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Saanich

 

Saanich Peninsula & Sidney

The Saanich Peninsula is a long, scenic headland northeast of Victoria. Once primarily a farming region, the peninsula is a beautiful destination with pastures, rolling hills and water on all sides. It’s appropriately known as Vancouver Island’s "Provence."

The area has several small, friendly towns like Brentwood Bay, Saanichton and Sidney, a seaside village known for its cozy shops and bistros.

 

Flower power

The floral wonders of The Butchart Gardens, a National Historic Site, impress a million visitors annually. Enjoy the themed Japanese, Italian, rose and sunken gardens, catch some live music, enjoy afternoon tea, then stick around for evening illuminations or Saturday night fireworks in the summer months.

Don't miss the peninsula's hidden gems: the serene rhododendron and Zen gardens at The Gardens at HCP, the hundreds of free-flying butterflies at Victoria Butterfly Gardens and the bird-rich marshlands at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary.

Sip your way through wine country

The back roads of Saanich are dotted with small wineries and home to a traditional cider maker and an artisanal gin distillery. Stop for an al fresco winery lunch, or fill your picnic basket at farm stands along the way.

 

Sidney by the Sea

Be sure to stop at the small seaside town of Sidney, where oceanographers find inspiration in the luminous jellyfish and sea life of Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea.

Book lovers flock to Canada's Booktown, where over a dozen bookshops each have their own distinct identity and focal point. Grab a good read and browse the many food and craft stalls at the Thursday Sidney Summer Market.

Sidney is also close to the BC Ferry Terminal, which serves as the gateway to the Lower Mainland and Gulf Islands (Salt Spring, North and South Pender, Mayne, Saturna and Galiano islands)