Travel Guide

Probably the most superb scenic drives in Cape City

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The world round Cape City is extremely various and completely lovely and affords an amazing number of scenic highway journeys from gorgeous coastal drives to mountain passes and vineyards. Driving round Cape City you’ll be able to benefit from the gorgeous surroundings, see wildlife, do a wine tasting or strive some adventurous actions. A number of the prompt drives we’ve executed many instances and each time we discover new locations to go to and actions to do. Out of many things to do in Cape City scenic drives are one thing to not miss right here.

Really useful excursions to discover extra of South Africa

Scenery on Chapmans Peak scenic drive in Cape Town
View of the peninsula from lovely Chapman’s Peak Drive in Cape City

Sensible ideas for highway tripping round Cape City

All roads are tarred you’ll be able to drive in any automobile, it may be a pleasant journey on a bike as nicely however provided that you’re a assured driver.

Renting a automobile is one of the simplest ways to exploring the realm and the simplest method to transfer round. All roads are tarred you don’t want a 4×Four for this journey. When renting a automobile be certain it doesn’t have a mileage restrict or it’s greater than 600km per rental. In case you drive the prompt route from Cape City Airport and again it’ll be simply over 600km.

Urged automobiles to lease for the journey

*Value for Three days in US {dollars}, decide up and drop off at Cape City Airport.

South Africans drive on the left facet of the highway like British and Australians for those who’re from North America or Europe you’ll should get used to it.

Each roughly touristy city has not less than a grocery retailer, a restaurant, and a espresso store.

Energy sockets in South Africa are principally type-M that isn’t actually used anyplace else we’d advocate bringing a journey adapter plug.

The water temperature round Cape City on the Atlantic facet, it’s freezing all yr spherical, between 9-14°C, for any water actions you want a moist go well with. It will get hotter inside False Bay (Strand, Gordon’s Bay) and additional alongside the coast, in summer time as much as 20°C.

On Sunday most eating places, wine farms, and even outlets in small cities are closed. On Saturdays, wine estates are open solely half-day normally between 10am and 1pm.

The sea scenery at the sunrise on the Cape Point scenic drive
The gorgeous dawn at Cape Peninsula, one of the lovely scenic drives in Cape City

There are a lot of improbable espresso outlets in Cape City the place you’ll be able to cease for breakfast and low earlier than your scenic drive.

Journey insurance coverage for the journey

Touring typically entails totally different dangers from a flight delay or cancellation to medical emergencies and baggage loss. It’s at all times advisable to have journey insurance coverage that may cowl you in case if one thing goes incorrect particularly for those who enterprise to a faraway nation like South Africa. Theft or theft is one other vital reason to get journey insurance coverage on your South African journey whether or not you’re planning to go to solely Cape City or to enterprise on a protracted highway journey across the nation. 

It’s higher to decide on an insurance coverage firm that focuses on touring and has a number of experience in overlaying vacationers all around the world like World Nomads. Their journey insurance coverage could be very versatile, you should purchase it on-line whereas touring, it takes solely a few minutes and it will possibly cowl the entire journey or solely part of it. Get an immediate quote proper now!

Beautiful coastal drives in Cape City

The prompt itinerary is for Three days however you’ll be able to regulate it to your wants and time, we’d say it’s attainable to do the drive in two days however you received’t have time to do any actions solely sightseeing. If in case you have extra time you’ll be able to simply spend 4-5 days or much more if you wish to chill in a pleasant and quiet place someplace on the ocean.

Cape Peninsula scenic drive

Driving route: Cape City – Camps Bay – Hout Bay – Chapman’s Peak Drive – Noordhoek – Kommetjie – Misty Cliffs – Cape Level Nationwide park (Cape of Good Hope) – Boulders Seashore (Simon’s City) – Muizenberg – Cape City.

  • Distance – 145 km loop
  • Time – something between Four and eight hours relying on what number of locations you go to.
  • When to do the drive – the realm is gorgeous any time of the yr the most effective is to do the drive on a pleasant not very windy day.
A route map of the Cape Peninsula scenic drive
A map of the scenic drive round Cape Peninsula, Cape City

Highlights of the drive

  • Camps Bay – lovely seashores, ice-cold water.
  • Hout Bay – the most effective place for recognizing Cape Fur seals on this drive.
  • Chapman’s Peak drive – essentially the most scenic drive in Cape City.
  • Kommetjie – an attractive white-sand seaside with nice waves for browsing.
  • Cape Level Nationwide park – the place you’ll be able to spend all day, there are a lot of strolling routes, some lovely seashores, and really chilly water.
  • Boulder’s Seashore, Simon’s City – is without doubt one of the must-see locations in Cape City. It’s a small hidden white-sand seaside surrounded by large boulders with fairly a couple of penguins swimming and strolling round.
  • Muizenberg – a busy surf city with colourful picket cabins on the white sandy seaside.

