Some of the province’s most dramatic skiing is at Le Massif (day-pass $75; lemassif.com) perched over the St Lawrence River 20km to the west of Baie-Saint-Paul, one of Charlevoix’s earliest settlements, tucked into the Gouffré Valley at the foot of the highest range of the Laurentian Mountains.
At 15 rue Amroise-Fafard, Randonnées Nature-Charlevoix (418 435 6275, randonneesnature.com) runs excellent hiking tours in the Parc national des Grands-Jardins and tours around the Charlevoix Crater – to the east of town and one of the planet’s largest – by bus (year-round; reservations required; 2hr 30min; $195). To really get a sense of the crater’s immense scale and beauty see it from above on a helicopter tour from Héli Charlevoix (June–Oct daily 9.30–7.30pm; Nov–May by appointment; two-person minimum; $114; 418 435 4071, heli-charlevoix.com), which has an office in town at 1608 Hwy-138.
At the marina, Katabatik, at 210 rue Ste-Anne (t 418 435 2066, w katabatik.ca), is one of the top outfitters in the region, capable of guiding or providing equipment for just about any outdoor activity you might have in mind. Rent bicycles, kayaks, canoes and paragliders or choose courses in kayaking and paragliding; it also runs guided kayak trips along the coast and toward l’Isle aux Coudres (from $59/half-day).