Vancouver Island
Day Trips

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Our most recommended Vancouver Island Day Trips

  • Vancouver: Victoria, Gulf Islands Cruise, & Butchart Gardens

    1. Vancouver: Victoria, Gulf Islands Cruise, & Butchart Gardens

    View the spectacular British Columbia coastline by land and ship, followed by a stop at Butchart Gardens en route to the British-inspired city of Victoria. Board a BC Ferries vessel at Tsawwassen terminal for a 90-minute sail through the serene beauty of the Gulf Islands. Marine wildlife sightings from the outdoor ship decks are common, especially eagles, sea lions, and whales. Arrive at Swartz Bay terminal on Vancouver Island and continue to the enchanting botanical paradise of Butchart Gardens. Wander through a series of themed gardens, highlighted by the massive Sunken Garden complete with dancing fountain. The city of Victoria boasts many impressive architectural wonders, including the iconic Parliament Buildings and the waterfront Fairmont Empress Hotel. Visit the unique shops and cafes of Government Street and Chinatown. Stroll along the Inner Harbour for prime ocean views, and e...

    Great experience, great driver with sense of humour but gray line west coast sightseeing tour is short staff and we could not contact them the day before departure. Overall excellent!

  • From Vancouver: Butchart Gardens & Victoria Sightseeing Tour

    2. From Vancouver: Butchart Gardens & Victoria Sightseeing Tour

    Meet in central Vancouver and take a 90-minute scenic cruise aboard the ferry to Vancouver Island. Sail through the Strait of Georgia and enjoy the scenery. Be sure to visit the outside decks as it’s not uncommon to see all kinds of sea life, including porpoises and whales. Arrive on Vancouver Island and first visit the beautiful Butchart Gardens. Explore this world-renowned botanical garden which was once a quarry, featuring the Japanese Garden, the Ross Fountain, an Italian Garden, and other floral displays. Continue the trip with a ferry ride to the city of Victoria’s Inner Harbour. Discover the main sights of Victoria with your guide, starting at Mile O. See Ogden Point, Fisherman’s Wharf, Empress Hotel, and historic Chinatown, including the famous Fan Tan Alley. Later, enjoy some free time to explore on your own or book an additional optional activity. Your guide will be on hand ...

    Our tour guide and driver Ian was awesome. He was funny, informative and gave clear instructions on departure/arrival times and gave good tips on things to do on our stay in Vancouver.

  • Victoria Panoramic Seaplane Tour

    3. Victoria Panoramic Seaplane Tour

    Fly high above scenic Victoria BC and explore its beautiful scenery by seaplane. This thrill-a-minute tour will reveal a spectacular landscape and unforgettable aerial views. The Panoramic Seaplane Tour of Victoria will glide over the Olympic Mountains and along the Victoria waterfront to the white sand beaches of James and Sydney Islands. From here the tour heads north to the Saanich Peninsular and over the famous Butchart Gardens before returning back to Victoria Harbor. It is an experience not to be missed, especially if time is limited in Victoria and the photo opportunities just cannot be bettered. A fantastic day out for aviation lovers.

    What a wonderful way to see Victoria! A great adventure, and well worth it. Highly recommend.

  • Butchart Gardens Tour

    4. Butchart Gardens Tour

    The famous Butchart Gardens exist on the site of an exhausted limestone quarry. The first garden, the Sunken Garden, was built when the Butcharts hired a Japanese landscape architect to transform the quarry space into something beautiful. On the 35-minute bus ride from Victoria, your experienced driver will provide an overview of Victoria’s history past, present & future. Once the bus gets you to Butchart Gardens, you will have the opportunity to explore the enchanting grounds for yourself. The gardens span 55 acres and provide a total sensory experience. The flowers and scents transform with the seasons, and you will have a spectacular experience no matter what time of year! As you wander the gardens, we encourage you to enjoy the view while sipping from a cup of coffee at one of the restaurants or seasonal cafés scattered across the grounds. The gardens have become a major attracti...

  • Vancouver to Victoria and Butchart Gardens

    5. Vancouver to Victoria and Butchart Gardens

    Enjoy an extended 13-hour tour of Vancouver Island and Victoria, with return transfers from Vancouver or drop off in Victoria if you prefer. Once at Vancouver Island’s Swartz Bay on the Saanich Peninsula, drive by air-conditioned coach to Butchart Gardens and walk among the 50 acres of magnificent foliage. Then head to downtown Victoria, traveling through quaint Chinatown and the Inner Harbour. Take free time to explore the Inner Harbour, admiring heritage sites such as the Empress Hotel, the Royal BC Museum, and BC Legislature. Depart from downtown Victoria for your return journey to Vancouver in the late afternoon. Your return journey to the mainland will be on board a BC Ferry, where you can watch for whales, dolphins, sea lions, and other magnificent marine mammals. Arrival in Vancouver is scheduled for approximately 21:30, where you can be dropped off at your downtown hotel or di...

    Was a great experience! We love the flowers. The travel is long, but is great. The bus is incredibly clean and the driver was very nice person and knowledge. We want to come again.

  • From Vancouver: Tofino Round-Trip Seaplane Experience

    6. From Vancouver: Tofino Round-Trip Seaplane Experience

    Discover the West Coast of Vancouver Island with this round-trip seaplane flight to Tofino. Depart from the harbor in Vancouver and take in the scenery as you cross the Strait of Georgia to reach Tofino – a world-famous surf destination. Admire the beauty of this coastline as you fly over the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve and Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Briefly touch down in Tofino’s picturesque harbor before returning to downtown Vancouver.

