We were sad to put Alaska behind us, but also excited to explore Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, on our last night of the cruise. This cruise was different from all the other cruises that I’ve been on for several reasons, one of the big ones being the time spent on the ship vs. time spent at our ports of call. We had much shorter stops at our ports of call then I’ve had on previous cruises and spent a lot more time on the ship – very relaxing, just different from past experiences.
Our day in Victoria was almost like a day at sea because we didn’t arrive until 6pm. This timing made it difficult for us to decide what to do. One of the main attractions in Victoria is Butchart Gardens, but they are about 1 hour away from the port and that would leave us no time to see the rest of Victoria. So, we decided to forgo Butchart Gardens and spend a night in Victoria instead.
Many people were trying to squeeze in dinner on the ship before leaving, but you guys know that isn’t my style. Food is my favorite way to meet a new city so I looked to TripAdvisor (as always) and found Ithaka Greek Restaurant, rated the #1 restaurant in Victoria at the time. Greek and #1? Sold. We took a longer way to get there, walking along the water and a park or two to get there, so we got some great views of Victoria’s beauty while working up an appetite.
It took us about 45 minutes to an hour to walk to Ithaka Greek Restaurant at a slower pace and the smells of roast lamb and saganaki coming from the kitchen greeted us as soon as we arrived. The restaurant was almost completely full on a Friday night but luckily we were able to scoop up the last open table for 6. They have a great little outdoor seating area complete with heaters, the perfect spot to enjoy a beautiful night in Victoria.
We started our dinner with a couple orders of the Saganaki, because who doesn’t love flaming cheese and a good Opa! We followed it up with their appetizer platter with dolmades, kalamari, spanakopita, keftedes, tzatziki, pita bread, and Maria’s house salad. Everything was so delicious – fresh and full of all those fantastic Greek flavors that we love.
Looking over the menu it was nearly impossible to choose our entrees because everything sounded so ridiculously good! Three of us ended up going with Giannoula’s roast lamb and the other three went with the Moussaka, Prawns Santorini, and Zorba’s dinner. I had bites of each and there was no way I could pick a favorite – my lamb was amazingly tender and flavorful but so was the moussaka, the shrimp, and the skewers – I would order all of these dishes again. “Mama” Maria surprised us with a few desserts from the kitchen to top off this fantastic meal at Ithaka.
Ithaka is a family-owned restaurant and their love for what they do shows. Dimitri was a fantastic host and made sure we were taken care of throughout our meal. “Mama” Maria even took a break from the kitchen to come out and say hello! We were all more than happy with our choice to spend our time in Victoria here and if you’re in town I’m sure you would too!
After our meal it was time to head back to our ship and we took a different route through the busier part of town. It was dark and late and most of the shops were closed so we didn’t have a chance to do much, but it definitely looked like a place we would love to explore. Guess that means a trip back to Victoria is getting added to the bucket list! We were all sad that when we woke up the next morning our trip would be over, but there were so many awesome memories made on this Alaskan cruise