- Encounters with locals
- Place or Historical Monument
- Off the beaten track
I spent almost five days exploring Vancouver Island on my trip to Canada . When I passed through the small and not very well known city of Victoria, I found myself really taken with the place!
I strongly recommend making the most of the best climate in Canada (no exaggeration!) by going for a walk along the harbourside. The British Columbia Parliament Buildings and the City Hall are also nice, interesting places to visit (if you're so inclined).
The city of Victoria does not, in itself, have anything exceptional or unique in the world to offer. The way you learn to appreciate the discreet charm of this place is by walking and wandering around it, and this is true no matter what the season or time of day!
This island, to the west of Canada, close to the border with the United States, is a good place to start your journey to the south.
Life in the capital of British Columbia is lived to a rather British rhythm and afternoon tea is still a tradition. If your budget will stretch that far, the Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria is not only a building worth visiting in itself, it's the best place in town to get that traditional English vibe. I urge you to take a walk in its many gardens. It's a total pleasure and gives you a chance to admire the city's Victorian architecture. If you prefer to get out of the city and explore the region's natural beauty, try my favourite park, the Pacifique Rim. It's fantastic, like a long walk along the shore of the Pacific Ocean.
Victoria offers a perfect mix of nature and urban life, which is why I enjoyed my time there so much.
This pretty, tranquil small town has a distinctly British feel; flower-filled with Victorian houses, old buildings and brick warehouses. I loved the lively ambience around the port and the stunning British Columbia Parliament buildings, with their neo-Baroque features, enhanced by lighting when night falls. Other places you should see include Government House and the Burchard Garden.
There's also Victoria Island, where you go on great walks in an untouched, natural setting. Almost 30,000 black bears still live there! You can even spot whales (including Killer Whales) from the coast.