Easily the best way to take in the lake is on the relatively flat Véloroute des Bleuets (w veloroute-bleuets.qc.ca), a 256km bike route that encircles the whole lake. Much of it is in the form of a wide paved shoulder, but 60km of the route is completely car-free. The path passes close to most of the major attractions and through many of the villages around Lac Saint-Jean and there are beaches all along the lakeshore where you can cool off. The train from Montréal to Jonquière stops at Chambord on the south shore near Val-Jalbert and there’s a bus from Québec City to Alma. A number of B&Bs and other services cater to two-wheeled visitors, and even the locals lay out a warm welcome – some set up garden chairs to rest on near the bike path. Enquire at the information centre in Alma for a list of shuttle services that can transport your luggage around a portion of the lake; the fee for three to four days is typically $40.

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