Best beaches in Victoria-The area around Victoria has three gorgeous beaches on both sides of the city. This makes for ideal beach-going conditions: if it’s windy or rough on one side, just head to the other side to find calm water. If the winds shift, don’t sweat it – a majority of the beaches within the city limits are a short drive from one another.
Best Beaches in Victoria
Here are some of the best beaches in Victoria that one must visit!
1. Cordova Bay
Cordova Bay Beach is one of the widest and longest best beaches in Canada. The views are great, especially because the beach goes both north and south. Cordova Bay beach is great for long walks with your dog or on your own.
The sand is a rocky beach near the beginning of the ocean beaches, but as you walk towards the water around cattle point, it gets more sandy. Cordova bay beach isn’t as windy as some of the other beaches in Victoria beaches either which might be why it’s considered one of the best beaches in Victoria. Wear what you’re comfortable in since there can sometimes be four different seasons herein.
Just back from the rocky beach and in need of somewhere good to eat? Have a meal at Beach House. This Cordova Bay institution has wind-protected decks and is right by the seashore. Get a table outside in the summer, relax over a meal, and take in all this local treasure has to offer.
Although Cordova Bay beach is usually called Cordova Bay, there are other access points that lead to slightly different areas of the same bay beach. These are Agate Park, McMorran Park, and Gloria Beach Access. All these access points are found off Cordova Bay Road.
2. Esquimalt Lagoon
One of the best beaches in Victoria is Esquimalt Lagoon. You can walk on a long cattle point, a flat stretch of sand that separates the ocean from the lagoon. The views here are beautiful, taking in snow-capped mountains and the shimmering water of the lagoon.
The rocky beach is so wide and level with a mix of soft sand and small stones, you’ll feel like you have your own private paradise on the shore. Esquimalt Lagoon beach is a popular island view beach, but the area is still large so you’ll occasionally be able to find solitude here if you look hard enough. Many people enjoy parking here in the winter at Shallow Lagoon, especially because some people like to sit in their cars and watch the scenery without the ice and snow interfering with their views.
3. Gonzales Beach
“Gonzales Beach can be found on the west coast of the Pacific Ocean. Located in between two headlands, it’s protected from waves. The water here tends to be warmer and there’s also a chance you can go swimming!”
Maybe you’re not a huge fan of the max temperature in summer being 13 degrees Celsius in Gonzales beach? Luckily, there are more things to do on the Gonzales beach besides swimming. Luxury homes sit on the rocky shoreline by the Gonzales beach, and just behind it is a little terraced park with picnic tables and washrooms.
Gonzales Beach for sea life is part of the Oak Bay Marina area and has limited parking available. The parking lot is small and many people park on the other roads that surround the area at Gonzales bay beach: Ross Street, Richmond Ave, or Crescent Road.
4. Spiral Beach
Although not a swim-friendly and rocky beach, the amazing tide pools of Spiral Beach are scenic and have lots of parking spots because it’s so close to Dallas Road. The long sandy beach itself is rocky with driftwood and soft sand, and for that reason, it’s difficult to walk at any time other than low tide. But there are sections of the Spiral beach with a walkway just back from the water which makes it easier to explore, and a scenic loop can be done to get from Clover Point.
You can walk downtown Victoria beaches on either side of the water along Clover Point. If you walk down to Cook Street, you’ll notice a staircase that leads back up to where you started. You can alternatively grab lunch at the Cook Street Village before returning to Clover Point through another staircase.
5. Cadboro Gyro Park
One of the best beaches in Victoria is Cadboro Bay Beach and Gyro Park for families. Cadboro Bay beach is a regional park that has one of the largest beautiful beaches and swimming spots for families in Victoria, and with lots of things to do, it’s perfect for kids.
The Gyro beach runs in a northeast to southwest direction and is roughly shaped like a mushroom head. One of the best parts of the Gyro beach is near Cadboro Gyro Park, which makes it easy to visit both areas. Beachgoers can expect calm, walking trails and protected waters with small waves and pebbly shorelines with patches of soft sand dunes through Gyro beach. Circling the Gyro beach is driftwood and it’s fun for kids to create wooden forts or for parents to erect windbreaks.
