Cape Winelands

Less than an hour east from Cape Town lies a stunning countryside region where stately farm mansions look out over sweeping vineyards that meet the dramatic jagged mountainscapes of the Cape Fold range.

The Cape Fold mountain range is a fold and thrust belt of late Paleozoic age, which affected the sequence of sedimentary rock layers of the Cape Supergroup in the southwestern corner of South Africa.

As the name suggests the district is primarily known for its wine production, a tradition that has existed here since the very first settlers came to the Cape more than 300 years ago. The region’s suited Mediterranean climate make it the largest wine producing region in South Africa and each year more than a million liters of wine is made here.

The winemaking tradition in the Cape region is one of the World's oldest and most renowned.

The epicenter of the Cape Winelands is the valleys that contain the towns of Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl. Stellenbosch, South Africa’s second oldest town after Cape Town, is situated on the banks of the Eerste River at the foot of the impressive Cape Fold mountain range. Its streets are lined with oak trees and prime examples of colonial buildings in the Cape Dutch style. Although Stellenbosch is famous for its wine culture and being a university town, it also boasts a range of boutiques, art galleries and museums.

Charge your camera's batteries - the winelands offer incredible views and the best wines.

Franschhoek, which translates as “French Corner”, was established in the late 17th century as French Huguenot refugees settled in the area. They brought with them their knowledge of vine cultivation and their original farmlands went on to become world-renowned wine estates. The town boasts beautifully preserved Cape Dutch architecture, dozens of outstanding restaurants, boutiques and contemporary art galleries.

Budget-focused accommodation such as backpacker hostels are less plentiful in the Cape Winelands than in the more central areas of Cape Town, but the region offers superb accommodation ranging from mid-range self-catering villas to bespoke guest houses and exclusive villas on its various wine estates.

Highlights

• With its collection of world-class wine farms, the Cape Winelands is the country’s top region for wine tasting tours. The famous open-air Wine Tram, which transports passengers between wine estates, is one of the most unique ways of exploring the Franschhoek Valley.

• Stellenbosch and Franschhoek play host to various annual festivals which are centered around the celebration of wine, champagne, art, literary and music.

• Franschhoek is home to some of the country’s premier art galleries, especially those that feature contemporary South African art and ceramics

• Restaurants in Franschhoek and its surrounding wine estates rate amongst the best in the country and the town is often referred to as the food and wine capital of South Africa. Diners can look forward to exceptional cuisine featuring local favourite as well as international dishes.

Practical advice

• The Cape Winelands are roughly 30 minutes from the nearest international airport and 45 minutes from Cape Town’s city center. Regular shuttle and taxi transfers are available while all major car rental companies have offices in both locations.

• Several sightseeing bus tours and private tour operators offer day trips to the Cape Winelands departing from Cape Town. Combination trips to other noteworthy tourist destinations are possible too.

• The Cape Winelands are notoriously hot in summer with average temperatures around 30C and some days as high as 40C. Bring appropriate light clothing, sunscreen and a hat.


Our Recommended Itinerary

Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)

day 1

Welcome to Cape Town
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)

day 2

Cape Point
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)

day 3

Whale coast
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)

day 4

Overberg area
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)

day 5

Winelands meandering
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)

day 6

Go as you please
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)

day 7

Mother city
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)

day 8

Township culture
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)

day 9

Cape Town at leisure
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)
  • Cape Town, Hermanus and Winelands Self Drive (SA 10 Days)

day 10

Fly home

View Full Itinerary

You might also like

Romantic holiday in Cape Town

Imagine if you could escape with a loved one to a place where you can watch the sunrise from the top of a mountain before having breakfast in Africa’s oldest harbour. You then spend the rest of the morning sunbathing on a beach populated by wild penguins, grab lunch at a boutique bistro and taste globally acclaimed wines at a wine estate in the afternoon. Dinner is served in an intimate…

