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Outdoor Activities in Montreal: Adventure City Guide

Find out how you can go surfing, cycling and jet boating within minutes of downtown Montreal with our Outdoor Activities in Montreal Adventure City Guide.

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Outdoor activities in Montreal - Surfing

Are you looking for an insider’s adventure travel guide for the best outdoor activities in Montreal?

As part of our Adventure City Guide series, Carri from Carri Uranga.com, shares with you her expert insider tips on the top adventure and outdoor activities to do in Montreal.

Outdoor activities in Montreal - Surfing

Outdoor activities in Montreal – Surfing – Photo by ksf.ca

Why visit Montreal for adventure?

Montreal is a vibrant city with a rich culture full of stunning architecture, hip trendy neighbourhoods and delicious food. But there’s also many outdoor activities in Montreal itself. Even a sporty, adrenaline junkie thrill seeker will find plenty to keep oneself occupied before a night out on the town.

Outdoor Activities in Montreal

Running, cycling, or walking on Mont Royal

The lush green hill in the heart of the city is like Central Park to New Yorkers. Even on the coldest of days in deep Winter, you will find locals out on the “mountain.”

While 233 meters (764 feet) may not seem like a huge elevation, once you’re running or biking up it you’ll think again. Not to be missed is the  Chemin Olmsted Path – a 5.5 mile loop that meanders through trees and rewards enthusiasts with a killer view overlooking the city. The loop starts and ends on Avenue du Parc at the George-Etienne Cartier Monument at the base of the hill which is also the site of the famous Tam-Tams – a giant drum circle held each Sunday May through September beginning at 1pm and going until sunset, a Montreal tradition since 1978.

Outdoor activities in Montreal - Mont Royal

Outdoor activities in Montreal – Mont Royal

What’s it cost?

Best of all there is no entrance fee as the mountain is a public park. Check out http://www.runmap.net for more information.

Biking or kayaking on the Lachine Canal

A 14.5 kilometer waterway turned urban park that runs from the Old Port in Downtown Montreal to Lake Saint-Louis.

Outdoor activities in Montreal - Lachine Canal

Outdoor activities in Montreal – Lachine Canal

While walking, running and rollerblading are welcome on the path that runs the length of the canal on both sides, it’s most utilized by cyclists. There are multiple bridges throughout the canal so riders can create their own length of ride. The use of the path is free, but if you need a bike there are plenty places to rent. Ca Roule Montreal on Wheels is Montreal’s largest bike rental center and can be found in the Old Port at Rue de la Commune at St. Laurent right on the St. Lawrence river.

Kayaks, canoes and pedal boats can be rented at H20 Adventures close to the Atwater Market on the other side of the canal – 2985 St. Patrick crossstreet is Charlevoix. From downtown take the Metro for $3 to Station Lionel-Grouix.

Urban Biking

In addition to biking the Mountain or the Canal, biking around the city is the best way to get from place to place using Bixi.

Bixi is a brilliant bike concept developed in Montreal in 2008 that has since spread to other cities in Canada and the world. It’s a public bike sharing system where a user can pick up a bike (city-wide fleet of 5000) at one of 411 stations in Montreal, ride it to another station in the city and park it securely in the rack. Users pay per day or even the year.

Outdoor activities in Montreal - Cycling with Bixi

Outdoor activities in Montreal – Cycling with Bixi

Surfing, Stand Up Paddleboarding or Kayaking on the St. Lawrence River

Probably the biggest surprise to most adventure enthusiasts to Montreal is that you can actually surf in Montreal on the St. Lawrence River just minutes from downtown!

The Lachine Rapids are a series of rapids between the Island of Montreal (like NY, the city of Montreal is an island) and the south shore. The rapids contain permanent waves due to the volume of water, the current and natural features of the riverbed. Starting at $70, KSF Adventures will take you on the most unique experience in Montreal.

The water is cold so be prepared to wear a wetsuit.

River Surfing in Montreal Canada

Jet Boating or Rafting the St. Lawrence River

You can also jet boat or white water raft on the St Lawrence River on these same rapids.

Best time of the year to visit Montreal for adventure?

Montreal is best enjoyed May through October unless of course you’re looking for powder. In that case come December – March and head 90 minutes north to Mont Tremblant, one of the best ski areas in North America.

Endless winter adventures such as skiing, snowboarding, dog sledding, ice climbing, snow mobiling and even winter all-terrain dune buggy tours can be had at this top rated resort where Europe and North America culminate to give you hours of exhilirating activities.

Finally, the reason I love Montreal for adventure is because…

You don’t need a car to enjoy what the city has to offer. The adventures are at your fingertips not far from downtown.

In addition to the architecture, the history and the fashionable boutiques, one can spend the day sweating it out on a bike, running up hills or satisfying the inner adrenaline junkie before rewarding yourself with fabulous Quebecois cuisine, stylish bars and late night clubs.

Bio:

In 2006 Carri and Chris sold their house in Vermont, most of their possessions, gave away a car and traveled in Central & South America for 1 year, hiking, biking, surfing, eating and drinking their way through this amazing and beautiful land. It was during this journey Carri decided to get certified to teach Yoga.

