Located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, Victoria experiences the mildest climate in Canada and can be an ideal vacation spot year-round. The most popular time to visit is the summer, when schools are on break and the weather is warm and dry. Winter sees light amounts of snow and the lowest visitation of the year, except for the Victorian Christmas Holiday, which attracts large crowds. However, many people looking to escape even colder winter weather visit for longer periods of time, staying from one to three months. Spring and fall bring low prices, few crowds, and pleasant weather.
- high season: June to September
- low season: December to January
- shoulder season: October to November, February to May
Located in the sub-Mediterranean zone, Victoria experiences four temperate seasons and receives less rain than Vancouver or Seattle. Summers are typically warm and dry, with offshore breezes that keep temperatures cool. Spring arrives as early as February, marked by cherry blossoms, daffodils, and tulips, while autumn doesn't begin until well into September, when deciduous trees start to change colors. Winters see the heaviest rainfall, but it rarely snows, except in the mountains.
Summer tends to be the busiest time, with warm weather and major festivals, including Jazzfest International in June and July, and the Island Hearing Victoria Symphony Splash and Victoria Dragon Boat Festival in August. The shoulder seasons tend to be quieter times for a visit. Holidays attract crowds, especially the Victorian Christmas Season, which hosts many events.
Hotels, restaurants, and shops remain open year-round.
When to Save
The shoulder seasons are less expensive times to visit than the summer. Winter is the least expensive time, except around Christmas.
When to Book
Although hotel prices are set seasonally, it's wise to book two months in advance to ensure availability during the high season, special events and holidays. Last-minute lodging is available for those with flexible schedules.
Ferries tend to get busy during high season and long weekends. It's not necessary to book in advance, but making reservations online can help avoid waiting in long lines.
Information provided by Tourism Victoria.