In the Cape Winelands District, we can accommodate your every whim. There are 1 000 things to do before you taste our award-winning wines, beer, gins and brandies. Whether you prefer the bustle of busy eateries, farmers’ markets and live music, or the quiet of a morning hike and the peacefulness of a winding gravel road, or a heady combination of both, the Cape Winelands district is a safe, welcoming oasis for all travellers, groups, couples and families.
The Cape Winelands district is very accessible from Cape Town. In fact, the first point of entry to the district, historical Stellenbosch, is a mere 20-minute drive from Cape Town International Airport. The district covers an area of around 24 000km2 that is mostly made up of agricultural land and indigenous fynbos vegetation and is home to five municipal jurisdictions that include 15 towns. The valleys are protected by majestic mountains, many of which hold ancient rock paintings, and are ideal for climbing and abseiling (for the more adventurous). As one of the world’s most ecologically diverse areas, the Cape Winelands is also rich in fauna with a variety of birds and wild animals such as the shy mountain buck, sometimes seen wandering on trails.
The district is committed to ensuring that all visitors are protected against exposure to COVID-19. All facilities have to comply with current regulations pertaining to COVID-19, which makes the Cape Winelands District safe to visit. Furthermore, our wide-open spaces and many outdoor activities contribute to social distancing being maintained.
Each of the municipal areas have their own features. Langeberg has a drier climate than Drakenstein. Breede Valley is home to the internationally renowned Karoo Botanical Gardens. Stellenbosch boasts a long history in wine and academia. The exceptional Witzenberg is home to one of the highest zip lines in South Africa. Of course, the areas also share common features. They all offer wonderful options for accommodation to suit all pockets and needs. Adventures are to be had with sky diving, horse riding or ghost touring, and places to visit are in abundance in all the towns. And then there is always wine, or beer, or gin, or brandy. And for the kids? Animals to pet, birds that will amaze and even a juice tasting so that they don’t feel left out!
Tourists can download the Cape Winelands Tourism App before visiting the area to check which events and activities are taking place during their stay. You will be able to access specific services too – perhaps you need to rent a car, organise a babysitter or find out where the best place is to keep your bikes. The App is just the tool you need, and it is free for iOS and Android users. Simply search Cape Winelands Tourism in your App Store and download a world of choices and activities. Search for, and like us on Facebook, Cape Winelands DM or follow us on Instagram, Cape Winelands_DM1, you can even tag us into your facebook posts, so that we can follow your visit to the Cape Winelands.
Hop onto an open safari vehicle to explore the vineyards of Jordan, Villiera or Waterford or join a professional guide for a tour of the Jonkershoek Nature Reserve on an eco-friendly Mountain® Scooter. Head to the Lanzerac Trail Centre and ride an e-bike to enjoy the almost alpine magic of the Jonkershoek Mountains. Or visit Dirtopia on the Muratie Wine Estate to explore their running and mountain bike trails.
Immerse yourself in the culture and heritage of Stellenbosch, as a guide takes you off the beaten track to explore like a local with a guided art, history or ‘foodie’ walking tour.
Sunny days on Stellenbosch wine farms are worth experiencing. Think wine blending at Middelvlei, ice-cream and wine pairing at Clos Malverne, generous cheese and charcuterie platters; or discover one of Stellenbosch’s wonderful picnic spots.
When visiting Franschhoek in the Cape Winelands you are immediately transported to a world filled with breathtaking scenery, warm hospitality, world-class cuisine and superb wines. Regarded as South Africa’s culinary capital, this town will give you a gastronomic experience ranging from haute cuisine to locally sourced artisanal foods prepared by highly acclaimed chefs. Local cuisine adds extra pizzazz to your experience.
Home to some of the country’s finest wine producers, plan your itinerary to include a visit to one of the many privately owned boutiques, or if you’re a keen outdoor enthusiast, our myriad of outdoor offerings will tick all the relevant boxes. Looking to keep the kids entertained?
Boschendal and Babylonstoren will keep the young ones entertained for hours with their offerings. For something completely different, visit the Farm Sanctuary and meet their resident artist, Pigasso, who never fails to delight children of all ages.
Nestled between the two famous sisters of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, lies the darling little valley of Dwarsrivier. In this lush valley you can attend a food and wine paring at the Alluvia Boutique Winery or take a horse trail before the Friday Night Market at Boschendal. The Solms Delta Wine Estate offers regular family friendly Sundowner Saturdays, while Le Pommier Estate has a number of options that include special rates for young children.
Drakenstein is the municipal area that is home to Paarl, Wellington and the lessor known towns of Gouda and Saron.
Authentic winelands lifestyle experiences await visitors heading to Paarl and Wellington during the high days and holidays. Take the family for affordable and wonderful day experiences by visiting The Alpaca Loom or Le Bonheur Crocodile Farm, or delight in a nature drive at Bontebok Ridge Reserve.Lunch spots with great views and child-friendly play areas can be found at Rhebokskloof Wine Estate, Nederburg, Dunstone Estate and Val du Charron Wine and Leisure Estate.
For cooling down on the sweltering summer days, Val du Charron’s splashpad is great, as are the rockpools and swimming holes in the LimietbergNature Reserve bordering on Bainskloof Pass. Clearly marked hiking trails varying in difficulty levels make for a great outdoor experience.
Paarl Rock, a massive granite rock in the Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve, is the second largest granite outcrop known to man. Spend a day in nature picnicking or admiring the scenic splendour or enjoy the various custom-built trails for hiking, running or cycling that surround the mountain.
This area, surrounded by rugged mountains, is home to Breedekloof, Worcester and the Hex River Valley, which is world renowned for export grapes and other soft fruit, award-winning wines and even a tulip farm!