Cape Town in May

Climate Winter arrives in Cape Town, but not with great force as the city experiences a fairly mild winter. Daytime temperatures average just below the 20°C mark while evenings can drop to around 10°C. Expect some cloudy and rainy days. Best regions In response to the colder weather Cape Town moves its social scene indoors. It is the perfect time to explore indoor markets, live…

Cape Town in September

Climate Spring officially arrives in Cape Town on the 1st of September and you can expect mild days with average temperatures in the low to mid-20’s. Rainy days are fewer but evenings can still get chilly. Best regions Springtime brings with it a stunning burst of flowers that turn the landscape into a sweeping kaleidoscope of colour. The best regions for the flower season are on the…

Cape Town in February

Climate February has hot and sunny days that often push temperatures over 30°C. Since this is the dry season and rain is scarce most days have clear blue skies but expect the occasional windy day. Evenings are generally mild and pleasant. Best regions Wine aficionados have plenty to look forward to in February as two of the nation’s top wine regions, Franschhoek and Stellenbosch,…

Cape Town in December

Climate In December Cape Town experiences its hottest weather with daytime temperatures often rising into the mid 30’s. Expect hot and cloudless days, long daytime hours, warm nights and little to no rain. December sees the occasional very windy day. Best regions The warm weather makes Cape Town’s beaches by far the most popular summertime destination. Outdoor activities on Table…

Cape Winelands

Less than an hour east from Cape Town lies a stunning countryside region where stately farm mansions look out over sweeping vineyards that meet the dramatic jagged mountainscapes of the Cape Fold range. As the name suggests the district is primarily known for its wine production, a tradition that has existed here since the very first settlers came to the Cape more than 300 years ago.…

Popular Cape Town Safaris

These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates

 | Nature, Romance, Exclusivity and Luxury - A Complete African Honeymoon

Nature, Romance, Exclusivity and Luxury - A Complete African Honeymoon

This exclusive African honeymoon through East and Southern Africa is the perfect way to celebrate the start of your new journey together...

 | Luxurious Cape Town and Victoria Falls

Luxurious Cape Town and Victoria Falls

Two countries in 8 days may seem like a lot but with this well thought out itinerary you will see some of the regions most iconic destinations without feeling like you are rushing through it…

 | Two weeks in South Africa - a luxury rail safari

Two weeks in South Africa - a luxury rail safari

Experience the best that South Africa has to offer: it's white-sand beaches, lush green wine-lands and find the Big Five wildlife in the Kruger National Park. ...

 | South African holiday adventure

South African holiday adventure

Explore the southern-most city on the African continent, before jetting off to spot the Big Five...

 | Cape Town, Winelands & Kruger Luxury Journey (SA 9 days)

Cape Town, Winelands and Kruger Park Journey

Experience Cape Town, the lush Cape Winelands and a safari in the Kruger National Park and you'll fall under South Africa's spell...

 | Highlights of Southern Africa

Highlights of Southern Africa

Exploring these areas of the Southern African continent should on top of your bucket list...

 | Big Cat safari in the Kruger National Park

Big Cat safari in the Kruger National Park

Discover the Big Cats in the Kruger National Park and enjoy the bustling harbour, world-class beaches and top-notch vineyards in Cape Town...

Mountain Walk | Deluxe Victoria Falls, Cape Town and Hermanus Odyssey

Deluxe Victoria Falls, Cape Town and Hermanus Odyssey

Experience a safari adventure that combines the very best of Victoria Falls with the undeniable highlights of Cape Town and the Whale Coast....

 | South African safari

South African safari

Experience the best that South Africa has to offer, with a holiday tailor-made for you ...

 | 15-day Kruger, Cape Town, Mauritius Bush and Beach safari

15-day Kruger, Cape Town, Mauritius Bush and Beach safari

Spend your days discovering the fine beaches of Cape Town, enjoying the remarkably untamed wilderness of the Kruger National Park and swimming the pristine beaches of Mauritius....