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How and where to rent a motorhome in Toulouse? (advice, addresses )

How and where to rent a motorhome in Toulouse? (advice, addresses )

The motorhome that we see more and more often on the roads of the vacations has made its appearance in number only around 1980. There are three main categories of motorhomes: the integral, the profile and the nasturtium. Each of them has at least one bed, a toilet with WC, a kitchen unit as well as a refrigerator, a table with a bench and a water tank.

Where to rent a motorhome in Toulouse

If you want to go on vacation in complete freedom, but still have a minimum of comfort, the motorhome is the solution. If you live in Toulouse, here are some addresses:

– Location camping-car (Location-campingcar.com) is a company located in Toulouse that offers two ranges of campervans: comfort vehicles and luxury vehicles.

The rental rates vary from 340€ to 800€ depending on whether you rent the vehicle for a weekend or a week.

– Loisicars (Loisircars.com), located in Pompertuzat, offers on its website three categories of motorhomes: vans for 2 people, profiles for 2 to 4 people and capucines for up to 6 people.

Prices vary according to the season and the type of vehicle rented. Count 700€ per week for a profile in low season while a nasturtium will cost you 1100€ in high season.

– Planète Hollydays (Planeteholidays.com) offers first of all on its website to locate on a map the place of residence. Then you can choose the motorhome you want from the whole range available. This company has five ranges of vehicles: family, nasturtium, profile, coupe or van. For each of these ranges, it is possible to obtain all the technical characteristics of the motorhome. The price range starts at 49€ up to 198€ depending on the vehicle chosen and the season.

– Motorhomerent.fr, with many agencies, including one in Toulouse, offers 7 categories of motorhomes for rent. By clicking on the chosen model, you get a technical description, a detailed plan of its organization and a photograph. It is possible to rent for a day or a week from 610€ to 1450€ depending on the vehicle.

Rental conditions

All camping car rental companies offer a fixed number of kilometers according to the chosen formula and then a price per kilometer when the package is exceeded.

However, some companies offer unlimited mileage, which is more interesting and avoids spending your vacations counting the number of kilometers driven. It is important to compare the insurance conditions as well as the services such as gas, fuel, chemical liquid, etc. Also be aware of the prices of options. Have a great vacation!

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Vacations in Rome: tips, addresses, tourist attractions

Vacations in Rome: tips, addresses, tourist attractions

Rome is an Italian city, located in the central part of the country. Since 1871, it is the Italian capital. With its 2,722,900 inhabitants, the city of Rome is the largest municipality in Italy, but it remains less important than Naples or Milan. Known for its Baroque and Renaissance style, Rome is the third most visited European city, just behind London and Paris.

Practical information

Tipping

When you go out in the evening or even at lunchtime, know that the choice to leave a tip is totally up to you.

This means that you are not obliged to leave a tip and if you do not leave anything, it will not be frowned upon. However, if you see your bill increased, know that it is the bottle of mineral water that was charged to you.

Distractions

Visits to churches are free. In the museums, the entrance fees vary between 8 and 15€ per person. And if you have trouble choosing the right attractions, don’t hesitate to go to one of the information points, well distributed in the city center.

Indeed, they replace the tourist office, but you can find city maps, passes and advice. These points are open every day from 9:30 am to 7 pm. At the Visitor Centre, you can see exhibitions of models of the imperial forums.

Italian cuisine

The presentation Italian cuisine is very influenced by the rural environment, but also by the Jewish culture. It is known all over the world as being quite simple, but at the same time tasty, healthy and above all nutritious.

The most popular dishes are pasta, of course, but also meat, especially white meat. Fish is also appreciated.

However, it is a product that is still very expensive. The most popular dishes are vegetable-based dishes. In the list, you will find the artichokes à la romaine.

The tradition in Rome says that on Thursdays you have to eat gnocchi. Friday is the place for fish, and more precisely, cod.

Finally, Saturday is the day of tripe. To accompany their meal, Italians prefer white or red wine. Thus, wine bars are places that you can see everywhere.

