The Cape Winelands is one of the most beautiful regions of South Africa. The region is easily accessible from Cape Town (under two hours drive) The area has many quaint villages and dramatic scenery, There are numerous activities for the adventurous or moderately physically active person, from hiking, climbing, fly fishing and horse riding in the vineyards to historical attractions, or cultural experiences.
You will enjoy exceptional cuisine and wines, which will make the Cape Winelands one of the most memorable experiences of your life.
There is so much to see and do in the Cape Winelands, the wine-tasting at almost two thousand cellars aside! Whatever you do, your trip should be carefully planned to ensure that you don't miss out on anything.
The history of development of the Cape Winelands goes back to the late 1600's when French Huguenot's were settled here by the Governor of the Cape, Simon van der Stel. The Mediterranean climate was ideal for viticulture, which has resulted in many fine Wine Estates having a proud heritage of over three hundred years production.
The three main urban centres in the Cape Winelands are:
Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl.
is considered the centre of the Winelands as far as tourism is concerned.This is South Africa's second oldest town within easy reach of Cape Town in just over an hour's journey. It is an ideal base from which to tour the Western Cape.
There is much to see here as it is a historical centre with historic homes and public buildings spanning three centuries, all beautifully restored, where you
will savour the atmosphere and the unique period Cape Dutch architecture.
It has been a seat of learning since 1865, when the renowned Stellenbosch University first opened.
There are some 150 wine cellars open to the public, many theatres, art galleries and restaurants on the wine estates and some fine Golf courses.
Paarl is the 3rd oldest of the original European settlements in South Africa and is a picturesque old town of the Cape Winelands, dominated by a huge granite pluton that, after rain, gleams like a pearl, and from which the town gets its name. (The Dutch word for pearl.) Paarl has one of the longest main roads in the country - at about 11km - and itís lined with lovely old buildings.
There are many tour operators in the area who would be ready to show you the attractions. A worthwhile visit is to the Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve and Wild Flower Garden.
Cape Winelands Accommodations
The accommodation choices are unlimited throughout the whole wine route as there are an array of Bed and Breakfast, Boutique Hotels, Lodges, back packer and self catering possibilities.
The area is a good wedding and honeymoon destination with excellent facilities offered by wine estates for such occasions.Your Winelands vacation/holiday is the ideal time to unwind from the rat-race with wellness/spa accommodation.
Also has it's roots in French Huguenot history in the Cape Winelands. The Huguenot monument is situated here to commemorate this history.
The town is tucked away in the beautiful Franschhoek wine valley. It is an arts and crafts town, with much to see and do in a tranquil atmosphere. Enjoy a meal at one of the many restaurants or bistro's in a town which is renown for its excellent cuisine.
There is a wide choice of accommodation available, from Hotel, Boutique Hotel, Bed and breakfast to private farm accommodation. It is an excellent area for walking and hiking, paragliding and quad biking.
An alternative to the garden route, is to follow the N2 to branch off at Worcester to follow the R62 tourist route Oudtshoorn, in the Little Karoo, so doing, appreciating the towns and villages en route which have much to offer visitors by way of experiences scenery and hospitality.
Of particular interest is the Breede valley, another wine producing area, with Robertson as its main urban area.
The Cape Winelands.
The Breede River Valley
Some 15 attractive small towns have the good fortune to nestle in the fertile Breede River Valley, wall-to-wall in orchards and vineyards.
Thereís Ceres, aptly named for the Roman goddess of fertility; Tulbagh with 32 historical buildings making for the largest concentration of national monuments in the country; Montagu, home of hot mineral springs famed for curative powers; Worcester and Robertson - known for their noble vintages.
Attractions in the valley include one of the largest brandy distilleries in the world (KWV Brandy Cellar), game reserves, tribal art and museums (try Kleinplasie Living Open Air Museum which revives early settler days with demonstrations of candle making, sheep shearing and harvesting).
Stellenbosch Cape Dutch Home
Breede River Valley
Hex River Valley
Paarl: Wine Farm
Vineyards in Stellenbosch Area
Winelands Accommodations, Tourist Attractions
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