The options for tours in Victoria BC are as diverse as our landscape. You won’t be disappointed whether you are looking for a free self-guided tour, a group tour, or a private local guided tour.
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Without a doubt, the most popular tours in Victoria BC are whale watching on the wild Pacific Ocean, the incredible floral displays of Butchart Gardens and wine tasting tours in the popular Cowichan Valley and Saanich Peninsula. But there are many, many more options to choose from.
Learn more about your tour options and compare prices on these tours:
If you’ve got a full day and want as much Victoria BC city sightseeing as you can possibly fit in, then a “see it all” tour is for you. With the ultimate Victoria BC city sightseeing tour, your guide can recommend an itinerary of some of the most popular stops or customize a tour specifically for you and your guests.
The tour will usually start with your guide picking you up at a mutually agreed upon location such as your hotel or the Port of Victoria if you have arrived by cruise ship.
Compare some of the best tours in Victoria BC here and find the one that suits your interests.
A popular itinerary of the “must-sees” might include a stop at the national historically designated site The Butchart Gardens. These beautifully manicured gardens span 55 acres and welcome over a million visitors annually. They are not only popular with tourists but thousands of locals like myself, have an annual pass and go to the gardens several times a year to enjoy the scenery change with the seasons. No two visits are the same!
Another popular spot located just down the road from Butchart Gardens is Butterfly Gardens. With thousands of tropical butterflies flying freely throughout, flamingoes, tortoises, iguanas, parrots and more, it’s really a unique attraction that will delight young and old.
If all your guests are 19+ then a stop at one of our award-winning wineries or cideries could be your next destination. On the peninsula – where Butterfly and Butchart Gardens are located – popular choices are Church & State Wines, de Vine Vineyards and Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse. Your guide can make a recommendation suitable for your party.
For the latter part of your tour, you can expect a scenic drive back to the heart of town. Most guides will provide a fully narrated tour with fun and interesting facts about the area and the sights you are seeing.
Back in town, there are a number of sights that may interest you. Craigdarroch Castle was built between 1887 and 1890 on a hill overlooking the City of Victoria and was home to one of the wealthiest families in the west – the Dunsmuir family. Four floors of Victorian-era furnishings, elaborate wood carvings and remarkable stained-glass windows make this castle a popular Victorian experience.
Other highlights of a Victoria BC city sightseeing tour could include visits to Government House which is the official residence of the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia and where members of the Royal family and dignitaries often stay while in Victoria. It is also home to magnificently groomed gardens that are open to the public.
Fisherman’s Wharf is a unique village of colourful houseboats and also home to some awesome fish and chips. It’s a popular spot for a relaxing stroll along the docks and if you’re lucky, the harbour seals will poke their head up from the water. Of course they are looking for food, but as of 2017 the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority has banned feeding the seals at the wharf. But taking pictures of the cute little guys is still welcomed!
Other stops on the tour may include Beacon Hill Park which is a 200-acre multi-use park just steps from the Inner Harbour and Victoria’s China Town which is the oldest China Town in Canada.
No Victoria BC City sightseeing tour is complete without a stop at the iconic Inner Harbour. Surrounded by the majestic British Columbia Parliament Buildings and Fairmont Empress Hotel, the Inner Harbour provides the backdrop for some incredible photos.
On weekends from April through October, the city welcomes over 10,000 visitors per day from cruise ships alone so these tours in Victoria BC book up quickly. Don’t be disappointed, book your tour today.
Find the best deals on these popular tours:
Experience the west coast sightseeing by air for an incredible view of our rugged coastline, towering trees and majestic mountains. With three distinct ways to see what makes it so special here, we invite you to join one of our local airlines for a west coast sightseeing adventure like no other.
Did you know our Inner Harbour is an official "airport"?
Also known as the Victoria Harbour Water Airport, it is where our floatplanes taxi, take off and land. Floatplanes, also known as water planes or sea planes are small aircraft with pontoons. Sea planes is a generic term for planes that take off and land on the water - some types of sea planes use their fuselage for buoyancy such as Port Alberni's Martin Mars which are the world's largest flying boats (used primarily for forest fire fighting).
West coast sightseeing trips booked through the Victoria Flying Club operate from their location at the Victoria International Airport in North Saanich on the peninsula. Helijet (helicopter) trips take off and land at their waterfront location beside the cruise ship terminal at the Breakwater District.
Harbour Air Float Planes
Ocean Air Floatplanes
Victoria Flying Club
Still not sure if you should use a guide or do your own thing? If you are considering booking private guided tours and not sure if it is worth it, keep reading for the advantages of using a guide, the advantages of doing your own thing and the disadvantages of both. We hope this will help you determine if you should book private guided tours for some of your excursions.
Going on vacation should be fun and stress-free. But let’s face it, sometimes unpredictable things happen. From minor inconveniences like not being able to locate that little café the guy on the plane told you about, to major disasters like not getting back to your cruise ship on time and watching it sail away without you – stuff happens!
When you use a guide, “stuff” doesn’t happen nearly as often!
Advantages of Doing Your Own Thing
Disadvantages of Doing Your Own Thing
Advantages of Booking with a Group
Disadvantages of Booking with a Group
Advantages of Private Guided Tours
Disadvantages of Using a Private Guide
End of summer gardens at Hatley Park
Click on the links below to download the maps and guides.
We would love to hear your feedback on these trips and tours in Victoria BC. Please contact us when you get home to share your story.
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