Her passion for Yoga and travel has led her around the world teaching in Peru, Italy, South Africa and working as a volunteer at Ibiza Yoga. She now leads her own Yoga Teacher Training courses with Drishti Yoga International in Mexico, India, Peru and Italy. Find out where Carri will be next on her blog, CarriUranga.com, Drishti Yoga site, and on Twitter.

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. jill

    April 4, 2013 at 5:04 PM

    Sweet! We’ll be making a quick visit to Montreal after Tbex. Really looking forward to seeing what the city has to offer in terms of outdoor activities.

  2. Kurt

    April 5, 2013 at 12:11 AM

    Montreal. Always a great time. Even though I have been there over a dozen times I absolutely didn’t know about all these activities.

  3. Feathered Pipe

    April 5, 2013 at 10:56 AM

    Wow.. MONTREAL…….!!!!! one of my favorite places. Have surfed a lot on the seas…

  4. Charlie

    April 7, 2013 at 8:19 PM

    And after all this energy, enjoy a cold beer on a sunny terrace… also a great Montreal “activity” 😉

  5. Casey @ A Cruising Couple

    April 22, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    I never knew Montreal was a surfing location! haha don’t know if I could handle that cold-maybe I should stick to the urban biking 🙂

  6. Carri

    April 30, 2013 at 7:45 PM

    Yes Cold beer on a patio is always a must!
    Jill – Hope you were able to take in some urban adventures!
    So glad I could share these…thanks to Cole for providing this forum!

  7. Joseff

    June 14, 2014 at 3:04 AM

    Hey, this is interesting and this must be a great adventure to try. I love having outdoor activities and share this time with my kids who happen to be very outgoing and they love adventure as well. I can say that Montreal is indeed a perfect place for outdoor adventure and I wish to be there soon with my kids and let them explore it. Thanks for sharing!

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Adventure Travel

Most Underrated Travel Destinations

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Everyone knows about Paris and Rome and London but there are so many other beautiful travel destinations that are amazingly underrated and they are cities on our list to visit again once the Coronavirus allows. The fact that so many beautiful countries go unexplored by travelers is a tragedy and we want to change that after Coronavirus. Not only because so many people are missing out on rich cultures and picturesque views, but also because a lot of these destinations tend to be a lot cheaper to travel to than popular cities. 

But what a lot of people don’t know is that there are gorgeous, underrated foreign cities one can visit for a fraction of the price of touristy European cities. Forbes recently published a collection of the ten most underrated destinations you should consider visiting. 

Here are a few of them to learn about while stuck at home due to Coronavirus:

Yerevan, Armenia

Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, is known for its magnificent sights of Mount Ararat, historical monasteries, and its many striking temple ruins. Armenian cuisine is other worldly with classic dishes like rabbit stew, sautéed eggplant rolls, and lamb tartare. 

Telč, Czechia

Telč is a colorful town with Italian influences in Czechia. It boasts of Baroque-Renaissance architecture and has a castle of its own with exciting tunnels and passageways that you can explore underneath the town.

Santiago, Chile

Santiago is the capital of Chile and features gorgeous architecture from the neoclassical era. There are towering cathedrals and, of course, plenty of quality Chilean wine. Plus, the city of Santiago is a great place to kick off your exploration of Chile’s wine country. 

Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Rotterdam is often ignored due to the popular neighboring city of Amsterdam, but it is a bastion of underground music and street art. The architecture is strikingly modern since the city was heavily bombed during World War II and thus had to be rebuilt from the ground up. The city is filled to the brim with amazing cuisine and museums.

Lagos, Nigeria

If you are looking for a big city destination, Lagos is a metropolis that has plenty to see and do so that you’ll never be bored. And whenever you need a break from the urban marketplaces, private beaches are just a short drive away.

Con Dao, Vietnam

Con Dao is a Southeast Asian island that makes an excellent beach destination with two resorts and tons of fascinating history. Once host to a brutal French prison, the island is also home to the tomb of the Vietnamese martyr Vo Thi Sau. 

Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay

This is one of the oldest cities in Uruguay dating back to the 17th century. The city has a vibrantly decorated historic quarter and a three-century-old convent. It’s also only a short trip away from the bigger city of Montevideo.

A majority of Americans, when asked about traveling abroad, will likely shake their head and say they can’t afford such trips. Many people deal with multiple monthly bills, such as mortgage or rent, student loans, and title loans, which are all stress inducing. 

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Adventure Travel

3 Tips For A Luxury Camping Experience

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If you are used to travelling in style and staying in high end hotels, camping is probably your idea of hell. Why would you spend a week sitting in a freezing cold tent, hiding from the rain when you could be relaxing around the pool in a nice hotel? But camping gives you a completely different travel experience and if you do it right, it can be very rewarding. If you invest in the right equipment, you can enjoy all of the good things about camping without any of the downsides. If you follow these simple tips, you will have a comfortable experience and fall in love with camping.

Image From Pixabay CCO License

Buy The Right Tent

The tent is the most important thing if you want a comfortable camping experience. All of those horror stories you hear about leaking tents only happen because people buy cheap tents. If you invest in a good quality tent, it should hold up to the weather and keep you dry and warm.

