Holidays to the Winelands & Cape: An Overview

Just an hour's drive inland from Cape Town, at the heart of the Cape Winelands, is the historic town of Franschhoek. Founded in 1688 by French Huguenots who brought with them a Gallic appreciation of all things epicurean, Franschhoek is the gastronomic capital of South Africa, its many excellent restaurants offering a world-class gourmet experience. The vineyards around Franschhoek and nearby Stellenbosch produce some of the finest New World wines, best sampled on a tour of the local wine routes which pass through picturesque landscapes punctuated with characteristic Cape Dutch architecture.

Moving on from the Cape Winelands region, the small coastal town of Hermanus is famous for its superb whale-watching, especially between May and December when the Southern Right whales are in residence in Hermanus Bay.

Inject some action into your luxury holiday with sea-kayaking, deep-sea fishing and hiking, mountain biking or horse-riding in the local hills with their unique 'fynbos' heathland.

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helshoogate pass
If You Do Three Things
The Helshoogte Pass

If there is one stretch of road worth driving more than any other in the Cape Winelands it's the Helshoogte Pass. Drive between Stellenbosch and Franschhoek for sensational views of endless fruit farms and vineyards against a backdrop of towering mountains, capturing the essence of the Winelands. En route, stop off for a bite to eat at one or two of the villages of Kylemore, Johannesdal or Pniel.

stellenbosch building
If You Do Three Things
Stellenbosch and Franschhoek

Stroll through the streets of the university town of Stellenbosch before exploring the smaller town of Franschhoek, the country's oldest settlement and its epicurean epicentre. Idle away an afternoon people-watching while dining in one of the world-class restaurants or cafes, sampling some of the local wine.

botanical gardens
If You Do Three Things
Art and Culture

Visit one of the many local art galleries, museums or gardens with one of our local experts. Architecture fans will love Stellenbosch's Village Museum, which is home to four traditional houses of historical interest, each representing a different period in the architectural development of the town. During summer, the Kirstenbosch Gardens host fantastic concerts and we can also arrange a private gardens tour with a specialist botanist.

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The Winelands and Cape
The Winelands and Cape
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Franschhoek Pass View
Deeper Cuts
Head off the beaten track and uncover the little-known gems of a destination
Sunrise Walk to Breakfast Rock

Enjoy a sunrise walk up to Breakfast Rock on the Franschhoek Pass, which is part of the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve. This is a gentle hike that starts at the main gate of the reserve and is a wonderful way to enjoy the Franschhoek Valley at its best. Admire a rich variety of flowers, plants and other vegetation, and fantastic views of Franschhoek and the surrounding winelands.

Map of The Winelands and Cape

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A Note on Price

South Africa’s USP is the sheer variety of experiences it offers (from food and drink to diving to safari), which makes it tricky to provide guide prices. A luxury South Africa Holiday combining Cape Town and the Winelands could cost around £2,000 per person, while upgrading to the best hotels and including a top end safari could add a few thousand to the bill.

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