If you have been to Cape Town more often or have a fairly long stay there, it is nice to take a trip outside the city limits. That is why we have listed a number of tips below if you want to go on a getaway near Cape Town!
Paternoster, located on the spectacular West Coast in the Western Cape province, is a popular holiday destination for many South Africans. It is around a 90-minute drive from Cape Town and the wine countries and Ceder mountains are also easily accessible from here.
Paternoster is a traditional fishing village with a view of the Atlantic Ocean and the beautiful coastline. It is a place where you can relax and enjoy the natural beauty. Here you can get a breath of fresh air on the 10-kilometer white sandy beach, take beautiful pictures of old weathered boats, hard-working fishermen and snow-white houses. Timeless and charming is the village and its colorful inhabitants give you the same welcoming feeling as 100 years ago. Paternoster is the place to enjoy local specialties, so go for fresh “seafood” and especially the lobster is known. The coast has a rich animal life and you can spot whales, dolphins, seals, penguins and lots of birds. Follow one of the hiking trails and look for rocks with Khoisan rock paintings. Paternoster has so much to offer and it is also a beautiful romantic place on the West Coast, a place for nature lovers!
Riebeek Kasteel is one of the oldest villages in South Africa, located in the heart of the Riebeeck Valley in the beautiful Western Cape province. With Cape Town at about 80 kilometers away, the Swartland is a sought after area for Kapenaar and travelers of “All over the World”. In this beautiful Mediterranean valley you will also find sister city Riebeek West, both named after the leader of the inland expedition to Paardeberg from 1661; Jan van Riebeeck. The valley with its fertile land gradually attracted more and more farmers and around 1900 there was a church and a hotel, Royal Hotel, the oldest hotel in South Africa.
Now you will not only find farms here, but also cozy shops, terraces and galleries, because the village attracts numerous artists such as painters and writers to this picturesque place of aesthetic beauty with a look reminiscent of the Tuscany of Italy. Beautiful full red wines, delicious olives and cozy bistros reinforce that impression. No shortage of inspiration for artistic minds. The beautiful backdrop of the village, the Kasteelberg, ensures protection of the crops and beautiful holiday snapshots. Visit the Vlock Casteel at the foot of Kasteelbergrand where you can taste farm products. From olive oil to fruit and everything in between. And in such a beautiful area as Swartland it is wonderful to hike and there are also numerous hiking trails and mountain bike routes.
Tulbagh is beautifully situated in the Deserted Valley of the Western Cape province, an hour’s drive from Cape Town. A valley where the Khoi and the Bushmen stayed for thousands of years until the Dutch and the Huguenots settled here from 1658. The time of the settlers can still be found everywhere, in particular in the beautifully restored Cape Holland houses and Edwardian and Victorian monuments in the village. Take a historic walk through the village, possibly with a guide, and go back in time. More than 30 houses fall under the protection of monuments here and all in one street.
The Tulbagh Valley, as the valley is originally called, is surrounded by breathtaking mountains. The Great Winterhoek Mountains protrude high above the landscape with a summit of 2077 meters above sea level and with snowy peaks in winter. In the spring it is full of wild flowers and what to say about all those fruit trees that are then in full bloom. The most beautiful and tastiest fruit grows in the valley; pears, peaches, plums, white and red grapes, but also grain and olives are excellent here.
Be sure to visit a wine farm, olive farm or a place where they combine it. Enjoy delicious fresh and local food in restaurants that exude cosines in summer and winter. Or look for the place where fresh cheese and chocolate are made and what about honey or dried and preserved fruit!
The village of Stanford is located in the Western Cape province, about 150 km from Cape Town. You will find it when you drive from Hermanus, known for the whales, towards Gansbaai. Stanford is a so-called Heritage Village and you can clearly see this when you visit the center of the village around the historic market square. The village exudes tranquility and friendliness and is ideal for exploring on foot.
Part of Stanford’s charm is the Klein River that flows past the village on the way to the Hermanus Lagoon where it flows into the ocean. Along the river is a beautiful path where you can take a leisurely stroll enjoying the nature and the many birds in this area. You can also choose to take a boat cruise or canoe on the river. There are also hiking routes around Stanford, 4 × 4 routes and opportunities for mountain biking, fishing, quad biking and horse riding. For a little more adrenaline, head to Gansbaai for a swim among the sharks.