What to see

Rome is an ancient city, with churches and fountains that reveal its history.

The churches

If you are passionate about churches, the complete list of churches in Rome will guide you in your visit. Start by visiting St. Peter’s Basilica, then continue your day by visiting the Vatican Museums. Here you can see the Sistine Chapel, the Chamber of Raphael, but also the Pinacoteca. Other churches not to be missed are the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, St. Peter’s, Trinity of the Mounts.

The gardens

Discover the magnificent gardens of Villa Medici. As for the fountains, you have about fifteen of them. Among the most famous and most visited are the Piazza Venezia, the Fountain of the Bees and the Trevi Fountain.

Accommodation

Hotels

The city of Rome offers several accommodation options. Here you will find a variety of hotels. For those on a budget, you can choose between dormitories, youth hostels, religious institutions or smaller hotels. Camping can be another solution.

Campsites

During the summer it is quite difficult to find accommodation, so camping can be a good plan for your trip or weekend in Rome. A special edition is dedicated to camping. It is available in Italian bookstores. You will find all the campsites in Rome. Prices vary between 20 and 30€ for 2 people (prices in June 2011). There is a special rate for children. Youth hostels are everywhere in Rome. If you have not booked online, do not forget the AJ card, available in France.

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Tourism in Aquitaine: good plans (advice, travel)

What do you need to know about taking a TGV train? (tips)

WHAT TO BRING BACK FROM CHINA, THE MOST POPULAR CHINESE PRODUCTS IN THE WORLD ?

Travel in Europe: what will change in 2022

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Tourism in Aquitaine: good plans (advice, travel)

Tourism in Aquitaine: good plans (advice, travel)

Aquitaine, nestled between the mountains and the sea, is full of tourist gems. From the delights of the table in Bordeaux, to the wild nature of the Arcachon basin and the authenticity of the Basque coast, you will always find what you need in Aquitaine.

Bordeaux and the Wine Route

“Bordeaux is classic, bourgeois, and cushy”, only clichés! Bordeaux has changed a lot in the last few years. The quays have been redone and have become a beautiful promenade, nothing to do with the Parisian quays on Sunday, for pedestrians, cyclists, rollerbladers? It is a real lung, in the heart of the largest city in Aquitaine. The city council has obliged the owners to renovate the facades, which has enhanced the exceptional heritage of the city (classified as a UNESCO world heritage site a few years ago).

Bordeaux is beautiful, but it is also greedy! Eat Baillardran cannelés, have lunch at La Tupina. It’s a treat, quite simply, all accompanied by a good glass of Bordeaux. As for the wine, you have the embarrassment of choice, Médoc, Pauillac, Saint-Estèphe, Margaux, all of which are more famous than the others, and which can only make you want to go there. Visit absolutely, the village of Saint-Emilion, and taste, with moderation!

The basin of Arcachon

Formerly called “the small sea” (150km² of water at high tide), it is the favorite destination of the Bordeaux inhabitants. It is an exceptional place, which you should not miss, when you visit Aquitaine. On the sea side, the Union des Bateliers arcachonnais offers more than pleasant excursions.

On the land side, there are two unobstructed views of the basin. On one side, the Pyla dune, which is the highest sand dune in Europe and stretches for nearly 3 km, offers a double view of the basin and the Landes forest.

On the other hand, the Cap Ferret lighthouse (258 steps of happiness), which gives an impression of the end of the world, between the basin and the Atlantic Ocean. For your accommodation, you are spoilt for choice: there are gites, villas with swimming pools or simply camping (in the 33). But a piece of advice, book early, you won’t be the only ones to go there!

The Basque coast

Known and recognized, the Basque coast will not leave you indifferent. It stretches from Anglet to Muskiz, near Bilbao (in Spain). As soon as you arrive in this land, you will feel the Basque identity through its gastronomy and culture.

