Like the whole of the island, the village of Saint-Jean is a hidden treasure. Historically then this was the village of the captains. In the center of town in front of the Catholic church of Saint-Jean, there is the cemetery which holds the remains of many great Captain that was part of the Saint-Jean community.
As you enter you can feel the history. It looks like you’re driving into a film set and you need to remind yourself that this is real life. Picture perfect in every sense of the word. The houses are every colour of the rainbow and each porch has an inviting rocking chair at its center where you can imagine your evenings spent storytelling, laughing and enjoying the view – like a great 1950’s black and white feelgood movie.
Here are our top highlights of this must-visit village.
- Beach Time!
Right near the center of the village, there is an entrance to a little parking area with beach access, a pier, and a perfect picnic area. Take the time to view the St. Lawrence from this perfect lookout point. Park up, get out your lunch, watching the ships passing in and dine to the sound of the waves. With bathroom facilities and a covered picnic area, it’s the perfect resting place so you can enjoy the atmosphere of the captain’s village no matter if it is rain or shine. Feeling energized? Take a walk up the beachfront to the church to check out the rest of the village.
- The Boulangerie of the Island – La Boulange
Just across from the church in an old historic home of the village lays La Boulange. Pick up some freshly baked bread, pizzas or pastries as well as a pot of beautiful jam or other produce from the island. Grab a coffee and sit on the terrace overlooking the picturesque village and river. The perfect spot to refresh on a day of island discovery.
- Follow your nose to Du Capitaine Vinaigrerie
This vinegar maker gives the famous Vinegar de Modena a run for its money. With uniquely flavored combinations from vanilla to the island-grown cassis then you’ll definitely end up leaving with a bottle or two at least of this taste sensation. The knowledgeable shop owners talk you through the taste tour, leaving you with a love of vinegar that you never knew you had.
- Route du Mitan
When you are finished wandering the beautiful village and waterfront then take a detour down Route du Mitan, connecting Saint-Jean and Sainte-Famille. This beautiful side road off of the general Chemin Royal is a landscape treasure passing cornfields, apple orchards and maple farms. This 8.2km route is a great way to dive into the countryside the island has hidden beauty in the center of its island. Halfway across the Route du Mitan, you will start to see the hilly backdrop at the other side of the St. Lawrence. So many picture-perfect moments on this road. You won’t regret the detour!