There are a number of day excursions from Cape City alongside the Cape Peninsula which you could be part of for those who don’t need to drive your self.

Things to do on the Cape Level drive

  • Snorkeling with seals in Hout Bay
  • Guided kayaking tour in Hout Bay
  • Browsing in Kommetjie – good waves for all ranges, there’s a board rental place close to the seaside.
  • Climbing at Cape Level Nationwide park. There are a number of brief hikes in addition to a 2-day hike with staying at an in a single day hut.
  • Swimming, enjoyable, and watching penguins at Boulder’s Seashore.
  • Browsing or SUPing in Muizenberg, you may get a browsing lesson or lease a board from one of many surf outlets right here.

Warning!

If it’s a weekend or a public vacation be able to spend a while queuing to enter Cape Level Nationwide park fortunately the queue strikes fairly quick.

Don’t stroll after darkish on the seashores round Cape City except there many individuals and relatively skip Noordhoek seaside there have been a number of circumstances of mugging and hijacking.

In order for you to do a hike we’d advocate doing it inside Cape Level Nationwide park there are fairly a couple of walks round. Don’t hike within the mountains round Simon’s City or Muizenberg, even for those who’re greater than two folks there have been some mugging and robbing incidents not too long ago. In case you like difficult hikes you may get pleasure from a few of the mountaineering trails up Desk Mountain.

Chapman’s Peak Drive

More often than not the route goes alongside the coast with many gorgeous lookouts and limitless white-sand seashores. I’d undoubtedly advocate together with this drive into your Cape City itinerary. It’s not a protracted drive however there may be a lot to see right here that it’ll take you your complete day, the sooner you begin the higher. The primary cease is Camps Bay the fanciest neighborhood of Cape City and the place with the most costly property within the nation. 

From there you drive over the go to Hout Bay the place you’ll be able to see seals within the harbor, for ideas locals will present you ways they feed seals. Lastly, you’re attending to Chapman’s Peak Drive. It’s on a toll highway you pay ZAR 52/US$3,5 for a automobile to drive via nevertheless it’s completely value it. It is without doubt one of the most lovely drives within the nation!

Cape Level Nationwide park

Take your time within the Cape Level Nationwide Park. There’s a lot to see right here. One can spend the entire day simply driving and strolling round; it’s a completely lovely place. The highlights of the park; Cape Level, Cape of Good hope, the Lighthouse, Diaz Seashore, Kleine Bucht, Vasco Da Gama Cross, Bordjiesrif Tidal Pool. The best method of attending to the Lighthouse and to the summit of Cape Level is to take a Flying Dutchman Funicular, you should purchase tickets on-line and skip the road.

There are a few day mountaineering trails at Cape Level; Ship Wreck path (3-5km), Phyllisia Circuit (7km), Kanonkop (5km), Cape of Good Hope Path (3,5km), Lighthouse Keeper’s Path (2km). Ask for a map on the entrance, all the paths are marked and comparatively straightforward.

  • Open October – March 6am – 6pm, April – September 7am – 5pm.
  • Entrance charge foreigners – ZAR 340/US$22 adults, ZAR 170/US$11 kids, locals – ZAR 85/US$5 adults, ZAR 40/US$Three kids.
White sandy Diaz Beach at Cape Point National Park on the scenic drive around Cape peninsula
Stunning Diaz Seashore at Cape Level Nationwide Park, one of many essential stops on the Cape Peninsula scenic drive

Boulders Seashore, Simon’s City

A small white-sand seaside hidden between large boulders with calm warmish waters is part of the marine protected space. The distinctive fantastic thing about Boulder’s Seashore is just not the one reason that pulls guests to this seaside on daily basis, cute African penguins are at all times round; strolling, swimming, or resting on the rocks. Kids love this place! Take your swimming costume and a towel you’ll be able to spend a while right here chilling on the seaside and watching penguins.

  • Open; December – January from 7am to 7.30 pm;  February – March from 8am to six.30 pm; April – September from 8am to 5pm; October – November from 8am to six.30pm.
  • Entrance charge foreigners – ZAR 170 adults, ZAR 85 kids, South Africans – ZAR 40 adults, ZAR 20 kids.

