A winter paradise come powdery snows, the hilly, lake-dotted region west of Montreal is also a happening place when warm sun peels back icicle draped cloaks to reveal the emerald green of forest and field. Whether you're after a quick get-away from city living, or hoping to enjoy a longer stretch of peaceful days without the 9-5 crush, the Laurentians will woo you with scenery, spas and splendid dining.
In summer, the hills are alive with bikers, hikers, and horse-back riders. Smooth lake reflections rippled by passing kayakers even attract swimmers in warm weather. Parc du Mont Tremblant is popular with all ages, an outdoor playground with plenty of wildlife to see and things to do. When you're ready to return to relative civilization, tee off for an afternoon of golf or have a lengthy soak in a health spa. Ride the panoramic gondola for soaring views over the region before heading home.
When sparkling waters turn to ice and, in the words of Robert Frost, ?the only other sound's the sweep of easy wind and downy flake', this winter wonderland gets tracked through by cross-country skiers, dog-sleds and snow-shoers.
Warm chilled toes after a crisp day on the slopes of ski resort Mont-Tremblant with hot cocoa in the village at the mountain's foot, or check out some local artwork in Val-David. Whatever you do, come prepared for an active holiday and don't forget your camera.
The Laurentians are a short drive northwest of Montreal.