Spring

The coast of Brador, Lourdes de Blanc-Sablon and Blanc-Sablon
Late spring, early summer, is the best time to see icebergs!  Floating all the way down the coast of Labrador, some of them go through the Belle Isles detroit, just off the coast of our villages.

The icebergs are fascinating by their size.  Also, it is possible to go out at sea to look at these huge icebergs by boat (carefully, and not too close).

Iceberg
Iceberg just off the coast of Blanc-Sablon

Summer

The Brador falls just outside the Brador village
Located northwest of the village, these falls are beautiful. A pathway on the left side of the water leads you to the top, where the view is even nicer. But watch out! The track is not railed. On the safer side, an observation point has been built on the right side. Many newly wed couples choose the Brador falls as the background for their wedding pictures.

The Hills of Brador
The mountainous terrains around Brador are perfect for hiking.

Pointe a la Barque (Barque is the French for vessel.)
You can follow an old dirt road south of Brador to an observatory that has been placed on this site. Through binoculars or the spotting scope, you can observe the Perroquet Island, which hosts many Atlantic puffins.

Perroquet Island
The Perroquet Island viewed from Pointe a la Barque

The best time to see them is in the early morning or mid-evening. If you're lucky, maybe you'll also spot a whale or two! This site is also ideal for BBQ by the sea, but make sure you leave the spot as clean as when you got there!

Perroquet Island (The term perroquet is the French for sea parrot, or Atlantic puffin.)
This very small island is located about 6 kilometers northwest of Lourdes de Blanc-Sablon. Thousand little plump birds, Atlantic puffins gather here in the Summer, making their nests in burrows in the ground. It is one of the biggest Atlantic puffins sanctuaries.

Sunset & Perroquet Island
Perroquet Island at sunset

Greenly Island (L'Île Verte)
It is a beautiful island, filled with history. You can go to this island, and explore it. There is a few old houses, fishing shed, lighthouse, etc. A monument for the Bremen (see history page) stands here.


Berries picking
People come from far to pick up berries in Blanc-Sablon, but also the local residents. Over the years, they have learned all about the tasty berries that can be found in the area: blueberries, redberries, bakeapple (in French, chicoutai), blackberries, little wild strawberries, raspberries, etc.
You might know about all of these berries, except for one, which is more typical of Blanc-Sablon. It is a low plant that grows in boggy terrain and produces a nice orange berry. Ready to be picked late in the Summer, locals eat them raw, or in form of jams, pies, etc. People who first try bakeapples usually think it doesn't taste that good because it's not that sweet and has a strange texture, but when well prepared, the little berries are a treat to eat! The SAQ (controls and distrubutes alchool in Quebec) also made liquors with the berries, in limited quantities.

Bakeapples in the toundra
Bakeapples in the toundra

The Anse-aux-dunes (Beach and dunes) in Lourdes de Blanc-Sablon
This area features beautiful sanded dunes and a beach. It is the place to go on nice Summer days to enjoy the sun, walk on warm sand bare-footed, etc. But if you intend to also go for a swim, be very courageous, the water is very cold (1°C to 7°C). The beach is also the place to be for the St-Jean Baptiste celebrations on June 23-24. Many activities are organized. At night, a huge bonfire is lighted for the enjoyment of the whole population. People drink, sing and dance to French songs.

Beach
Beach in Lourdes de Blanc-Sablon

June 23 bonfire
Bonfire on the beach

June 24 bonfire
Lighted bonfire

Capelin roll
If you stroll along the beach of Blanc-Sablon or Lourdes de Blanc-Sablon in June, you may witness an amazing sight, the capellin roll. Thousand of small iridiscent green and silver fish swim towards the land and spawn in the sand. They are delicious to eat fresh, dried, salted or smoked. People also use it in compost to use as garden fertilizer.


Capelan drying

Fishing
Many salmon rivers are found in the area. You can also enjoy trout fishing. Make sure you get the right permits beforehand though!


The "Rivière-aux-Saumons" just passed Brador, before the falls

Camping
Wilderness campers are welcome to set up tents outside communities. However, you must first contact the appropriate municipal office to check on provincial regulations, particularly those regarding campfires. Wilderness camping is not allowed within 400 metres of a salmon river on the Lower North Shore. You must obtain a permit from the Quebec Ministry of the Environment to camp 400 to 900 metres from a salmon river. The Ministry has an office in Lourdes-de-Blanc-Sablon.

Walking in nature
There are a few trails that have been put in place for people to enjoy the landscape while walking. There are toilets, you may also set your tent in the area and animals are also allowed. For more information, call the municipality's office at (418) 461-2707.

Autumn

The 'Coin du Cadeau'
This event which is organized by the Olivier Beaudoin foundation takes place once a year. People from the Coast sell their art and craft in different stands. It's the perfect occasion to buy a special gift for someone special since Christmas comes soon after.

Winter

The Sport Center in Lourdes de Blanc-Sablon
Located by the municipal office, on the Dr Camille Marcoux boulevard, the arena helds many ice hockey tournaments that go on from the start of the winter to the early spring.  Successively, tournaments for kids, juniors, adults and old timers take place.  These events usually attract a lot of visitors from the whole Lower North Shore to take part in the games or only to cheer on the different teams.  These games are usually followed by nights with DJs or bands where you can chill with a beer or dance, and enjoy the party!

Christmas festivities
There are different festivities organized in the three villages for Christmas: Dinners, a parade, etc. Also, the tradition is to go to the Christmas eve mass at the Lourdes de Blanc-Sablon church. The church is filled and although additional chairs are placed, there is always people standing. Then after the mass, at midnight, people go back home to celebrate Christmas with friends and family.

Snow-mobile
This winter sport is very popular in Blanc-Sablon. Almost everyone owns a snow-mobile. Especially on nice sunny weekends people enjoy riding around and going 'inside' (inside the country). Many own rustic cabins where they spend a few nights while enjoying many activities during the day: ice fishing, exploring the area, etc. One of the big difference when you go 'inside' is the presence of trees! In the villages, only little bushes can be found, but the more you go 'inside', the more trees you'll find: mainly pinetrees, but also birches.


Enjoying the Winter season!

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© 2005 Christelle Fortin-Vaillancourt
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