When to visit
- Very Favourable
What to do
- Worth the detour
- Must see
The capital of British Columbia, named after Queen Victoria, is located at the south-eastern tip of Vancouver Island. A must-see destination for visitors to Western Canada, Victoria is a haven of peace with a proud British heritage.
Victoria is a city of beautiful contrasts, where the elegance of history mingles with the panache of modern life. You will be charmed by the lovely gardens and the scenic walking route along the waterfront, offering dazzling views of the ocean. Its mild temperate climate makes it pleasant to explore by bike or on foot. You can even take a horse-drawn carriage tour, an unforgettable way to experience the city's unique ambiance!
WHAT TO DO
* = Interesting ** = worth a detour *** = worth a trip
In many ways the Victoria Harbour is the heart of the city. Serving as the departure point for many tourist activities, it attracts thousands of visitors every year, in addition to being a working harbour and hub of economic activity. During the summer months, Victoria's Inner Harbour is bustling with activity: concerts, street performers, food trucks and artists displaying their works for the enjoyment of visitors and locals alike.
Whale watching safari**
Take an unforgettable whale watching tour and learn all about the fascinating orca. Don't forget your camera or video camera to capture the moment!
The nutrient-rich waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca are a fertile feeding ground for ocean wildlife. Three pods of resident orcas or "killer whales" make this area their home.
Imagine a 2-metre long dorsal fin breaking the surface close to your boat, as an 8-ton mammal comes up to the surface to breathe... It's a sight you will never forget!
Beacon Hill Park*
A beautifully landscaped park with bridges, lakes and a petting zoo, Beacon Hill Park is one of downtown Victoria's crown jewels. Officially founded in 1882, the park was named after a pair of masts strategically placed on a hill to act as a beacon and navigational aid to mariners approaching Victoria's inner harbour. It is a delightful quiet place to do some bird watching and enjoy a summer picnic!
Royal BC Museum**
The Royal British Columbia Museum is a history and nature museum that also houses the British Columbia Archives. Founded in 1886, the museum continually expanded over the decades and today features three permanent galleries—natural history, First Peoples and modern history—in addition to the BC Archives and a number of temporary exhibitions. Come and learn all about the history and culture of this fascinating province!
Afternoon tea in Victoria
The time-honoured British tradition of "afternoon tea" is extremely popular in Victoria, a city whose British heritage is plain to be seen! "Afternoon tea" is taken during the afternoon, between lunch and dinner. The menu may vary from one place to the next, but it traditionally consists of scones with jam and, naturally, a cup of tea! Victoria's Fairmont Empress Hotel offers an excellent Afternoon Tea menu, a tasty introduction to this beloved tradition.
A 30 minute drive from Victoria, the Butchart Gardens features fifty-five acres of wonderful floral display. This world famous attraction and National Historic Site has delighted visitors for over 100 years, since the creation of the first garden in 1904. Made up of five main theme gardens, visitors enjoy lush views as they stroll along meandering paths and expansive lawns. Open year-round, the Butchart Gardens offer an astounding display of plants and flowers that change with the seasons. A must-see!
Where to eat
- $ Inexpensive
- $$ Moderate
- $$$ Upscale
- $$$$ Fine dining
WHERE TO EAT
Stage Wine Bar ($$)
A cozy wine bar and upscale tapas restaurant. Located close to Belfry Theatre, just a few minutes from downtown Victoria, it's the perfect place to grab a bite to eat before a concert! A welcoming atmosphere, friendly service, and a wine list that will charm connoisseurs and novices alike.
1307 Gladstone Ave, Victoria, BC V8R 1R9 / (250) 388-4222
Marina Restaurant & Sushi Bar ($$)
This seafood restaurant offers a superb harbour view and an impressive menu featuring local sustainable seafood. The cocktail list is delightful, and the wine list, a balance of old and new world, emphasizes family-owned local wineries. Don't miss Sunday brunch: an award-winning west coast buffet with a well-deserved reputation. Brunch reservations are recommended.
1327 Beach Drive, Victoria, BC V8S 2N4 / (250) 598-8555
One of the oldest restaurants in Victoria! Il Terrazzo features a large courtyard where gardens, brick walls and wood fireplaces combine to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The menu offers fine Italian cuisine accompanied by a vast selection of wines, most of which can be ordered by the glass. The ideal place for an intimate candlelight dinner!
555 Johnson St, Victoria, BC V8W 1M2 / (250) 361-0028
Where to sleep ?
Swiftsure Sailing Race
Date: May 23 to 25, 2015 (2016 dates to be confirmed)
Description: Organized by the Royal Victoria Yacht Club, this premier long distance sailing race starting and ending in Victoria offers the colourful spectacle of 200 sailboats and their crews.
Victoria Dragon Boat Festival
Date: August 14 to 16, 2015 (2016 dates to be confirmed)
Description: Dragon boating is an extremely popular sport in British Colombia. The Victoria Dragon Boat Festival will provide you with another option if you missed the June event in Vancouver. This colourful festival features exciting dragon boat races in the Victoria harbour, entertainment on two stages, exotic food court offerings, activities for kids and families, and more.
- Very Favourable