It is also displayed in the windows and store windows, hence the undeniable success of the “64” brand. Discover or rediscover the mythical places of this coast, such as Biarritz or Saint-Jean-de-Luz, and let your desire guide you inland, to discover new places, new sensations. Enjoy your stay in Aquitaine!

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What do you need to know about taking a TGV train? (tips)

WHAT TO BRING BACK FROM CHINA, THE MOST POPULAR CHINESE PRODUCTS IN THE WORLD ?

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Blog

What do you need to know about taking a TGV train? (tips)

What do you need to know about taking a TGV train in France? (tips)

Taking the TGV is not like taking a TER or a commuter train. On the one hand, the reservation process is different. On the other hand, in the station, taking a TGV will require more attention and speed. Finally, the TGV offers punctuality guarantees, unlike the TER.

Reservation

Reservation is mandatory to take a TGV. Reservations can be made at the station, by telephone on 3635, on the Internet at Voyage-sncf.com, or in an approved travel agency. The ticket is only valid for the train you have reserved, not the one before or after, unless you choose a more expensive pro ticket. The Price You should know that you pay, in any case, 5 euros of reservation fees. When you pay for your tickets, these reservation fees are included in the price. There are 2 classes available to you: 2nd class, the cheapest, and 1st class, the most expensive. The “cheap travel” websites usually offer you the 2nd class by default.

Arrival at the station

Be careful! Some train stations in France are saturated at all hours of the day! Those who frequent the Lyon Part Dieu station know the traffic problems in the hall. Do not arrive just before the departure of your train. Preferable times To make it easier for you to get on the train, prefer to travel early in the morning. Passengers are calmer and staff are more available. If necessary, plan a hotel close to the station. Avoid at all costs Fridays or Sunday evenings, especially when leaving on vacation. If you are traveling to Paris by train from the provinces, choose mid-morning, which is often quiet.

Your installation

Locating your train Like any other train, your TGV will have a track assigned to it. For high-speed trains, the tracks are often posted at the last minute to deliberately create a rush and prevent luggage thieves from sneaking into the trains before departure. Settling in A sign will show you the placement of the cars in relation to the platform markers. Ask for help if necessary. If you arrive at your seat and someone is already there, check your seat number. Always call a controller to resolve the dispute.

Your journey

A bar car is available for refreshments and food. The products are expensive, so take precautions before boarding the train and limit yourself to a coffee. In case of a long delay, envelopes are distributed. Do not throw them away, they are not an apology letter! It is the first step to obtain a refund of your ticket.

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WHAT TO BRING BACK FROM CHINA, THE MOST POPULAR CHINESE PRODUCTS IN THE WORLD ?

Travel in Europe: what will change in 2022

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WHAT TO BRING BACK FROM CHINA, THE MOST POPULAR CHINESE PRODUCTS IN THE WORLD ?

WHAT TO BRING BACK FROM CHINA, THE MOST POPULAR CHINESE PRODUCTS IN THE WORLD ?

FABRICS, SILKS AND CLOTHES

The trip to China is undoubtedly the best opportunity to bring back beautiful gifts to your loved ones.

You will find all kinds of gifts to please your friends and family, but also to please yourself. Chinese textile offers you a wide range of creations, both ready-to-wear and made-to-measure.

You can choose between embroidered silk stoles to make clothes to be worn on any occasion in France.

Bring back tunics, pants, jackets or shirts. You can choose from a wide range of materials, including cotton, wild silk and silk. Why not offer your friends china party wear?

They will make an excellent choice for original gifts. Outfits and kimonos are sure to be a hit.

Traditional costumes are also very popular and come in all flavors. Clothes make perfect gifts if you are looking for original ideas during your visit to Shanghai for example.

CALLIGRAPHY AND PAINTING

There is nothing more original as a souvenir than the ancient arts of the country. Calligraphy is rooted in Chinese tradition and reflects a thousand-year-old know-how.

It can be written or painted on various materials such as paper or satin. You also have a wide choice for the formats. Indeed, you will find on the market calligraphies on paintings to be hung or framed or even in the form of scrolls.

