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British Columbia

Victoria Holidays

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VICTORIA? VA-VA-VOOM.

The capital of British Columbia, Victoria lies at the southeastern tip of Vancouver Island. This time-stamped city is just a 90-minute ferry from Vancouver, on the mainland – and it’s certainly worth the journey. The picturesque “City of Gardens” is one of the oldest cities in the Pacific Northwest, boasting grand landmarks, leafy green spaces and intricate architecture. Whether you’re drawn to its fascinating past or its vibrant present, a holiday to Victoria is sure to impress.

Founded in 1843 and named after Britain’s reigning Queen at the time, Victoria oozes historical charm. Imposing buildings and significant statues surround the boat-filled harbour, while galleries and museums offer insight into British Columbia’s culture. You can marvel at Craigdarroch Castle and tour the ornate Parliament Buildings. And stroll through the oldest Chinatown in Canada, where family-run restaurants serve up authentic Asian dishes.

Victoria holidays also give you the chance to get closer to nature. You can admire the pretty blooms of Butchart Gardens, or gaze out to the ocean from Beacon Hill Park. Go on a boat trip in search of wild whales, seals and sea otters. Swim in natural pools at nearby Sooke, or spend a day bird-watching on Sidney Island.

Want to see more of Vancouver Island, while you’re there? Hire a car and drive up the east coast to discover the beaches of Ladysmith and Parksville. Or venture through the island’s mountainous interior towards the popular surfer town of Tofino. Alternatively, you could spend a few extra days on the mainland, hopping between Vancouver’s pulsing bars, restaurants and markets. However you want to explore, our Travel Specialists will help you plan the perfect holiday to Victoria.

Things to do

Dining scene

Daytrips

Best time to go

Things to do in Victoria

From grand architecture and museums, to pretty parks and wildlife, British Columbia’s small-but-mighty capital packs a punch. There are so many things to do in Victoria, but a whale-watching trip should be at the top of your list. If you visit between May and October, you’ll have the best chance of spotting orcas and humpback whales, along with seals and sea otters.

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Back on dry land, the Inner Harbour is Victoria’s picturesque hub. Here, you can admire the impressive design of the Parliament Buildings, then venture inside on a guided tour. Visit the Royal British Columbia Museum to find out more about the province’s history. And make sure you pop into the Fairmont Empress. Overlooking the harbour, this beautiful hotel is famous for its delicious afternoon tea.

Beacon Hill Park is another must-see, thanks to its stunning sea views. And, on the outskirts of the city, Butchart Gardens is filled with pretty blooms and leafy pathways. If you visit on a summer evening, you can also look forward to live performances from local musicians.

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Show Less

Dining scene

Victoria holidays are a foodie’s dream. As a port city, Victoria has a medley of influences from China, India, Japan and beyond. So, as you might expect, the dining scene here is incredibly diverse. Alongside Canada’s oldest Chinatown, you’ll find laidback brunch spots, French patisseries, and fine-dining restaurants with knockout views.

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Show Less

In Chinatown, you can tuck into authentic ramen, bao buns and bibimbap. Victoria Public Market, meanwhile, is a great place for a casual bite. Local artisans have stalls selling everything from sushi and tacos, to pies and pizza. Elsewhere, Fisherman’s Wharf is the place for freshly-caught crab and oysters. And trendy Lower Johnson Street – known as LoJo – is crammed with craft breweries.

Fancy a special treat? Book a table at one of Victoria’s award-winning restaurants. To try regional cuisine made with local ingredients, check out Marina Restaurant or OLO Restaurant. AURA is a culinary heaven for seafood-lovers, while Saveur Restaurant is all about à la carte tasting menus.

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Show Less

Daytrips from Victoria

If you’re hiring a car for your Victoria holiday, there are all sorts of daytrips you could take. A 90-minute drive northwest from the city, the Cowichan Valley is sees dry summers and mild winters – perfect conditions for vineyards. There are a number of wineries where you can enjoy a tasting. Or, for something a little more active, you could hike part of the Trans Canada Trail, which runs through the valley.

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Show Less

Sooke is also worth a visit. Less than an hour’s drive from Victoria, this rugged spot is great for outdoor adventures. You can swim in natural pools, hike past dramatic rock formations, and go zip-lining through the forest.

If you’re not hiring a car, don’t worry. You can easily take a boat trip to spend a day on Salt Spring Island, or sail to Sidney Island to see migratory birds, white beaches and scenic lighthouses.

