Cape Winelands tours
Breathtaking natural scenery, longstanding cultural heritage and world-class wine-producing estates characterise the Cape Winelands region, a tourist Mecca that always ranks highly on visitors’ itineraries, summer and winter alike.
In Cape Town itself, the Constantia Valley is home to some of South Africa’s oldest and most famous estates. To read more about these, visit our Constantia Vineyards write-up.
Durbanville and the Helderberg also offer wine experiences. You can explore the nine estates in Durbanville’s Wine Valley with just a 20-minute drive from Cape Town. The Helderberg wine route is a little further afield, but will take you to more than 20 estates, including the famous Vergelegen and Avontuur wineries.
If you venture even further away from Cape Town, many more glorious winelands await you! A 45-minute drive from the city whisks visitors to the winelands enclave, where surrounding mountains form a majestic backdrop to rows of neatly staked vineyards and gabled Cape Dutch homesteads. Here, you’ll experience the memorable hospitality and beauty of the winelands towns of Stellenbosch, Paarl, Wellington, Franschhoek and Robertson.
There are many wine farms along the route, some large and others boutique. Visitors are always welcome and tours, sales outlets and eateries are dotted throughout the region to make a day visit even more enjoyable. Call in at the wine farms or stroll down a beautifully restored street in one of the historic town centres. Learn about the rich culture of this region by visiting some of the many museums and monuments that pay homage to a proud South African heritage.
The outstanding wines produced in this area are world-renowned. Take a cellar tour with an individual winemaker, who will gladly share at least some of the secrets of the trade, from vine to glass.
The winelands is an ideal base from which to explore Cape Town and its surrounds. Indulge in sheer luxury at one of the exclusive boutique hotels or enjoy the hospitality of one of the many guest houses and bed-and-breakfast establishments in the area. Many of the wine farms also offer tranquil and secure accommodation options on site.
With its charm, culture, architectural heritage, wine and fruit farms, breathtaking scenery and many cycling and nature trails, Paarl is a good starting point in the winelands.
Visitors should include a trip to one of the largest solid rocks in the world – Paarl Mountain – and the restored historic buildings that flank the main street.
Franschhoek‘s excellent restaurants, premier accommodation establishments, stunning mountains and hospitality are legendary. Spend time browsing the many arts-and-crafts shops, galleries and antique stores in the small town’s centre.
After Cape Town, Stellenbosch is the oldest town in the country and one of the most scenic and historically intact. Ideally situated in a magnificent mountain valley, Stellenbosch boasts a mild Mediterranean climate and is yet another wonderful destination from which to explore the winelands and its many tourist attractions.
Wellington is famous for its panoramic Bainskloof Pass, dried fruit shop, picturesque wine estates – where wine and olive tasting are offered – and popular leather factories.
Robertson is currently the largest wine-producing area under irrigation in South Africa. The town, known for its superior wines, is also home to some of the country’s top racehorse studs and has been dubbed the “Garden Town of the Boland”.
Between Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, via the scenic Helshoogte Pass, you’ll pass through the modest village of Pniel on the banks of the Dwars River in the Drakenstein Valley. This peaceful little town, which retains many of its original dwellings, is well worth a visit.
Check our tour operators’ database for a list of operators specialising in wine tours.
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Launched in honour of SA’s favourite spirit, and in response to the increasing public demand for brandy in all its guises, the Urban Brandy Cocktail Route is the ultimate experienced-based initiative. Presenting a unique way to explore and appreciate brandy against the diverse backdrop of the cosmopolitan Cape Town cityscape, the formation of the route speaks to how brandy has risen from its conventional role to embrace a more sophisticated, modern image.
If you’re keen on spending some time in the kitchen, book yourself on a cooking safari and learn to cook secret recipes from one of the local Bo-Kaap ladies in her very own kitchen. This activity is a must-do for any foodie or those interested in getting to know the Cape Malay culture.
Cape Town is without question the food and dining capital of South Africa and arguably of the entire African continent.
What’s the good of a holiday without a good book? There’s no shortage of great book shops in Cape Town where bookworms can while away the hours and browse at their leisure.
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