The winter season has rolled into the Western Cape, but there are plenty of reasons why the colder months are actually an even better time to visit. Here are some of our favourite reasons to spend your winter here with us:
AFFORDABLE: colder days, cooler deals
The Western Cape is not only at its picturesque best during the ‘off season’, but there are also plenty of deals to take advantage of, with hotels, guest houses and restaurants offering up some fantastic packages for those looking for a little winter getaway. From luxury hotels to more rustic self-catering options, the Western Cape has plenty on offer over the cooler months, you just need to do a little browsing to find the one that works best for you.
WILD-LIFE: have a whale of a time
Winter is the best time to come see the whales! July to September is the peak calving season for whales, which means you are guaranteed many opportunities to spot the worlds’ biggest mammal, either from up close in a boat, or from the coastline. Take a drive along the False Bay Coast with Simon’s Town being a whale watching hub, or visit Hermanus, the whale capital of the world for your best chance of spotting them.
ADVENTURE: take a hike, bike and run
An adventure lover’s dream, the Western Cape has some of the best hiking, trail running and mountain biking routes in the world. And winter is the best time to explore them! The Western Cape’s natural bounty comes alive over the cooler months, with the winter rains bringing out the best the province has on offer, and keep an eye out for the natural waterfalls and streams popping up throughout the natural forests and mountainous areas across the Cape. Looking for people to run with? Check out this awesome film detailing the culture of social running in the Western Cape: Connected by Trail.
FLORA: it's grows on you
Travellers from around the world annually come to the Western Cape in August and September to witness a natural spectacle when millions of beautiful wildflowers start blooming for spring. A mere hour’s drive from the city will place you in the middle of the West Coast National Park, boasting a colourful carpet of white, orange and yellow. If you’re willing to drive a little further out (and let’s be honest, why wouldn’t you be?), the Ramskop Nature Reserve, Citrusdal and the Harold Porter Botanical Garden are all fantastic options as well.
GASTRONOMY: more wine, less whine
The Western Cape is heaven for wine and food lovers – and winter is the best time to get stuck in! Visitors have hundreds of restaurants to choose from – many with cosy fireplaces to sidle up alongside – offering some glorious comfort foods and award-winning vintages to enjoy, or you could visit one of a number of the province’s world class wineries and enjoy a sensational food and wine pairing – perfect for a crisp winter’s day.
FESTIVALS: a warm welcome
The Western Cape is well known for throwing epic festivals, and don’t let winter put you off, because this is when some of the best are taking place. Knysna Oyster Festival, Franschhoek Bastille Festival, Robertson Slow Food and Wine Festival – these are just some of the epic events taking place in winter – and from food and wine to music and adventure racing, there is something on offer for everyone to enjoy.
SURF: wave the cold away
Ask any surfer and they will tell you that the bigger waves, wind conditions, and warmer sea temperatures are the perfect combinations for all sorts of surfing along the coast in winter. The Western Cape also happens to have one of the most epic coastal stretches on the planet. Don't believe us? Ask three of the city's best surfers: Jordy Smith, Frank Solomon and Mikey February.
FREER: take your time
As this is the quieter and calmer travel season, take the time to explore and see the sites usually full of foreigners and tourists. From art galleries and museums, to monuments and mountains, enjoy the extra breathing space and luxury of time in one of the world's top destinations.