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Victoria Itineraries and tours

Victoria itineraries and tours - there are so many things to pack into your visit that we offer this photographic guide for visitors to our Victoria B & Bs on Vancouver Island, BC.

Again and again our guests say something like "We never realised that there was so much to do in Victoria. We should have stayed longer".

Planning your visit to Victoria

Do plan to stay in Victoria for several days:
 - there's so much more to experience here than a visit to the Butchart Gardens -   attractions and activities abound in great variety.
- there's actually more to do in this area than in Vancouver,
- there's no need to drive 4.5 hours each way to Tofino to see a rugged natural West coast beach.

You'll find further information on the places mentioned elsewhere on our website, mostly in the Victoria Attractions and Victoria Recreation sections. Some of the day trips below are expanded on the Victoria Tours page. When you are here at one of our members bed and breakfasts we can give you lots more information to help you make the most of your visit to Vancouver Island BC.
 

See Victoria attractions images on Flickr or a selection of Victoria videos.

The following lists are an summary of places to visit in Victoria and southern Vancouver Island:

Downtown Victoria and surrounding areas

Inner Harbour
Royal BC Museum
Shopping - streets off Government Street
Parliament Buildings
Downtown horse drawn carriage tours
Harbour Ferryboats
Robert Bateman Centre
Market Square
Chinatown
Antique Row
Empress Hotel
Craigdarroch Castle
Government House Gardens
Art Gallery
Beacon Hill Park
Fisherman's Wharf
Point Ellice House
Sight-seeing tours by bus
Victoria walking tours

The Saanich Peninsula and Sidney

Butchart Gardens
Butterfly Gardens
Elk / Beaver Lake Provincial Park
Durrance Lake
Mount Douglas Park
Matticks farm

Saanich Peninsula fruit stands
Glendale Gardens
Saanich Commonwealth Place
Shopping in Sidney
Sidney Spit via ferry
Golf courses
Wineries

Touring the East coast of Vancouver Island

Salt Spring Island via ferry
Goldstream Provincial Park
Malahat Drive
Whippletree Junction
Cowichan Bay
or travel by the E & N Railway
Vineyards
Merrydale Cider Works
BC Forest Museum
Duncan
Chemainus
Vancouver Island coastal communities

Touring Vancouver Island's West coast

Fort Rodd Hill
Fisgard Lighthouse
Esquimalt Lagoon
Hatley Castle and Park
Adrena Zip-Line 
Juan de Fuca Marine Trail
Sooke Potholes
East Sooke Park trails
Sooke
Whiffen Spit
Vancouver Island beaches
West Coast trail

For children of all ages

Miniature World
Undersea Gardens
Victoria Bug Zoo
Maritime Museum
IMAX Theatre
Royal BC Museum
Butterfly Gardens
Thetis Lake Waterslides
Trail rides
Horse carriage tours

Beacon Hill Children's farm
Butchart Gardens
Dominion Astrophysical Observatory
Saanich Commonwealth Place
Mineral World
Fort Rodd Hill
Fisgard Lighthouse
Goldstream Park
BC Forest Museum
Chemainus

Outdoor activities and recreation

Whale watching
Golf (15 courses)
Zip-lining
Kayaking
Canoeing
Sailing
Boating

Fishing
Scuba diving
Cycling
Horseback trails
Hiking
Birdwatching
Plane or helicopter tour

 

- - - - - - - - - - -

Arrival in Victoria

Whether you arrive in the afternoon or evening, you'll be glad of a good relaxing night's rest.

 Victoria BC welcome     

If your arrival is in the afternoon you might like to have an introductory wander in downtown Victoria, strolling around the Inner Harbour and dining at one of the many downtown Victoria restaurants.

Day One

After a satisfying breakfast walk around the B&B gardens or the neighbourhood and sip a last coffee before exploring the Saanich Peninsula. Drive to the Butterfly Gardens which is directly on the way to the Butchart Gardens where you will enjoy 55 acres of magnificent floral displays. Their afternoon teas are highly recommended. Bear in mind that you can return the following day for just $3.50 - great since there is so much to see there.

  The Butchart Gardens     Vancouver Island wineres     Butchart Gardens illuminations   

Then return to the B & B via wineries and relax for a while, followed by dinner at a nearby restaurant or at the Butchart Gardens where you can spend an evening which may include the seasonal illuminations.

Day Two

Take the short drive downtown to enjoy the life of Victoria's Inner Harbour and shop (Antiques Row, Chinatown, Government Street). Take a circular tour around the Harbour on one of the charming Harbour Ferries. Spend the afternoon in the superb Royal BC Museum, followed perhaps by an Imax feature film.

China Town    Inner Harbour Victoria    Royal British Columbia Museum 

An evening horse-drawn carriage tour can complete your day.

Day Three

An exploration of the East coast of Vancouver Island BC is today's suggestion. It's a 20 minute minute drive to Goldstream Park with its old-growth cedar trees and primeval atmosphere which lightens as you reach a flood plain where eagles soar. Then drive up the Malahat Drive (Highway #1) with great views to Whippletree Junction, Duncan ("the city of totems") and to Chemainus ("The little town that did") to see its murals and theatre.

Chemainus murals   BC Ferries   Saanich Peninsula

Visit South Cowichan wineries and then drive back to Victoria or take BC ferries from Crofton to Vesuvius on Salt Spring Island, explore the island and then take a ferry from Fulford Harbour back to our Saanich Peninsula.

Day Four

This is a day of great variety, taking a scenic tour into Victoria. East are the charming shops of Matticks Farm and you drive south down the coastline of Cordova Bay, perhaps walking on a beach. Drive up Mount Douglas for a great 360 degree view over the city and the gulf islands.

  Craigdarroch Castle   Afternoon tea in Victoria   Whale watching

After following the scenic route through the village of Cadboro Bay drive West through Oak Bay to Craigdarroch Castle for an hour's tour of the mansion and take lunch at the nearby White Heather Tea Room. The afternoon is spent on a memorable whale-watching trip (booked after you arrive here) from Fisherman's Wharf. Afterwards have fish and chips followed by local ice cream as you stroll around the houseboats at the Wharf.

Day Five

A relaxing tour of the rugged west coast begins beyond the gardens of Hatley Castle via the Fisgard Lighthouse and Fort Rodd Hill. Then drive through rural Metchosin to East Sooke Provincial Park for its coastal trails or Sooke Potholes to walk by the river. Just beyond Sooke is Whiffin Spit Beach. After that the road is quiet, meandering through parks and along the coastline. Stop at French Beach or China Beach and turn around when you feel like it. You could return to your B&B via a visit to Glendale Gardens.

Fisgard Lighthouse   Sooke Potholes   Glendale Gardens

Day Six

This may be the time to leave us or you may have time to squeeze in more: kayaking ... tour the Parliament Buildings ... take an afternoon sailing trip ... go to the Robert Bateman Centre ... go hiking ... see more gardens or parks ... have a guided walking tour ... experience exhilarating ziplining ... spend a morning in Sidney ... play golf ... or do practically nothing.

 
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