If you have been checking out my other posts (here and here), you have probably already concluded that the Magdalen Islands are quite the photogenic destination. But there is a difference between “aww look how nice this place is” and “wow, are we still in Canada?”. The latter is the feeling I had when I parked in a small clearing just off Route 199 towards Pointe-aux-Loups. The area known as the North Dune (or Dune du Nord) makes up a skinny land mass just wide enough for a road that connects Cap-aux-Meules to Pointe-aux-Loups. The sand dunes found here and throughout the island protect the land from erosion and efforts are made to preserve them. Therefore a quick word of advice: don’t wander off the designated paths.
As it turns out, next to the parking there is an uphill trail that leads you right through the dunes. About 5 minutes up and over the hill, I had to stop because I was completely taken aback. I was surrounded by endless views of beautiful fine sand dunes that could rival any desert location. In an instant you felt a world away and it was so calm and serene. I actually had to sit down for a bit to appreciate just how amazing it was and recognize the unique landscape that differs from the rest of the island (or the remainder of Canada for that matter).
If you continue on the path you end up on a beautiful wild beach with turquoise water. Yup, you read right. I didn’t think it was possible north of the Caribbean, but you will find it here and it is perfectly clear. Given that it isn’t the most accessible location, I found myself without any other visitors and was oh so tempted to camp there. Of course I didn’t, but had this not been my last day on the islands, I would have definitely been back again to walk along the beach, which apparently runs 16.5km in length.
Make sure add this little hideout on your list of places you must check out!