When the ancient arts of the Middle Kingdom are invited in the interior decoration of your friends, or your house, why not? Before you leave, consider bringing back souvenirs such as traditional papers, styli, brushes or colored inks.

You will make your friends want to try this traditional art practiced for thousands of years. You can also buy calligraphies with words of wisdom, to inspire good vibes in everyday life.

Lovers of oriental cultures will find happiness in gifts like paintings or kakemonos. Moreover, you will find a multitude of gifts with calligraphies or paintings like potteries or ceramics.

TYPICAL CHINA DRINKS

From Shanghai to Hong Kong or in any city, you will recognize a very specific tradition: tea. The culture of tea and the art of tea are an integral part of the identity of the Middle Kingdom.

You can therefore bring back tea sets or why not different kinds of tea. You will find a multitude of products dedicated to this drink of conviviality and respect.

Why not introduce the tea ceremony by bringing back accessories for the service or the ritual? You will greatly please your friends and family by offering them different types of tea.

You will find on the market black tea, green tea, brick tea, scented tea or even Oolong tea. If you have friends and family who prefer other beverages, you won’t run out of ideas.

China is full of multiple beverages that can be used for any occasion. Chinese rice spirits are very popular around the world, so don’t hesitate to give them as gifts as souvenirs.

Baijiu are world famous among alcohol drinkers. There are many brands to choose from, including Moutai, Fenjiu Liquor, Laobaigan, Luzhou Laojiao and Wuliangye.

BOXES AND LANTERNS

 Lanterns are good luck charms and will certainly please your friends, relatives and families Picture source icphs2015.info 

There is no shortage of symbols of the Middle Kingdom. You have a large choice of gifts to bring back from your stay in Shanghai.

During your trip, you may have visited the Mausoleum of the Qin Emperor. If you want to give the same experience to your loved ones, give them the Xi’an Terracotta Army set.

These statuettes fit perfectly in a decoration with exotic, historical or ethnic features. Collectors will also appreciate having this superb series of statuettes witnessing a glorious past.

The fans of Asian history will be filled by discovering these symbols of a thousand-year-old civilization. We can easily imagine China through paper lanterns. These are great gift ideas.

They are very popular and omnipresent during official and traditional ceremonies. Lanterns are good luck charms and will certainly please your friends, relatives and families. You will have no problem finding them, because paper lanterns are sold everywhere.

JEWELRY AND MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS

If none of these ideas inspire you for a gift, you haven’t seen everything! In fact, this little guide presents a myriad of items that you can give as gifts when you return from your vacation in Asia.

Jewelry lovers will appreciate the bracelets, necklaces and earrings. Ethnic collections are also available in all kinds of stores. Many jewels are set with precious or semi-precious stones.

You will also find fancy creations that will seduce many. If your friends like representative gifts, why not buy them items referring to Mao Zedong?

This emblematic figure can be found on several supports in different forms: posters, bags with quotation, little red book, patriotic watch, etc.

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Travel in Europe: what will change in 2022

Travel in Europe: what will change in 2022

Europe is one of the most popular destinations in the world and attracts millions of visitors every year. In order to strengthen security within its borders, the European Union has announced the introduction of a new electronic visa exemption (ETIAS) in 2022.

From that date on, travelers from visa-exempt countries will need to obtain ETIAS to travel to Europe. Find out all the useful information to prepare your trip to France and the rest of Europe as of next year.

ETIAS: a new requirement for entering Europe

Europe is one of the most popular destinations in the world and attracts millions of visitors every year. In order to strengthen security within its borders, the European Union has announced the introduction of a new electronic visa exemption (ETIAS) in 2022.

From that date on, travelers from visa-exempt countries will need to obtain ETIAS to travel to Europe. Find out all the useful information to prepare your trip to France and the rest of Europe as of next year.

Currently, citizens of more than 60 countries can enter the Schengen area without a visa for a short stay. If you come from one of these countries, you will also have to register with the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) by the end of 2022.

