For those adventuring to Cape Town this summer, there is plenty to see and do in the wonderful Mother City. However, a day trip out of Cape Town will only add more awesome experiences to your stay. Here are three destinations not too far out of town that we highly recommend. All you need is a reliable rental car and you’re set for the open road.
Stellenbosch and Franschhoek
Centuries of careful toil, coupled with the Mediterranean climate of the region, have ensured that the wines of both Stellenbosch and Franschhoek are among the best in Africa. There are numerous wine estates where you can enjoy a tasting and a scrumptious lunch, often with a view of the mountains and vineyards that stretch as far as the eye can see.
Besides wine tasting, the two towns each have their own special charm. Stellenbosch’s oak tree-lined streets are full of antique and artisanal stores, gourmet restaurants and historic buildings. Franschhoek is a delight for those who seek five-star wining and dining experiences. Be sure to stop at the following places:
Schoon De Companje
Formerly the Oude Bank Bakkerij, Schoon De Companje not only sells the same delicious pastries, breads and organic produce it always has, but it has transformed into a collective with larger premises, including local craft brew, furniture and wines.
Corner Bird St & Church Street, Stellenbosch,
7613 021 883 2187
Stellenbosch Botanic Gardens
Small but utterly beautiful, a visit to the gardens after lunch is the ideal way to get some fresh air and take in the colours and greenery.
A photo posted by Martin Jacobs (@martin_1410) on
Van Riebeeck St, Stellenbosch, 7602
021 808 3054
Franschhoek Motor Museum
A treat for vintage car lovers and history buffs, this museum offers visitors a rare opportunity to look back in time with a collection unrivalled in the country. Motoring history is well represented with a collection of unique vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles and artefacts found at the L’Ormarins Estate.
R45, Franschhoek, 7690
021 874 9000
Franschhoek Village Market
Every Saturday, the market is the epicentre of the town’s activity. Here you will find everything from crystals, books and antique silverware to, naturally, wines, gourmet food served up in a few minutes and tables full of homemade preserves, salt rubs and sauces.
A photo posted by karien (@karienvz) on
29 Huguenot Rd, Franschhoek
7690 021 876 2431
The ultimate day trip, Hermanus is 120km from the Cape Town CBD and is popular as a day trip destination with locals and visitors alike. The coastal town has a vibrant market square filled with restaurants, ice cream shops and arts and craft stores. Local designers and artists are well represented here, making it the best place to find something unique to take home. After lunch, walk along the famous cliff path, which runs for 10km against the crags of the coastline. From the path, you will see seals, dassies and maybe catch a glimpse of the famous whales who love some playtime in the ocean this time of year. The town’s Whale Crier will ensure you know when the whales are in the area with a loud blow of his horn. Along with wildlife sightings, there is often local artwork on display along some areas of the walk.
Found in the Overberg area, 70km from Cape Town, you will be greeted by the awe-inspiring Hottentots Holland Mountains that lead you to the fruit-producing Elgin Valley, which supplies 60% of the country’s apples. There are several wine farms along the Elgin Wine Route, notably Paul Cluver, Iona Wines and Elgin Ridge Wines. Houw Hoek Farm Stall is a must-visit for lunch and a spot of retail therapy afterwards. Their farm pies and gravy come highly recommended, while the farm stall next door stocks quiches, breads, honey-based beauty products and other natural, organic treats. You can even shop for farm pies to take home with you.
A photo posted by Jen Lou (@ginger_ninja_engineer) on
With so many gems waiting to be discovered, there really are no excuses why a day trip (or two) shouldn’t be on the cards this summer.
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