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Exchange Homes with Victoria, BC, Canada

by Cathie Makaroff 

Victoria Home Exchange

Victoria is a world renowned tourist destination with 3.8 million visitors every year.  People come from all over the globe to enjoy the views of snow-capped mountains across the beautiful Strait of Juan de Fuca, the bustling inner harbour and historic and quaint downtown. Victoria offers easy access to whale-watching,  many white sand beaches, tide pools, dozens of great golf courses,  historic castles, world class gardens (such as Butchart Gardens),  music festivals, kayaking, sailing, fishing, extensive bike routes and trails, museums, galleries, fine and funky dining and much more. There are many colorful local markets as well as unique boutique shopping downtown and in the many ‘villages’ in the heritage neighbourhoods surrounding the central city.

Within a half hour’s drive of Victoria are pristine lakes surrounded by forests, breathtaking fjords, rainforest hikes, rural farmland with fresh fruits and veggies for the picking as well as farmer’s markets, lazy rivers for tubing down and quiet tidal beaches. Tree-top zip-lining is an amazing newer attraction also offered near the city.  One can access all this either by car or by taking one of the tree lined bike paths that wind their way through the Saanich Peninsula. 

Also a half hour’s drive away is the ferry terminal which gives access to the wonderful ‘archipelago’ that is the Gulf Islands.  After a short and breathtaking ferry ride one can visit any of the diverse islands and taste their laid-back island culture, enjoy the many galleries and artisans studios that call the islands home, savour the locally made (and often grown) edibles such as cheese, lamb, coffee, chocolate and of course organic fruits and veggies.  The islands are also home to many well known musicians and have high quality concerts and entertainment on a regular basis.  Most of the islands are easily visited by bicycle and have a wonderful selection of B&Bs and boutique inns at which to stay.  At the Ferry terminal one can also catch the ferry to Vancouver; a one and a half hour cruise through the islands to one of the most beautiful and cosmopolitan cities in the world.

A little further afield, but still within an afternoon’s drive, an island visitor can enjoy miles and miles of warm tidal beaches at Parksville,  old growth rain forest in the Carmanah Valley and at Cathedral Grove,  surf beaches at China Beach and Jordan River, mountain hikes in Strathcona park and radical mountain biking (skiing in winter) at Mount Washington. A couple more hours drive will bring one to the amazing power of the full Pacific Ocean at Long Beach.

The list of beautiful places and unique activities goes on and on.  This is truly one of the most breathtaking places on earth! 

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Hi there from sunny Brunswick Heads, Australia

Have had a successful change to Alaska in '09 through your site and have another arranged for Nova Scotia later this year. Plus I am hosting someone from Reunion Island in April - all through your free site. Excellent!

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