The COVID-19 pandemic has prevented many of us from the type of travel and tourism we are used to. However, wanderlust doesn’t sleep, and we know that many of our readers have been taking advantage of local adventure and exploration in the meantime. There are plenty of ways to travel local and we want to highlight one today: take a long weekend to cycle from Vancouver to Victoria.
Day One: Cycle from Vancouver to Victoria
To cycle from Vancouver to Victoria, you will be en route for about 7 hours. This trip includes a ferry ride across the Strait of Georgia, which encompasses about 90 minutes of this total time. This is a great break after the first ~3 hours of your cycling journey. On the ferry, you can rest, have a snack, take a bathroom break, and enjoy the scenic waterscape view.
Tip: Before you leave, use a basic bicycle safety checklist to make sure your handy mode of transportation is healthy.
Today will mostly be about travel so make sure to prepare yourself with a good breakfast and some hearty snacks for along the way, just in case. You’ll exit the ferry at Swartz Bay and follow the Highway or side roads all the way to Victoria. You’ll pass through or near Sydney, Saanichton, and Cordova Bay along the way—in case you need to stop at all.
Once you arrive in Victoria, consider treating yourself to a luxury hotel to reward yourself for the trip (and ensure you have access to all amenities and more). We suggest the Fairmont Empress Hotel but there are plenty of hotels and motels to choose from in the city proper. Also known as Canada’s Castle on the Coast, the Fairmont Empress Hotel boasts a guest spa, in-room and attached-venue dining options, internet access, and laundry services.
Day Two: Enjoy Victoria
Here’s where your trip can get a bit flexible—you can stay in the city for as long as you like. No need to keep your trip to three days only if you have some extra vacation time you want to use up. Here are a few ideas for how to spend your time in Victoria:
Visit the Royal B.C. Museum or Art Gallery
Victoria has many cultural and historical venues for visitors to check out. The Royal B.C. Museum and Art Gallery are two of the most popular. You can also see the Victoria Bug Zoo as well as Miniature World.
Tour Craigdarroch Castle
This example of a “bonanza castle”—massive houses built for entrepreneurs who became wealthy during the industrial age—is open for 90-minute, self-guided tours. Wander through four floors of stained-glass windows, intricate woodwork, and fabulous Victorian-era furnishings.
Walk the Inner-Harbour Pathway
This harbor has had a long history, starting with its use by First Nations groups. Recreational vessels and small cruise ships can moor in the center of this famous heritage city, just steps from its historic streets and distinctive architecture.
A Trip to the Beach
Visit one of several beaches that are open to the public, like Gonzales Bay, Spiral Beach, Willows Beach, Lagoon Beach, Ross Bay Public Pebbles Beach, as well as many waterfront parks.
Day Three: The Return Trip
This day will be a repeat of your first day…only in reverse! Bid farewell to beautiful Vancouver Island and head back to the city. Be sure to treat yourself to a nice bottle of B.C. wine to reward yourself for a trip well done.