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. (Updated: November 2022)

Each of the nine regions that make up the Eastern Townships, or Cantons des l’Est is unique. Plan your trip to the Eastern Townships around these 9 regions and explore the best things to do in each one.

Your guide to exploring the 9 regions of the Eastern Townships in Quebec. The hidden gem of Quebec with so much to see and do for everyone!

Where are the Eastern Townships in Quebec

The Eastern Townships begin 80km southeast of Montréal. This entire area borders Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine in the US. As such, it shares a lot of similarities to those of the New England states. You will find covered bridges, scenic landscapes and charming towns full of tiny inns and B&Bs. 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.

RELATED READING: Check out my guide to Best Neighbourhoods in Montreal

Eastern Townships Fun Facts

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

Eastern Townships Quebec

Now let’s take a closer look at each of the 9 regions that make up Quebec Eastern Townships.

RELATED READING: Check out my guide to Finding the Most Charming Villages in the Eastern Townships, Québec

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. 

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. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Where to Stay in the Eastern Townships

You might be asking yourself what region makes a good home base to explore some of these regions. 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.

Where I stayed? In this amazing cantilevered house in the mountains called Bolton-Est. It’s an Airbnb that sits up high on the side of a mountain with uninterrupted views.

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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  1. This is the first time I have heard about the eastern townships of Quebec. They do look lovely. I would especially like to visit the Coaticook river valley region with its rolling hills. Fruit orchards, cheese makers and microbreweries I would love to visit them all and do some tastings!

  2. I have never been to Canada but it is on my wishlist. These regions all look fabulous but I think if I narrowed it down I would visit the Brome-Missisquoi Wine Route and the Meganic region and the Coaticook Valley. but everywhere looks wonderful so the choice would be a hard one!

  3. You had me at charming towns. I need to spend more time in Quebec as it looks so pretty. The Memphremagog area especially, what a lovely looking lake. Being a lover of all things food related this sounds even more appealing

  4. Those locations look so beautiful! I definitely have to add them to my list of places I want to explore in Canada as the views and scenery are stunning.

  5. Every single location is so beautiful and looks so peaceful. I would love to visit the Val-Saint-François region. I’m all about the laid-back vibes!

  6. Nice to know a lot about Quebec and the regions. It would be so interesting to be visiting some of the villages and towns in each of them to get a feel of life there. Canada is in our bucket list but not sure when it can happen. Till then good to learn.

  7. Ashamedly, I’m not that familiar with Canada at all. I would love to head to Quebec and other areas to get to know my northern neighbor better. The Val-Saint-François region looks so lovely, and each region seems so different. What a variety Quebec has!

  8. Thanks for introducing me to more areas of Quebec! That big pink elephant at the zoo looks like a lot of fun, Lake Memphremagog is beautiful and Sherbrooke looks like a very cool area to explore. Lots to add to the Quebec bucket list!

  9. I’ve only ever been to Quebec City and travelled there by train from Montreal – there is clearly a lot to see that I missed. I never knew vineyards were so far north in Canada!, surprising. The area looks so green and verdant and has an almost alpine look to it. The ASTROLab and observatory would be something I would love to see, especially as you say it has a unique no light pollutoin position.
    This is a great article for an introduction to this area of Canada.

  10. We would love to visit Quebec and explore the Provincial Parks in the area. Visiting Canada is high on our bucket list. So much to do and explore. Thank you for sharing this article about the 9 regions of the eastern township in Quebec!

  11. I was in this part of the world a few years ago. Didn’t know about all these townships. Looks amazing, guess I will have to return.

  12. Gosh, there is so much to explore in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. I’d have to take your advice in just picking a few and seeing them thoroughly. My picks would be Memphremagog for it’s food and the glacier lake, plus Megantic for the natural beauty (although it all looks beautiful).

  13. Those regions look amazing. The countryside and the Sherbrooke region looks very pretty. I have had Quebec on my list for long as that is one of the places I missed when I visited Canada. But I did not know that the eastern towns were this beautiful. I am definitely planning my next travel around these.

  14. Very informative post. I didn’t know about the Eastern Townships in Québec, although I visited Québec City two years ago. It’s definitely a very beautiful part of Canada, especially the Megantic region which has such an incredible setting.

  15. I love the pleasant climate and the abundance of natural sceneries in the photos you’ve shared! Out of the 9, I’d pick The Haut-Saint-François region to explore. I’d immerse myself in the ancient structures and the farms.

  16. What a beautiful region! I’ve visited Quebec but definitely missed out on visiting these beautiful places in the Eastern Townships! I love the pink elephant in Granby! How fun! Coaticook River Valley Region also looks stunning! Thanks for a great excuse to visit Quebec again! I can’t wait to go back!

  17. What a beautiful part of Canada! I love the look of these Eastern Townships. These all look stunning, especially the Coaticook River Valley Region. I would love to cycle around here!

    1. Wow, there are so many townships to explore. While I love the nature in all of these places, Sherebrook has the urban city balance that I’d be looking for and would be where I’d base myself. Glad it’s right in the heart of the beautiful surroundings though.

  18. What a great guide to Quebec! Each region looks beautiful and I how green it is there. We haven’t really explored Canada yet but when we get there, looks like we need to stay a LONG time.. ha ha. It’s great that you listed the villages and towns to see, sometimes it is hard to choose where to go with an area that you don’t know.

  19. All of the 9 regions of Eastern Township look so picturesque. Each of them surely has its own characteristic and attractions. I especially love the Coaticook region with its beautiful hills, farms and view of mountains. I’d love to sample wine at Brome-Missisquoi region too.

  20. Looks like we American’s might finally get to visit beautiful Canada again…I’m hoping to get back to Quebec and other places as well. Saving this great post for when I do. Thanks for all the suggestions.

  21. We lived in British Columbia for a while and explored Canada quite a lot, but never quite made it over to Quebec. Quite an omission! I love your description of the Eastern Townships. With all the hiking, biking, beautiful landscapes and wineries it is definitely my kind of area! Until we lived there, I had no idea that Canada produced so much wine. Hoping to return to Canada soon and will definitely need to make it over to this area.

    1. There is so much diverse landscapes in Canada that it feels you’re visiting multiple countries all within one! BC is such a beautiful province, and matches this area of Quebec for its adventurous nature lovers.

    2. I’ve just started reading Louise Penny’s Still Life, which is set in this magnificent area, yes?
      My sister and I are in our 70’s. I am wondering about an extended time visiting this fabulous area that seems to conjoin and to demarcate the two great northern nations of North America. I would welcome any ideas on where to focus our efforts. Thank you very much.

  22. Wow! Such a picturesque place. Every region is so green and naturally bountiful. Makes me want to fly there soon.

  23. It has been ages since we went to the Eastern Townships in Quebec. I had no idea there were 9 different regions to explore. I love that each region has a little something different to enjoy. And that there are so many outdoor spots to enjoy. Good advice to pick a few regions to start.

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