Unsurprisingly, the opportunities to get on, and in, the water around the islands – from wreck diving to horseriding on a beach – are plentiful and every bit worth setting aside time for, if not making them the focus of your trip.

Île du Cap-aux-Meules

Boat and fishing trips
Outings depart from near the ferry terminal in Étang-du-Nord during summer. Excursions en mer (t 418 986 4745, w excursionsenmer.com) and Le Pluvier Aventurier (t 418 986 5681, w www3.telebecinternet.com/lepluvier) offer similar services, which include marine wildlife-watching trips and explorations of coves and uninhabited islands (from $30).
Windsurfing, kitesurfing and kayaking
The island boasts Canada’s first kitesurfing school, Aerosport Carrefour d’Aventures (t 418 986 6677, w aerosport.ca), at 1390 chemin de La Verniére in Étang-du-Nord. If you’re looking to windsurf or kitesurf stop here first; it’s an indispensable source of advice and rentals. It also offers excellent guided kayak tours to some of the islands’ geographical highlights, including the red sandstone caves of Gros-Cap (3hr; $44).
Winds have also played their part in causing so many ships to founder around the coast, leaving behind some superb wreck-diving. For information contact Le Repère du Plongeur (t 418 986 6548, w repereduplongeur.com), 18 Allée Léo Leblanc, Étang-du-Nord.
In Cap-aux-Meules, La Crinière au Vent (Mon–Sat 9am–5pm; t 418 986 6777), 115 chemin John-Aucoin, leads scenic horseback rides along the beach (3hr 30min; $152). They also offer pony rides and day-camps.

Île du Havre-aux-Maisons

Boat trips
Down at the wharf, Les Trésors de la Lagune (June–Sept; 1hr 30min; $30–40; t 418 937 8906, t 1 855 986 1724, w tresorsdelalagune.com) departs daily at 7.30pm for a highly entertaining and educational tour of the lagoon on a glass-bottom boat. It also has four excursions daily that take in the island’s marine life and demonstrate lobster fishing.

Île du Havre-Aubert

The Centre nautique de l’Istorlet (t 418 937 5266, w istorlet.com), at 100 chemin de l’Istorlet, offers guided snorkelling (4hr; $95) trips to see the seals that live around the islands’ coastline as well as sea-kayak outings (3hr; $50), windsurfing lessons (2hr; $90) and kayak rentals (from $15/hr).

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Canada features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Road trip Canada: 5 of the best routes

Road trip Canada: 5 of the best routes

Rugged and vast, Canada has much to explore and enjoy. Driving gives you freedom to travel at your own pace, allowing you to pull over and appreciate scenery al…

05 Dec 2016 • Stuart Forster insert_drive_file Article
15 awesome images of Canada

15 awesome images of Canada

Canada is has vast and varied landscape, from beautiful beaches to glassy mountain lakes. It's difficult to capture the country's real beauty in a photograph, b…

09 Sep 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
8 reasons Vancouver is cooler than you think

8 reasons Vancouver is cooler than you think

Vancouver sometimes gets knocked for being a bit dull – and while it’s true that its residents can be earlier to bed than in the rest of North America, thi…

05 Sep 2016 • Rachel Mills insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month