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Victoria full day tour + Butchart Gardens

This full day tour offers all the best of city highlights, the renowned Butchart Gardens and offers layers of “local living”  all at a lovely pace.

This fully narrated tour will cover all the major highlights with time to explore interiors of some buildings, gardens, some of Victoria’s most beautiful neighborhoods and spectacular ocean views.

Vistoria is rich in history, architecture and stories of the people who influenced the making of this charming city today. You’ll hear of the Lekwungen people, our first nations, early European settlers and the event that changed the landscape here and evolved into the charming city Victoria is today.

Price: $810 (this is a group price, not per person)

Capacity: vehicle seats 5 people comfortably (6 max)

Tour duration: 7-8 hours 

What’s included: private transportation and professional tour guide

What’s not included: personal expenses, food and beverage,  and admission to Butchart Gardens or Craigdarroch Castle 

  • Butchart Garden admission is $39.50/adult (2023) gates close early April – May and Sept -Oct
  • Craigdarroch Castle admission is $20/adult (this is an approximate price and hours of operations are typically Wednesday to Sunday.  NOTE: There are 5 floors to tour and no elevators

The best time to start this tour is around 9:00 am or earlier


The order of this itinerary may vary depending on your pick location. There is a mix of walking and driving, please let me know if there are any mobile issues so we can make adjustments.  

We will begin at Thunderbird park where you will view ancient and modern story poles and learn about our First Nations history and the role the Canadian government played.
We’ll then explore the Inner Harbour – the hub of the city, see the BC Legislative building (exterior only), the Empress Hotel and learn about Victoria’s most famous architect Francis Rattenbury – there’s a tale of adultry, betrayal and murder. 

A wander up through Government street will give us some opportunity to see some historic shops and pubs as we make our way to Bastion Square – the location where Fort Victoria once stood. 

From there you’ll learn about the event that changed the landscape of the area in 1848, make our way through the old town, and finalize our walking tour in historic Chinatown. Our chinese community has a fascinating history and this Chinatown is the oldest in Canada. We will also wander through the infamous Fan Tan Alley. 

An additional portion of this tour will take us through the beautiful neighborhood of Rockland with is stately mansions while we make our way to see the Craigdarroch Castle. A baronial style mansion built  in 1908 by coal baron Robert Dunsmuir. Viewing the interior is something I do recommend but is dependant on hours of operation. Note there are five floors and no elevators.  

Then we will drive through the estate of the Lt. Governer General of BC (the provincial representative of the crown) before heading to the Marina Restaurant for a lovely lunch. 

Our last or first stop is the wonderful Butchart Gardens – we will take  1 to 1. 5 hours to explore the gardens.  Depending on what time of day we are here, I may recommend lunch at the former home of Jennie and Robert Butchart.

NOTE: If you have mobility issues, I recommend pre-renting a scooter. The gardens provide wheelchairs but they can be quite difficult to manouver through the grounds. 

If time is permitting we may visit the following locations: 
Beacon Hill Park, worlds tallest totem pole, and Mile Zero with a tribute to Canadian legend Terry Fox, and Fisherman’s Wharf, a quirky neighborhood of colorful float homes. 


If you would like to add in a wine and/or cider tasting please let me know and we will make adjustments to the itinerary as necessary. 



Transportation: 2013 Lincoln Navigator (SUV); capacity 6 passengers  (three seats in the rear / two in the middle / 1 upfront with the driver). 

Easy in/out access, large comfortable seating and excellent viewing windows. Air-conditioned and mobile device charging outlets. The vehicle is equipped with an audio system so your tour guide’s dialogue can be heard throughout the vehicle. 

Passenger transportation certified / Tour operator licensed and insured

Cancellation: Tours cancelled within 24 hours of the tour start date will be subject to a $100 non-refundable fee plus any applicable pre-purchased tickets and food orders that are not refundable by the vendor. Proof of receipts will be provided with the balance of your refund. If we need to cancel your tour due to illness or other unforeseen issues, 100% refund will be issued. 

NOTE: Tours are provided rain or shine. Victoria weather is hard to guarentee. 

Covid measures:  If you are feeling unwell or have been exposed to Covid, please advise me as soon as possible.  

Mobility-challenged passengers: Tours can be adjusted to accommodate wheelchairs and other mobility devices. All equipment must be able to collapse and be lifted into the vehicle. The vehicle is equipped with grip bars but is taller than the traditional van, and passengers must be able to get in and out of the vehicle with minimal assistance. Passenger capacity will be limited to 4 or 5 depending on the size of the equipment. Please contact me for more information prior to booking a tour if you are unsure. 

Child car seats: By BC law, children under 40 lbs (18kg) are required to be buckled into a full forward-facing car seat. This can be provided (rental fee applies).

Children over 40 lbs and under 4’9″ must use a booster seat. Two boosters are available for free.

Pick-up/ drop-off locations are available anywhere within the peninsula. This includes: Swartz Bay ferry terminal;  YYJ airport; Harbour Air, Helijet, Coho and Clipper terminals; cruise ship port (Ogden Point); all hotels, inns, B&Bs and private accommodations within the Saanich Peninsula. There will be an additional one hour charge of $135 for pick-ups/drop-offs  in Langford, Bear Mountain and Villa Eyrie Resort.  

Currency: Acceptable currency is in Canadian or US dollars. Each shop/restaurant may have their own currency exchange rate.

Taxes: Expect to pay an additional 12% tax on purchases and 5% at restaurants and other services. It is customary to tip with a recommended amount of 15-20% in restaurants. 

Weather and what to wear: Check the weather forecast on the day of your tour. Dress in layers. It can be cooler closer to the ocean and hotter at interior locations. Wear comfortable shoes as some of the  off-the-beaten path gems might involve a bit of rocky terrain. We will provide umbrellas if required.

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