Issue 69: Outstanding Fields – Iles de la Madeleine

There is no place on earth better than the Iles de la Madeleine for kiting
If you are planning your next vacation and looking for a place to go kiting, then you may want to consider going to les Îles de la Madeleine a veritable paradise for wind sports enthusiasts. No matter which direction the wind is coming, you will always find a beach to go kiting.

The Îles de la Madeleine are located in the Maritime, Québec in the heart of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. You can drive to the Îles de la Madeleine and take the daily ferry service from Souris (Prince Edward Island) or take the plane from from Montréal, Québec and Gaspé.

As soon as you put your first foot on the island, the effect is immediate, no mater which direction you look the landscape stretches as far as the eye can see. Dunes sand and beaches (and I mean 300 km of beaches) are all public and easy to reach by car. They have designated parking areas and marked paths to protect the fragile living environment, there is no place on earth better than the Islands for kiting. You can walk for hours on remote beaches, locate a perfect area and kite all day.

One of the big advantage of the islands are the constant sea winds, light early in the morning from 7 to 20 km /hour and accelerating during the day up to 25 to 30 km / hour in the afternoon.. The prevailing sea winds during summer are from the south-west and the north-west in the colder seasons. I am sure, if you look at les Îles de la Madeleine weather condition right now, there is constant strong wind. A good advice before you go, bring a ventilated kite in your bag and if you want to know the weather for tomorrow ask a sailor (I tried it, and he was right).

Don’t worry if you forget your kite lines or break one of your spars, they even have a kite store (Au gré du vent) at l’Etang du Nord with a retail and repair services and peoples who are truly passionate about this sport.

Eventually you will need to eat and sleep, so you can go to Cap aux Meules a small town where most services are located and have a soup at Tim Horton or i can suggest one or two local  restaurants like  : Café de la grave (this one you have to go) at  Havre – Aubert, Les pas perdus, a typical restaurant close to the port or chez Maurice at Fatima and  La Factrie at Gos cap, more like a cafeteria but really good food. I was never disappointed at any restaurant on the islands, food was good and excellent service.

Lodging can be expensive during high season!  but you have different options for budget travelers like rented houses motel, hotel, bead and breakfast, cabins even camping but this option with high winds can be unpleasant. If you plan to rent at les Iles de la Madeleine make your reservations early like 10 to 12 month for the best spots like a house on the beach and 6 months in advance for others. The iles de la Madeleine are like 100 Km from one end to the other so the best places for lodging is in the middle of the islands like Cape aux Meules or Havre aux Maisons, this will shorten your traveling time.

I would say the best time to go is at the end of august and in September, the weather still can reach 18 to 21 C. The lodging is cheaper and you avoid the 50,000 population increases of July.

For me les Îles de la Madeleine are a thrilling, unforgettable experience, to repeat. I went to the islands 5 times, and I am planning to go back…..

If you need information on Les iles de la Madeleine try:

But if you speak French the best way to find anything at les iles de la Madeleine is to talk to people by phone. Everybody know everybody over there.

Hope to see you there sometime,

Luc Parent

Editor’s note: This is the first of what we hope will be a recurring series of articles dedicated to unique and worthwhile flying locations around the globe… If you have a spot you’d like featured, please send us your article!