Victoria, located on the south-eastern tip of Vancouver Island, British Columbia is a unique blend of old world charm and new world experiences. As an island destination, Victoria offers visitors an escape from the hurried world and beams with ambience whilst boasting the mildest climate in Canada, the city is green and beautiful year-round.
In Victoria, heritage architecture, colourful gardens and traditions like afternoon tea mix with a plethora of outdoor adventure, world-class culinary experiences and a vibrant arts and culture scene. This combined with the wild beauty of the Pacific Ocean and old-growth rainforests set against a backdrop of the Olympic Mountains makes Victoria the perfect getaway.
In Victoria there is never a shortage of things to do. From international icons like The Butchart Gardens to hidden gems like Canada’s oldest Chinatown, your days in Victoria can be as busy as you want them to be.
Teas & Gardens Victoria has long been known as the “City of Gardens.” With our mild climate, gardening is a year round passion which has resulted in an abundant array of gardens world renowned for their beauty and individual charm. The Butchart Gardens offers breathtaking 22 ha (55 acres) of gardens year around. In Spring, countless tulips, daffodils and hyacinths will give you a buffet of fragrances and colours. You’ll be saying “wow” when you experience our Summer: The Rose Garden, evening entertainment, subtle night illuminations, the Saturday firework show, and boat tours to name a few of the delights. No visit to Victoria is complete without world renowned Afternoon Tea at The Fairmont Empress. Enjoyed by kings, queens, celebrities and dignitaries, the hotel has been serving tea since opening in 1908.
Arts & Culture Victoria, the oldest city in the Pacific Northwest, has a rich and fascinating history. Explore our past and celebrate our rich culture through a variety of galleries, museums, heritage sites such the Royal BC Musuem, Craigdarroch Castle & Hatley Park National Historic Site.
Wildlife Viewing & Activities The waters surrounding Victoria are home to an abundance of marine wildlife. The orca, or killer whale, is the main whale found in the area, but gray, humpback and minke whales are also sighted. Sea lions, seals, porpoise and a number of marine birds are also residents. Three pods of resident orcas totaling over 80 whales live in Victoria’s waters. Victoria and its surrounding area is considered to have some of the best kayaking and canoeing in the world. Vancouver Island has approximately 3,500 kilometres of ocean coastline, 700 lakes, 160 rivers and 890 streams for paddling. These waterways are located amid spectacular West Coast scenery and are shared by an abundance of marine creatures and wildlife.
Adventure Parks At Adrena LINE Zipline Adventure Tours located in Victoria, experience a fully guided tour that provides an exhilarating ride up to 60km/hr as you soar up to 150 feet off the ground on eight scenic zip lines ranging from 130 feet to an unforgettable 1000 feet. Professionally trained guides emphasize safety and comfort, ensuring a ride full of thrills, awesome beauty, and fond memories.
Golfing Victoria is a golfer’s dream. With a climate that encourages golfing year-round, Victoria and Vancouver Island are home to many of Canada’s most beautiful and challenging courses. Victoria is also the gateway to the Vancouver Island Golf Trail, 250 kilometres of Pacific golfing paradise from Victoria to Campbell River with 11 gorgeous golf courses to choose from.
Shopping Whether you are just window shopping or on a major shopping spree in Victoria you can browse quaint shops, local markets and major shopping malls to find your heart’s desire. Victoria offers everything from antiques to the wares of local artisans and the designs of the hippest trendsetters. The city’s layout encourages strolling and exploring the many side streets and alleyways at an easy pace. From the Inner Harbour, wander up Government Street to find the perfect gift or souvenir. Four blocks along Government Street, on the right hand side, is Trounce Alley, one of Victoria’s best-kept secrets. European fashions and gift shops await. Across the street from Trounce Alley, you’ll find Bastion Square; once the site of Victoria’s Court House, Law Chambers, a brothel and several hangings, Bastion Square is now animated with shops and restaurants.
Dining Using the freshest local ingredients and flavours that reflect the wild Pacific Northwest, a number of fine dining restaurants, hotels and specialty food shops have put Victoria and Vancouver Island on the culinary map. Experiencing local cuisine is an important part of visiting any destination and a gourmet getaway to Victoria will introduce you to more than just food! Surrounded by coastal waters and the rich farming regions of the Saanich Peninsula and Cowichan Valley, Victoria’s gourmet chefs are blessed with an abundance of local produce right in their own backyards. Seafood, particularly salmon and shellfish, is a mainstay of West Coast cuisine and can be caught fresh from Pacific waters. Local farms supply fresh, seasonal ingredients and unusual varieties of food that chefs embrace. A number of Vancouver Island wineries complete the gourmet experience by providing locally-made wine. Along with locally produced wines you can also sample a variety of local micro-breweries, cideries and distilleries.
Whether you’re planning a wedding or coming to Victoria for one of the city’s many annual events, Victoria draws visitors from all over the world. We have events you will not want to miss including the hilarious family fun of the Victoria International Buskers Festival and a wide variety of music and food festivals to tempt your ears and your taste buds.
Chinese New Year: Late January – Early February There’s no better place to celebrate the Chinese New Year than in Victoria, home of Canada’s oldest Chinatown. Spectators line the streets to witness the Dragon Parade, a performance rich with colourful and elaborate costumes, live music and traditional dance.
