Boland travel guide
Incorporating the lush Cape Winelands, the Boland is the centre of the South African wine and fruit industries. The Boland has a long history of successful vineyard and orchard farming dating back three centuries to the arrival of the early white colonists and specifically the French Huguenots to the Great Drakenstein Valley area, who planted vineyards in the fertile river valleys.
Today’s visitor to the Boland can quite literally enjoy the fruits of those early farmers’ labours by savouring the excellent wines and numerous fruit products made from the fresh produce of the region. The Boland is a beautiful area with pastoral scenes – green fields and undulating hills studded with trees and striped with vines – surrounded by rugged mountains. From the architectural side, charming rustic farm cottages and elegant Cape Dutch estate homes stand side by side in this appealing setting. In spring the orchards turn white and pink with blossom, in summer the fruit hangs heavy from the trees and in autumn the vine leaves seem to catch fire with their burnished red and orange leaves.
Cape Winelands: Visit the towns of Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Paarl and Somerset West and enjoy leisurely days in the Winelands, exploring historic cellars, tasting numerous fine wines and stocking up for your wine rack back home.
Coastal living: There's plenty to do in the seaside village of Gordon’s Bay with its family friendly beach and interesting harbour, great places to eat out and plenty of lovely little shops to trawl. Alternately hit the long beach at Strand where you can roller blade along the promenade, surf and swim in the waves or take the kids on at miniature golf.
Learn about language: Visit the imposing Taal Monument outside of Paarl and learn about the Afrikaans language and the history of the Afrikaans people. Enjoy a picnic in the grounds with incredible views in all directions.
Pick your own: Find out what fruits are in season and spend an afternoon picking plump plums, sweet strawberries, aromatic apples and tasty pears to take home.
Pure Boland Farmers’ Market: This indoor and outdoor market takes place on the second Saturday of each month from 09h00 – 15h00, offering a wide variety of home-made, hand-made goods and foods, plus plenty of entertainment for all.
Go shopping: Hit Somerset West Mall for a world of shopping – every kind of store you can imagine is in the mall and its neighbouring shopping precincts. From diamond rings to cars, clothes to books, movies to restaurants any shopper will be happy to spend a day here.
Our Portfolio of Boland Accommodation
In general the Boland enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate but there can be heavy rains in winter months.
Portfolio has numerous luxury Winelands accommodation options in the main Winelands’ towns of Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek, as well as some lovely B&Bs and Guest Houses in the greater Boland area including Somerset West, Tulbagh, Worcester - in fact the entire Breede River Valley - and also in Strand and Gordon’s Bay.
Be aware of any events taking place when planning your Boland holiday, as there are plenty of wine, food and cultural fairs and festivals throughout the year and at these times accommodation can be very scarce, so it’s advisable to book ahead.