Confession: I think Victoria and Vancouver Island *may* just one of my favourite destinations in Canada. Why? Well, the west coast vibe instantly evokes a more laid-back feeling. And British Columbia in general is an amazing spot in Canada to feel more connected with nature and the outdoors. Top that off with an incredible coastline (Vancouver Island is known for some of the best surfing in the country), fresh food, and friendly people. Mountains on the mainland and crashing waves to the west, Vancouver Island has it all. It’s so peaceful and healing, and even the main city of Victoria feels more like a gem town than the capital of the province. Here’s a bit more about why Victoria is the perfect spot for our Dream Vacations Series (you’ll want to start trip planning now!). Don’t forget to check out our Dream Vacations Series for Portugal, and for Sardinia, too!
DREAM VACATIONS: VICTORIA’S CHARM
→ The small city of Victoria is the capital of British Columbia, not Vancouver like many tend to think. It may be small but it’s bustling thanks to a youthful tech presence. It’s one of the friendliest places in Canada. Don’t be surprised if multiple people offer to help you find something (I even had one offer to share food with me!), give out great recommendations and more.
→ This dream vacations worthy spot is home to one of Canada’s most iconic hotels, the Fairmont Empress. Staying here is like a dream with great views of the harbour and an impeccable afternoon tea.
→ Another great stay is at the Magnolia Hotel. Right downtown, you’re steps from every great restaurant, shop and sight. They have an incredible spa too, so you can feel super relaxed and recharged (and who doesn’t want to have some spa time on a dream vacation?).
→ Speaking of restaurants, it’s hard to find a bad meal in Victoria. Some of my faves (that are vegan and vegetarian-friendly include: Be Love, Lotus Pond and Green Cuisine).
DREAM VACATIONS: JUST OUTSIDE VICTORIA
→ Victoria is just a short drive away from nearby towns that are worth a visit. Swing by Billston Creek Farm for yoga, lavender fields and a healthy lunch in Metchosin. Or go to Saanich (where Harry and Meghan hid out for a brief period of time), for a small town feel with distilleries, roadside markets and more. If it’s good enough for Harry and Meghan, it must be part of our dream vacation series!
→ Victoria is also home to Butchart Gardens. Arguably one of the prettiest green spots in Canada with gorgeously groomed gardens. If you have time make sure to have tea in the garden tea room.
→ Victoria is home to Canada’s oldest Chinatown. It’s also where you’ll find Fan Tan Alley, the country’s narrowest alleyway.
→Downtown is small enough to explore by foot, hitting up the main streets and alleys for incredible food, bookstores, bakeries, cafes, tea shops and more.
→ A great way to get to the island is by helijet if you can. Alternatively you can take the ferry ride (which ends up taking longer, BUT you may just see a whale or two), or take a short flight via Air Canada from Vancouver to Victoria).