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Festive Victoria TourThe holidays are an exciting time of year, with a number of activities and events to attend. As fun as the holidays are, they can also be stressful with gifts to purchase, meals to prepare and a full social calendar. However, these things should not deter you from enjoying the holiday season. Escape the hustle and bustle while still enjoying the spirit of the season with the Festive Victoria Tour. This fully narrated tour allows you to explore the city of Victoria during this delightful time of year, as many popular locations are festooned with sparkling lights and seasonal decor.

The tour begins by traveling through Mile 0 (the start of 8, 000 km Trans-Canada Highway that spans the entire length of Canada), Beacon Hill Park and Cook Street Village.Craigdarroch Castle The coach also goes through the popular Chinatown, which is the oldest in Canada and only the second in age in North America to the Chinatown in San Francisco, California. Next, visit Craigdarroch Castle, and take a self-guided tour of this 1800’s mansion that has been designated a National Historic Site of Canada. The Craigdarroch was created for coal baron Robert Dunsmuir and Joan. Featuring 39 rooms, the castle has become well known for its stained glass windows and ornate carved wood. During the holidays, these furnishings look even more beautiful as they are decorated with traditional Victorian Christmas décor.

The Butchart Gardens at Christmas

Take in views of Mt. Tolmie, the towns of Oak Bay and Saanich all lit up with lights and scenic views of the water along Marine Drive as you travel to The Butchart Gardens. Once you arrive at the Gardens, you will have time to explore the 55 acres of manicured grounds. These gardens, which were a limestone quarry, are stunning any time of the year, but the caretakers at the garden really go all out for the holidays. View wintertime flowers like snowdrops and hellebore or stop and take a break to go ice skating at the outdoor rink that is set up only during the holiday season. While you are at the gardens you will be treated to a holiday high tea, featuring traditional delicacies, savory sandwiches, house sweets and a flight of three local wines. If you enjoy holiday lights, you may wish to stay at The Butchart Gardens to view their spectacular show (later buses are available, please call in advance to make arrangements). All of the grounds are covered in thousands of lights and there are special Twelve Days of Christmas displays interspersed throughout. You can also hear music played by carolers and a brass band from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. each evening and enjoy snacks and a cup of hot chocolate in the Coffee Shop.


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