A visit to the popular Cape Winelands – which feature wine estates that date back hundreds of years, wine tasting, wine making, good food and spectacular scenery – is a must.
Very popular are the Stellenbosch Wine Route and Route 62, which takes the traveller to a number of well-known wine destinations, including Stellenbosch, Paarl, Wellington, Franschhoek, Ceres, Worcester, Bonnievale and Robertson.
Wine estates are an important part of the Western Cape’s heritage, and one of its most popular tourist attractions.
The Western Cape is also home to the picturesque Garden Route, a mix of deep river gorges, white beaches, rocky headlands and dense forests that stretches along the N2 from Cape Town in the south, taking in the towns of George, Knysna and Plettenberg Bay, to the lovely city of Port Elizabeth.
It is one of the most recommended routes in South Africa, and offers the traveller many options. Apart from the spectacular scenery, the route offers adventure (the 216m Bloukraans bungee jump, and canopy tours); holidaying (Plettenberg Bay and Knysna); and golf (Simola, Pezula, Fancourt, among others).
Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa
Situated about 50km north-east of Cape Town, Stellenbosch is the country’s second-oldest town. Famed for its wines and wine route, it is also home to some of the country’s top restaurants. Here you’ll find panoramic views, oak trees and Cape Dutch architecture.
Paarl, Western Cape, South Africa
In the heart of the Cape Winelands, Paarl is dotted with ancient oak trees and examples of Cape Dutch, Victorian, Edwardian and Art Deco architecture.
Wellington, Western Cape, South Africa
Situated in the Cape Winelands, this town is about a 45- minute drive from Cape Town.
Franschhoek, Western Cape, South Africa
Some of the country’s top restaurants call this town, about 80km from Cape Town, home. Franschhoek also has a rich wine heritage (which makes a great combination with the excellent food) and the Huguenot Memorial.
Ceres, Western Cape, South Africa
Ceres is about 150km from Cape Town. It is a major producer of deciduous fruit and is known for its fruit juices.
Worcester, Western Cape, South Africa
Surrounded by wine and table grape farms. On the famed Route 62 tourist route.
Robertson, Western Cape, South Africa
An attractive Cape Winelands town, it has Victorian-era buildings and jacaranda-lined streets.
Constantia, Western Cape
About 15km from Cape Town, Constantia has its own wine route – the Constantia Wine Route. It is the Cape’s oldest wine-producing region.
Bonnievale, Western Cape
This town, about 180km from Cape Town, boasts beautiful fruit and wine farms. Image courtesy of Karen Kleingeld
South Africa’s wine industry dates back to the 1600s, when the second Dutch governor of the Cape, Simon van der Stel, brought vines with him from Europe.