Iles de la Madeleine, Canada
Although the Iles de la Madeleine (Magdalen Island) archipelago is floating in the middle of the massive Gulf of St Lawrence, it belongs to the province of Quebec. It offers an intoxicating mix of rich, island culture and vast natural spaces. This green archipelago has beautiful marine landscapes and an incredible coastline. It's filled with red cliffs, coastal lagoons and miles of windswept beaches. And it's home to hundreds of bird species. The Îles de la Madeleine offer a fascinating blend of Acadian, French and English cultures, formed in isolation over two centuries. The pace of life is slower and flows along. But the traditions are strong and apparent in the art galleries, museums and historic churches. Brightly painted commercial fishing boats lining the docks are testament to their typical regional cuisine, which features the flavours of the sea. You won't find any fresher snow crab, lobster, northern shrimp or shellfish anywhere.