Chasing the Sun – The Breathtaking Sunrises and Sunsets of Victoria, BC

By Ryan McKenzie

When you think of Victoria, BC we conjure images of Parliament Buildings, a bustling harbour and the iconic Empress Hotel . While these are just a few great reasons to visit, these highlights only scratch the surface of what the coastal capital city has to offer. You can experience the beauty of a sunset from just about anywhere, however, it is Victoria’s seaside proximity and expansive ocean horizon that provides for some stunning sunsets.

Those who rise early enough to greet daybreak will be rewarded with the sort of mysticism that only exists at sunrise. Just as one can’t contain sunshine in a jar, the following pictures, as gorgeous as they are, only capture the essence of Victoria’s sunrises and sunsets.

As those who have experienced a Victoria sunrise or sunset first hand will tell you, you simply have to experience it to believe it.

Harling Pt, Esquimalt

Credit: Matt Ferguson

After a day of wind and rain, I packed up my daughter and rushed out to catch the last rays from the Chinese Cemetery at Harling Pt.  We were treated with a beauty of a sunset, not uncommon here, but never the same look.

Photo Credit: Matt Ferguson Photography
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Elk Lake Dock, Saanich

Credit: Matt Ferguson Photography

We were blasted with rain and wind all day until about an hour before sunset.  Then, as often happens on a rainy day, a sliver of light opened on the horizon and I knew a great sunset could happen.  My daughter and I jumped in the car and drove the few minutes down the road to catch this one on the docks.

Photo Credit: Matt Ferguson Photography
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Airtime

Credit: Matt Ferguson Photography

Taken from the very popular Clover Pt just outside of downtown.  As we often get in the fall and winter, we had a windy day, perfect for water sports!  Right place, right time.

Photo Credit: Matt Ferguson Photography
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Cattle Point

Credit: Carrie Cole Photography

Cattle Point may not be your typical Victoria location to shoot the sunset, but the lichen on the rocky coastline provides some foreground interest, and every once in a while the sky lights up in some beautiful colour.  I used a longer shutter speed to smooth the water out providing some contrast to the rocky coast.

Photo Credit: Carrie Cole Photography
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Blenkinsop Valley

Credit: Carrie Cole Photography

I was pretty giddy to see the skies light on fire recently.  This was shot in the Blenkinsop Valley, again a couple minutes from our home.  The recent rain had flood the fields providing the perfect reflections. Pretty epic sunset!

Photo Credit: Carrie Cole Photography
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Holland Point, Victoria

Credit: Carrie Cole Photography

A group of young people take in the sunset at Holland Point in Victoria.  This is a very popular spot to see the sun go down in Victoria, with it’s west facing exposure. I thought the people, the storm strewn driftwood, and rocky coastline captured the west coast feel of this spot.

Photo Credit: Carrie Cole Photography
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Sombrio beach

Credit: Kim Jay Photography

This photo was taken at sunset at the beautiful Sombrio beach on the Juan de Fuca trail. Following an engagement photo session on the beach our group watch the sunset before heading back to the city. This is a 8-minute long exposure of the rocks. I love how there is a painting-like effect with the water and the rocks.

Photo Credit: Kim Jay Photography
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Clover Point

Credit: Kim Jay Photography

Sunsets spent at Clover Point in Victoria. This photo shows a sliver of the Vancouver Island coast with the silhouette of Washington rising behind it. This was a 10 minute exposure of a beautiful winter sunset.

Photo Credit: Kim Jay Photography
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The Olympic Mountains of Washington

Credit: Kim Jay Photography

The Olympic Mountains of Washington often feel like our own, here in Victoria. We get to see each sunrise and sunset illuminate the peaks. This photo was achieved by a 8 minute long exposure at dusk.

Photo Credit: Kim Jay Photography
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Looking south west over Victoria, the Sooke Hills and the Olympic Peninsula

Credit: Christina Aitchison Photography

A very calm evening when the sun seemed to just dissolve behind the hills.    Looking south west over Victoria, the Sooke Hills and the Olympic Peninsula.

Photo Credit: Christina Aitchison
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Perched at the Water’s Edge on Kitty Islet

Credit: Christina Aitchison Photography

One of the iconic adirondack chairs that are perched at the water’s edge on Kitty Islet making this a very a popular spot to sit and enjoy the view.  This was a rare evening when there was an empty seat.

Photo Credit: Christina Aitchison
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Winter sun descending over the Olympic Peninsula

Credit: Christina Aitchison Photography

Winter sun descending over the Olympic Peninsula.  Taken from Anderson Hill above McNeill Bay.

Photo Credit: Christina Aitchison
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Morning Glory

Credit: Christina Aitchison Photography

One of many spectacular very vibrant sunrises was fortunate to experience in February.  This was taken near the Oak Bay Marina looking South East across the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Photo Credit: Christina Aitchison
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Sheringham Lighthouse

Credit: Van Der Valk Photography

Sheringham Lighthouse is located just west of Sooke on Hwy. 14 heading towards Port Renfrew. It is still a working lighthouse that is now automated and is quite old. I know the town of Shirley is trying to preserve it as there was talks of Oceans and Fisheries closing it down and removing it. It overlooks the Juan de Fuca Strait.

Photo Credit: Van Der Valk Photography
Website: http://vandervalk.ca

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