ETIAS is not a visa. It is an electronic visa waiver, similar to ESTA for the United States, intended to improve traveler screening and make Europe more secure. Visa-exempt citizens will therefore retain their current privileges.

The procedure will be extremely simple and fast and you will be able to complete it in just a few minutes without leaving your home.

Visitors will be able to apply for the ETIAS online

So how does it work? Once the system is up and running, all you need to do is access a simple online form to apply for ETIAS travel authorization. You will not need to go to the embassy or consulate of the country you are interested in.

To complete the form, you will need to provide some general information such as your full name, contact information and passport details. Before sending it to the authorities for processing, you will also have to pay a small fee using a credit card.

Most applications will be processed in just a few minutes and you’ll receive your travel authorization via email in no time. You won’t need to print it or do anything else. That’s it!

Documents required to travel to Europe in 2022

If you are traveling to Europe from a visa-exempt country, such as Canada, for example, there will be minimal changes. The only difference from 2022 onwards is that you will need to apply for ETIAS before you leave.

To obtain your travel authorization, all you will need is a biometric passport (which includes an electronic chip) issued by an eligible country, an email address and a bank card. Nothing more, nothing less.

However, if you cannot obtain the ETIAS, due to your nationality, the length of your stay in Europe or the reason for your trip, you will have to apply for a Schengen visa in person at the French embassy or the embassy of the country of your choice.

Non-eligible citizens will need to obtain a Schengen visa

You need a Schengen visa if you are not a national of an eligible country, if you plan to spend more than 3 months in Europe or if you wish to live, study or work in the old continent.

As far as the Schengen visa is concerned, nothing will change in 2022. The procedure remains the same, as the changes only apply to visa-exempt travelers to Europe.

The procedure is more complex to obtain a Schengen visa and you will have to present several additional supporting documents. For more peace of mind, do not hesitate to ask the embassy about the procedure to follow.

COVID-19: travel restrictions in Europe

In 2021, it is no longer possible to talk about travel without mentioning the restrictions related to the coronavirus. Fortunately, measures are gradually being relaxed in European countries and borders are once again open to many international tourists.

The European Union regularly updates a “green list” of countries considered safe for travel. Citizens of the following safe countries are allowed to enter Europe for non-essential purposes such as tourism:

Saudi Arabia
Australia
Azerbaijan
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Brunei
Canada
China, subject to reciprocity
South Korea
United States
Israel
Japan
Jordan
Lebanon
Moldova
Montenegro
Northern Macedonia

New Zealand
Qatar
Serbia
Singapore
Ukraine

However, you will need to meet the sanitary requirements in place such as a negative PCR or antigen test or quarantine upon arrival. These requirements vary from one European country to another.

For example, if you are vaccinated, you can enter France without restrictions from a safe country. Otherwise, you must present a PCR or antigenic test performed less than 72 hours before departure or a certificate of recovery.

Therefore, remember to get all the information you need before your trip, whether you leave this year or next year, to avoid minor inconveniences and visit Europe without any problems.

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5 must-sees in Macau

5 must-sees in Macau

Bem-vindo in the Asian Las Vegas! At the crossroads of cultures, Macau is a city with two faces. Marked by 400 years of Portuguese occupation, its historical center looks like Lisbon at the end of the world. The last European colony in Asia, handed back in 1999, is nevertheless typically Chinese. The city harmoniously combines traditional temples and modern glass towers dedicated to the pleasures of gambling. Follow the guide and discover five must-see places to visit in Macau.

Senado Square

The former Senate Square is the perfect starting point to discover one of the best preserved historical centers in China. This vast pedestrian heart with its mosaic-paved floor is full of architectural jewels inherited from the former Portuguese settlers. The best way to enjoy the atmosphere of the district is to stroll around and discover the baroque facade of the São Domingo church, or the stalls of an egg tart seller.