To prime up your marine animals’ experience in Simon’s City do a snorkeling or a diving journey to see seals and Cow sharks (they don’t seem to be identified to assault divers). Simon’s City is without doubt one of the finest spots for diving in Cape City together with diving with sharks. The dives are comparatively straightforward executed at about 12m. You want not less than an open water qualification to do these dives, snorkeling can be attainable. Diving and snorkeling journeys are normally within the morning for those who keep in a single day in Muizenberg it’s a brief drive to the dive store, about 15km.

Muizenberg

A very good place for browsing or studying how one can surf, there are a couple of surf outlets on the seaside so you probably have extra time you’ll be able to keep right here for a few days. Don’t overlook to take a look at the colourful picket cabins in Muizenberg, superior distinction with white sand seaside and blue sea. One of many prime Instagram locations round Cape City.

In case you occur to be right here on Friday go to Blue Hen Storage and Meals market, it’s an indoor market with an enormous number of meals, snacks, beer, and wine from steaks to vegetarian dishes, from craft beers to unique wines. We even discovered actual Argentinian empanadas (pies) {that a} man from Buenos Aires makes himself.  Good vibe, music, very chilled, and social place nice method to spend a Friday evening in Muizenberg. The market opened each Friday from 4pm – 10pm.

You possibly can keep in Muizenberg and watch the sundown on the seaside or finish your day with the gorgeous Lion’s Head hike and watch the solar taking place from the highest of it. Lion’s Head is without doubt one of the hottest sundown spots in Cape City.

Locations to remain in Muizenberg

Remember lodging in Muizenberg is normally booked lengthy beforehand as there are at all times many vacationers right here, particularly these close to the surf spot. In case you’re planning to come back right here relatively guide prematurely.

Cape City – Hermanus drive

Driving route: Cape City – Strand – Gordon’s Bay – Rooi-Els – Betty’s Bay – Harold Porter Botanical Backyard – Kleinmond – Hermanus – Sir Lowry’s Move – Cape City.

  • Distance – 260 km return, a technique alongside the coast, return over Sir Lowry’s Move. 280 km if driving alongside the coast each methods.
  • Time – 5 hours for the drive and taking images, plus additional time for actions.
  • When to do the drive – August & September are the most effective months if you wish to see Southern Proper Whale close to Hermanus. Summer time months, November – March, have the most effective climate although it will get very windy in December – January. Throughout Christmas and New 12 months this route is extraordinarily busy.
A route map of the Cape Town - Hermanus scenic drive
A map of the coastal drive from Cape City to Hermanus

It’s certainly one of our favourite scenic drives that we normally do as a day journey from Cape City. We’ve executed it many instances and each time we’re heading that method we get very excited. The surroundings is really spectacular; lovely mountains, rugged shoreline, white-sand seashores, dramatic drops, and various marine life. If you wish to do the Backyard Route highway journey from Cape City this drive is a good way to start out it. After Hermanus, you simply proceed driving in direction of Mossel Bay the place the route begins.

Highlights of the highway journey

  • Clearance Drive, an attractive drive alongside the coast from Gordon’s Bay on.
  • Rooi-Els – a small city on the sea.
  • Crystal Swimming pools Pure Reserve.
  • Stony Level Nature Reserve, penguins sanctuary in Betty’s Bay.
  • Harold Porter Botanical Backyard.
  • Whales and dolphins in Hermanus.
  • Penguins and sea birds in Gansbaai.

Things to do

  • Swimming at Koel Bay at one of many seashores on the best way from Gordon’s Bay to Rooi-Els.
  • Climbing in Crystal Swimming pools Nature Reserve, there’s a good 2-Three hours return hike to the falls and pure swimming pools, an 8km stroll. Open from November to April, dawn to sundown. Entrance ZAR60 per particular person.
  • Browsing at Koel Bay seaside, convey a surfboard with you and look ahead to sharks.
  • Snorkeling at Rooi Els, you’ll be able to spot crayfish water is just not as chilly as in Cape City however you continue to want a wet-suite.
  • Climbing on the Harold Porter Botanical Backyard.
  • Whale watching in Hermanus. The height season is from August to December, the height season October – November when Southern-right whales are within the space. Often, you see many seals and occasional penguins within the water as nicely throughout the tour.

Clarence Drive

The Clarence Drive from Gordon’s Bay to Rooi Els is simply as gorgeous as Chapman’s Peak Drive. It’s on the winding coastal highway with many viewpoints and a few nice and normally empty seashores. While you cease at a viewpoint close to Gordon’s Bay lookout for seals and dolphins there are normally some within the water near the shore.

