A quiet group of islands tucked away in the Saint Lawrence Seaway, these islands are actually a part of the Canadian province of Quebec even though they are closer to the Maritime provinces. The English name for this discreet archipelago is the Magdalen Islands, and it is home to a single airport. Îles-de-la-Madeleine Airport (YGR). YGR is located in House Harbor, a small airport that is home to only two airlines that connect to other Canadian destinations. Travellers headed to the US, or other international destinations must connect to a larger airport on the mainland. Its proximity to the border has made it an official airport of entry according to Nav Canada, and thus it’s staffed by the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA).
Airlines that fly to Iles de la Madeleine Airport
This short list is dominated by two Canadian carriers, but was previously home to Eastern Provincial Airways, Intair and Quebecair before those airlines shut down.
- Air Canada Express, low-cost subsidiary of the national airline, flies to Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine to Montreal, Gaspe, and Quebec City.
- Pascan Aviation a small regional airline that operates regular commercial flights as well as charter services to Quebec’s more remote locations, flies to YGR from the provincial cities of Bonaventure, Mont-Joli, Montréal, and Quebec City.
You can reach YGR from virtually any Canadian city, as long as you connect in one of the nearby cities mentioned above. You can also take advantage of the ferry service that is offered from nearby Prince Edward Island (PEI) and mainland Quebec.
What to see and do in Iles de la Madeleine
Tourism is a major contributor to the local economy, with the salt production industry running a close second. For such a small place, there is a lot to see and do here, especially in the milder, greener spring and summer months. There are plenty of winter activities as well if cool weather is more to your liking.
- Outdoor Activities. A great place for ecotourism, as the region is small enough to explore on a bike, as a hiker, or on horseback. Adventure tourism is also popular, featuring activities like spelunking and scuba diving.
- Cuisine. That seafood is a specialty here is obvious, but there are other products from the island that you might not expect. Honey production is a big industry here, and the practice of smoking meat and fish has been elevated to a fine art.
- Beaches. The coastline here is lined with pristine, white sand beaches and dramatic sandstone cliffs. If you brave the February temperatures, you can see the young harp seal pups and their mothers on the nearby pack ice.
- Birdwatching. Just one category of the wildlife viewing opportunities available locally, as these islands are home to several different natural ecosystems in which you can find a wide variety of birds. So far more than 300 avian species have been officially recognized, and this number includes migrating animals, permanent resident, and a myriad of sea birds.
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Airports near Iles De La Madeleine
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