To enjoy a panoramic view of the colorful buildings surrounding the Largo do Senado square, head for the historic Leal Senado building. The former seat of government is open to visitors free of charge and has a lovely garden lined with azulejos.

The ruins of Saint Paul

Of the first church of Macau, only ruins remain. However, a visit to Macau is incomplete without contemplating the remains of St. Paul. The construction of the church of the Mother of God dates from the beginning of the 17th century. The Jesuits added a university to it, before the whole was ravaged by fire in 1835. Since then, only the façade still stands at the top of a long flight of stairs.

If the largest Catholic church in the East disappeared in the flames, it continues to attract tourists from around the world. The ruins of St. Paul’s are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as is the historic center of Macau. These remains have become the emblem of the city, and probably its most photogenic tourist attraction. For a magical experience, be sure to go there after dark.

Macau Fort

Perched on top of a hill, the Monte Fort is an ancient fortress built in the 17th century. This strategic defense post was used to counter the repeated assaults of the Dutch, before being converted into a military zone. The fort now houses the Macau Museum, dedicated to the history and cultural heritage of the city.

It is also a pleasant place to walk around, dotted with ancient cannons. Above all, the fortress offers a breathtaking view of the city. Behind its high walls, you can contemplate a landscape that looks like a cyberpunk setting. On the horizon, futuristic skyscrapers overlook traditional houses at the crossroads of East and West.

The Las Vegas of the East

Whether you’re a die-hard fan or a casual gambler, a trip to the casino is a must in Macau. While gambling is banned in China, the Las Vegas of the East is the exception that proves the rule.

Macau has about 30 casinos, generating revenues nearly four times higher than its American equivalent. Its gambling houses stand out for their extravagant architecture, such as the gleaming Casino Lisboa.

Other casinos are exact replicas of iconic American gambling houses, such as the Venetian Macau. With its 39 floors, the establishment claims to be the largest casino in the world.

However, the rise of online casinos and their ever-changing offerings is not to be taken lightly. The world’s largest gambling empire is now on the internet.

Don’t have enough time to visit Macanese casinos? Don’t worry, the best slot machines are online. Thousands of free games are waiting for you to play everywhere from your mobile

The temple of A-Ma

After the roulette, let’s go to the A-Ma temple, the oldest temple in the city, for some spirituality. It is located in the south of the peninsula, a few steps from the port.

The site is dedicated to the sea goddess A-Ma, to whom the city owes its name. The Portuguese took the name of Macau from the bay named A Ma Gok when they landed there.

The numerous pavilions of the temple illustrate the diversity of Macanese beliefs, operating a successful syncretism between Buddhist, Confucian and Taoist traditions. The shrine is particularly popular during the festivities of the birth of A-Ma, celebrated in April.

Macau is a surprising mix between Chinese atmosphere and Portuguese heritage. By road or by sea, it is the perfect excursion from Hong Kong. Macau can also be worth an extended discovery, in order to alternate tourist visits and casino tours. As an alternative to your stay, enjoy a taste of Macau’s casinos with the best free online slot machines.

 

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Big Bus City Tour – Victoria BC

90 Min Hop-On-Hop-Off Tour

Offer: Receive one FREE Big Bus City Tour with the purchase of an accompanying city tour. When you select a BIG BUS tour, you’ll have the opportunity to spend time at any of our stops, including major attractions, shopping areas, and many of Victoria’s fine restaurants. Stops include Chinatown, Craigdarroch Castle, Beacon Hill Park, Inner Harbour and more. Enjoy a complete tour around Victoria and hop off and on again wherever and whenever you want.

Value up to $30.00 CAD

Map This Location

Coupon Expires: 10/31/2008

What better way to see the sights of Victoria than from a seat on one of our unique sightseeing buses! When you select a BIG BUS tour, you’ll have the opportunity to spend time at any of our stops, including major attractions, shopping areas, and many of Victoria’s fine restaurants.

On BIG BUS, there’s no need to rush! Your ticket is valid for 2 full days and our Hop-on/Hop-off policy means you can spend as much time as you’d like at any particular destination.