There are enough places to have a bite to eat or a quiet cup of coffee such as Coffee Corner, Graze Café and Madre’s Kitchen, 1892 Haunted House and Marinas. Every Saturday morning there is a market that is well visited by tourists and locals and where, among other things, delicacies are sold. A market is held once a month on Friday evenings. Also visit Klein River Cheese to taste their excellent cheese. In the summer you can order a delicious picnic here!
Barrydale (Western Cape Province) was originated at the beginning of the 18th century when farmers searched for fertile land to grow crops. The land around the current Barrydale was found to be very suitable and today you will still encounter many vineyards and fruit plantations. Oranges, pears and apples are harvested in the winter months and in the summer it is time for figs, apricots and grapes.
Barrydale is located on the north side of the Tradouw mountain pass on the beautiful and varied Route 62. Various wild animals live in this area, so you can see monkeys, dassies, snakes or klipspringers on the rocks along the way. But also rarer animal species such as otters, jackals and leopards are found here. You can see large birds of prey, for example the black eagle, soar above the valleys in search of food. Vegetation in the mountains includes fine forest and succulents.
A few tips were you to visit Barrydale: The Blue Cow coffee shop at the foot of the Langeberg mountain range where you can enjoy a cup of coffee and a beautiful view, restaurant Ckarke of the Karoo and Country Pumpkin restaurant. Art lovers visit the Magpie Art Collective Gallery where art objects are made from recycled material or visit the Barrydale Hand Weavers, a project where unemployed people are taught to weave in order to generate income. Botanists can visit the Barrydale Heritage Garden. Looking for some more action? Take a quad bike ride in the Tradouw Valley!
A village in the Karoo was established in 1762 as Albertsburg and in 1845 the name was changed to Prince Albert, after Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg. The village is just like a small open-air museum with numerous well-preserved or beautifully restored Cape Dutch, Karoo style and Victorian houses. Nineteen of these houses have since become a national monument. The healthy climate in Prince Albert is very pleasant with high temperatures (average 34 °) in the summer and comfortable and sunny in the winter (average 17 °). In the winter, during cold nights, temperatures can simply drop around freezing.
In addition to the beautiful surroundings, like the clear starry sky, there are numerous other sights. You can visit farms here where olives or fruit are grown. Sheep farmers here provide beautiful mohair which is found all over the world in beautiful shawls and blankets. Take a trip through the Swartbergen with its amazing mountain pass and Gamkas gorge from where you end up in “The Hell”. Take a cool dip in one of the rock lakes under a waterfall at Meiringspoort. Mountain biking, hiking, bird watching and botanical excursions are plentiful for lovers of these activities.
On holiday in Prince Albert means enjoying the hospitality, the tranquility, the vast landscape and beautiful evenings under the stars. Delicious meals of Karoo lamb and local cheeses with fresh or dried fruit will contribute to the special memories of this serene village, surrounded by fascinating flora and fauna.
Architecture lovers go on a walking tour through the village with a guide, and occasionally take a seat on a terrace to amaze you about the beauty of architectural styles, the hospitality of the people and local delicacies. Visit the Fransie Pienaar museum or go to an olive farm for a tractor trip.
When the sun sets in Sutherland, it’s time to look up, beyond South Africa, beyond this planet. It’s time to lose yourself in the infinite universe of stars. In Sutherland in the Northern Cape province you have one of the most beautiful views of the universe in the world.
Sutherland is an astronomical center of world fame in South Africa. In addition to the charm of the sparsely overgrown Upper Karoo, here you will find the Southern African Large Telescope installation (SALT) on a mountain top 14 kilometers outside this town. Sutherland is one of the best places in the southern hemisphere to see stars. After your date with the Milky way, it’s time to explore Sutherland. Life there revolved around the pioneers, who practiced agriculture in the area, and the Dutch Reformed Church.
Some farmers in the Sutherland area still migrate with their sheep from the winter pastures in the lowlands to the summer pastures in the higher regions. The economy in the region is still strongly focused on animal husbandry. In addition, this area forms a mecca for astronomers. During the day Sutherland is a friendly place with large blue skies in the area, but at night this place really comes to life. On a cool winter’s day, take a seat in one of the cozy restaurants in one of the coldest places in South Africa and enjoy a typical Karoo dinner with slowly cooked lamb shank.