Sea scenery and mountains on Clarence Drive
Clarence Drive, a surprising coastal drive from Gordon’s Bay to Rooi Els

Betty’s Bay

A pleasant small city of Betty’s Bay with lengthy and normally empty white-sand seashores surrounded by the mountains. A seaside is a pleasant place for a picnic on a not windy day. If after visiting Boulder’s Seashore you’re nonetheless eager to see extra African penguins go to Stony Level Nature Reserve, there are lots of of penguins there normally chilling on the seaside proper on the entrance. 

  • Open day by day from 8am to 4.30pm.
  • Entrance charge ZAR 25/US$1,5 adults, ZAR 15/US$1 kids.
Two penguins in the bush at Stony Point
Cute African penguins at Stony Level in Betty’s Bay

Harold Porter Botanical Backyard

This lovely backyard is stuffed with lush inexperienced vegetation and flowers. Harold Porter Botanical Backyard is a pleasant place to come back for a picnic, to stroll across the backyard, or have a meal on the restaurant. There are a number of day mountaineering trails right here; the Zigzag, Fynbos, and Leopard’s Kloof Trails. To go to Leopard’s Kloof or to do the hike there it’s important to begin earlier than 1pm, inquire on the entrance.

  • Open Mon – Fri 8am – 4.30pm, weekends and holidays from 8am – 5pm.
  • Entrance charge ZAR 30/US$2 – adults, ZAR 12/US$1 – kids.

Hermanus

There are a lot of nice things to do in Hermanus. In case you’re within the space between August and November we’d advocate doing a whale watching tour, southern proper whales are in Hermanus this time of the yr, and possibilities to identify them are fairly good.

In order for you extra adrenaline-pumping exercise you are able to do cage diving with sharks the place you’ve good possibilities to see nice white sharks and a few bronze whaler sharks. You’ll want the entire morning for any of those actions so it’s higher for those who keep in Hermanus for an additional evening. Shark diving excursions go away from Gansbaai, 42 km from Hermanus.

Yearly on the finish of September the Whale Competition takes place in Hermanus; the meals market, music stands, parade, treasure hunt and extra is ready for you right here. Throughout the whale season go to one of many eating places with the ocean view you’ve a superb probability of recognizing whales whereas having fun with your meal.

To complete the day you’ll be able to go on a romantic sundown cruise with a glass of wine to benefit from the gorgeous surroundings and the superb sundown.

If in case you have extra time you’ll be able to keep for an evening in Hermanus or prolong this drive and proceed from Hermanus to Cape Agulhas, the southernmost level of Africa (for extra particulars see the drive beneath).

Locations to remain in Hermanus 

Cape Seals sleeping on the rocks
Cape Fur seals on a small rocky island throughout a whale watching boat tour

Cape City – Cape Agulhas highway journey

Driving route: Cape CityGordon’s Bay – Betty’s Bay – Hermanus – Elim – Struisbaai – Cape AgulhasArnistonNapier – Sir Lowry’s MoveCape City.

  • Distance – 500 km loop (a technique alongside the coast, return inland over Sir Lowry’s Move).
  • Time – 2-Three days.
  • When to do the drive – summer time months November – March is the most effective climate. December – January may be fairly windy. Christmas and New 12 months very busy.
A route map of the drive from Cape Town to Cape Agulhas
A map of the scenic drive from Cape City to Cape Agulhas

Highlights of the drive

  • Gordon’s Bay drive.
  • Stony Level Penguins colony at Betty’s Bay.
  • Whales, seals, and penguins in Hermanus.
  • Elim, a small village with cute little homes lined alongside the principle avenue.
  • The comfortable city of Napier with many cafes, eating places, and memento outlets on the principle avenue.
  • White fisherman cottages in Arniston
  • Waenhuiskrans Collapse Arniston
  • Cape Agulhas, the southernmost level of Africa
  • Cape Agulhas Lighthouse

You possibly can discover this route by becoming a member of a mini-group tour a day group tour from Cape Town to Cape Agulhas if you don’t want to drive yourself.

Things to do

  • Shark cage diving in Gansbaai, all year round though inquire before as sometimes orcas are in the area and sharks (Great Whites) disappear.
  • Wine and beer tasting, there are a couple of places around Hermanus and some on the way to Cape Agulhas.
  • Exploring Waenhuiskrans Cave.
  • Watching the sunset on Struisbaai beach.
  • Spotting Parrie, a huge stingray that lives at the harbor of Struisbaai.

