Autumn in South Africa starts around the end of March to the end of May. This is a magical time of year in the Western Cape, with the weather turning from very warm to pleasant with cooler evenings. This marks the start of the low season in the country, which is great for travellers wanting to save a bit of money on a mid-year break.
Come rain or shine, these three winter getaways are perfect for a long weekend with a loved one, or simply as a solitary retreat into the country.
The Cape Winelands
No matter what season, the Cape Winelands are incredibly beautiful. As Autumn approaches, the green leaves of the vineyards transform into golden yellows and reds as the vines lose their leaves. The grapes have been harvested and the first batch of wines are being made. A trip into this historic part of the Western Cape while the tourist season has somewhat abated is a popular choice for locals.
Where to stay: Sante Wellness Retreat & Spa
Set on a wine estate in the Paarl valley, at the Santé Wellness Retreat & Spa, you'll be surrounded by the towering Simonsberg Mountains. Offering spectacular mountain and lake views, the hotel's fine dining restaurant called Debut serves gourmet meals that value nutrition and fresh produce.
Revitalise and rejuvenate your mind, body and soul at their award winning spa. Pamper yourself with a full day or half day package or a specialised individual treatment.
The Overberg is one of the most impressive landscapes in South African, made more abundant in autumn. The astounding mix of colours ranging from dark brown and dark green to purple and light blue makes this place a great romantic escape for couples. The Overberg is a large area, so you’ll not want for places to stay and things to do. Couple mountains, valleys, hills and the ocean and you’ll understand why South Africans love this corner of the province.
Enjoy beautiful walks and hikes, eat fine-dining cuisine and explore the charming small towns along the route.
Where to stay: Shore’s Edge
A stone's throw away from some of the most beautiful beaches along Walker Bay in Hermanus, Shore's Edge is the ideal spot to soak up the last of the sun's rays during the day and curl up on the sofa next to a blazing fireplace during the chilly evenings.
Shark cage diving, a round of golf or a hike through the surrounding nature reserves ensures a healthy appetite! Shore's Edge is also close to two golf courses and at the gateway of the Hermanus Wine Route.
The peaceful serenity of the Klein Karoo makes this destination a wonderful way to escape it all. Aside from the innate mystery and history of the area, this underrated destination offers a variety of activities such as seeing the ostrich in Oudtshoorn, fathoming the extensive Cango Caves or simply enjoying a conversation with the warm and friendly locals. Highlights include a visit to the quaint town of Prince Albert, where you can descend into a nearby valley called ‘Die Hel’ or go on a ghost walk through the supposedly haunted town.
Where to stay: De Zeekoe Farm
Situated only seven kilometres Oudtshoorn, De Zeekoe’s unique charm and array of extraordinary activities attracts guests of a different kind. People from all walks of life visit this stylish guest farm in search of a unique experience. Guests can choose between various accommodation types, ranging from stylish rooms at the main house to rustic waterfront chalets and luxurious cottages along the lake. Meet meerkats or enjoy a pampering spa treatment, this pretty getaway is a great addition to any trip.
You can couple a weekend getaway with your greater South Africa safari itinerary either before or after your bushveld meander. This is a great way to build on a suggested itinerary. The best way to enjoy your autumn break is through a relaxed, self-drive adventure.
This article was originally published by All4Women.