Victoria, B.C.

From formal flower gardens to funky bohemian shops, Victoria combines the perfect amount of old and new.

Sitting at the bottom of Vancouver Island, Victoria is tops for a laid-back holiday in a stunning setting. Use the city’s excellent bike trails to get out and explore. Notice the British influence; the Victorian architecture and high tea traditions are dead giveaways. But if tea rooms and antiques aren’t your thing, don’t worry. The young folk of Victoria are making their mark with street art, craft beer and cool cafes. Welcoming and diverse, a trip to Victoria is always a treat.

Victoria, BC, Canada   |   View Google Map

Frequently Asked Questions about Victoria, B.C.

I've heard there are wineries on Vancouver Island. Where are some of the best?

With its Mediterranean climate, Vancouver Island is a wine lover's delight. Just half an hour north of central Victoria you'll find a variety of small vineyards that produce some fantastic drops. Sitting against a gorgeous ocean backdrop, this fertile farmland will impress even the non-drinkers in your group. Cowichan Valley is the island's other main wine-producing area. You can easily spend a day or two taking in the endless rows of grape vines and learning about the fermentation process. Not prepared to be the designated driver? Hop on a tour and enjoy the tastings!

What's the best way to experience Butchart Gardens?

One of Victoria's most famed attractions, Butchart Gardens should be on every visitors' must-see list. Set in an old limestone quarry, this remarkable garden displays just about every colour of flower and plants imaginable. You can easily spend a day exploring its winding paths, taking in the water features and floral arrangements. To really make the most of the scenic surroundings, pull out a rug and enjoy a picnic. The garden can get quite busy in summer, so it can be a good idea to get there early to beat the crowds. The summer months also bring a range of special events to the gardens. Keep an eye out for concerts, light shows and even fireworks.

What's the best time and place for whale spotting?

Victoria is one of the best whale-watching destinations in the world. The waters surrounding Vancouver Island are teeming with life, including pods of orcas. There are many tour companies that run day trips around the island, and some even offer an extra day for free if you don't spot anything on your first go. August through to November is the time for the highest number of sightings as migrating orcas come into the bay to feed. That said, most boats operate year round, and winter sightings are still quite common.

Will it actually be warm enough to go swimming?

While you'd have to be quite brave to swim in spring or autumn, and downright crazy to try it in winter, the warm temperatures of the summer months tempt many Victorians to cool off in the island's waters. When it comes to beaches, the sheltered water on the east side of the island tends to be more inviting. Not far from central Victoria, Willows Beach is a local favourite. For many though, the island's picturesque lakes are more enticing than its often rocky coastline. One of the closest and most popular is Thetis Lake.