If sipping chilled wine beside a crystal clear river is your ideal summer breakaway, then head for the mountainous Breedekloof Wine Valley, just an hour’s drive from Cape Town.Breedekloof, which encompasses the wineries in the Rawsonville, Slanghoek, Goudini and Breede River areas, is an idyllic spot for healthy outdoor entertainment such as hiking, mountain biking and horse riding through the vineyards.
Self-catering chalets on the banks of the river or set in the mountains, camp sites and B&Bs provide a range of accommodation to match any pocket. Besides the scenic splendour, the region’s other major attractions include 17 wineries that offer a variety of wine tasting experiences, from tractor rides to various food and wine pairings. You can also enjoy craft beer and craft gin in the valley, and the stylish restaurants, coffee shops and farm stalls will undoubtedly please your pallet.
Discover the magic of the re-emerging Karoo town, Touws River. Once known as Montague Roads and before that Daos ab, this little town might have been somewhat forgotten, but is far from gone. As the first town of the Karoo, coming from the Cape, it is known as the ‘Gateway to the Karoo’ and driving the other direction, ‘Gateway to the Boland’.
This central Karoo town has one of the richest and most diverse histories and once played a crucial role in the developing railway sector of South Africa, hence still known as a railway town.Travelling through town the history becomes even more apparent when you visit the various monuments, including a class 23 locomotive, a language monument dedicated to the Afrikaans language, the Delville Wood monument in memory of local residents that fought in the Great War and even a monument in memory of an astrological event that attracted astrologers from across the globe to come and view the transit of Venus, both in 1882 and again in 2004 and 2012.
Touws River’s fresh air and starlight nights can bring about remarkable health benefits. The dry air can bring relieve to those battling with asthma and the tranquillity will melt away all the stresses modern life impose. Local herbs are abundant and aid in the relieve of various ailments. The veld here is home to, among others, the famous Cancer Bush, Buchu and Wild Rosemary/Kapokbos.
Whether you want to be spoiled and pampered or prefer something a bit more exhilarating like a safari on horseback, quad bike or be chauffeured among the wildlife by a ranger, Aquila Big Five Private Game reserve will be one of the establishments that can tend to these needs .The area also offers various other nature reserves, guest houses, B&B’s and activities, including hiking trails, mountain bike trails, 4×4 trails, veld schools, bird watching, stargazing, bushman paintings and ancient fossils strewn along the valley. During the spring months the somewhat dull landscape becomes magically transformed into a rainbow of colours as the wildflowers emerge.
Driving along the N1 out of the Breedekloof, you will be welcomed into the glorious town of Worcester, nestled in a golden valley with a selection of hidden gems for the whole family to discover.
Experience the Big 5 at Fairy Glen Reserve or take the time to explore the 154ha display of fauna and flora of the arid winter rainfall regions of Southern Africa in the Karoo Desert National Botanical Gardens, which is also accessible to the physically challenged. Or enjoy a touch of history at the Worcester Museum at Kleinplasie – the only living open air museum that depicts agricultural practices of the early 1800s to mid-1940s.
A magical ambiance awaits the fine art lover at The Hugo Naudé House and Jean Weltz Art Gallery. The Worcester area further boasts 12 wine cellars and the Willow Creek Olive estate on the Worcester Wine & Olive Route. Besides these recognised delights, a wonderful farmers’ market that is held on the first Saturday of every month, numerous free mountain biking trails and a few gorgeous examples of historical building styles are worthy of a visit.
The Hexriver Valley is internationally renowned for its export grapes, but there are also a few well kept secrets in this mysterious valley.
Conveniently located just off the N1, the Hex River Valley is known as the gateway between the vast plains of the Klein Karoo and rewards travellers with the first spectacular views of the Cape Winelands’ soaring mountains and green cultivated landscapes.
Hexcape Often: Explore the Hex River Valley and surrounds on two wheels, tackling varied and interesting terrain. Whether you prefer to take it slow or experience gratifying rides, we can offer anything from family friendly outings to high altitude cycling adventures. MTB and E-Bike rentals are available.
Hexplore the Unseen: For outdoor enthusiasts captivated by mystical adventures unveiling the history of our ancestors, or in need of a retreat to clear your mind, The Secret Adventurer is ready to unveil some of our best kept secrets!
If you’re over 50 and classify yourself as a novelty seeker, book a memorable stay in the Hex River Valley and enjoy creative, tailor-made excursions with Graham and Sally (G1BT Travel & Tours) and sports historian Dr Dean Allen.
Hexperience Adventure: If you want to experience the fun side of farming, De Doorns is the place to visit. Combine a packhouse tour and grape tasting session at Villion Farms with a picnic and some grape picking fun in the sun.
Once you reach the outskirts of the Hex River Valley, you have two choices: Take a left to Witzenberg and enter Ceres via the Tankwa Karoo where many residents are still reliant on donkey carts for transport (cartwheels and donkey hooves are resilient to the tyre-attacking shale of the Tankwa Karoo!); or turn right and meander the back roads into Langeberg.
In the heart of the Witzenberg lies the beautiful town of Ceres, surrounded by mountains and breathtaking passes – its tranquil atmosphere makes this the ideal place to unwind. For those seeking a little adventure, Ceres has you covered… activities include zip lining, abseiling, ‘kloofing’, 4×4 routes, MTB trails, golfing, hiking trails, fishing spots, horse and carriage rides and many more.
From the last weekend in November, visitors can also explore the Ceres Cherry Route, which will take you on an amazing journey of discovery about all things cherry. Follow the route for fabulous culinary delights at select restaurants and cherry-licious discounts at the various participating accommodation and activity establishments in our region.
The Ceres area also offers a wide variety of accommodation ranging from luxury game reserves, guest houses, self-catering cottages to wooden chalets.