Take your pick: adrenaline packed or slow and contemplative?
On a beautiful sunny day, I set off for Frelighsburg to meet Alexis Richer, a bike guide who is going to take me on a tour on the bucolic Route des Vins. Before taking off, we fuel up in the most delicious possible way at Beat & Betterave. (I order trout gravlax, which is almost as delightful as the restaurant’s laid-back vibe.) With full bellies, we set off onto the quiet country roads, which makes for an especially enjoyable day of pedalling. The route is accessible to all and very pleasant, my guide knows the area and its must-see attractions in great detail, the sun is shining… it’s heaven.
While pedalling the Route des Vins, we cruise by superb vineyards, notably Pigeon Hill, and stop for a tasting at Domaine Val-Caudalies. Incidentally, it serves as the starting point for l’Échappée Belle, an annual cycling event I took part in a few years back. Everything I sample tastes unique, delicious and special. We are even treated to a truly unique cocktail: A thirst-quenching vermouth/Gatorade concoction that—full disclosure!—I really liked. Try it if you’re curious! After admiring the view from the vineyard’s stunning vantage point, there’s nothing left to do but roll down the hill to finish the loop right where we started.
My tired body rejoices at the thought of the last stop of the day: Spa Balnéa. This stunning spa has everything you need to recuperate after a long ride, from a rejuvenating thermal experience to the invigorating cuisine of Lumami restaurant.
Clearly, the Eastern Townships is a dream destination for cycling enthusiasts!
For a detailed look at my route, click here.
For more Route des Vins itineraries, click here.
Special thanks to Alexi Richer from RAVITO Bed & Bike.
Photo: Ian Roberge