An hour's drive from Cape Town, the Cape Winelands is an area of outstanding beauty with charming country towns, vast mountain ranges, fynbos nature reserves and of course the always-picturesque vineyards.
There is something soothing about row upon row of grapevines be they in winter green or summer russet. It may be their rhythm and sense of order; the shape of the land enhanced or the calming effect of lines converging in the distance. In any case, time slows down in Cape wine country and that's all the more to enjoy your time here.
Made up of three primary regions - Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek - the Cape Winelands area extends in all directions, the wines becoming more distinct the further from the epicentre you travel.
Wine tasting is an institution in the Cape and most, if not all, the farms open daily for tastings at a couple of Euros. And, lest they appear avaricious, the tasting fee is discreetly waived if you buy.
Along the back roads, farm stalls sell preserves, cured meats, breads and home-made cheeses. All you need now is somewhere to enjoy the spoils of your wanderings. Might we recommend a gentle hike through a nearby nature reserve? Perhaps you'd like to make a picnic by a waterfall, dip in the crystal clear water and dry yourself off in the sun? The winelands are a giant amphitheatre of mountain ranges and valleys and the Cape Floral Kingdom extends into the nature reserves that surround the towns.
The towns themselves are worthy of a visit, each with an interesting cultural heritage along with monuments and museums to prove it. Dining out is a regional pastime in this well-heeled neck of the Cape and many world-class chefs ply their trade in unassuming eateries.
The Cape Winelands offer a staggering array of wine farms to visit, an almost infinite variety of towns and locations to call base and exciting choices of activities, attractions and restaurants.
The Garden Route is your next destination in a natural progression from Cape Town to the Cape Winelands. Unless of course you're travelling in the opposite direction having been on your Big 5 Garden Route Safari, enjoyed the whales and the beaches of the Garden Route and now you're about to explore the Cape Winelands before finishing up in beautiful Cape Town
Talk to your Travel Expert now for great advice about your Cape Winelands holiday experience.
Our Most Popular Cape Winelands Tours
5-day Winelands and Cape Town (Self-drive)
Itinerary Type: Sample
Country: South Africa
Highlights: Cape Town, Cape Winelands
Our Most Popular Cape Winelands Accommodation
Whet your appetite and clean your palette. You’re in Franschhoek. They’ve been growing grapes and guzzling the bounty for centuries. Ashbourne House is a restored colonial treat. Seed loaf bread, fat muffins, home made marmalade. Bring bigger clothes. Thank the lord they provide bath robes.
Akademie Street Guesthouses
Akademie Street Guesthouse is no ordinary guesthouse. Rather it is a collection of cottages in a beautiful garden on a quiet, oak-lined street a few blocks from the main road running through Franschhoek.
Le Quartier Francais
Le Quartier Français is a boutique hotel in Fraschhoek with a variety of room types. Accommodation is luxurious, service is attentive and professional, the location is convenient and quiet and the food- the food is what makes it famous.
Mont Rochelle is a charming luxury hotel on a wine farm with a beautiful view of the Franschhoek valley. Exceptional service, two fabulous restaurants and five-star luxury make Mont Rochelle one of Franschhoek's hidden gems.
Auberge Clermont is a is an auberge after the original version: a welcoming inn on a working wine farm in the Franschhoek valley. A few minutes from the village centre and loaded with country charm, Auberge Clermont is a glimpse of life in this idyllic valley.
It's strange how the world works: you think you've experienced the most luxurious hotel on earth and then another pops up to top it. But La Residence, deep in the Franschhoek winelands, will take some beating and it will be a while before you find better.
Spier Wine Estate is an institution in the Cape Winelands and a very popular day trip destination for Capetonians and tourists. And with good reason so you may want to escape the hordes and check in at the Spier Hotel, which is a safe distance from the hive of activity.
Summerwood Guest House is situated in a beautiful garden in suburban Stellenbosch - the epicentre of the Cape Winelands area - and with just nine rooms and plenty of space the accommodation is intimate or private as you prefer.
The Garden House
Personal, intimate, quiet, private- the Garden House is old world bed and breakfast accommodation in Franschhoek - the charming wine and food capital of South Africa in the Cape Winelands.
If you've ever dreamed of owning a wine farm, you can try before you buy at Klein Genot Wine and Country Estate. Or you can make an annual pilgrimage here and save yourself the bother.
Le Ballon Rouge
Le Ballon Rouge is an intimate and charming guest house within walking distance of the café-lined main street of Franschhoek in the Cape Winelands. Decor is a quirky mix of antique and art deco and the en suite rooms are spacious and comfortable.
Plumwood Inn, in the Cape Winelands town of Franschhoek, is a comfortable guesthouse close to the main street running through the village. Expect intimate, personal service with attention to detail.
Where is Cape Winelands?
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