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Seattle Tourisme

Victoria B.C.

Travel to Victoria B.C.

Visit Victoria today! There are 101 things to do, and 2 ways to get there with the Seattle TourSaver: From Seattle on the Victoria Clipper, and from Bellingham on Victoria-San Juan Cruises. From Seattle, getting to Victoria’s inner harbor takes 2.5 hours aboard the very smooth and comfortable Victoria Clipper.

On a sunny summer afternoon you’ll immediately see a beehive of activity around the yachts and fishing boats as you make your way to the terminal. The Fairmont Empress Hotel and the Parliament buildings form a picturesque frame as you embark into British Columbia’s charming and attractive capital city. If your lucky enough to have a room over at the Best Western Inner Harbor, it’s just a 3 minute walk from the Clipper’s Belleville Terminal–after you clear Canadian immigration and customs.

Things to do in Victoria B.C.

If you can find your way over to the Tourism Victoria visitor info center at 812 Wharf Street you’ll be miles ahead on planning your activity schedule. Pick-up one of their walking tour maps and get your feet on the street. You can hoof it alone or with a guide but after half a day around the city on foot you will be impressed by historic architecture and charmed by Canadian hospitality and random acts of kindness.

The best way to get a perspective of Victoria’s busy harbor is to jump aboard the Victoria Harbour Ferry. The captain is your tour guide on these twelve-person water shuttles and there are no reservations required. Another way to see Victoria is on the Big Bus City Tour. You can hop on the Big Bus tour at any of their stops. Most guests like to do the full tour first, then hop on and off at the attractions. With a 2-day ticket you can see everything the city has to offer at your own pace!

Two anchor attractions, right next to the harbor, are the Royal BC Museum and The Empress (for its gardens and traditional British afternoon tea). But just a short bus ride away you’ll find Butchart Gardens–certainly world famous by now and great for a stroll and casual lunch. Run by descendants of the Butchart family, the 55-acre gardens starting taking roots a hundred years ago. A favorable climate on Vancouver Island allows the garden to stay open year-round. There are arts and entertainment programs in the summer including live music and fireworks and tens of thousands of colored lights on display in December.

Bicycle touring is very popular in B.C. and a good way to cover more ground and Victoria is the known as the “Cycling Capital of Canada”. Stop by and rent a bike from Island Boat Rentals. The Galloping Goose trail, built on abandoned rail beds and trestles, takes you through the many diverse landscapes of Vancouver Island. Ride north from Victoria up to Swartz Bay and you’ll get and eyeful of quaint countryside coastal plains and fir forests. Heading west on “The Goose” will take you to Leechtown–once the site of an an old mining community. Stop at Sooke Potholes Regional Park to see a wonderful series of deep, polished rock pools and potholes, carved naturally into the sandstone bedrock of the Sooke River.

Check out Great Pacific Adventures and embark on a 3-hour whale watching adventure on the “King Salmon.” See killer “Orca” whales in the emerald waters of southern Vancouver Island. Watch for whales with dorsal fins of up to six feet–weighing up to 18,000 pounds! Also, watch for gray and humpback whales, porpoises, sea lions and more! Depart from Victoria’s inner harbor aboard the “King Salmon”, a 45-foot ocean cruiser, featuring both indoor and outdoor viewing. Bring your camera!

If you take to the water kayaking opportunities are aplenty. Rent a single or double kayak from Island Boat Rentals and get out in the harbor. Victoria and its surrounding area have some of the best kayaking and canoeing in the world. Vancouver Island has approximately 3,500 kilometers of ocean coastline, 700 lakes, 160 rivers and 890 streams for your paddling pleasure. Located amid spectacular West Coast scenery, these waterways are shared by an abundance of marine creatures and wildlife.

If you want to see Victoria by air, take a floatplane tour at Hyack Air in front of the Victoria Regent Hotel.

Don’t forget about the 101 other things to do and see while visiting Victora!

Where to stay in Victoria B.C.

