Vancouver Island is known as beautiful for a reason.

There are hundreds of lakes and rivers throughout and it’s fully surrounded by the Pacific Ocean.

Stand up paddle boarding, also known as SUP, is a newer water sport that is gaining in popularity every year.

It is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts, and if properly equipped, it’s an activity you can do year round if you want to.

Here’s a few of the best places around Greater Victoria to grab a paddle and get on a board—just try not to fall off.

Inner Harbour

A gentle paddle around Victoria’s inner harbour is a perfect way to wind down another day in this wonderful city.

Enjoy the views of the bustling activity from watching boats sail by, private yachts, fishing vessels of all sizes, tug boats and barges, not to forget, the background includes the BC Legislative Building and the historic Fairmont Empress. This tour has it all!

Gorge Waterway

Selkirk Trestle along the Gorge Waterway – Photo by ItkasanImages

The Gorge Waterway is a six-kilometre long arm of the sea that stretches from the Selkirk Trestle (Upper Victoria Harbour) to the head of Portage Inlet. Paddling along the Gorge Waterway gives you a completely different perspective.

You will pass by the industrial area of the harbour as you move into the Selkirk Waterway and finally the Gorge Waterway itself. Here you will begin to see the real beauty of this inland passage, with beautiful homes, parks, bridges and other interesting landmarks.

Thetis Lake

Paddling at Thetis lake is considered one of the best paddling spots in Victoria. If you’re looking for a sheltered lake with views galore, this is the place to go for you.

Elk Lake

Elk Lake is a large lake located in Saanich that also merges into Beaver Lake as a shallow channel connects them. Experience the peace and serenity of Elk Lake while gliding on top of the water on a paddleboard.

Gonzales Beach

Gonzales beach, a favorite hangout spot for  Victorians, has calm waters, soft sand, and a great atmosphere…everything that you want in a beach! Nestled in a sheltered bay, Gonzales is the perfect place to paddleboard and explore the waters and rocky coastline around the beach.

Willows Beach

Paddling are popular activities in Oak Bay for both locals and visitors. There is a vibrant population of sea life, interesting shorelines, rocks, islands, coves, and a Provincial Park campground just offshore. Be cautious of very strong currents and winds common along the shoreline.

Cadboro Bay

Sunrise at Esquimalt Lagoon in Colwood. (Danica Katrina Bird)

A sandy bay located on the Oak Bay – Saanich border. Fairly sheltered at the head of the bay, paddle south past the Royal Victoria Yacht Club and around the Uplands waterfront, where some of the most expensive homes in Canada can be viewed. Keep an eye out for a “Cadborosaurus” – a friendly sea monster occasionally spotted in this bay.

Tod Inlet

This is an ideal paddle for beginners as the waters of Tod Inlet and the launch at Brentwood Bay are very sheltered and the total route there and back is only about 5 kms.

Once in the waters of Tod Inlet, and depending on the time of year you can often see lots of jellyfish. Along the shore there are lots of sea star and sun stars and in the trees along the shore or flying you will often see eagles and great blue herons.

Langford Lake

Langford Lake is the largest of  three lakes in the city. A favoured site for swimming, boating and fishing, the lake is popular with both locals and visitors. The calm waters are also the perfect place to launch the paddle board, dawn to dusk.


For anyone heading out in the waters, make sure to be fully prepared and wear a life jacket. And make sure to keep checking back as we update this list.

Know of a spot you want to share? Let us know in the comment section.

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