Great Summer Escapes in the Eastern Townships

2009-04-20, De Tourisme Cantons-de-l'Est
Sherbrooke, April 20, 2009 – Here’s an offer that’s hard to refuse – Great Summer Escapes in the Eastern Townships! Great Summer Escapes are 50 packages that include accommodation, activities and meals, designed for all ages and interests, which you’ll find on the website of Tourism Eastern Townships. There are numerous attractions and activities – some of them new this season – which are sure to appeal to both adults and small fry.

Romantic getaways

Looking for a romantic getaway with your loved one? We’ve got plenty of heart-warming goodies on the menu - outdoor activities, spa treatments, explorations by the dozen, shopping (for that special something), a dinner by candlelight, the comfort of a cosy room…..You get the idea. Leave it up to our hoteliers. They can come up with all manner of things to create a romantic ambience for you and your significant other.
Website : www.easterntownships.org  

Blue, blue, blue – as far as the eye can see…..

Bleu Lavande continues to set the trend with its innovative ideas. The 2009 season brings new installations, activities and more interesting packages than ever before. The second most important organic producer of lavender in North America, Bleu Lavande has upgraded its production centre and added a themed ‘Poetry Trail’ with stories, legends and poems, inspired by the fragrant blue plants.

Every weekend, visitors can enjoy a Swedish massage or a foot massage in the oh-so-relaxing outdoor relaxation areas dotted around the lavender fields, where Mother Nature supplies a soothing soundtrack.

Other activities include Lundi Bleu Pastel (Pastel Blue Mondays when visitors can try their hand at painting), Mardi Bleu Classique (Classical Blue Tuesdays - concerts of classical music) and Mercredi Vivre en Bleu (Blue Wednesdays - yoga and massage therapy outdoors). On Jeudis Pouce Bleu (‘Blue’ Thumb Thursdays – yes, we know that it’s green thumb, but we’re talking lavender here!) there are workshops aimed at wannabe gardeners who want to learn how to grow this most versatile of plants.

And what about this unusual way to enjoy lavender ? On the menu no less! Lavender is a key ingredient of the Soupers Lavandula (Lavandula Dinners), creating sensual pleasures for the palate, the nose and the eye….. And check out La lavande en fête (Lavender Festival) which runs July 24-26, showcasing lavender and its many benefits.

Want to make a day of it, or better still, a couple of days ? Blue Lavande offers daytrips for groups (departing Montreal and Quebec City), as well as individual packages, designed in conjunction with local accommodations and regional attractions.
Information : (819) 876-5851 / 1-888-876-5851 or visit : www.bleulavande.ca 

For views in every direction - climb aboard the Orford Express

For a scenic trip of a lifetime, climb aboard the Orford Express tourist train! To accommodate its ever-expanding clientele, this season, the company has added a panoramic coach that can accommodate up to 72 people. The glass-domed coach, which comes into service on June 27 (until November 1), has two rooms on the first floor, a viewing area upstairs and a private bar. Weekly departures start on May 9. The themed train trips include commentary on points of interest, meals featuring fine cuisine and live entertainment.
Information : (819) 575-8081 / 1-866-575-8081 or www.orfordexpress.com  

An environmentally friendly inn expands

Characterised by its unique construction and economical heating and lighting systems, the Auberge aux 4 Saisons d’Orford is building an additional eight rooms. The Zen-inspired bedrooms do not have carpeting on the floors – all the better to maintain pure (and hygenic) air quality. On May 1, a beauty and health centre - Le Dôme de Morphée - will also open its doors in the new wing of the environmentally friendly building.
Information : (819) 868-1110 / 1-877-768-1110 or www.4saisonsorford.com  

A new resort spa comes to the Eastern Townships

Manoir des Sables in Orford has recently opened a new « centre of well-being ». Constructed on two stories, the new 5,500sq-foot spa offers hotel guests 14 treatment rooms, including a Moroccan «SCRUB» room, two relaxation areas, a hammam (Turkish steam room) as well as a saltwater and a whirlpool bath. This resort spa, which faces Lake Écluse and the Manoir des Sables Golf Course, is a new addition to the hot and cold outdoor Finnish saunas that were constructed last July.
Information : (819) 847-4747 / 1-800 567-3514 or www.hotelsvillegia.com  

……And speaking of spas

Prize-winning Spa Eastman is offering a slew of anti-stress packages - the very thing to provide a relaxing antidote to today’s troubled times. Taking a long, stress-free break – say, from one to four weeks – is exactly the remedy for those who have reached the end of their tether.

Always ahead of current trends, Spa Eastman has been going ‘green’ for a very long time. From the time of its conception, green issues have been part of this spa’s philosophy. In 2008, Spa Eastman won the prestigious Phenix (Environment Grand Prix) in the Sustainable Development category, as well as the 2009 Eastern Townships Final (in the same category) of the Grands Prix du tourism. The spa was one of the pioneers of recycling and Réser-Vert – a program that lays out strategies for achieving a balance between the environment and social and economic issues.

Other news from Spa Eastman is the plan to renew its mission by offering a « unique renewal experience ». It recently announced a number of new investments – to the tune of $4 million - at its properties in Eastman and Montreal.