At the high-end of the hotel chain, you’ll likely sleep well at the Fairmont Empress. Throughout its history, The Fairmont Empress has played host to kings, queens, movie stars and many famous people. In 1919, Edward, Prince of Wales, waltzed until dawn in the Crystal Ballroom. In 1989 a $45 million renovation restored the grand hotel to its original glory and then some. If you don’t stay there at least walk the grounds and stop by for afternoon tea.

The Best Western Inner Harbor is a bit more modest but very comfortable with views of the harbor and is bordered by a small Belleville Street park where you can relax in the shade after walking the streets of this beautiful city.

Where to eat in Victoria:

For a late lunch on a harbor patio, Canoe is a busy bistro on the waterfront that will please your palate. They brew beer and serve up lagers, bitter, brown ale and pale ale in a historic building that dates back to 1894. The service is good and the atmosphere is rustic and casual. The menu covers the gamut from seafood to steak, pasta and potpie. This place should be on your dining list–for at least one meal.

If you are looking for a good cup of coffee, try a new place called “Habit” at 552 Pandora Ave. Habit Coffee and Culture hosts weekly coffee tasting (cupping to be precise) on Tuesday afternoons.

The best French restaurant in this Canadian capital city is in Chinatown. L’Ecole, a brasserie, (1715 Government Street) is an award-winning local favorite run by people that love the restaurant business and aim to please. Sommelier and co-owner Marc Morrison knows how to run a dining room and chef Sean Brennan can dish it out. Start with a couple of apps like Chicken Liver & Cognac Mousse or Cowichan Valley Chanterelles with bacon, cream and toast, then move on to Sooke Trout with Spanish chorizo, almonds, smoked paprika and brown butter. The menu changes daily and the room is usually full of satisfied diners–so make reservations.

Nightlife in Victoria:

Victoria is still open after dinner and there’s a variety of venues to catch some live music and sample the BC nightlife. The Mint on Douglas Street can be relaxing or lively depending on the day of the week and they host live music or DJ’s in a low light, dark wood atmosphere. The Irish Times is mainstay on Government Street & Bastion Square where performances by acoustic guitar crooners, fiddlers or Celtic jam sessions can be heard every night. The setting and the food are authentic Irish pub and the patrons sport a happy look of satisfaction. The Strathcona Hotel has five bars and restaurants. A brand new club, Jellyfish Lounge opened recently at 1140 Government Street (Lower Level of the Bedford Regency Hotel) with a very “Miami Vice” white leather feel and house music, high-end martinis plus a decent late menu.

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Great Pacific Adventures – Victoria BC

Whale Watching Tour

Offer: Receive one 3-hour FREE whale watching adventure with purchase of an accompanying 3-hour whale watching adventure on the “King Salmon”. See killer “Orca” whales in the emerald waters of southern Vancouver Island. Watch for whales with dorsal fins of up to six feet–weighing up to 18,000 pounds! Also, watch for gray and humpback whales, porpoises, sea lions and more! Depart from Victoria’s inner harbour aboard the “King Salmon”, a 45-foot ocean cruiser, featuring both indoor and outdoor viewing. Bring your camera!

Value up to $89.00 CAD

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Coupon Expires: 10/31/2008

The spectacular and “Super Natural” Inner Harbour of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, is the home base of operations for Great Pacific Adventures Incorporated. Serving visitors year-round to Vancouver Island and Victoria since 1995, GPA has lead the industry in innovation and customer service for outdoor eco-tour adventures.

Locally owned and operated, our family of certified outdoor adventure experts provides informative insight and in-depth knowledge of our unique habitat, combined with an unsurpassed nature-viewing experience.

All of our friendly and competent operators are Transport Canada safety certified marine biologists and naturalists. Great Pacific Adventures uses only the finest high-tech safety equipment and offers passenger transportation from your accommodation to any of our many adventure outposts. We adhere to the strictest wildlife viewing standards in the world to ensure a life-long commitment to the replenishment of our natural resources.