Show More
Show Less

Best time to go Victoria

Generally speaking, May to September is the best time to visit Victoria, as you can look forward to dry days and minimal rain. In spring, temperatures hover around 16°C, before rising to 20°C in the height of summer – ideal weather for exploring. This half of the year is also when you’re most likely to see whales. But the city can be very busy during July and August. So if you’d prefer to avoid the crowds, consider planning your Victoria holiday for May, June or September.

Show More
Show Less

Winter in Victoria – and Vancouver Island in general – tends to be very wet. Between November and March, there are regular rain showers and cool temperatures, usually below 10°C.

Show More
Show Less

Things to do

Things to do in Victoria

From grand architecture and museums, to pretty parks and wildlife, British Columbia’s small-but-mighty capital packs a punch. There are so many things to do in Victoria, but a whale-watching trip should be at the top of your list. If you visit between May and October, you’ll have the best chance of spotting orcas and humpback whales, along with seals and sea otters.

Show More
Show Less

Back on dry land, the Inner Harbour is Victoria’s picturesque hub. Here, you can admire the impressive design of the Parliament Buildings, then venture inside on a guided tour. Visit the Royal British Columbia Museum to find out more about the province’s history. And make sure you pop into the Fairmont Empress. Overlooking the harbour, this beautiful hotel is famous for its delicious afternoon tea.

Beacon Hill Park is another must-see, thanks to its stunning sea views. And, on the outskirts of the city, Butchart Gardens is filled with pretty blooms and leafy pathways. If you visit on a summer evening, you can also look forward to live performances from local musicians.

Show More
Show Less

Dining scene

Dining scene

Victoria holidays are a foodie’s dream. As a port city, Victoria has a medley of influences from China, India, Japan and beyond. So, as you might expect, the dining scene here is incredibly diverse. Alongside Canada’s oldest Chinatown, you’ll find laidback brunch spots, French patisseries, and fine-dining restaurants with knockout views.

Show More
Show Less

In Chinatown, you can tuck into authentic ramen, bao buns and bibimbap. Victoria Public Market, meanwhile, is a great place for a casual bite. Local artisans have stalls selling everything from sushi and tacos, to pies and pizza. Elsewhere, Fisherman’s Wharf is the place for freshly-caught crab and oysters. And trendy Lower Johnson Street – known as LoJo – is crammed with craft breweries.

Fancy a special treat? Book a table at one of Victoria’s award-winning restaurants. To try regional cuisine made with local ingredients, check out Marina Restaurant or OLO Restaurant. AURA is a culinary heaven for seafood-lovers, while Saveur Restaurant is all about à la carte tasting menus.

Show More
Show Less

Daytrips

Daytrips from Victoria

If you’re hiring a car for your Victoria holiday, there are all sorts of daytrips you could take. A 90-minute drive northwest from the city, the Cowichan Valley is sees dry summers and mild winters – perfect conditions for vineyards. There are a number of wineries where you can enjoy a tasting. Or, for something a little more active, you could hike part of the Trans Canada Trail, which runs through the valley.

Show More
Show Less

Sooke is also worth a visit. Less than an hour’s drive from Victoria, this rugged spot is great for outdoor adventures. You can swim in natural pools, hike past dramatic rock formations, and go zip-lining through the forest.

If you’re not hiring a car, don’t worry. You can easily take a boat trip to spend a day on Salt Spring Island, or sail to Sidney Island to see migratory birds, white beaches and scenic lighthouses.

Show More
Show Less

Best time to go

Best time to go Victoria

Generally speaking, May to September is the best time to visit Victoria, as you can look forward to dry days and minimal rain. In spring, temperatures hover around 16°C, before rising to 20°C in the height of summer – ideal weather for exploring. This half of the year is also when you’re most likely to see whales. But the city can be very busy during July and August. So if you’d prefer to avoid the crowds, consider planning your Victoria holiday for May, June or September.

Show More
Show Less

Winter in Victoria – and Vancouver Island in general – tends to be very wet. Between November and March, there are regular rain showers and cool temperatures, usually below 10°C.

Show More
Show Less

Chat With Our British Columbia Experts

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How to do Victoria

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Knowledge

Between them, our travel advisors can boast almost 800 years of holiday expertise.

Ease

Our tailor-made packages make it easy for you to discover more of the world.

Value

Whether you're looking for luxury or simplicity, we've got the perfect holiday for you.

Trust

Travelbag is fully protected by ATOL and ABTA, so your booking is completely secure.

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