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Winelands Accommodation

Winelands
South Africa
33° 53' 15.0612" S
18° 51' 53.6364" E
Western Cape
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Among the many attractions South Africa has to offer is a visit to one of the scenic wine regions, most of which are found in the Western Cape. In fact the oldest vineyards in the world, outside of Europe and the Middle East, are found here. Wine production in South Africa dates back to 1653, one year after Jan van Riebeeck set up a trading station at Table Bay. Blessed with a Mediterranean climate, the Cape's vineyards enjoy varying conditions during the ripening period from the very hot inland areas to the cool coastal and mountain regions.

Stellenbosch, historically fascinating and scenically beautiful, has a well-developed wine-route. Paarl, situated in the Berg River Valley, has a wide diversity of wine estates. Wellington has a small and compact route, allowing visitors the opportunity to meet the winemakers personally. The Vignerons de Franschhoek, the wine route set in the beautiful valley of Franschhoek, offers a complete experience of superb wines and international cuisine. Worcester is another large wine-producing district, while Robertson, McGregor, Bonnievale and Ashton all form part of the scenic Robertson Wine Region. Lime-rich soils and the unique climate give this region the natural attributes to produce a variety of outstanding wines. Within the greater Cape Town area itself, the Constantia wine-route traverses the beautiful and historic Constantia Valley. The famous estates of Groot Constantia, Klein Constantia and Buitenverwachting were all part of the original farm granted to Simon van der Stel. The Durbanville route, situated just 20km outside Cape Town on the slopes of the Tygerberg Hills, has a relaxed and rustic atmosphere, and despite its small size the route has produced a number of award-winning wines.

Stellenbosch, only a 30 minute drive from Cape Town, is the second oldest town in South Africa, and famous for its wines, historical buildings, oak-lined streets and university. The settlement was established in 1679. The town contains many fine examples of historic Cape Dutch architecture, all of which have been carefully restored. The finest examples of the town's architectural heritage can be found in the oak-lined Dorp Street and around the town square – the `Braak’. Stellenbosch University has produced many South African business leaders, academics and sporting heroes, including over 150 rugby Springboks. Stellenbosch is also a cultural center, and is home to many galleries and museums. The town offers a large number of outdoor and adventure activities, including hiking trails, mountain-biking routes and a number of championship golf-courses. The Stellenbosch Wine Route is arguably the most famous in South Africa, and includes over 300 members, of which more than 100 farms are open to the public.

The area lying in a shallow basin between the Hottentots-Holland and Helderberg mountains is known as the Helderberg. This area has its own wine route. Somerset West, 48km from Cape Town on the N2, is situated in the foothills of the Hottentots-Holland Mountains. The historic Vergelegen Wine Estate has a beautifully restored Cape Dutch manor house. The Helderberg Nature Reserve is well known for its fynbos and many bird species. The Erinvale Golf Course, near Somerset West is one of the finest in the country. Strand, a resort town on the shores of False Bay, has beautiful beaches, a wide range of hotels and a championship golf-course. Gordon's Bay, 6km further on the coast road from the Strand, is a picturesque harbour-town with a steep mountain backdrop. The Steenbras Dam, surrounded by pine forests, offers numerous recreational activities. The coastal road from Gordon's Bay winds its way past Rooi Els and Hangklip to Betty's Bay, and offers spectacular views of False Bay and the Cape Peninsula. The Four Passes Route, a circular scenic drive of 230km from Cape Town, comprises the Helshoogte, Franschhoek, Viljoen's and Sir Lowry's Passes. The route provides some of the most breathtaking panoramas of the Western Cape.

Just over the Helshoogte Pass from Stellenbosch, Franschhoek has a rich cultural and historical heritage, dating back to 1688 when 200 French Huguenots were granted land in the area. Franschhoek is known as the food and wine capital of the country. The town continues to attract some of South Africa's best chefs and its restaurants regularly feature in the country's “Top 100”. Situated on the banks of the Berg River, Franschhoek is breathtakingly beautiful, set against a backdrop of the towering Franschhoek and Drakenstein Mountains. The valley is spectacular and contains many historical homesteads, the most notable of which is Boschendal. The Huguenot Memorial Museum and the Huguenot Monument commemorate the arrival of the Huguenots in South Africa. The main street is lined with restaurants, shops, galleries and coffee shops, serving delicious freshly baked confections.

Paarl, situated on the banks of the Berg River, is overlooked by a huge granite dome at the summit of the adjoining mountain. The Main Street is lined with shady oak trees and historical buildings dating back to the 18th century. The Taalmonument (Afrikaans language monument) recognises the role played by pioneers living in the Paarl district, in the development of the language. The Paarlberg Nature Reserve is filled with disas and proteas.

Wellington is situated at the base of the Bainskloof Pass. It is well known for its vine nurseries, leather products, dried fruit industry and picturesque wine and fruit farms, as well as the Wellington Wine Route.

Tulbagh has many interesting examples of Old Cape Dutch houses. Kerk Street has a row of 32 historic homes, restored to their original form after an earthquake in 1969. These are all national monuments. The area also has a wine route.

The valley was originally settled in 1688 by 176 French Huguenot refugees, many of whom were given land by the Dutch government in a valley called Olifantshoek ("Elephants corner"), so...

Gordon's Bay is the smallest of three towns in the Helderberg region, so named after the Helderberg Mountain which is part of the Hottentots-Holland Mountains which dwarf the locality on...

It’s the third oldest European settlement in the Republic of South Africa (after Cape Town and Stellenbosch) and the largest town in the Cape Winelands. It is situated about 60km...

Somerset West is conveniently located close to the beaches at the Strand and Gordon's Bay, as well as numerous wine farms. Somerset West contains a number of sporting facilities...

The town was founded in 1679 by the Governor of the Cape Colony, Simon van der Stel, who named it after himself. Stellenbosch means "(van der) Stel's forest". It is situated on the banks...

Wellington is located 45 minutes away from Cape Town. Wellington's economy is centred around agriculture such as wine, table grapes, citrus fruit and a brandy industry. The town is...