Victoria Film Festival: Early-Mid February The annual independent Victoria Film Festival attracts high quality films, encourages innovation and creativity, and draws adults and youth to experience a 10-day celebration of cinema.
Victoria Highland Games & Celtic Festival: Mid May View the impressive athletic-strength competitions of the nine-day Victoria Highland Games and Celtic Festival, where Scottish culture, art and sport take centre stage.
Swiftsure International Yatch Race: Late May The visually stunning Swiftsure International Yacht Race features mono- and multi-hull vessels of every size racing in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, along a breathtaking coastline fraught with challenging winds and currents. It’s anyone’s race right until the end. Celebrate the birthdays of Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II with the Victoria Day Parade, which has been gracing the city’s streets since 1898.
Victoria International Jazz Festival: Mid-Late June Lovers of Jazz, mid-late June brings you 10 days of programming from renowned artists from North America and around the world.
Victoria International Buskers Festival: Mid-Late July The city of Victoria welcomes the world to our beautiful downtown! Professional street performers from our region as well as from across Canada, Europe, Sweden, Australia, South America and the US will converge for our first ever “All Stars”. Our event is a family oriented, free-to-attend festival presented on mostly outdoor stages. Tips to Buskers hats welcomed and appreciated!
Victoria Dragon Boat Festival: Mid-August Victoria Dragon Boat Festival, one of Victoria’s most spectacular summer festivals and the only dragon boat festival in Canada to take place in a working harbour. Featuring exciting dragon boat races, entertainment on two stages, exotic tastes in the Forbidden City Food Court, activities for kids and families, and more, the Victoria Dragon Boat Festival is one of the must-see events on Victoria’s busy summer Festival calendar.
Victoria Fringe Festival: Mid-Late August This is 11 days of amazing live comedy, drama, dance, spoken work, musicals and physical theatre – over 300 performances at 11 venues. The shows in the Fringe are un-juried and uncensored, and the alternative theatre productions you see there are the work of ingenious independent producers and artists.
Rifflandia Festival: Mid-September Four days, 10 stages, 100 performances: The only thing you need for an all-access pass to the musical wonderland that is Rifflandia Festival is a wristband. Stroll from stage to stage along the historic streets of downtown Victoria, catch a film in the tented cinema and munch on gourmet food from local vendors.
Located in a sub-Mediterranean zone, Victoria, British Columbia boasts the mildest climate in Canada.
Victoria receives an average of 2,183 hours of sunshine each year, with flowers in bloom year-round and an eight month frost-free season.
Spring is mild and can arrive as early as February. In March, cherry blossoms flood city streets.
Summer is comfortably warm and dry with temperatures from 18 to 32 degrees Celsius (65 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit).
Victoria receives rainfall during January, February and March, with occasional light snowfall. Although winters are mild and rarely include snow, warmer clothing is recommended between the months of November and March.
Our Un-Cruise was fantastic, we were so pleased we went with them. We enjoyed the kayaking and shore walks, and everything else about the cruise – they really look after you so well. We saw loads of whales, some seals, sea lions and a few bears and mountain goats. We also got to see the Northern Lights one night which was wonderful and such a bonus that we didn’t expect to see. There were 8 Australians on our boat, 2 New Zealanders and the rest American. Everyone was really nice and friendly and we enjoyed making some new friends.
Well, we are back from Canada and Alaska, and just wanted to thank you for helping us to have a fantastic holiday. All the arrangements worked perfectly, the hotels were all good, and we had no trouble anywhere. The driving went smoothly, no scrapes or accidents!
Seriously we've had a good time - Janene has loved it, I'm a bit of a cynic and could have done without a few things. Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel was fabulous, the room was a bit small, but I understand why. Once again we got Fairmont Gold - we did have a magnificent view from our window - Bow River, golf course to one side and mountains at the back - hard to beat. Also the gondola ride and view @ top was great.Enjoyed Jasper - the Crimson was perfectly placed. The Sundog tour was also great, the guide, a young woman, really knew her stuff.
- Janene and Peter
You organised the most perfect holiday for us – the accommodation was great, the timing was spot on and even the bears put on the most amazing show [at the] Great Bear Lodge…Marg and Tom came out with us on the first nights viewing and we counted 17 bears (some may have doubled up though). Every viewing we saw bears – even 4 close encounters where the bears walked about 2 metres from us – amazing.Thanks for all your help over the last 4 years with our holidays.
- Liz and Steve
Sadly we have arrived at our departure date. We have had beautiful sunny weather in Victoria and our room at the Inn on Laurel Point is stunning. Did a whale watching trip yesterday and spent the first 2 hours surrounded by one of the resident orca pods....amazing!!!!The boat tour through Kenai Fjords was spectacular and even the captain and crew commented on how amazing it was for that time of the year in Seward to have such fine weather and calm seas. We saw lots of wildlife on the water, including a couple of humpback whales and the close view of the glacier was worth the trip all by itself.
Loved the Alaska train and the overnight on the Canadian VIA.We had great weather - only one day rain at Denali National Park the whole trip.Thank you for your organisation to make a trip a successful and memorable one.
The trip was fantastic and everything we wanted it to be. We had some great experiences and come home with life-long memories.Thanks to you for the hard work, and professional expertise, in putting together such a memorable itinerary for us all. We were particularly pleased with the smoothness of the travel process. All the vouchers you prepared for us were accepted without question and your travel trips you included with the itinerary were invaluable.
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