pond with church steeple in Haut-Saint-François in the Eastern Townships, Quebec.

Explore the 9 Regions of the Eastern Townships in Quebec

Welcome to the Eastern Townships of Quebec! An area full of farmland with rolling hills, forests, lakes and mountains dotted with charming towns.

National Geographic names it as one of Canada’s 50 Places of a Lifetime and I couldn’t agree more.

Each of the nine regions that make up the Eastern Townships, or Cantons des l’Est in French are unique.

Plan your trip to the Quebec Eastern Townships around these 9 regions and explore the best things to do in each one. (Updated: November 2022)

Where are the Eastern Townships in Quebec

The Eastern Townships begin 80 km southeast of Montréal. This entire area borders Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine in the US. This New England influence can be seen in its covered bridges, bed and breakfasts in charming towns. But, brush up on your French, as less than 10% are anglophone.

The Eastern Townships are in the middle of Montreal and Quebec City. From Quebec City, drive 3 hours southwest and you will be in one of the most scenic areas of the province.

Eastern Townships Quebec

Now let’s take a closer look at each of the 9 regions that make up Quebec Eastern Townships. Some of the most beautiful places in Quebec are the 13 villages or Les Coeurs Villageois.

1. Brome-Missisquoi Region

vineyard in Brome-Missisquoi in the Eastern Townships in Quebec

The Brome Missisquoi region is not to be missed! A popular Eastern Townships scenic drive is on the Brome-Missisquoi Wine Route, known as Route des Vins. Wind your way along the country roads and stop in at one of the many orchards or wineries to sample some of the delicious offerings this region is known for. The Eastern Townships wineries are especially known for their ice wines.

The must-see towns and villages are:

  • Bromont
  • Cowansville
  • Dunham
  • Frelighsburg
  • Knowlton
  • Notre-Dame-de-Stanbridge

Location: 80km southeast of Montréal. It borders the Granby (north) and Memphremagog (east) regions. 

2. Granby Region

pink elephant in garden in Granby Eastern Township in Quebec

The family-friendly region of Granby offers something for everyone!  Take the vast network of cycling trails linking the towns of Granby and Waterloo. Outdoor activities are plentiful in this region. Visit Yamaska National Park for swimming, boating or hiking on their easy nature trails. Or visit Quebec’s largest Granby Zoo where there are over 1,800 animals. 

The must-see towns and villages are:

  • Granby
  • Roxton Pond
  • Waterloo

Location: 80km east of Montréal. It borders the Brome-Missisquoi (west) and Val-Saint-François (north) regions. 

3. Val-Saint-François Region

rural landscape with mountain in Val-Saint-François in the Eastern Townships, Quebec

The Val Saint François region is said to be one of the best-kept secrets in the Eastern Townships! Likely due to its relaxing, laid-back vibes. There is nothing but beautiful views of the surrounding mountains, lakes, and rural landscape. It’s a popular spot for cyclists and hikers.

The must-see villages are:

  • Saint-Denis-de-Bromont
  • Saint-François-Xavier-de-Brompton
  • Ulverton
  • Valcourt

Location: 83 km northeast of Montréal. It borders the Memphremagog (south), Sherbrooke (south) and Des Sources (north) regions. 

4. Memphremagog Region

lake with mountain in Memphremagog in the Eastern Townships, Quebec

The scenic Memphremagog region is known for its stunning landscape views! Lake Memphremagog is a large freshwater glacier lake that flows into Vermont. Foodies flock to this area for its many farmers markets and delicious fine cuisine restaurants. It’s also known for its numerous festivals all year round. The close proximity to the American border means there is more of an American influence. 

The must-see towns and villages are:

  • Austin
  • Ayer’s Cliff
  • Eastman
  • North Hatley
  • Magog
  • Mansonville
  • Orford
  • Saint-Benoît-du-Lac
  • Stanstead

Location: 110 km east of Montréal. It borders the Val-Saint-François (north), Sherbrooke (north) and Coaticook River Valley (east) regions. 

5. Sherbrooke Region

city view of Sherbrooke Quebec, the largest city in the Eastern Townships

The Sherbrooke region is made up of only one destination – the city of Sherbrooke. This lively urban centre is located in the heart of nature- right as Magog and St. Francis rivers meet. Sherbrooke is home to 130 festivals year-round. It offers visitors a great balance of nature and city life. 

Location: 155 km east of Montréal. It borders the Val-Saint-François (northeast), Memphremagog (southwest) and Haut-Saint-François (north) regions. 

6. Coaticook River Valley Region

rural landscape with barn in Coaticook River Valley in Eastern Townships, Quebec

The Coaticook region is known for its rural countryside full of rolling hills with a view of mountains on the horizon. It’s an agricultural hub, full of farms, farmland and farmers! Where festivals and gastronomical venues can be found for locals to gather and share their latest products. Everything from fruit orchards to cheese makers to microbreweries to beekeepers. Why not take the scenic route and stop at the pop-up farm stands along the way. 