  • Victoria and Butchart Gardens Christmas Tour

    7. Victoria and Butchart Gardens Christmas Tour

    Benefit from pick-up at your hotel in downtown Vancover, and then board the boat at the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal to take a scenic 1.5-hour cruise around the Gulf Islands. Look for marine wildlife on the outdoor deck as you make your way to Schwartz Bay on Vancouver Island. Drop anchor to explore the provincial capital of British Columbia. Get a short introduction to Victoria and enjoy some free time to look inside the unique shops of Government Street and Chinatown. Stroll along the Inner Harbour and get amazing ocean views. Take souvenir photos of the festive decorations of the Victoria Parliament Building and Fairmont Empress Hotel. Continue to the botanical paradise of Butchart Gardens and wander through a series of themed gardens to see the Christmas lights and holiday wreaths. Hear carols being sung and much more to experience the Magic of Christmas. Return to Schwartz Bay for th...

    It was the best New Years Day I have ever had. Victoria is beautiful and the Christmas lights display at the Butchart Gardens was absolutely spectacular. We were blessed with perfect weather, and Hermann, our driver was funny, informative and well organised.

  • Victoria, BC: 3-Hour Ultimate Whale & Marine Wildlife Tour

    8. Victoria, BC: 3-Hour Ultimate Whale & Marine Wildlife Tour

    The waters off Victoria, British Columbia are known as the Salish Sea. Discover its wonders and rich marine environment with this ultimate whale and marine wildlife tour! Board a brand new high speed coastal explorer boat and set sail to look for orcas (also known as killer whales), humpbacks, harbor seals, California sea lions and over 127 species of marine birds!  Take a tour of the west coast aboard a luxurious coastal explorer, with two outside viewing areas and a fully heated cabin. Enjoy complimentary coffee and hot chocolate as you set off on an adventure to learn all about the local marine wildlife and important landmarks. From playful orcas to giant humpbacks, your experience is sure to be memorable. Discover the marine wildlife in the waters off Victoria with the help of marine biologists and learn about efforts to establish Victoria as a world renowned whale watching destina...

    Captain Andrew and Crew Emma were fantastic! Left on time, they charged a great deal about our safety and comfort. And….we saw whales! Not easy, considering the poor visibility from a fog bank. Thank you for an awesome afternoon.

  • Vancouver: Whale Watching Victoria Trip & Return by Seaplane

    9. Vancouver: Whale Watching Victoria Trip & Return by Seaplane

    Start your day with a pickup at 7:30 AM from your accommodations in Vancouver. Take off on a whale-watching safari across the Georgia Strait, then spend the afternoon enjoying the English charm of Victoria. Look out for a wide variety of wildlife, like seagulls, sea lions, and seals. Adorned with flowers and colonial architecture, Victoria is a wanderer's paradise. Admire the beauty of the ocean and reflect on the area's history as you explore this vibrant city where students and politicians alike get around by bike. With a nod to its English heritage, British Columbia’s capital is filled with gardens and seafront parks, stately hotels and museums, bohemian eateries, and craft breweries. It is also the gateway to southern Vancouver Island, a destination for food and wine touring, whale watching, and ocean adventures of all kinds. At the end of the day, return to Vancouver by seaplane. ...

  • 6-Hour Victoria to Cowichan Wine Tour

    10. 6-Hour Victoria to Cowichan Wine Tour

    Join one of the highest rated wine tours in British Columbia.  Interact directly with the winery teams and enjoy your own private group tastings.  This tour is a must see for anyone who loves wine or just wants a day of relaxation in the Cowichan Valley. All tastings are included as well as a BBQ burger and salad lunch.  See three of the top rated wineries in the Cowichan Valley. Sample Itinerary:

    • 9:45 AM: Registration - Pickup at 660 Oswego St, Victoria, BC at the passenger loading zone 
    • 10:00 AM: Leave for Enrico
    • 10:40 AM: Lookout photo stop at the top of the Malahat
    • 11:00 AM: Enrico Tasting and Lunch
    • 12:15 PM: Leave for Blue Grouse
    • 12:30 PM: Tasting at Blue Grouse
    • 1:30 PM: Leave for Unsworth
    • 1:45 PM: Behind the scenes wine tour at Unsworth - Group choice of Vineyard or Bottling 
    • 2:15 PM: Tasti...

    We come from a wine country (central California), so it was fun and interesting learning about the different grapes and climate. A pretty ride too.

Other Sightseeing Options in Vancouver Island

Want to discover all there is to do in Vancouver Island? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Vancouver Island

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 305 reviews

We really enjoyed the trip!!! My husband thought that going to the Butchart Gardens will be boring, but that was the highlight of his trip! Lol Our tour guide was really good !!! We will recommend this tour 100%!!!

Our tour guide and driver Ian was awesome. He was funny, informative and gave clear instructions on departure/arrival times and gave good tips on things to do on our stay in Vancouver.

Great experience, great driver with sense of humour but gray line west coast sightseeing tour is short staff and we could not contact them the day before departure. Overall excellent!

What a wonderful way to see Victoria! A great adventure, and well worth it. Highly recommend.

Long but excellent trip. Wonderful tour guide/bus driver