Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Paarl and Wellington make up the traditional Cape Winelands and rightly feature on almost every local and international holidaymaker’s itinerary.
In the shadow of the majestic Jonkershoek and Simonsberg mountains, lies the vibrant university town of Stellenbosch. Beautifully preserved buildings and oak-shaded streets, buzzing with restaurants, cafes, galleries and museums set the tone which holiday-makers just can’t get enough of.
A 40-minute drive from Stellenbosch, you’ll reach French-influenced Franschhoek. It has world-famous culinary and wine experiences and is regarded as the gastronomic capital of South Africa.
Further along the route, you’ll find Paarl and Wellington, both equally stunning with Cape Dutch homesteads and vineyard-saturated landscapes. The region is also known as “The Boland”, which, from Afrikaans, translates to “The up land” or “higher land” – a name given to describe its geographical location in comparison to the lower, coastal areas of the Cape. Generally mountainous, the area experiences a Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters. This climate allows for the regions grapes to grow in abundance – making wine production possible and providing the Cape Winelands with its very apt name. Of course, world-class wineries abound in the Winelands, and we recommend year-round visits to truly take advantage of them in all seasons.
What to do in the Cape Winelands
Although it’s called the “Winelands” for a reason, the Cape Winelands offers so much more than just wine. The restaurant scene is also something to brag about, with Franschhoek even being called the gastronomic capital of South Africa. There are also a number of activities in the area that don’t just involve wine and food. Take an architectural tour of Paarl, have a mountain bike adventure or visit some lions – there’s lots to do!
Where to stay in the Cape Winelands
Where to eat in the Cape Winelands