Poised in the middle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the Îles de la Madeleine is one of those magic places where time seems to stand still, so that you have all the time in the world to savour its beauty. You will be seduced by the warm welcome of "les îles". Brightly coloured houses perch on the dunes, the beaches of fine sand extend before your eyes and the tiny fishing ports cling to the coast. Don't miss the opportunity to savour lobster, fish and other ocean delicacies. Or even go mackerel or cod fishing yourself! MAGDALEN ISLAND is the second largest marine cemetery in North America, after Sable Island. More than 500 shipwrecks can be found on the ocean floor surrounding the archipelago as a testimony to the courage of the navigators. Come and meet the team at the Musée de la Mer where they'll be more than happy to teach you more about the journeys of these sea princes. Located on the southern tip of the archipelago, the island of HAVRE-AUBERT is the largest island, yet the least populated. It is here where the history of the islands began. The Annual Sandcastle Competition (mid-August), open to all vacationers, is held on Sandy Hook Beach. This is truly an exotic island with sea birds, cliffs, a lighthouse and a little Anglican church, all of which can be visited on foot. From atop Big Hill (174m) witness a spectacular panoramic view of Îles-de-la-Madeleine.
Seals are very common around the archipelago and can be observed year round. Near the end of February, hundreds of thousands of the mammals come to the ice floes off the islands to bear their young. The Seal Interpretive Centre (S.I.C.) brings you closer to the fascinating world of seals, in their environmental and cultural context. Voices and local legends will make you aware of part of the island's history, where seals have always held, and always will hold, an important cultural and economic existence.
Iles-de-la-Madeleine: Where people go to get away!