When you are buying a tent, you need to check the hydrostatic head rating. This gives you an indication of how much rain the tent can stand up to before leaking. The higher the rating, the less likely your tent is to leak. It is also important to consider the size of the tent and how easy it is to put up, especially if you are planning a road trip. You need to make sure that it fits into the car easily, and you also want to avoid anything that is too complicated to put up. However, be careful with pop-up tents because most of them will not stand up to the rain.

If you want the ultimate comfortable camping experience, you should consider a camper trailer instead. There are some great camper trailers that come with all of the same facilities that you would find in a basic hotel, so you can camp in comfort. If you really hate the idea of camping, this is the best option.

Get A Good Quality Sleeping Bag

If you are worried about being freezing cold at night while you are camping, you need to get a good quality sleeping bag. A cheap one will not be comfortable and it won’t keep you warm, so you need to make sure that you buy a good thermal one. Sleeping directly on the floor will be uncomfortable as well, so you should invest in a sleeping mat as well. If you are willing to spend a little more on good sleeping equipment, you will be nice and comfortable while camping.

Pack Good Food

The food is another big issue for people when they go camping, but there is no need to live on beans all week. You can get some great dehydrated camping food packs so, as long as you take a small camping stove, you can still eat proper meals. If you pack a coolbox and freeze some food before you go, it should last a while so you can have barbecues as well. As long as you plan ahead, there’s no reason why you can’t eat well while you are camping.

Camping doesn’t have to be the nightmare experience that you think it does. If you follow these simple tips, you can have a luxury camping experience and enjoy all of the benefits of the great outdoors.

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Adventure Travel

Tips for Planning Your Uluru Tour

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Located in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, the magnificent sandstone of Ayers Rock or Uluru stands tall at 1,142 feet above ground. The natural formation is widely known for being one of the most sacred places to the indigineous peoples in Australia. At the same time, it is also popular for attracting tourists from all over the world to the land down under.

If you want to visit Uluru in order to pay tribute to this wonder of nature, then doing so through the right tour is in your best interest. It’s not only because Uluru is located at least a few hours from civilization, but it also because such a tour allows you to enjoy the picturesque sights that come along the way within the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

So what sights are there to see along the way and what other general tours suggestions you should keep in mind while visiting Uluru? To help you answer these and some other important questions, here are 5 top tips to keep in mind while visiting Uluru.

Don’t Climb the Monolith

First things first, while it is legal to climb atop Uluru, it is recommended that you do not attempt such an action in order to show your respect to the indigenous peoples.

It is a pretty easy rule to follow when you pay attention to the emotions of the indigenous tribes who have recommended time and again for people to not climb Uluru.

But that doesn’t mean that you cannot enjoy the natural beauty that Uluru has to offer. In fact, you are encouraged to visit the sandstone and take in its natural glory by standing right beside the formation. That’s why 4WD tour is highly recommended. The tour guides would be able to tell you what you can and can not do.

Visit During Sunset

Ask anyone who has visited Uluru about the best time to see the formation, and you will instantly get the answer as “sunset.”

It’s because Uluru is not an ordinary monolith, but one that is formed through arkosic sandstone. This allows the rock to actually change its color according to the position of the sun. As a result, you can expect the formation to sport a different color depending upon what time of day you reach it.

At sunset, Uluru projects an amber glow that is surreal to take in, especially when you are seeing the formation in person for the very first time. That’s why, it is recommended that you time your trip in a way that allows you to experience this magnificent sight.

3. Take Your Time to Plan the Trip

Perhaps the best way to visit Uluru is through the nearby town of Alice Springs, which has various amenities and accommodation options for tourists who are making their way to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

The drive from Alice Springs to Uluru can take around 5 hours, which is why it is recommended that you arrive at least a day before you are planning to tour Uluru.

This way, you can reach the national park while feeling fresh and rested. This also gives you time to plan longer trips to the park in order to enjoy all that it has to offer.

4. Take in the Sight of the Rock Art

Uluru is not just a wonder to look at by itself, but it also holds several little pieces of wonderful art within it.

The caves at the bottom of the formation hold several pieces of rock art that can only be found at Uluru. If you love learning about other cultures through their art, then this will be a must visit.

Just make sure that you take the time to learn about this art through a local tour guide or via the information provided within these exhibits. This ensures that you have an immersive and informative experience which you can remember for a long time.

5. Don’t Forget the Natural Attractions Around the Rock

Enjoying the breathtaking sight of Uluru sounds rewarding enough for a trip to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. But it’s not all that you can do during a tour of Uluru.

From seeing the red kangaroos and other marsupials to spending some time with the camels, and from seeing the one of a kind formations of Kata Tjuta to taking a walk by the Valley of the Winds, there’s so much to see and do around Uluru.

That is why, it is recommended that you take your time at the park and put aside at least two days to enjoy all of the unique activities that the area has to offer. It would give you a well-deserved break from the hustle and bustle of daily life while also allowing you to make the most out of your long journey to the sandstone.

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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