Situated around 40 km right to the east of Cape Town and lies buried underneath a shadow of the cape fold mountains, the Cape Winelands is a continuous belt of beautiful valleys. It’s a collection of beautiful historic towns, farmsteads and little hamlets which provide for the delicious South African wine loved all over the world. These mountains come together to create an unbelievable backdrop for the myriad vines which tangle and untangle on the vineyards, resulting in the famous wine here. Although the name goes as Winelands, there’s a whole lot more to see in Cape Winland, as we will soon discover.
Best Time To Visit Cape Winelands
There isn’t a permanent time to visit the Cape Winelands, as each and every season brings something special with it for the town. If you travel during the summers then you can enjoy the summer sunshine along with the wine as you tuck into that alfresco lunch. If winter is your preferred travel time, then you get to cozy up next to a roaring fire with a glass of smooth red wine. As for autumn, it’s all about the splashes of rusty oranges and beautiful yellows which spread all over the vineyards. But if you would much rather come in spring then you will get to witness beautiful panoramic visions of wildflowers populating the surrounding mountains.
So, it isn’t about the season in Cape Winelands, but about which destinations which want to visit along with this one. If you want, start off as Cape Town and then go along the Garden Route coastline then visiting during the summer months of November to April will be ideal for you.
Things To Do In Cape Winelands
Here is a list of the best things to do while visiting Cape Winelands, take a look!
1. Rasta House: Pay a visit
Cape Winelands destinations are many, but let’s begin with this one. This wooden Rasta home rising up of five stories is a delicacy for the eyes. The house has been in construction for over twenty years and the owner plans on adding more stories. You should definitely go for a tour to this house and having a knowledgeable tour guide will make the experience better.
2. Oldest Hotel in South Africa: Spend a night
At Oude Werf, you will get premium underground parking right in the middle of Stellenbosch. From here you can go through a part of Cape Winelands riding and strolling to see the various bookshops, bistros, art galleries and such in the nook and corners of the city. The hotel since 1802 has hosted a variety of people and with 52 rooms which have marble counters and large walk-in showers, the hotel if luxury resplendent. Sip wine by the warm fire or go to the wine covered courtyard during the summers, there’s ton do here.
3. Audacia Winery: Drink world’s first rooibos wood matured red wine
Audacia is popular for hosting the very popular route 44 market, which runs every weekend from 10 am to 4 pm and is full of lively music and a wonderful atmosphere. There’s another thing it is more famous for, and that is the fact that it is the home of the world’s very first preservative and sulphite free, rooibos wood matured wines. It is described as having an intense aroma with a sweet bouquet of roses, cherries, Turkish delight and more.
4. Wors Rolls: Have them right by the fire
Chippa, in Mbekweni, operates a famous Braai and bar spot which is always filled with customers no matter the time of the day or year. You should definitely pay that place a visit to enjoy the boerie rolls right by the fire while you watch an exciting match of cricket with the locals. Don’t forget to cheer for the local team!
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5. Koeksisters and Samoosas: Cook the sweet potatoes
The hanli food here is nothing short of an expression of tradition and culture so a visit to the town will remain incomplete without having a full meal at a local restaurant and learning a little about how to cook the traditional dishes like folding samoosas adding the perfect spices to make the cinnamon and coconut koeksisters.
6. Khayamandi: Taste Morogo and Chakalaka
Khayamandi is a beautiful part of the city doused in emerald. Pay a visit to Mamma Swartbooi, who was a very inspirational figurehead whose father in law was famous for helping the community during the times of apartheid. For this the street is named as Swartbooi Street and if here don’t miss out on a lunch of morogo, fried dumplings, and chakalaka.
7. Paarl: Take an architectural tour
Take a Cape Winelands tour with a tour guide and go exploring the secrets of this town Paarl. Learn about the Paarl inhabitants, one who once built a pipe right under the main road that leads from his distillery to his own office. All this, for just an easy glass every day. The tours go on multiple days or a week and don’t visit much more than R100 per person.
8. Wellington Museum: Know about the oral history project
The project aims at documenting the experiences of the Wellington Community who were displaced during the apartheid. Apart from getting valuable insights into the history of Wellington, you will also get to see genuine and amazing Egyptian artifacts, which also includes that ancient scarab beetle seen in the first Mummy movie.
9. 4 Star Retreat: Pamper Yourself
Worrying about Cape Winelands accommodation? Don’t fret, Cascade Manors, situated at Olive Groves is just a ten-minute drive from Paarl. It’s so beautiful that you might think you have stepped into a portal that took you to northern Italy. A hundred-year-old olive Grove is accompanied by a gorgeous and dramatic waterfall. You can relax in the winter spa which is just perfect for that South African weather. Afterward, go for a special olive oil tasting or go for abseil right down the rushing waterfall.
10. Stellenbosch to Jonkershoek: Go on a mountain bike adventure
Take your bike and go on a tour of the town Stellenbosch. Then visit Lanzerac which is a wine farm and enjoy delicious sine and chocolate pairing. If more mountain bike riding is on your mind then the next day take your bike and go on a guided mountain ride to the Jonkershoek Nature Reserve. The whole tour last for 5 hours or so and also includes wine tastings, a snacking pack and drinks too. All of it comes with the equipment and cellar tour. It will cost you something around R580-R600 per person.
How To Reach Cape Winelands
At first, you will have to take a flight from your destination to Cape Town International Airport. From there Cape Winelands is 172.9 km so the shortest path will be to rent a car and go through the N1 to reach Cape Winelands. It will take a little over 2 hours to reach there.
Cape Winelands is a location which doesn’t really pop up on the must-travel list that frequently and that’s the reason why people miss out on the Cape Winelands map, this is a heavenly place which offers a blend of exquisite wine, memorable culture and authentic traditional food to make any traveler’s day. So, plan a trip to South Africa and visit the place for a memorable experience!
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