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.

Vancouver: Victoria, Gulf Islands Cruise, & Butchart Gardens

2. 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

3. 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

4. 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.

Vancouver to Victoria and Butchart Gardens

5. Vancouver to Victoria and Butchart Gardens

Visit and experience Victoria, British Columbia’s capital city on this full-day guided tour. Start from downtown Vancouver and travel south through the city before hopping on board a BC Ferry for a 90-minute voyage across the Georgia Strait through the scenic Southern Gulf Islands. Once docked on Vancouver Island, the tour continues to the world-famous Butchart Gardens, a National Historic Site of Canada. You’ll find remnants of the original cement plant and millions of bedding plants in over 900 varieties within the over 50 acres of stunning gardens. Enjoy 2 leisurely hours to fully explore one of the world’s premier floral show gardens. After the gardens, head to downtown Victoria through Canada’s oldest China Town and the scenic Victoria Harbour — including the Inner Harbour — one of the most beautiful harbors in the world. Once downtown, you will have additional free time to explore the local area; stroll the Inner Harbour, take in the thriving arts and cultural scene, or visit the historic Empress Hotel or the Royal BC Museum.

Victoria and Butchart Gardens Christmas Tour

6. 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 the bus and ferry journey back to Vancouver.

Victoria Day Trip by Seaplane from Vancouver

7. 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.

Victoria: Butchart Gardens Seaplane Flight & Afternoon Tea

8. 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

9. 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

I have to confess, I was a little resistant to book this tour as I usually manage trips on my own and thought it was pricey, but due to the logistics of getting to Victoria I decided to give it a try. I didn't have much interest in going to The Butchart Gardens, but I loved it so much that I'm happy it was on the itinerary. Our tour guide, Alessio, was amazing and made the whole difference. He's not only knowledgeable, but funny and super nice. Totally worth the money and highly recommend!

We enjoyed the trip. There was a good balance of sightseeing and relaxing activities. Our tour guide Alex was excellent, very knowledgeable and caring and a great driver who made us feel safe. Pick up and drop off were smooth. It was a wonderful day.

Superb. Day, with a very helpful and very cordial driver, although the time in Victoria seemed too short to me, probably a constraint due to the ferries, we liked it

Our tour guide Alex was fantastic. So friendly, funny and informative!

Knowledgeable driver. Fabulous tour. Just the right amount of time.