The land mass of this small archipelago in the Gulf of Saint-Lawrence River may only be about 205 square kilometers in total, but once you're there, it's easy to travel its stretches of road to find wide wind-swept fields and long beaches without seeing a soul. Not that it's uninhabited—the absolutely gorgeous scenery of Îles-de-la-Madeleine (or Magadelen Islands) is a world-class part of Québec for tourism, and there are plenty of restaurants, hotels and quaint bed-and-breakfasts that see many visitors from afar. The day's worth of driving from the city for a lifetime of good memories is unquestionably worth it.
If you're over trying to find a place to throw down a towel on the best beaches in Montreal or a place to picnic in the best Montreal parks, try skipping the city altogether with the most secluded getaways from Montreal. How about distant islands with beaches and rolling waves? National parks with sprawling hiking trails and spots for camping? Sleepy townships and cottage country? You may need to pack your bags and take a drive to get out and away, but it's worth the effort, and most—if not all—of these escapes provide some of the best scenic drives from Montreal as well. The best part's that you can do it all with barely seeing another person, giving you more time to relax and enjoy time alone or with select company.
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