Cape Winelands Travel
Outside of Cape Town, the Cape Winelands extends from the vineyards of Durbanville to the wine estates of the Overberg. The region attracts thousands of visitors each year, yet the serenity of the picturesque Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek valleys is always present. The Cape Winelands spread beyond these well-known towns and include numerous other destinations which are equally lovely but less crowded in peak season. Most of these wine-lovers’ destinations are within an hour or two of Cape Town, we recommend you spend sometime staying out in the Winelands to really soak up the beauty of the region.
The most popular four Cape Wineland towns outside of Cape Town itself are Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Paarl and Wellington. Use our Cape Winelands Map to navigate your way through this scenic region and find Portfolio’s recommended quality Winelands accommodation options, then contact our reservations department to start planning your Cape Winelands travels.
- Stellenbosch - 48 km from Cape Town, Stellenbosch was named in 1679 after Simon van der Stel (by himself) and the Wilde Bosch or ‘wild forest’ of the region. The town is renowned for its university, wine estates and farms, and the oak-tree lined streets featuring numerous examples of original Cape Dutch architecture. The historic town centre is packed with bistros, cafés and galleries. Outside the town, sample fantastic food overlooking vineyards at Mana in Devon Valley, Terroir at Kleine Zalze Estate, or at Olivello - a family favourite.
Franschhoek – a further30 km from Stellenbosch and 25 km from Paarl, this quaint village got its name ‘The ‘French Corner’ from the French Huguenot refugees who settled here in 1688. A picturesque main street featuring sidewalk cafes and bistros, Franschhoek boasts some of the best eateries in the country, both in the village and on the surrounding wine estates.
Paarl – 45 minutes from Cape Town on the N1, Paarl takes its name from the round granite boulders on the mountain, from the Dutch paarl meaning pearl. Paarl is the centre of the Afrikaans language and the impressive Taal (Language) Monument on the Paarl Mountain heralds your entry to the town.
Wellington- The Berg River flows through this inland town. Enjoy hiking and mountain biking in the mountains around Wellington. Pop into The Perfect Place for lunch or coffee then browse the antiques in the adjoining Oakdene Antiques. From there the dramatic drive across Bain’s Kloof Pass is scenic and spectacular, well worth the trip
Other towns where one can enjoy a holiday in Portfolio’s quality Cape Winelands accommodation include:
Helderberg Basin is a beautiful region comprising Gordon’s Bay, Somerset West and Strand:
Gordon’s Bay – a great coastal holiday destination on the slopes of the Hottentots Holland Mountains, along the shores of False Bay and close to the Winelands of the Cape.
Somerset West – A picturesque town this side of Sir Lowry’s Pass offers Winelands, a nearby ocean and mountains all around. If you like to shop, Somerset Mall is the shopping destination for the entire Winelands region. A popular crafters’ market draws the crowds on the last Saturday of every month. Visit Bright Street off Main Road, a street of select shopping mews with coffee, gift and book shops – eat alfresco at Imibala, a deli and gift shop where profits benefit the community and enjoy good coffee at A French Affair and Chelsea.
Strand – Rollerblade along the promenade or enjoy happy hours on the family-friendly beach at this holiday resort town less than an hour from Cape Town.
Elgin – known as the valley of flowers, fruit, fynbos and wine, this is an enchanting valley patchworked with orchards and vineyards
Klapmuts – A suburb of Paarl, Klapmuts has a rural charm of its own, and is probably best known for Butterfly World, a magical place for families to visit.
Overberg - Early travellers and explorers who visited the Cape in the 1500s traded with the Khoi Khoi people who lived on these shores. In 1798 Lady Ann Barnard visited this region, and her journal describes how wagons struggled to ascend what is now Sir Lowry's Pass. Today, this pleasant journey takes only 2 hours from Cape Town to Swellendam, passing unspoilt villages and towns. Primarily a wheat and sheep farming area, with gentle rolling hills stretch endlessly from the Indian Ocean at Cape Agulhas the southernmost tip of Africa, to the Langeberg Mountains, the Overberg boasts a number of wine farms which produce excellent South African wines. Forming part of the Cape Whale Coast, the stretch of coastline in the Overberg offers ideal conditions for whale watching in season, from Hermanus to San Sebastian Bay at Witsand. Visit Greyton with its whitewashed thatched Cape cottages and explore charming, historic Swellendam. Take a trip back in time and stay in some of the historic homesteads and country houses in the area, which offer bed and breakfast.
While these areas boast excellent wine tasting opportunities don’t think the regions are limited to this enjoyable pastime. There are so many more things to do in the Cape Winelands, which makes a stay in the Winelands well worth doing,
One can enjoy a range of physical activities such as watersports, hiking, golf and rock climbing. There are Botanical Gardens to visit, beaches on which to relax, fine dining in beautiful settings to enjoy and shopping opportunities to make the most of - from quaint décor shops to nurseries to art and craft stores.
Portfolio offers a wide range of Cape Winelands accommodation options including farm stays, B&Bs, guest houses, boutique hotels and country houses in Stellenbosch, Paarl, Franschhoek, Wellington and throughout the Overberg and Cape Whale Coast regions.