quintessential Magdalen Islands activity. Let's bet you'll never look at seafood the same way again!

Lobster fishermen
Lobster
Cap Alright, Havre-aux-Maisons
Fishing boat at l'Île aux Goélands
Traditionally smoked herring in the Îles de la Madeleine
Denis, fisherman from the Îles de la Madeleine
Oysters from the Îles de la Madeleine

 

Boutiques on the Historical site of La GraveSpring is also when the many small, seasonal businesses get ready to welcome the waves of local customers, eager to fall back into their shopping habits. Conversations cover the weather, predictions on the peak season and the number of visitors to come, and of course, a good bit of harmless banter.

The cultural calendar is launched and the upcoming events are unveiled, quickly filling the months to come. Be it festivals, plays and shows, or simply live music as a background for dinner among friends, there's something for everyone's taste.

As soon as the sun is shining, we head out for a long walk on the beach. We get reacquainted with the sea, the bays and the lagoons and dive headfirst into our favourite outdoor activities, both on land and at sea. The hills put on shades of greens with the end of May, before blooming into flowery fields as summer nears. The timing is just right for a long hike along the Sentiers entre Vents et Marées, a 230-kilometre set of walking trails circling the Magdalen Islands in thirteen legs. Just like the great pilgrim ways, those paths will allow you to soak in all the beauty of the region's diverse landscapes.

We bring the fun to the kitchen by sitting around a good lobster mess, made fresh with the catch of the day, from the cold waters of the Gulf straight unto our plates. At this time of the year, seafood products are at their most abundant and delicious. Scallops, clams, snow crab, lobster, oysters, mussels, and halibut line up the docks and the grocery shelves. You might also catch the distinctive aroma of old-fashioned smoked herring filling the air during springtime—only around the Pointe-Basse! These are the perfect days to plan a grand gourmet tour of the Islands, discover the local delicacies, and visit the local producers to hear all about their specialty.

Hundreds of bird species

Migratory birds fly back in for the warmer days—the Magdalen Islands are an essential stopover for many of them!

Small penguins, black-legged kittiwakes, black guillemots and many other unique species will fill ornithology enthusiasts with wonder.

The archipelago is perfect for bird watchers
piping plover
great blue heron
Guillemots
Sanderling
Puffin
Seagull

All the telltale signs of spring are here—the boats are back on the water, the hills are covered in flowers, fresh seafood is always on the menu, and a crisp, salty breeze is blowing from the sea over the Magdalen Islands.

Welcome to our shores!

Spring, as seen by #FousDesIles

The Islands in all seasons

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Les Îles de la Madeleine
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