Situated just over an hour outside of Cape Town, you will find the beautiful Cape Winelands. South Africa is famous for its wine production and it is here that you will find South Africa's best and most internationally recognised wine farms, open for tastings. The Cape Winelands are made up of 3 towns; Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl, all situated amongst mountains, rolling hills and valleys, providing good views wherever you go, so even if you are not into wine, it is still worth a trip just for the stunningly beautiful scenery.
Stellenbosch is the second oldest town in the country and therefore home to some of the biggest and oldest and grandest wine farms in the country. It is also home to the University of Stellenbosch.
Franschhoek is situated in a fertile valley, surrounded by mountains on all sides. It is here that French Hugenots settled when arriving in South Africa in the 17th century and the town still retains something of a French flair. Today, it is recognised as the culinary capital of the South Africa and is home to some of the country's top restaurants. Bookings need to be made months in advance. Franschhoek is the smallest and quaintest of the towns in the winelands and is therefore the easiest to get around. It is also home to the Franschhoek Wine Tram, which is possibly the best way to go wine tasting. You can visit many different wine farms without worrying about how to get home later. The wine tram will even keep safe all the wine you have bought on your tasting trip. Franschhoek is our favourite of the winelands towns.
Paarl is the biggest of the 3 towns and is situated the furthest away from Cape Town. It is the least visited of the 3 towns, despite being home to the KWV Cellar, the largest wine cellar in the entire world, by area. It is situated at the base of the Drakenstein Mountains.
Situated further afield and less well-known is the town of Robertson. Robertson is situated along Route 62, in the Karoo semi-desert and boasts many of South Africa's best red wines. It is a good stop over for people interested in doing the Garden Route.
A night or two in the winelands is often added on to any Cape Town itinerary to round off the trip and is a must-do for anyone who considers themself a wine aficionado, a foodie, or simply likes to unwind surrounded by beautiful scenery. The winelands are easy to get to from Cape Town, with the journey being on good roads. One can rent a car and drive oneself, or we can arrange a transfer for you.
where to stay
From our many visits to the Cape Winelands, we have first-hand knowledge of the hotels and below you can find the ones we most commonly use. Those hotels include mainly our favourites sorted from low-key to deluxe, which are usually smaller hotels with very personalised service, but also some bigger places, if they are the best or only option available. Open, close, then open each tab again to display the images fully.
protea hotel franschhoek
akademie street boutique hotel
the last word franschhoek
le quartier francais
angala boutique wine estate
robertson small hotel