women in a park doing yoga for women's day

Victoria-Inspired Ways to Relax

Posted on May 7, 2020

We’re all spending more time than normal at home, as we faithfully follow the government guidelines to self-isolate and socially distance in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, we’re all a bit less active, and missing out on pursuits that would normally keep us feeling upbeat and optimistic. Feelings of worry, stress, and fear are common and understandable. So what can we do to unwind?

Cosmopolitan Victoria, scenically set on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, feels like the best of both worlds – a vibrant city within easy reach of some of the most amazing nature in Canada. The city has a laid-back vibe that has much in common with other west coast American cities and the larger metropolis of Vancouver, but the island location and separation from the mainland is key to what makes Victoria, B.C. a blissfully relaxing destination. While you can’t meet here at the moment, we invite you to unwind virtually, Victoria-style.


Green spaces

You don’t have to go far to experience tranquillity. With over 200 acres of parkland, Beacon Hill Park is the crowning jewel in Victoria’s park system and within easy walking distance of downtown. Beacon Hill Park has an abundance of natural features, including the native Garry Oak ecosystem with spectacular shows of native wildflowers, large grasslands and Douglas-fir woods. Meandering footpaths offer long strolls among manicured flower beds, and a short hike up the hill provides an open vista across the Strait of Juan De Fuca. Breathe in the sights and sounds and feel your worries drop away.

The Greater Victoria area, nestled in beautiful, rugged west coast terrain, is also home to dozens of provincial and regional parks. For those willing to venture a bit further outside of the city centre, rejuvenating experiences abound.

Take for example, Goldstream Provincial Park. Massive trees, majestic waterfalls, a meandering river that meets the sea, flowers, birds and fascinating fish are just a few of the attractions that draw people to Goldstream, a mere 16 kilometres from downtown Victoria. Whether you’re seeking to recharge with a challenging hike, or happy to let the gentle forest sounds wash over you, there’s something new, different and exciting every month of the year at Goldstream Park.

two people walking in a park


Water therapy

Surrounded by the Salish Sea is a perfect place to be! With a vast network of bays, coves, beaches and lakes—plus breathtaking views of the rugged Pacific Ocean, Strait of Juan de Fuca, and Olympic Mountains—there are countless places in and around Victoria to feel revitalized on or near the water, surrounded by stunning natural beauty.

The connection between the sea and health, relaxation and invigoration, is irrefutable. Many find nothing more relaxing than the sounds of rolling ocean waves breaking against a sandy shore. Head to Gonzales Beach in the nearby neighbourhood of Fairfield to walk on the pebbly sand of this sheltered beach. Or head to Sooke Potholes Regional Park where the deep, smooth rock pools offer some of the best freshwater swimming around. Sidney Spit, a breath-taking oasis 20 minutes from the Town of Sidney on a seasonal foot passenger ferry provides secluded long sandy beaches and forested walking trails. The tidal lagoon near the campsites is a haven for birds and their watchers.

Whether you choose the luxurious indulgence of unwinding in the hotel hot tub, the stimulating invigoration of a brisk dip in the sea, or if you love the thought of slipping into sleep listening to the soothing sounds of crashing waves, there can be no denying the awesome power of water to relax and revive.

beach with sail boat in the water



While we don’t necessarily encourage overindulgence, there’s something to be said for the therapeutic properties of wine. Just north of Victoria along the Saanich Peninsula, mild temperatures and fertile valleys combine to provide incredible varieties across the wine spectrum. Enjoy award-winning wines, spectacular vineyard views and perfect pairings with the locally-sourced fare, all guaranteed to bring a bit of fun and relaxation to your visit.

When restrictions lift, consider a culinary or winery tour with a friendly and knowledgeable guide. While getting around the region is easy, leaving the driving to someone else is just another worry off your shoulders.

row if grape vines in a vineyard and building


Spa bliss

After a day of experiencing Greater Victoria’s many sights and activities, take time to unwind and be pampered in one of several local spas or salons, many of which indulge the senses by incorporating island elements like local seaweed in their treatments.

Offering 11 elegantly appointment treatment rooms, Willowstream Spa at Fairmont Empress is an urban oasis in the heart of the city and an easy choice. Add on Afternoon Tea for a truly relaxing and indulgent day. Or incorporate tea in a slightly different way at the award-winning tea-inspired Silk Road Spa. The spa is adjacent to Silk Road’s retail store located in Victoria’s historic Chinatown where they import and blend the world’s finest organic teas. Their spa services feature fresh, organic, 100% natural skincare and body care products expertly blended in Victoria using plant-based, biodegradable ingredients.

woman in a pool



There’s no need to give up yoga practice when visiting Victoria. Many yoga studios in Victoria offer drop-in classes. Or try something unique like Yoga in the Vineyard at Church & State Wines, offered seasonally.

two people doing yoga outside

Destination Greater Victoria is honoured to be based on the traditional territory of the Lekwungen-speaking peoples of the Songhees Nation and the Esquimalt Nation, whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day.