Travel in South Africa - Stellenbosh and the Cape Winelands
Travelling from north to south in South Africa
Our journey to Cape Town started in the south-west region of the North West Province. We travelled through the tranquil Orange Free State, then through the astounding Northern Cape Province and finally we have reached the beautiful, mountainous Western Cape at the Hex River Valley.
Please note that this hub is about the third phase of our journey. The reader will appreciate the beauty of the Western Cape and region even more when they read the first and second phase first.
First phase: From-the-North-West-Province-to-Matjiesfontein
Second phase: From-Matjiesfontein-to-Cape-Town
Strand, Western Cape
Strand, better known as The Strand, is a seaside resort established as a holiday and fishing resort in 1714. It is 50 kilometres (31 miles) south-east from Cape Town. Because our accommodation in Cape Town is only available on Monday, we decided to stay in Strand and spend our Sunday tasting wine and strawberries as far as we go.
Read more about Strand HERE.
Strand, South AfricaClick thumbnail to view full-size
Cape Winelands, South Africa
After a long stroll on the Strand's beach, we start our tour of the Cape Winelands. Keeping all logistics in mind we focus only on the Stellenbosch region.
Although the Cape Winelands is not South Africa’s only region producing some of the best wines in the world, it has the most official wine routes - 18, including the longest wine route in the world, Route 62 - a scenic route also called the Mountain Route. Read more about this route HERE. Not to mention the 2 official brandy routes.
NB: A route leads to countless exclusive wine cellars. Following these routes, tasting wine from cellar to cellar, is quite a popular disport and tourist attraction. The tasting centres of most cellars also comprise a restaurant.
Read more about South African wine HERE.
Read more about South Africa’s brandy HERE.
The Cape Winelands is not only known for its wine and brandy estates, but also for its beautiful mountains and valleys, fruit orchards, strawberry farms and classic Cape-Dutch homesteads. Keeping and maintaining the Cape-Dutch architecture in midtowns, is a municipal regulation of some of the towns in the Western Cape.
While rain, including thunderstorms, falls in most of South Africa during summer, the Cape Winelands and the rest of the Western Cape enjoys a Mediterranean climate. Rain falls during winter, and although snow seldom covers the ground, the peaks of the high mountains are normally covered with thick snow.
Read more about the Cape Winelands HERE.
A wine route in the Stellenbosch regionClick thumbnail to view full-size
The largest towns in the boundaries of the Cape Winelands are Worcester, Paarl, Wellington, and Stellenbosch. On our way from the North West Province to Cape Town, during phase 2 of our journey, we have passed Worcester and Paarl. And now we have the opportunity to travel through Stellenbosch.
After Cape Town, Stellenbosch, the City of Oaks, founded by Governor Simon van der Stel in1679, is the second oldest European settlement in South Africa. Read more about Stellenbosch (Van der Stel’s bush) HERE.
Strawberries in Stellenbosch
From October to December many strawberry farms open up their fields to the public, inviting locals and visitors alike to pluck their own strawberries. Read more about this awesome activity HERE.
And, of course, on our way back to Strand, we bought dried fruit, nuts, fresh strawberries and wine at two of the tempting stalls.
I don't know how they do it, but strawberries grown in the Cape Winelands are the most delicious of all strawberries I have ever tasted.
From Strand to Cape Town via Cape Point
After a good night's rest, we take the long route to Cape Town, all the way down to Cape Point on the eastern side of the peninsula.
Read all about it here - The Cape-Peninsula-From Muizenberg to Cape Point
© 2014 Martie Coetser
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