It’s time to plan a getaway that lets you explore a world in one, a destination that will give you that faraway feeling without having to travel very far all…
Come find yourself in the six glorious regions of Cape Town and the Western Cape.
Often compared to the French Riviera, the Mother City comes complete with a Mediterranean climate, long white beaches, cocktail bars and world class restaurants, Cape Town ticks all the boxes, but let’s be honest, it’s all the additional offerings that pushes it beyond its French counterpart. A melting pot of cultures, Cape Town is a heady mix of superb lifestyle activities and high adventure and incredible arts and culture. It’s considered the jewel in the crown for a reason, with an abundance on offer for visitors and locals alike.
Transport yourself to a lush green landscape dominated by gentle, undulating hills, with an awe-inspiring backdrop of foreboding mountain. No, this isn’t Sweden, welcome to the Cape Overberg, the breadbasket of the Western Cape with a bounty of wheat and fruit harvests every year. It is also a favourite for the weekend warriors looking for outdoor pursuits and wild adventure. This is a place that boasts great diversity with coastal towns such as Hermanus, known as the jewel of the Cape Whale Coast for its abundance of marine wildlife, the beautiful Elgin Valley, an under-appreciated wine region and Swellendam, a jaw-dropping beautiful natural wonderland, combining to create a region unlike any other.
Tuscany is lovely, sure, but why go through all the admin, and costs, of a December trip to Italy (in the Winter), when you can experience all it has to offer – and more – in the Cape Winelands? The Western Cape is a place known for its abundance of quality wine and its story is intrinsically tied to the vine. Nowhere is this truer than in the Cape Winelands, a region overflowing with award-winning vintages and home to world class vineyards.
Towns such as Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Paarl, Wellington and Robertson are now iconic in terms of the wine they produce and together they produce wine that is as diverse as it is bountiful. Set aside plenty of time if you visit the Cape Winelands, because you will never cover it in a day...
And while the wine put the Cape Winelands on the map, it delivers plenty on the food front as well, with world class restaurants in abundance. And you can add craft beer and whisky to the menu now, with the region quickly becoming a leader in both, ensuring that it continues to expand on its offerings.
Garden Route and Klein Karoo
Route 66? We’re sure it’s lovely, but have your tried Route 62? You need to…
In fact, the Garden Route and Klein Karoo is a road trip must, with thousands of families embarking down this magnificent stretch of paradise every year, Stretching from Witsand to Plettenberg Bay, right around to Oudtshoorn as well as Calitzdorp and Ladismith on the world-renowned Route 62 (voted best road trip in THE WORLD by CNN), this is a place where adventure lies around every corner.
With everything from majestic mountains – and equally impressive mountain passes – to brilliantly blue coastlines and thick forested are- as, the region is a natural wonderland to explore with a hugely diverse number of experiences.
Route 62 runs through some fantastic small towns, with a number of options available to you – from olive and fruit farms, lesser-known, but equally impressive wineries, and nature reserves.
The Garden Route is also a golfer’s paradise with world class courses on offer, including Fancourt and Pinnacle Point. For the adventurous, there are few better playgrounds to explore, with a myriad of trails, running through indigenous forests and up epic, jaw-dropping passes, while for those who prefer the water are sure to be spoilt by what is on offer in Knysna, Wilderness and Plettenberg Bay.
Cape West Coast
The Cape West Coast (Weskus) is a place so awe-inspiring, so jaw-droppingly beautiful, and so magical, you would need weeks to take it all in. Think Greece, just a lot more impressive. Famous for its beautiful beaches and the quaint, seaside towns, many of which have become a home-away-from-home for Western Cape locals and are havens for those looking to escape the city.
The region is also famous for its bountiful seafood, with snoek, mussels and crayfish in abundance and understandably the area has become a mecca for restaurants specialising in seafood dishes, the ingredients of which are usually fresh form the ocean in which they line.
But the Cape West Coast is not just about the sea and all things related to it! The aptly named town of Darling is famous for its wildflowers, and its locally produced wines, while the Cederberg Mountains boast century-old rock art, warm, welcoming locals and some of the best hiking, mountain biking and bouldering in the world.
Known for its wide-open spaces, the Cape Karoo is where you want to go when the pace of city life is something you want to escape. This is where you go to get off the grid. Kind of like Nevada, but without the visas and airport lounges. The Cape Karoo is a place of incredible beauty, wild game, clear skies and magical sunsets, the region has a number of Nature Reserves and game farms, boasting an abundance of wildlife.
Another animal in abundance in the Karoo is sheep, who roam ‘freely’ around the area on large plots of land, sampling a wide range of indigenous, aromatic plants. As a result, the Karoo has become famous for its succulent and tasty lamb dishes. And while we’re talking food, make sure you stop into Prince Albert, a town with a burgeoning foodie culture and serious artistic flair.
Also be sure to visit Matjiesfontein, a tiny 19th Century town, seemingly untouched by time, and was once considered the jewel of the Western Cape.