A fascinating cultural heritage

The Townships Trail, a tourist route themed around the British and American history of the region, is launching a 75-page interpretation guide in June. Conceived as a guide for travellers, it covers many different aspects of the region’s heritage – the railroad, the Loyalists, religion, vacations and the colonial companies and industries that helped to develop the area’s industries. All along the 415-km route (and around the region) are signposts, interpretation panels and boxes of brochures with information about the Townships Trail.
Information : 1-800 355-5755 or www.townshipstrail.qc.ca

Watery fun for small fry!

It’s certainly no secret that children absolutely adore splashing about in water! This summer, there will be two new places for kids to frolic in the foam, the minute a heat wave hits Granby and Bromont. A new 24,000sq foot wave pool will open on June 9 at the Ski Bromont Water Park. It’s so big that it can easily accommodate up to 700 water babies – big and small!
Ski Bromont : 1-866-276-6668 / (450) 534-2200 or www.skibromont.com  

Amazoo Yoplait at the Granby Zoo is celebrating its 10th anniversary with an attraction called « Projet Hurakan », inspired by the story of Hurakan, who, in Mayan mythology, was the god of wind, storms and fire. According to legend, those who dared to remove this powerful god from his home would invoke his wrath, causing terrible storms, accompanied by winds and torrential rain.

This maelstrom is what awaits water babies who dare to approach the new home of the God Hurakan (from which our word « hurricane » is derived) but first, they have to cross seething waters teeming with alligators and anacondas – all created by special effects, of course, at the Amazoo Yoplait Water Park! Wave pools, water jets, a soundtrack and realistic props worthy of a Hollywood movie, immerse visitors (quite literally!) in this exciting new summer adventure.
Granby Zoo : (450) 372-9113 / 1-877-472-6299 or www.zoodegranby.com  

The secret of the giant revealed!

La Halte des Pèlerins, a winery that is situated five minutes from downtown Sherbrooke, has a new attraction - « Le Secret du géant » (« The Secret of the Giant »). This unique theatrical circuit in the heart of the vineyard is a combination of fun, fantasy and education where young and old can discover the secret of « the legacy of Bacchus ». Visits and tasting are also available.
Information : (819) 563-5115 or www.haltedespelerins.com  

In search of the self

Sherbrooke’s Museum of Science and Nature is staging a new exhibition which leaves few people indifferent. « Human nature – how sophisticated it is! Everything we experience passes between our ears, into our brain. How much of the personality is inborn? How much is acquired through life experience? What makes us unique? Let your exterior ‘mask’ fall and undertake a journey of exploration into a mysterious universe, aided by science. » In addition to the exhibit, ‘Smurfs’ are on hand to lead children on a quest of their own that is filled with fun activities.
Sponsored by the Dove Self-Esteem Fund the exhibition runs from April 1 to September 1, 2009.
Information : (819) 564-3200 / 1-877 434-3200 or www.mnes.qc.ca  

Reviving a landmark residence

To celebrate its 150th anniversary, the Colby-Curtis Museum has completely renovated the historic residence (formerly called Carrollcroft). All the rooms have been restored to the elegant style of the turn of the 20th century. The permanent exhibition, which occupies seven rooms of the vast house, has been restored. Two temporary exhibits – one documenting the era of steamships on Lake Memphremagog and the other on the activities of the people who lived along its shores – will be on display in a former doctor’s office. The official re-opening of the museum is slated for the end of June and there will be various other activities throughout the year, in connection with the sesquicentennial.
Information : (819) 876-7322 or www.colbycurtis.ca

Missisquoi Museum

The Missisquoi Museum in Stanbridge East is commemorating the 400th anniversary of the visit of explorer Samuel de Champlain to the region with an exhibition - « Sur les rives de la baie Missisquoi : 400 ans d’amour et d’indifférence » (« 400 years of care and neglect on Missisquoi Bay »). The museum is highlighting the care of Lake Champlain - and conversely, indifference to its decline - that has been manifested by the people who live along its shores. The exhibition showcases the region’s rich history, with a collection of objects from the 19th century utilised by the local people and the United Empire Loyalists. The Hodge General store is also part of the exhibition.
Information: (450) 248-3153 or www.museemissisquoi.ca  

Get close to nature in our parks

A new hiking trail has been opened in the Frontenac National Park - the Massif de Winslow (Winslow Peak). 16 km in length, this loop gives access to a lookout point on the Winslow Peak, as well as over the Grand Lac St-Francois. Along the trails, hikers can observe the different stages of growth of trees such as sugar maples and yellow birch, areas of dense forest and multi-tiered waterfalls. The Winslow Peak Trail, which is dotted with interpretation panels, leads to Lake Maskinongé’s beach and a picnic area.
Information : (418) 486-2300 /1-800 665-6527 or www.parcsquebec.com  

Mont-Megantic National Park – ever closer to the stars

To commemorate UNESCO’s International Year of Astrology 2009, the park has developed a new hiking and snowshoeing trail. This 2.4km stretch is a great addition to the park’s network of trails because it runs alongside spectacular waterfalls. Moreover, it allows hikers to complete several loops around Mont-Mégantic and Mont St-Joseph, without crossing the other multi-purpose trails.

