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My 5 favourites in and around Victoria

Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, is a must-see when visiting Vancouver Island, mostly because of its unique atmosphere and proximity to nature. Here are my 5 favorites in and around the heart of Victoria.

butchart garden

Just 30 minutes from Victoria, Butchart Garden is a paradise for horticulturalists and nature lovers alike. A must-see in the region, Butchart Garden features over 5 different gardens, from a Japanese garden to a magnificent rose garden. Beautifully maintained paths wind from one garden to the next, and the visit is a sight to behold!

The result of several years' work dating back to the early 20th century, Butchart Garden was originally a quarry that was completely transformed. Its splendid gardens are the work of Jennie Butchart. The Sunken Garden was the first to be created in 1906. More recently, the gardens were designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 2004.

beacon hill park

Did you know that this park in the heart of Victoria is home to free-roaming peacocks and one of Canada's most famous totem poles? Just a few minutes' walk from the famous Fairmon Empress Hotel and Victoria Harbour, Beacon Hill Park is an oasis of nature in the heart of the city.

This 197-acre park is dotted with numerous trails, one of which leads to the magnificent 40-metre-high totem pole, built in 1956. The highest in the world!

esquimalt lagoon migratory bird sanctuary

A meeting place for many migratory birds, the Esquimalt Lagoon Migratory Bird Sanctuary is the ideal place in the area for birdwatching.

Located 10 km west of Victoria, this lagoon provides rich feeding grounds and shelter for birds resting during their long migrations along the Pacific coast.

Numerous waterfowl, including American coot, mallard, pintail, green-winged teal and wigeon, can be observed in the shallow waters along the lagoon's shores. Although some areas around the lagoon have been developed, some of the land along the shoreline remains wooded, making it a prime location in the region for birdwatchers and bird lovers.

fisherman's wharf

On a sunny afternoon, there's nothing better than a stroll along this picturesque floating pier. You'll find several restaurants here, and getting there by water cab is great fun!

Its small, colorful floating houses are absolutely charming! Located near Victoria Harbour, Fisherman's Wharf is a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered.

If you have a little less time in the area, head for Goldstrem Provincial Park. Just 16 kilometers from downtown Victoria, this wilderness oasis boasts majestic waterfalls and a dense forest of ancient trees.

if you have time to explore further...cathedral grove in MacMillan national park

The name Cathedral Grove evoked in me something quite grandiose... and I wasn't disappointed! If you have a little more time on Vancouver Island, this is a must-see, despite the fact that it's about a 2-hour drive from Victoria.

As I entered this temple of nature, I was speechless! Grandiose is a small word to describe it. What an extraordinary place! If you have the opportunity to visit, don't hesitate to come and meet the home of the Douglas fir, the most majestic of which is over 800 years old...

Vancouver Island and the Victoria region are ideal for nature lovers and urban enthusiasts alike, and there's no doubt that you'll fall under the spell of this extraordinary place!

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