The Cape Winelands offer award-winning bouquets, rich history, and spectacular mountain scenery. It is a travel destination usually visited for a few days as part of a longer itinerary exploring other highlights in Southern Africa. Its proximity to Cape Town makes it possible to make one or two-day trips to the area while based in Cape Town.Need Advice?
You can enjoy an astounding diversity of adventure, culinary, historical, and cultural activities in the Winelands; the main attraction will always be the main wine routes in the area.
An inherent French flair characterizes the Franschhoek Wine Route. The town is rich in Huguenot history and is South Africa's unofficial food and wine capital. Be sure to visit one of the award-winning restaurants in this charming town.
The Paarl Wine Route is known for the famous Nederburg Wine Estate, the much-loved Fairview Wine and Cheese Farm, and the KWV Wine Emporium, home to the largest wine cellar in South Africa.
The Stellenbosch Wine Route is South Africa's oldest wine route and surrounds the country's second-oldest town. Some of South Africa's finest wines originate in this scenic region.
The region is a drive of 40 minutes from Cape Town. It is divided into six main areas and is the largest wine-producing region in South Africa.
The region is home to various hotels, guest houses, and wine farms that offer quality accommodations. These are our top picks.
Leeu House is an intimate boutique hotel situated in the heart of the Village of Franschhoek. It is an ideal base to explore one of South Africa's most beautiful towns.
A magnificent setting atop Hellshoogte Pass provides the backdrop to one of the most exclusive accommodations in South Africa, set in a superb vineyard.
Auberge Claremont offers luxury guest house accommodation on a historic wine and fruit farm in the heart of the Franschhoek valley.
Le Franschhoek lies on the outskirts of the town with which it shares a name. The hotel offers luxury accommodations and an exceptional spa experience.
The wine is undoubtedly the most obvious reason to visit the Boland – entirely with merit. With so many fine award-winning bouquets and uniquely South African blends, even the most discerning connoisseurs will be delighted by the variety and impeccable quality. South Africa's wine culture is traditional and dynamic, ensuring a complement for every palate.
An established and respected viticulture has fostered an equally revered food culture, which extends from imaginative, fresh market fare to fine dining restaurants festooned in awards. The Boland is the epicurean capital of South Africa, and you need not venture far from your accommodations to find something mouthwatering and memorable.
With their handsome Cape Dutch architecture and rural surroundings, the Cape Winelands' historic hamlets hold all the yesteryear charm. After Cape Town, Stellenbosch is the second oldest settlement in the country. At the same time, Franschhoek's Huguenot legacy has been indelibly fixed in the town's tidy little streets, elegant structures, and romantic atmosphere.
A great deal of the allure of the Winelands is owed to the spectacular natural setting. Not only are the towns and the vineyards wonderfully picturesque, but a backdrop of dramatic mountain scenery also augments them. The avid outdoorsman may also go hiking or horse riding while visiting the Boland.
Our Cape Winelands vacations either focus on the Cape or complement a broader range of destinations in a comprehensive South African holiday.
Your private, air-conditioned vehicle and personal African Sky guide come in real handy during tours of the Cape Winelands. Sup at your leisure on South Africa's finest and discover the most arresting vineyards without worrying about how to get from one tasting to the next.
The vehicles we typically use during our tours in the Western Cape are a Toyota Fortuner (for couples or solo travelers) and a Hyundai H1(a spacious alternative for families and small groups). Occasionally, during periods of high demand, we employ the services of a reputable car rental agency.
All the vehicles we use are maintained to a high standard and licensed to carry passengers. Your comfort and safety during your travels are paramount to us.
An extensive private tour of South Africa includes the Cape Winelands as one of the destinations in the Southern part of the country.
One of African Sky's most popular tours that explore the country's highlights in the company of a private guide with extensive knowledge and experience.
Two of the most popular regions near Cape Town are explored as the tour first visits the Winelands before traveling to the Whale Route situated around Hermanus.
The Cape Winelands are easily accessible via Cape Town International Airport, which is around an hour's drive from the various towns in the Cape Winelands. Cape Town International receives flights from all across the world daily, along with regular domestic flights from Johannesburg and the Kruger Park area.
From Cape Town, the Winelands towns are between 40 minutes and an hour's drive from the city. If traveling from the Garden Route, the trip is typically between four and five hours, depending on whether you opt for Route 62 through the Little Karoo or the N2 highway through the pastoral Overberg.
The Cape Winelands is a year-round destination because your activities will primarily be centered around tasting and dining. Like Cape Town, the region sports a Mediterranean climate with dry, sunny summers (October to March), where average temperatures are warm to hot. In some areas, it can reach 40°C (104°F). While you can still enjoy delectable tastings, the peak of summer (January and February) can be stifling in the Winelands if there is no wind.
Winters (June to August) can be cool, with average minimum temperatures around 5°C (41°F) and maximums around 17°C (63°F). There are still, however, warm, sunny days throughout this period. Rainfall is frequent, with occasional dustings of snow on higher peaks. Do not let the winter rainfall deter you - the rains are typically light drizzles, almost shrouding the Winelands in an ethereal mist that can be quite lovely to behold.
The Cape Winelands are located in a malaria-free part of South Africa. The only medical considerations you should keep in mind are ensuring that your routine vaccinations are up to date and that you bring along any prescription medication you might be taking.
Crime rates in the Boland are relatively low, and it is pleasant to walk along the main street of Franschhoek at night, with all the restaurants festively lit up for dinner. Nevertheless, avoid quiet areas after dark, and follow the advice of your guide.
Wine production in South Africa dates back to the earliest days of European settlement. The first recorded vintage was produced in 1659 by Jan van Riebeeck, the founder of the Cape Colony. The baton was taken up enthusiastically by his successor Governor Simon van der Stel, who founded the Constantia Estate on the Cape Peninsula in 1685. Constantia soon became known internationally for its "Vin de Constance," a favorite tipple of Jane Austen, Frederick the Great, and Napoleon.
Wine production spread to the Western Cape's interior with the French Huguenots' arrival in the late 17th century. Country towns founded during this period, such as Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, and Paarl, remain at the heart of South Africa's wine industry. The region's historic vineyards - Boschendal, Vergelegen, Nederburg, and Meerlust - still produce the country's finest wines.
Stellenbosch was founded in 1679 by the Dutch Governor Simon van der Stel. The architectural jewel is the second-oldest town in South Africa and lies at the heart of the Winelands. Stellenbosch is known for its university, the first Afrikaans-language institution in South Africa, and for having the most significant number of Cape Dutch houses of any town in the region. The most harmonious examples are on Dorp, Church, and Drostdy streets.
Franschhoek (or "French Corner") is named after the French Huguenots who settled here in the 18th century. The Huguenot Museum and the Huguenot Monument, completed in 1943, recall the history of these Protestant refugees persecuted by Louis XIV because of their religious beliefs. Blessed with the most perfect setting of any Winelands town, Franschhoek is an ideal place to settle in for an alfresco lunch at one of its many superb restaurants.
Paarl (Afrikaans for "pearl") is named for the polished granite domed mountain that rises behind it. Founded in 1720, Paarl feels rather dour and unattractive by Boland standards, but its wine route includes some of the finest vineyards and several first-class restaurants. On the Southern slope of Paarl Mountain, you will find the centerpiece of the Afrikaans Taal (Language) Monument, a slender granite needle erected in 1975 to commemorate the centenary of Afrikaans being recognized as an official language.