Butchart Gardens

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Butchart Gardens: Our most recommended tours and activities

Victoria: The Butchart Gardens Tour

1. Victoria: The 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 attraction on Vancouver Island, and have been honored as a National Historic Site of Canada because of their international popularity.

Victoria Day Trip by Seaplane from Vancouver

2. Victoria Day Trip by Seaplane from Vancouver

On this full-day excursion you’ll depart Vancouver Harbor by seaplane for an exciting flight over the Gulf Islands to beautiful Victoria. After you arrive in Victoria you’ll enjoy a coach tour that take you to the famous Butchart Gardens. In Victoria the shops, a museum, and several other attractions are just steps away. You’ll return to Vancouver by seaplane on a scheduled afternoon flight of your choice. With more than 50 aircraft, Harbour Air and Westcoast Air operate the largest all-seaplane fleet in the world. DeHavilland DHC-3 Turbine Single Otters and Twin Otters service regularly scheduled flights between the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. DHC-2 Beavers service the Gulf Islands. Cessna 185 aircraft are available for charter.

Vancouver: Victoria, Gulf Islands Cruise, & Butchart Gardens

3. 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 enjoy some free time to take in this culturally significant city. Return on the bus to Vancouver by ferry to conclude this diverse tour. Packed with ever-changing experiences of the Pacific Coast and Vancouver Island, this tour is a must-do for those who have not yet visited Victoria.

From Vancouver: Butchart Gardens & Victoria Sightseeing Tour

4. 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 to assist you with suggestions on the best restaurants, breweries, shops, and hidden gems. Relax as you cruise back to the mainland in the evening, arriving back in Vancouver at approximately 9:30 PM.

Full-Day Victoria and Butchart Gardens Tour from Vancouver

5. Full-Day Victoria and Butchart Gardens Tour from Vancouver

Enjoy an exciting full-day tour in Victoria that's packed with activities. Your day will start with a ride on board a minibus in Vancouver that will take you to the ferry terminal in Tsawwassen. You will then be driven onto a ferry with on board amenities including a restaurant, gift shop, and arcades for the children. Walk around the deck while enjoying the scenery and look out for orcas, seals, and other marine life. Then dock in the port of Swartz Bay on Vancouver Island and tour the heart of Victoria. The area grew from the Gold Rush in 1841 and still displays many traditional buildings from the period by renowned Canadian architect, Francis Rattenbury. Once your guided tour is complete, enjoy 3 hours to explore the city at your own pace. Meet up and proceed to the magnificent Butchart Gardens, an area that stretches across 55 acres. Stroll through the charming gardens and admire its mix of traditional and modern landscapes.

Victoria: Butchart Gardens Seaplane Flight & Afternoon Tea

6. Victoria: Butchart Gardens Seaplane Flight & Afternoon Tea

Head out for the ultimate Victoria experience. Embark on a scenic seaplane journey to the beautiful Butchart Gardens. Along the way, enjoy a stunning aerial view of one of the city’s best-kept hidden gems, The Butchart Gardens, before landing on the gardens’ private dock. With the picturesque gardens as your backdrop, enjoy afternoon tea in the Dining Room restaurant in the gardens. After tea, enjoy a leisurely 1-hour stroll through the breathtaking gardens. End your experience with a scenic limousine ride back to downtown Victoria.

Victoria & Butchard Gardens Private Tour from Vancouver

7. Victoria & Butchard Gardens Private Tour from Vancouver

Enjoy complimentary pick-up from your hotel in Vancouver. At Tsawwassen, board the ferry and enjoy a spectacular 1.5-hour ferry ride through the Gulf Islands. Lookout for whales, dolphins, and sea lions. Be enchanted by the beautiful islands, and enjoy feeling the wind in your face on the top deck.  Make your first stop at Butchard Gardens, where you will be wowed by this oasis of lush green and colorful blooms, stretching for 55 acres of flowers, trees, pathways, and creeks. The garden features a sunken garden, a world-famous rose garden, and a wonderful restaurant serving high tea daily.  Take a scenic tour by the ocean en route to the city center of Victoria. Drive by the University of Victoria, Oak Bay, the Uplands, Beacon Hill Park, and finally Downtown Victoria with its BC Parliament Building, Empress Hotel, Chinatown, and Craigdarroch Castle. Have lunch or a small bite, at your leisure. Later in the evening head back to Vancouver where you'll be dropped at your hotel.

Other Sightseeing Options in Butchart Gardens

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

What people are saying about Butchart Gardens

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 414 reviews

We traveled comfortably by bus and water transport for the bus. Our bus driver was very informative about what we would see and do. We enjoyed a lovely walk through the Butchart gardens, then time in Victoria to explore.

The Gardens were beautiful. The coach we travelled in was comfortable and had charging ports for your phone. Guide was terrific and very knowledgeable. Would recommend this trip to anyone.

Beautiful flowers, all the different species and their amazing designs were indescribable. All the hidden gems, gardens and themes were so opulent.

Our tour guide/driver was extremely knowledgeable and helpful.

Tim our tour guide was entertaining and very knowledgeable.