Gyro Park is well-known as a regional park for children’s playground with many different play structures, for example, the octopus, the salmon, and the shipwreck. Cadborosaurus – which literally translates to “cadborosaurus” has been spotted around here. In addition to the play structures, a zipline and traditional swings are available for children to enjoy.
There are plenty of activities near the Gyro beach, including the boast a great view of the Olympic mountains, and yacht races which are regularly hosted by the Royal Victoria Yacht Club.
6. Island View beach
If you’re looking for beautiful, soft sand and a peaceful place to relax, Island View Beach is perfect. It’s 25 minutes away from downtown Victoria which has the best beaches in Victoria and it feels like being on a Vancouver island among few people around. You get all the benefits of having lots of space, quiet, and making memories.
You can walk for many kilometers even to Cordova Spit at low tide, as long as you don’t mind being an excursionist. The level trail starts just back from the beach and takes fewer than three kilometers to complete.
Offshore, you get a great view of Haro Strait, Darcy Island, Sidney Island, San Juan Island in the USA, and the sand-colored bluffs of James. The island view beach is a bit rough with rocks and some sand in parts. Driftwood can be found near the back.
Camping on the beach is a popular activity for many people during the summer months. This can be enjoyed by staying at a campsite that’s located close to the water. You might get lulled to sleep at night by the sound of waves, and soft sand and wake up each morning with a view of the sea, as you’re sunrise over it.
7. Willows Beach
Incredible views across the Haro Strait to Mount Bachelor and the rotating Olympic Mountains welcome you as you come to Willows Beach, facing southwest. On many occasions, this southern Vancouver island view beach has had the most impressive views of all beaches in Victoria.
There are not many beautiful beaches in downtown Victoria with green spaces like Willows behind it. The Willows beach is great for playing Frisbee or tossing a football. Families will love the large lawns. They are great for picnics and letting children run around. Washrooms are on the north side of the green space and a season-round teahouse is found right on the water’s edge.
Walking near the best beaches in Victoria at low tide is a popular activity on a hot summer day. Due to the shifting conditions, it’s important to pay close attention to warning signs. The walkway and Esplanade Drive are great options for when you need a break.
The parking lot is great because lives right at the water’s edge which makes loading gear easy. The shore is also just a short walk away.
8. Arbutus Cove
Arbutus Cove is one of the lesser-known as best beaches in Victoria and goes hand in hand with one of the most spectacular settings. Situated between two high cliffs covered with arbutus trees, this is a calm and peaceful place. The beach can be difficult to access since it requires walking over a pathway and then climbing up a lot of stairs.
The walk to the main beach is surprisingly worthwhile – chances are you’ll have it all to yourself. The sand is nice and soft but can be a bit rocky before the waves start to hit. You’ll find a lot of driftwood at the back. The bookends of the large headlands on either end make this a very protected spot. Other beaches may be windblown and cold, but Arbutus Cove will be cozy and quiet.
Parking for the rocky beach is quite limited, so if the lot is full, you may want to try accessing it from the south end at Hollydeen Park off Hollydeen Place.
9. Thetis Lake
Main and West beaches at Thetis Lake are different from the other best beaches in Victoria on this list because it’s a freshwater lake. Another bonus is the water temperature here isn’t as extreme as at the Saanich Inlet.
At the main beach in downtown Victoria, Thetis lake is a public beach that has a very shallow shoreline with sandy beaches. There are picnic tables and washrooms as well as changing rooms just back from the beach. Bike racks are also available.
West Beach is smaller and quieter than the rest of the uplands park. Washrooms and bike racks are available here, but there aren’t any change rooms.
The park has several parking lots and sometimes it can be difficult to find one that is available. Be sure to skip the first lot you come to and continue down the path until you reach Thetis lake. The beach will be right by a Thetis lake so you’ll have an easier time carrying all your gear up to a swim area.
So this was all about the best beaches in Victoria which are an absolute wonder to a beach lover’s soul. Do visit all of these beaches and enjoy.