The must-see towns and villages are:

  • Coaticook
  • Compton
  • Waterville

Location: 160 km southeast of Montréal. It borders the Memphremagog (west) and Haut-Saint-François (north) regions. 

7. Haut-Saint-François Region

pond with church steeple in Haut-Saint-François in the Eastern Townships, Quebec.

The Haut-Saint-François region is where you will discover the history of the Eastern Townships. With its small villages that still have traces of the first Scottish and Loyalist settlers. You’ll see this in their beautiful ancestral homes. Winding roads with numerous Christmas Tree farms make this a scenic drive through this region. 

The must-see towns and villages are: 

  • Bury
  • Cookshire-Eaton
  • Lingwick Township
  • Scotstown

Location: 180 km northeast of Montréal. It borders the Coaticook River Valley (south), Sherbrooke (east), Val-Saint-François (east) and Des Sources (north) regions. 

8. Des Sources Region

road with red barn in Des Sources in the Eastern Townships, Quebec

The region of Des Sources is where outdoor enthusiasts come to play. It’s home to the highest mountain in the Eastern Townships- Mont Ham. Cyclists, hikers, and skiers make this their destination spot. Cross-country skiing and ice fishing in the winter and mountain biking in the summer are also popular. The other attraction is the incredibly scenic roadway called ‘Summit Drive.’ A route between Mont Mégantic and Mont Ham where you’ll find 193 kilometres of marked trails. 

The must-see villages:

  • Danville
  • Ham-Sud
  • Saint-Camille
  • Wotton

Location: 180 km northeast of Montréal. It borders the Val-Saint-François (south) and Haut-Saint-François (south) regions. 

9. Megantic Region

trees and river in Megantic in the Eastern Townships, Quebec

The Megantic region is known for its incredible setting. Much like the Des Sources region, visitors are drawn to the area for its lakes, deep forests and mountain setting. From Mount Mégantic to Lake Mégantic, a loop route on Summit Drive takes you uphill with nothing but awe-inspiring views. Not to be missed is the ASTROLab and observatory found in Mont Mégantic provincial park.  

The must-see towns and villages are: 

  • Courcelles
  • Lac-Drolet
  • Lambton
  • Notre-Dame-des-Bois
  • Piopolis
  • Stratford

Location: 90 km south of Quebec City or 245 km northeast of Montréal. It borders the Haut-Saint-François (west) region.

Eastern Townships Fun Facts

What better way to get to know this area than with some fun, interesting and historical facts about the Quebec Eastern Townships.

  • There are 4 provincial parks located within the regions and 3 main mountains – Bromont, Orford and Owl’s Head
  • Look out for the few still-standing round barns from the 19th century. They are shaped this way to allow farmers to place their livestock in the centre, making feeding and cleaning tasks easier
  • The town of Bedford’s Agricultural Fair celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2022 and is Quebec’s oldest agricultural fair
  • The ASTROLab and observatory found in Mont Mégantic provincial park is home to Canada’s most powerful telescope. If you visit at night, the area is actually the world’s first Dark Sky Preserve, meaning there is little to no unnatural light to impede your views of the starry night sky
  • There are only 5 remaining Fokker D.VII planes, a German World War I biplane, in the world that are still in good condition. You can find see this in the Brome County Museum
  • Four transatlantic ships were named Megantic (one of the regions). The most well-known is still the SS Megantic owned by the White Star Line. It was first put into service in 1909, three years before the Titanic, also owned by the same company

Where to Stay in the Eastern Townships

To help with your accommodations, check out this curated list of the 15 best Eastern Townships cottage rentals.

Now that you know a bit more about the 9 regions in Eastern Townships, it’s time to choose the best home base to explore this area of Quebec.

My recommendation is the Memphremagog region. It’s a central spot to explore Brome-Missisquoi, Granby, Sherbrooke, Coaticook River Valley and Haut-Saint-François regions.

The Quebec Airbnb I stayed in, which is included in the Eastern Townships cottage rentals list was Bolton-Est. This amazing cantilevered house at the top of the mountain offers uninterrupted views and complete privacy.

READ MORE: Check out my review of this amazing place to stay in the Eastern Townships Quebec right here

As a holidaymaker…

The nine regions that make up the Eastern Townships are an outdoor paradise. Sitting at the foot of the Appalachian Mountains the entire area is about 400 km. That’s a lot of ground to over. My advice is to pick only a couple of the regions that appeal to you the most.  With so many top things to do in the Eastern Townships, this is a destination that really does require time to explore each one. 

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