Enjoy the Stellenbosch Winelands
With its variety of soils, Mediterranean climate and hilly terrain, Stellenbosch is best known as for its ability to produce superb wines that rank among the best in the world. Indeed, wine is the reason most people visit this part of South Africa, to tour the many estates and sample the Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinotage, Shiraz, Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc that is produced here.
It would be amiss, however, to assume that wine is the only reason to visit this picturesque part of the Western Cape, nestled at the foot of the Cape Fold mountains.
For one, there’s the town of Stellenbosch with its distinctly European feel. Large oak trees line the older parts of town and there’re a charming mix of traditional and contemporary shops, eateries, museums and galleries to explore. The Stellenbosch Botanical Gardens in the historical centre of town is a peaceful oasis boasting a large selection of indigenous and exotic plants.
If art is your thing your thing, you can spend a day meandering the Stellenbosch Art Route. Outdoor lovers can enjoy a round of golf at premier golf courses, or pop into the Route 44 market for deli supplies and head to the mountains to find a scenic spot for a picnic. Stellenbosch also boasts a large number of hiking trails. The Jonkershoek Nature Reserve is a good place to start with trails that range from about 5km to 18km. For a slightly different hiking experience you can join one of Dirtopia’s Full Moon Hikes, but be aware these fill up quickly so book well in advance.
Bites and Sites offers daily tours of Kayamandi township where you can meet artists and entrepreneurs, interact with the children at a local day-care centre and visit a family home to learn how to prepare a traditional Xhosa dish before sitting down to lunch.
It’s unlikely you will run out of things to do in Stellenbosch itself, but if the lure of the sea is strong there are a number of beautiful beaches within 50km of the town, including Muizenberg’s famous surfer’s corner a mere 30-minutes away. All in all Stellenbosch has a well-rounded variety of activities to keep the whole family occupied and happy.