Whether you’re an old hand at it, or want to try kayaking for the very first time, the waters surrounding Victoria have something for everyone. There are plenty of outfitters that do rentals, as well as numerous kayaking tour companies. From short harbour paddles, to overnight adventures, booking a kayaking tour will guarantee an adventure to remember. After all, it is ranked as one of the top things to do in Victoria!
Wary of the waves? Not to worry. When booking a tour, companies go over all the safety instructions, techniques and have plenty of safety equipment on each boat such as lifejackets and whistles. Plus, guides are typically certified in First Aid. Kayaks themselves are quite stable, so the likelihood of tipping over during a tour is very low. Kayaking tour companies usually don’t require any experience to participate in their tours, although beginners may find some longer, or overnight tours a bit tougher. If you’re unsure, just ask before you book!
Paddling in unfamiliar waters with different currents, tides and traffic can be dangerous, even if you know what you’re doing. Considering the Inner Harbour is still a working harbour, there are plenty of boats, and even planes, coming and going at all times. Booking a kayaking tour through a company means your guide is going to be familiar with everything involved in navigating Victoria. Some of them have been doing it so long, they could probably find their way around with their eyes closed!
Whether you have kayaked plenty of times before, or are doing something new, having a kayaking tour booked and on your schedule is a good motivator to make sure it happens! Not to mention, having a set route and someone telling you where to go, as well as a timeframe ensures you get to where you want to go.
- Equipment Included
Rather than lugging your own equipment with you on vacation, booking a kayaking tour ensures you have great equipment to use supplied by the company. Better yet, it means you don’t even need a vehicle at all, as the outfitter will take care of the tough part for you. A lot of Victoria’s accommodation is located close to where tours depart. All that’s required is for you to show up ready to paddle!
- Knowledge of the Area
Even if you’re a fantastic paddler, if you’re not from the area, you’ll be missing out on some great aspects of Victoria and Vancouver Island. Kayaking guides in the area are knowledgeable and often have great anecdotes and information that go along with the paddling tour. That way, you’ll have a greater understanding of what you’re seeing, where you’re paddling and of life on the west coast.
- Areas to Explore
Being on the coast, Victoria has plenty of coastline to explore. Not to mention, the Gulf and Discovery Islands are close enough to explore by kayak. Kayaking tours explore the Downtown Inner Harbour, the Gulf Islands, the Discovery Islands and plenty of other waterways in the area. Departures from Sidney can include an adventure out to the Sidney Spit and its provincial park, too. With so much water around, there are plenty of areas to explore and stunning views to be seen, either independently, or as part of a kayaking tour.
While the nearby forests and parks contain plenty of wildlife, from deer and bears to various types of birds, the Pacific Ocean is a gateway to countless more animals. Jelly fish, seals, sea otters and whales are common on the coast, and being out amongst them on a boat is a unique way to get up close and personal with more than a few of them. While seeing whales may require an actual whale watching excursion (although occasional kayakers do get lucky), there are so many other sea creatures to see! Most kayaking guides are very familiar with the animals of the coast, and will be able to point them out and tell you about their role in the ecosystem you’re paddling through.
- Exercise and Fun
Spending all day paddling around is a great form of exercise. Paddling a kayak involves your arms, back, shoulders and even your abs. Better yet, it’s so fun, you’ll hardly notice you’re doing any real exercise at all! It’s surprising how much area you can cover as you zip along in a kayak and, of course, a race or two may be in order. Nothing feels better than spending a healthy day outside on the water.
- City View
Downtown Victoria is incredibly popular, and by the end of your trip, you’ll likely have walked its streets from top to bottom more than a few times. Booking a kayaking tour lets you see a new side of Victoria! Looking back at the city from the harbour provides a stunning view point of the city – one that relieved sailors see after days on the ocean. With the Parliament Buildings, Empress Hotel and the bustling walkway hugging the harbour seeing Victoria from the water is nearly a must.
- Unique Experience
When visiting a beautiful city that sits on the west coast of Vancouver Island, it’s great to take advantage of every activity you can. Depending on where you’re from, you may never have the chance to hop into a kayak and explore a working harbour, or stunning coastline ever again. Victoria is lucky enough to have so much nature and water within reach, and enjoying it first hand by kayak is a great way to appreciate the beautiful city even more.
Convinced? Great! The next step is to book your tour. To find out more about kayaking in Victoria, and tips on some things you’ll want to pack along for your kayaking adventure, visit our Kayaking page.
Contributed by: Laurissa Cebryk