Cape Winelands & the Garden Route

The captivating Cape Winelands and Garden Route regions are best explored on a self-drive holiday, staying along the way at a beautiful historic homestead or a premium luxury lodge.

If you can be tempted to leave Cape Town, two very enchanting destinations await, Cape Winelands and the beautiful Garden Route. These two captivating regions are best explored on a self-drive holiday.

Both are steeped in history and provide endless opportunities to enjoy genuine South African warmth and hospitality. We strongly recommend that you rent a car so that you can explore these regions at a leisurely pace and make the most of the many premium hotels and lodges that reward travellers who have made the journey this far.

The Cape Winelands are a collection of small, charming villages-  the most notable being Franschhoek, Stellenbosch and Paarl – and wine-producing estates around an hour inland from Cape Town. Nestled at the base of mountains, this picturesque region was first cultivated in the late 17th century by French and Dutch colonial settlers, whose cultures have left their mark especially on the architecture and cuisine of the area.

The Garden Route is one of the world’s most scenic stretches of road, tracing over 200km of coastline from Mossel Bay in the Western Cape to Storms River on the Eastern Cape. In between are an array of cute coastal hamlets such as Hermanus and George, world-class golf courses, peaceful vineyards and an array of bird-rich reserves protecting indigenous forests and native fynbos vegetation. Go diving with great white sharks, spot southern right whales in the bay in winter or visit an ostrich farm – the possibilities are endless.

Location

Cape Winelands & the Garden Route Highlights

  • Two exciting self-drive holiday destinations just outside Cape Town
  • Offering fabulous food and premium wines
  • Experience authentic South African hospitality
  • An array of luxury accommodations set in stunning landscapes
  • A plethora of activities from golf and whale-watching to shark cage diving

When To Go

Both the Cape Winelands and the Garden Route are spectacular throughout the year. Each season has its highlights, from wildflowers in spring to the whale migration in winter. Autumn is harvest time, when the vineyards and orchards turn all shades of red and gold, whilst summer is the best time to enjoy the many beaches that flank the coast.

Featured

Accommodation in Cape Town

These two captivating regions are best explored on a self-drive holiday. Whilst close enough for a day trip out of Cape Town, both destinations deserve at least two nights’ stay at a beautifully restored historic homestead or a stunning luxury lodge such as the ones we have chosen to feature. For information on additional accommodation not featured, please contact us.

Babylonstoren

Less than 45 minutes’ drive from Cape Town lies Babylonstoren, one of the oldest and best preserved 17th century Cape Dutch farms.

Delaire Graff Lodges & Spa

At the edge of charming Stellenbosch in the Cape Winelands, Delaire Graff Lodges & Spa offers the ultimate in luxury accommodation and fine dining.

Franschhoek Country House and Villas

Just outside of Franschhoek village lies a lovely original homestead with many decorative accents that allude to the property’s rich history. Innovative regional cuisine awaits you at the

Grand Roche Hotel

A member of the prestigious Small Luxury Hotels of the World consortium, the Grand Roche Hotel in Paarl is filled with character.

Grootbos Private Nature Reserve

Overlooking Walker Bay on South Africa's Western Cape, Grootbos Private Nature Reserve is an oasis of luxury set amid unique native wilderness - a magnet for rare birds.

Lanzerac Hotel and Spa

The iconic Lanzerac Hotel and Spa is one of the region’s grandest examples of Cape Dutch architecture, constructed in 1692.

Le Quartier Francais

Set in the peaceful village of Franschhoek, Le Quartier Francais invites visitors to indulge in absolute luxury and sumptuous cuisine.

Leeu Estates

Leeu Estates is a 17-room country house and boutique winery in the Frankshoek Valley and is the flagship property of Leeu Collection

Leeu House

Elegant Leeu House is an enchanting combination of casual country living and world-class luxury set in the charming, historic village of Franschhoek.

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South Africa Itineraries

The following itineraries are just some of the many experiences that we can design for you. All of our tours are private, independent and tailor-made to your personal travelling requirements. Please contact us to begin customising your personalised South Africa experience.

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South Africa Overview

Why travel to South Africa? 
Described as “a world in one country” South Africa is more than just a safari destination. The wildlife of Kruger and the many private reserves throughout the country are complemented by South Africa’s fascinating history and diverse cultures, the beautiful coastline and majestic landscapes of the Cape. 

 When is the best time to view animals in South Africa?
Gameviewing is best during the dry season (May-Oct); however the summer months are good for general touring and sightseeing. 

What is the culture of South Africa? 
There are many different cultures including Zulu, Swazi, Xhosa, Indian, Cape Malay and European. As a result, there are many unique culinary dishes as well as distinct music and dance. Elegant Cape Dutch architecture is also a highlight of South Africa’s cape. 

What is the climate in South Africa? 
The inland plateau has a temperate climate (17°-30°C), whilst the coast is subtropical and more humid (22°-30°C). The seasons are the same as Australia, however most of the rain falls in summer. Winters are dry and sunny, but nights can be very cold. The Western Cape is the exception, with a “Mediterranean” climate – cool, wet winters and warm dry summers (17°-24°C). 

What can I combine South Africa with?
South Africa is easily combined with neighbouring Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Mozambique, Zambia or the nearby tropical island of Mauritius. Johannesburg is a very popular gateway to most of southern and eastern Africa.  

How to get to South Africa?
Many major airlines including South African Airways, Qantas, Etihad, Emirates, Kenya Airways, Qatar, Singapore Airways and British Airways fly into Johannesburg OR Tambo International Airport. There are also many regional and domestic carriers that service local cities such as Cape Town and the Kruger National Park area. 

US – South African Airways fly’s directly to east coast cities including New York and Washington. Delta Airlines is another option to consider flying directly to Johannesburg from Atlanta.  

UK / Europe – There are direct flights to OR Tambo International Airport with South African Airways from London-Heathrow, Frankfurt and Munich. Major European Airlines flying directly into Johannesburg include British Airways, Air France, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Lufthansa and Swiss International Airlines.  

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