Discover the 9 Regions of the Eastern Townships of 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 is unique.

In this article, I will share all about the eastern Quebec area – Canada where to many this is unknown and undiscovered.
Now let’s take a closer look at each of the nine regions, including the best towns in Eastern Townships.

Where are the Quebec Eastern Townships?

horse, barn in eastern townships canada

The Eastern Townships, Quebec begin 80 km southeast of Montréal.

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.

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

Road Trip to Eastern Quebec Area

For those coming from Ontario, this would make an epic road trip.

I’ve done this road trip from Ottawa to Montreal to Eastern Townships four times in the last 2 years, and loved it! Before that, I have done the full road trip three times in the previous years.

Eastern Townships of 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. But there are many incredible Eastern Township towns too.

1. Brome-Missisquoi Region

vineyard in Brome-Missisquoi in eastern quebec area

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, especially their ice wines.

The town of Bedford’s Agricultural Fair celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2022 and is Quebec’s oldest agricultural fair.

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 see this in the Brome County Museum located in the village of Brome.

This region is also home to one of the three mountains, called Bromont, in this area – Bromont.

The must-see towns and villages are:

  • Bedford
  • Brome Lake (Les Coeurs Villageois)
  • Bromont
  • Cowansville
  • Dunham (Les Coeurs Villageois)
  • Frelighsburg (Les Coeurs Villageois)
  • Knowlton
  • Notre-Dame-de-Stanbridge
  • Sutton (Les Coeurs Villageois)

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 (Les Coeurs Villageois)

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 too.

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. It is also home to Orford and Owl’s Head mountains, two of three mountains in the Eastern Townships.

Foodies flock to this area for its many farmers’ markets and delicious fine cuisine restaurants.

Also be on the 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. I found the best one in Mansonville.

It’s also known for its numerous festivals all year round. The proximity to the American border means there is more of an American influence. 

The must-see towns and villages are:

  • Austin (Les Coeurs Villageois)
  • Ayer’s Cliff (Les Coeurs Villageois)
  • Eastman (Les Coeurs Villageois)
  • North Hatley (Les Coeurs Villageois)
  • Magog
  • Mansonville (Les Coeurs Villageois)
  • Orford
  • Potten
  • Saint-Benoît-du-Lac
  • Stanstead (Les Coeurs Villageois)

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 the 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 (Les Coeurs Villageois)
  • 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 (Les Coeurs Villageois)
  • 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. It’s home to Canada’s most powerful telescope. Visit at night, the eastern Quebec area is the world’s first Dark Sky Preserve, meaning there is little to no unnatural light to impede your views of the starry night sky.

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.

As a Holidaymaker

The nine regions that make up the Eastern Townships of Quebec 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. 

For more inspiration, I invite you to visit my Canada page. But, will leave you with one article that I think you’ll want to read first:

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