Exquisite Cuisine & Award Winning Wines

Majestic mountain scenery, rolling hills covered in sprawling vineyards, tasting a selection of fine wines under the warm African sun, eating award winning cuisine… this sounds like paradise but for lovers of the finer things in life this is just an average day in the Cape Winelands.

Whether you are a wine lover or not, a visit to the Cape Winelands is an absolute must, and you’re sure to be impressed by the sheer range of world class wine estates and the internationally acclaimed restaurants that have turned this area into a magnet that draws food and wine connoisseurs from the far reaches of the globe. The Mediterranean climate and winter rainfall area of the south-western Cape, combined with the fertile soils produce some of the best wines in the world.

The wine connoisseur will be delighted to find all the noble cultivars and classic styles from superb whites such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Semillon and Chenin Blanc to the rich reds of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Pinot Noir and Merlot -not to mention the valley’s renowned methode Cap Classique Sparkling wines and Ports.

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The surrounding mountains and forests have excellent day hikes and mountain bike trails. Ice cold, crystal clear rivers dance their way down the cliff faces – the water so pure that you can drink straight from the streams. You do need to hike a short way up the slopes before you do this, but the fresh taste of pure mountain water is unbeatable. To satisfy the more adventurous spirits, the valleys and mountains also provides the idyllic setting for horse riding, fly fishing and even paragliding which offers the brave and free spirited an incredible bird’s eye view of the area.

The Cape Winelands region is divided up into three main areas – Franschhoek, Stellenbosch and Paarl. Each town has a unique flavor and character and all are set amid some of the prettiest surroundings in the Cape.

Franschhoek was first settled over 300-years ago by the French Huguenots and the many guesthouses, streetside cafes and award winning restaurants demonstrate a truly French flair. The picturesque main street showcases antique stores and art galleries which rub shoulders with bakeries and the chocolaterie. You can easily spend two nights in Franschhoek – wandering the main street, visiting the wine estates and dining at one of its eight ‘Top 100’ restaurants.The valley still retains its deep vigneron tradition, dating back to the 16th century and some of South Africa’s oldest and most famous wine estates are found here.

The Stellenbosch Wine Route is arguably the country’s most famous, and the Stellenbosch Wine of Origin area includes 106 cellars – most of which are open to the public. The town of Stellenbosch is a university town and the oak-lined Dorp Street is home to museums and galleries as well as many student cafes and restaurants. Wine tasting, cellar tours and stopping to enjoy the scenic beauty at the various wine farms could easily take a day or more, so it is advisable to have a rough idea of where you would like to go before you set out. Different experiences appeal to different people, but whether it’s big or quaint you prefer you’re sure to find something that appeals to you.

A number of other excellent wine farms can be found slightly further afield in the Paarl and Wellington areas. Once again, the towns are steeped in history and set against beautiful backdrops of mountains and vineyards. Pay a visit to Rhebokskloof and Simonsvlei or simply take a drive and enjoy the scenery.

The accommodation in the Cape Winelands is of a very high standard and the hosts in the various establishments are friendly and highly knowledgeable about the area and the surrounding wine estates. The Cape Winelands are a wonderful self-drive destination – the area is best explored with your own transport – but since the region is within 45 minutes of Cape Town an organized day tour is also an excellent option.

Ask one of our Travel Experts about all the options and they will help you decide on what bests suits your dreams.

A popular trip is to start in Cape Town, head through the Winelands and then continue up Route 62 which comes out in the malaria free Garden Route Safari area. Then the idea is to spend a few nights in one of the luxury game lodges, create some lifelong memories of lions and elephants within touching distance of you, and then head back down the Coastal Route for some time spent on the beach and exploring the forests and seaside villages that are line the Indian Oceans shores.

You’ll end up coming back through the Whale Route region and if you have timed your trip to coincide with whale season (June – December) then a stop-over in Hermanus will have you gasping as these huge sea mammals breach meters from your boat. Cape Town is only an hours’ drive away along the coast and then you can jet off to whatever Indian Ocean Island or East African safari destination takes your fancy (if only you had the time!).

Cape Town

Winelands

Overberg

Top Destinations

Cape Town

Kruger & Surrounds

Garden Route

Madikwe

Fast Facts

Franschhoek means ‘French corner’ and reflects its Gallic origins. It was founded in 1688 by a party of Huguenot emigres. Many of the fine estates and homesteads still bear their original French names and the Huguenots are commemorated by the memorial that overlooks the town.

Insider Information
  • Try the chenin blanc, sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, shiraz which are locally produced in the Cape Winelands.
  • Visit the cheese and wine festival that takes place towards the end of April. This is truly a full day of fun!
  • Visit the oak-lined Dorp Street in Stellenbosch which has the country’s longest row of historic buildings.
  • Chat to us about mapping out a good wine route plan so you visit all the best estates.

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Exploring Options
  • The easiest way to get to the Cape Winelands is by car. If you are doing a day trip from Cape Town we would recommend that we book you a guided full day tour.
  • If you would like to spend a couple of nights in the Winelands (highly recommended) the best way is to have a hired car. This gives you the flexibility to explore at your own pace.
  • There are a number of less conventional ways of exploring the area – read more.

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We take pride in treating you as if you were friends or family. We want to ensure that your time in Africa exceeds your expectations, and that you’ll be back a lot sooner than you expected.

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