Everyone has heard of Table Mountain, most are familiar with Robben Island, people flock to Franschhoek, and the whales of Hermanus are legendary, but delve a little deeper into the Western Cape and there are a multitude of unheralded spots and hidden hotel gems just waiting to be explored.
Driving south from Cape Town’s Waterfront for less than an hour brings you down the Cape Peninsula to the huge stretch of beach at Noordhoek & the small fishing village of Kommetjie. Here lies the Last Word Long Beach property, a six-suite beauty which offers a swimming pool, sundeck, exceptionally personalised service and a relaxing beach stay away from the crowds.
Heading east you travel around False Bay to Betty’s Bay, where you can stop off to view the penguins at Stony Point, (where they can wander around without the hordes who sometimes descend en-mass to the more famous colony at Boulder’s Beach), before reaching Stanford. A far quieter alternative to noisy neighbour Hermanus, Stanford is a small village set on the banks of the Klein River bursting with independent boutiques, microbreweries, antique shops, delis and wineries. The perfect place to stay is the Blue Gum Country Estate.
Further onwards, where the Garden Route begins its winding way all the way to Port Elizabeth, sits the historic town of Swellendam, one of the country’s oldest and home to the Drostdy Museum. Those driving along the Garden Route often speed straight past, but this is one place worthy of stopping. Just two minutes off the busy N2 motorway, the best place to stay in town is the Schoone Oordt Country House a stunning country house hotel with deluxe accommodation, an intimate restaurant, saltwater swimming pool and lush gardens.
The wine region is blessed with picturesque towns such as Franschhoek, Stellenbosch & Paarl, but few venture further afield and stop off in Wellington. This is a real centre of agriculture, with the fruit farms and wine estates also bolstered by the production of local brandy and craft beers. One such wine estate is Doolhof which, in addition to offering wine-tasting, also plays host to the Grande Dedale Country House, a luxurious hideaway offering superlative accommodation and facilities.
Continuing north and the intrepid traveller can detour into the village of Riebeek Kasteel and stay at the Royal Hotel, where the verandah has been named as the longest south of the Limpopo. This grand old hotel is located smack-bang in the centre of this quirky settlement which, together with Hermon and Riebeek West, forms the picturesque and tranquil Riebeek Valley - part of the up-and-coming Swartland wine-producing area. Think antique shops, bric-a-brac galore and independent eateries.
The last recommendation is further north again, yet still only two hours drive from Cape Town airport. It is the West Coast fishing village of Paternoster, where walks on the deserted beaches, bracing sea dips, conversations with the local fishermen and leisurely seafood lunches are the order of the day. The Strandloper Ocean Boutique Hotel, with its stylish rooms and sublime setting is the top pick.
The Cape Region may have many well-known sights and spots to see, but our advice is to spend a little longer and get off the beaten track – you certainly won’t be disappointed with what you find.
| If you are interested in visiting any of the places mentioned in this blog, get in touch by calling 020 7843 3500 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org |
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