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The capital of British Columbia, Victoria perches on the southern end of Vancouver Island, founded on a British settlement that arrived on the land in 1843. The legacy of the city’s colonial past can be found in Victoria’s grandiose architecture, epitomised by buildings such as the stately Craigdarroch Castle mansion. Known as ‘the garden city’, Victoria ranks as one of the top 20 world cities for quality of life, popular with boaters who enjoy exploring the area’s varied shorelines and beaches, as well as those in search of a more relaxed pace of life.
A hire car is the perfect way to explore Victoria’s picturesque landscape, as well as adventure to other nearby hotspots such as the vibrant city of Vancouver or popular skiing destination Whistler. Canada’s well-maintained roads and breathtaking landscape make road trips around Victoria an unforgettable experience.
BC Ferries arrive from mainland Tsawwassen at Swartz Bay, 19 miles north of Victoria. Victoria Clipper Services also run from Seattle to the Inner Harbour, as do Black Ball Transport boats from Port Angeles. If you decide to fly directly, Vancouver International Airport is a 30-minute drive outside of the city, with a simple drive down the BC-17 highway almost all the way.
Both Hertz and Avis provide high-quality hire car in Victoria.
Victoria is a cultural hub with plenty to see and do, from the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (10 minutes drive out of the centre of town) where you can view the groundbreaking work of British Columbia’s best known painter Emily Carr, to Fisherman’s Wharf – a floating boardwalk bordered by hoUSAeboats, shops and restaurants where you can feast on freshly caught seafood. Further out of town, a 20-minute drive will take you to the spectacular Goldstream Provincial Park, a haven of unspoilt nature and tranquillity. Your Victoria hire car can also help you to explore more of Vancouver Island, including the harbour city of Nanaimo (90 minutes’ drive away) and Courtenay (almost three hours’ drive away), popular for bird watching and nature trails.
Canadians drive on the right and safety standards are particularly high on the roads, with excellent conditions across the country. However, when venturing out of the city, keep an eye out for wild animals. Signs should alert you to areas where wildlife such as deer and elk are present.
Feeling inspired to start exploring Victoria and other parts of Canada? Check out this city guide and use the Expedia search tool to help you find the best car hire in Victoriaa, as well as flight and hotel deals and research the best attractions and activities.
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