Cape Winelands Travel Guide

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Cape Winelands

Wellington, South Africa © Andresdewet
The extensive and verdant beauty of the Winelands region is one of the Cape's most alluring attractions. No visit to Cape Town would be complete without taking time to explore at least one of the 13 wine routes in and around the city.

Rugged, blue-tinged mountains surround the green valleys dotted with charming, historic towns among vineyards and olive groves. Visitors can admire traditional Cape Dutch architecture, sip world-class wines and soak up the rich cultural and historical heritage.

Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl are the most well-known wine-producing valleys in the region, situated within easy reach of each other, while the oldest wine farm in South Africa, Groot Constantia, is located within the Mother City itself.

Groot Constantia is part of the tiny Constantia wine route, in an area developed by Simon van der Stel in the late 1600s. Other smaller wine routes include Worcester, Tulbagh, Wellington, and Somerset West. With a selection of more than 200 cellars from which to choose, the Cape Winelands boast some of the finest wines in the world, and the routes also provide stunning natural scenery.

In addition to savouring the fruits of the vine, visitors can sample superb culinary fare at some of the finest restaurants in the country, browse the art galleries and local craft shops, visit historic monuments and museums, and partake in an array of activities including hikes, horse riding, fly fishing, golf, and paragliding.

Food and wine festivals take place throughout the year and are a great introduction to the bewitching charms of the region.




Attractions

Afrikaans Language Museum © Schavda

Afrikaans Monument and Museum

The Afrikaans Language Museum pays tribute to a unique language that is little more than 300 years old, created from the melting pot of nationalities and languages in the Cape. The Dutch settlers, French Huguenots, slaves from Malaysia, Indonesia, Madagascar, and West Africa, and...  see full details



Groot Constantia © Kiran Lalloo

Constantia

Constantia is the origin of wine production in South Africa, and one of Cape Town's most exclusive suburbs. The Constantia wine route is the oldest yet smallest wine route in the Cape, consisting of just five wine farms that concentrate on producing a...  see full details



Franschhoek Valley, South Africa © Da Legend

Franschhoek

Fleeing religious persecution in France in the 1700s, more than 200 French Huguenots arrived in the Cape and were settled in the valley that soon became known as Franschhoek (French Corner), which is today situated in the heart of the Cape Winelands region. Many...  see full details



Huguenot Monument © Judith Duk

Huguenot Monument and Museum

A major tourist attraction in the Franschhoek valley, the historic Huguenot Monument was erected in 1945 to commemorate and honour the French Huguenots who arrived in South Africa in 1688 after fleeing brutal persecution in their home country. The nearby museum documents the history...  see full details



Paarl Rock, outside Cape Town © Nick Boalch

Paarl

Paarl is built in the picturesque Berg River Valley, situated at the foot of the second-largest granite outcrop in the world. It is the biggest town in the Cape Winelands and the third oldest European settlement in South Africa. Paarl features some of the...  see full details



Cheetahs at Spier © Kiran Lalloo

Spier Wine Estate

Spier is one of South Africa's most famous and most popular wine estates, also operating as an internationally renowned cultural resort. It offers luxurious accommodation, conference facilities, shopping, fine dining, and a variety of recreational activities, including golf, horse riding, picnics, and a cheetah...  see full details



Stellenbosch, South Africa © Dfmalan

Stellenbosch

At the heart of the wine industry is the pretty town of Stellenbosch, the second oldest town in South Africa and regarded as the wine capital of the country with over 110 cellars in the area. The Stellenbosch vineyards were established by the...  see full details