ASTROLab has designed a new exhibition entitled, Du ciel étoilé à l'Univers infini : quelle est la grandeur de l'Univers ? Où sommes-nous ? (Roughly translated as « From a starry sky to the infinite Universe. How big is the Universe exactly? Where do we fit into its vast expanse? ») Relive the experience of the evolution of our concept of space from the time of our ancestors, to the limitless and unbelievably complex Universe that has been discovered up to the present day.

This exhibition can be combined with a daytime visit to the ASTROLab. It’s open in the afternoon. In addition to offering this fascinating exhibit, the Mount Megantic Observatory will open its doors to the public during 12 Saturdays. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to get an eyeful of the mysterious heavens, through the most powerful telescope in Eastern North America.

And here’s another way to get ever closer to the stars! The Astronomy Super Festival will run throughout the summer - from the St-Jean Baptiste holiday (June 24) to the Labour Day Weekend (September 7). The evenings kick off with a talk at the ASTROLab, followed by a visit to two observatories - the Mount Megantic Observatory (where one can observe the heavens and chat to an astronomer) and the Popular Observatory, where professional guides await, to share their passion with visitors!
Information : (819) 888-2941 / 1-800-665-6527 or www.astrolab.qc.ca  

Travelling on two wheels

Thanks to a summer of hard work in 2008 by 10 students and volunteers from seven countries, 10km of mountain bike trails (from intermediate to expert) have been laid out, ready for those who love travelling on two wheels. The bike trails run through the inhabited Forest of Mont Gosford, near Saint-Augustin-de-Woburn in the region of Granit. Cycling is a new activity for this venue, already well known among hikers.
Information : (819) 544-9004 or www.montgosford.com  

Learn how to tackle the downhills!

This summer, Ski Bromont is offering cyclists the opportunity to learn the techniques of safe mountain biking, through a couple of packages - Ini and Défi-Vélo - that include lessons, lift ticket and bike rental. Professional instructors are on hand to share their passion with cyclists and to help them discover the many attractions on the mountain.

In addition to the mountain biking packages, Ski Bromont is welcoming back the UCI Nissan Mountain Bike World Cup. Sponsored by Shimano, it runs from July 31, to August 2, 2009. This is the second year running that the best international mountain bikers in the world will be coming to Bromont.
Information : (450) 452-2000 / 1-866 BROMONT # 2700 or www.skibromont.com  

Strap on those hiking boots!

The staff of Sentiers de l’Estrie worked very hard last year to clear 47km of new trails, designed for avid hikers. They also installed a primitive campsite (i.e. with no hook-ups or mod cons) and a « rustic » shelter along the Sentiers de l’Estrie trails – at Bolton Pass and near Lake Miller.

Here are the details of the new trails :

• 8 km between the Kingsbury Marsh and the St-Francis River, in the St-Francis Valley
• 8 km between Grotte de L’Ours (Bear Grotto) in Stoke and Happy Valley (Mount Elan) in East Angus
• 3.4 km between Chemin du Rocher and Eastman
• 2 km between Parc de St-Étienne de Bolton and the Sentier de l’Estrie trail near the Lake Trousers hill
• 10 km between Mansonville Park and the Ruiter Valley Land Trust (a wilderness area)
• 12 km between the Ruiter Valley Land Trust and Mount Singer
• 3,6 km between Chemin Bolton Centre and a beautiful hill in Bolton East

Information : (819) 864-6314 or www.lessentiersdelestrie.qc.ca  

Out-of-the-ordinary camping

When it comes to Hébergement aux Cinq Sens it’s hard to think of camping in the ordinary sense of the word. This new campground offers five furnished, insulated and comfortable yurts. They’re a far cry from the simple skin tents traditionally used by the nomads of Central Asia! Situated in the picturesque village of Piopolis on the shores of Lake Megantic, these luminous, silent dwellings, plunge campers deep into the heart of Mother Nature. This is the ideal setting in which to recharge your batteries and enjoy the many benefits of living in the great outdoors.
Information : (819) 583-0885 or www.auxcinqsens.ca  

Horseback riding and much more…

Randonnées J. Robidas is a riding centre in North Hatley that offers visitors the opportunity to live in harmony with Mother Nature. More than just a venue for horse-lovers, it offers a variety of hands-on experiences, in tune with the well-being and respect of the environment. This unique approach and the high quality of the on-site services entice visitors who come away from the riding centre with memorable experiences.

Randonnées J. Robidas has recently added an indoor exercise ring to its other facilities, where visitors can learn the rudiments of horseback riding, even when the weather doesn’t co-operate! Information : (819) 563-0166/1-888 677-8767 or www.randonneesjrobidas.qc.ca

To take advantage of our Great summer Getaways head for the Eastern Townships!

To find the one that best suits you, visit : www.easterntownships.org  


Source:
Danie Béliveau
Media relations
(819) 820-2020/1-866-963-2020
db@atrce.com

 
 

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