THE CAPE WINELANDS
Winelands Region samples the best that the Cape has to offer,
with naturally beautiful landscapes,
a rich cultural heritage and a magnificent backdrop of majestic
mountains - plus,
some of the world's best wines!
A 45-minute drive from Cape Town brings you to this beautiful area,
where traditional gabled homesteads can be seen amongst lush vineyards
that turn golden-red in autumn. The hospitality, beauty and history
that surround Stellenbosch, Paarl, Wellington and Franschhoek will
certainly capture your heart.
Walk down the oak-lined
streets of Stellenbosch, the second-oldest town in South Africa.
The history of the country lives on within the old Cape Dutch, Georgian
and Victorian style houses seen in every town. The Huguenot Memorial
in Franschhoek and the Afrikaans Language Museum in Paarl, not to
mention the diversity of fine museums offer a fascinating glimpse
into the colourful past of this area.
The superb wines produced in the Winelands are renowned worldwide.
Choose between small, exclusive wine boutiques and larger commercial
wine estates. Formal wine tastings are available at many of the wine
farms. Let the vintner's fruit delight your taste buds while inhaling
the crisp country air of these fairy-tale surroundings, or accompany
the winemaker on a tour through his cellar, where his knowledge and
passion transform the season's harvest into fabulous wines to delight
every wine lover.
A popular way of discovering the joys of South African wines is on a day trip from Cape Town - either self-drive or on an organised excursion by a local travel organiser. Devotees of the grape however can spend several days - weeks if they wish - finding out about the subtle differences between the various types, there are so many estates to visit. In all, there are 13 wine routes to explore - and 2,000 varieties of wine to sample!
The Wine Routes:
Vignerons de Franschhoek
Other / Smaller Wine Routes:
Worcester / Tulbagh
To complement the choice of wines, the Winelands offer a variety
of excellent restaurants and coffee shops, some of the best in the
Cape. From tea and scones to formal dinners ranging from traditional
fare to exotic cuisines, the opportunities for fine dining seem endless.
The area is also well known for a host of other culinary delicacies
- cheese, olives, herbs and berries are just a few of these delights.
With its mighty mountains and fruitful valleys, the Winelands are
a nature lover's paradise. Enjoy a peaceful hike through one of the
many nature reserves, and marvel at the unique fynbos flora characteristic
of the Cape. Outdoor enthusiasts can choose between the adrenaline
rush of tearing down the hillside on a mountain bike, the tranquillity
of a serene river setting while catching trout, the exhilarating
view of the famous 'pearls' of Paarl Mountain from a hot-air balloon,
or the breathtaking beauty of riding into the sunset on horseback.
its temperate Mediterranean climate, beautiful surroundings,
magnificent backdrop of mountain ranges, modern facilities
and close proximity to all major places of interest in the
Cape Peninsula, Stellenbosch is the ideal get-away African
Stellenbosch is a treasure
of beautifully restored buildings - elegant Cape Dutch, Victorian
and Georgian architecture can be seen particularly in historic
Dorp Street, which is reminiscent of the rich and colourful
past. Wine and the are of winemaking are woven into the history
of Stellenbosch. From its humble beginnings with Simon van
der Stel and the Huguenots, the valley has evolved to becoming
the centre of the Cape's wine industry, and produces some
of the finest wines in the country. The famous Stellenbosch
Wine Route, established in 1971, allows you to enjoy our
fabulous local wines while undertaking entertaining and fun
expeditions into the countryside.
Stellenbosch is an amazing
place to be. Events and activities take place throughout
the year - music, street, wine and art festivals delight
both young and old. Outdoors enthusiasts can partake in hiking,
mountain climbing, horse riding and cycling, while sports
fans can attend international sporting events.
Stellenbosch has a bustling
sidewalk café scene in the French tradition, excellent
restaurants and coffee shops, modern shopping facilities
and a vibrant Nightlife. A peaceful, cheerful town and its
friendly people, a never-ending choice of entertainment and
activities and a breathtaking valley with majestic mountains
embracing it - this is what makes Stellenbosch such a special
tourist and conference destination.
is surrounded by a naturally beautiful countryside, dotted
with many farms and smallholdings. Few towns are blessed
with a landscape this dramatic, where the massive granite
mountain contrasts with its picturesque fynbos vegetation,
the famous Paarl Rock set among ancient wild olives, rock
candle woods and wagon trees. Paarl Mountain offers several
viewpoints, from where you have a panoramic view towards
Table Mountain and the sea in the west, and the Boland Mountain
ranges in the east.
Visitors to Paarl are presented
with a vast variety of attractions, scenic drives and hiking
trails, wine tasting opportunities and outstanding dining
possibilities. Outdoor entertainment includes daring 4x4
trails, mountain-biking through the hills, invigorating hikes
through the mountains followed by picnics at a sparkling
mountain stream, or trout or bass catching to provide a fantastically
fresh dinner. Experience the vastness of the vineyards and
fynbos on horseback, or enjoy a birds-eye-view of Paarl Mountains
granite pearls from a hot-air balloon. Paarl boasts its own
exquisite golf course, and a really special treat is the
amazing world of butterflies, crocodiles and snakes which
awaits you just outside this lovely town.
in a fertile valley and ringed by majestic mountains, Franschhoek
may appear to be merely a picturesque rural village, yet
this is the food and wine heartland of South Africa and one
of the premier destinations in the world of wine. The
spectacular scenery of this beautiful valley, where vineyards
stretch across the mountain slopes and mighty oaks tower
over original Cape Dutch farmhouses, nurtures this peaceful
settlement that tells a colourful history.
Constantia: South Africa's oldest, yet shortest and smallest wine route is the producer of extraordinary quality wines. Favoured by the cool breezes of the Atlantic and Indian Ocean the ripening process of the grape achieves the very best results, an advantage for all wine makers wishing to produce noble wines. During the founding years under Simon van der Stel, Constantia was one large wine farm. After his death the area was divided into three estates: Groot Constantia, Klein Constantia and Buitenverwachting, which are well worth a visit.
Return to Map of Cape Winelands Tour
the Cape: Cape Town Tours
Photo Gallery: Cape Winelands Images Weather: Cape
tourist information and activities in the Western Cape, click More
For History and General information about South Africa, click More