This route is not a day drive but rather a nice weekend escape from Cape Town. You can drive it in one day but you spend more of it sitting in the car and won’t have much time to do things or stop at many places. This route offers a great opportunity to visit both well-known places and off-the-beaten-track locations. Driving along the coast one way and inland back you get a chance to see the beautiful coast, sandy beaches, green rolling hills, picturesque vineyards, and small towns.

A big sea cave in Arniston, one of the highlights of the coastal drive
The Waenhuiskrans Cave in Arniston is one of the hidden gems of the Cape Town – Cape Agulhas scenic drive

Gansbaai and Elim

Gansbaai is a small town the main reason tourists come here is whale-watching or shark diving as the tours start here. Except for these, there is  African Penguin and Sea Bird Sanctuary and Rescue Center here you can see the feeding of penguins every day at 3pm while drinking coffee or eating lunch at the coffee shop. No entrance fee.

From Gansbaai drive through Elim on the way to Struisbaai, it’s a small but lovely fisherman town with white cottages lined up along the road. Just outside Elim, there is a wine estate/restaurant Black Oystercatcher Wines. You can do winetasting here, ZAR70/US$5 per person, they have only fancy expensive wines. They sell craft local beer and souvenirs as well. Over the weekends and holidays, it’s better to book a table beforehand.

Colorful houses in Elim on the scenic drive to Cape Agulhas
Colorful houses lined up along the main street of Elim

Napier

The second option, driving from Hermanus past Stanford through Napier it’s shorter if you take this route you’ll skip Gansbaai and Elim but you get more wine farms on the way. Napier is a lovely town with beautiful old houses, good restaurants, cosy cafes, and souvenir shops. Looks very beautiful in the Jacaranda season between October and December.

If you’re a sweet tooth don’t forget to stop in Bredasdorp, next town after Napier on the way to Arniston/Stuisbaai. There is a cafe/shop Soetmuisberg on Long Street (the one you drive on from Napier) they sell the best ice-cream ever, for R18 you get a huge sugar cone topped with a tower of two different flavor ice-creams, from blueberry cheesecake to Bar one and chocolate flavors.

Arniston

Arniston is a small fisherman town where many locals go for the December holiday, the highlights of the town are white-colored fisherman’s cottages at the harbor and Waenhuiskrans Cave. You can visit the cave only at low tide. The only access to the cave except the sea is through a hole in a cave at high tide it’s underwater. The cave is big with a beautiful view over the ocean, it looks like a cave from Pirates of the Caribbean or any other treasure hunting movie. The children will love it! No entrance fee.

Struisbaai and Cape Agulhas

Struisbaai and Cape Agulhas officially are two small towns but in fact one place, it’s a very quiet place out of season, in December-January and Easter many South Africans come here for the holiday. The main thing that attracts tourists here is the Southernmost Point of African continent, the point officially divides two oceans; the Atlantic and the Indian though there is no visible line between them.

Though the point is inside Agulhas National park there is no gate or entrance fee. The Southernmost Point got an upgrade recently a big metal map of Africa with the main geographical attractions was installed at the tip. Another though local size attraction is Parrie the Stingray, a big old stingray that has been living in the harbor for many years. Sometimes there are two or three stingrays in the harbor. Struisbaai has a nice long beach for swimming, running, and watching sunset or sunrise.

The best pizza/seafood restaurant according to locals (we confirm it) is SeaGulls Pub and Grill in Cape Agulhas. They have great wood-fired pizza, delicious seafood, all sort of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, and coffee. The vibe is really nice and the staff is super friendly and fun. The top floor is a more informal pub-style place, the bottom floor more opt for a romantic dinner.

Places to stay in Struisbaai/Cape Agulhas

Cape Agulhas lighthouse on the top of the hill
The lighthouse at Cape Agulhas, the end of the scenic drive from Cape Town

West Coast Flower route drive

Driving route; Cape Town – Durbanville wine route (optional) – Melkbosstrand – West Coast National Park – Langebaan – Paternoster – Cape Town

  • Distance – 316 km
  • Time – anything between 6 and 10 hours
  • Best time for the drive – August and September are the best months for driving this route if you want to see thousands of wildflowers covering the fields and the coast along the West Coast
A route map of the drive along the West Coast from Cape Town
A map of the scenic drive along the West Coast Flower Route

Highlights of the drive

  • Durbanville wine route
  • Beautiful coastal scenery; white-sand beaches, sand dunes, etc.
  • West Coast National Park – the closest to Cape Town place to see famous Namaqualand flowers.
  • Langebaan – a chilled beach town popular for kitesurfing.
  • Paternoster – a charming town with great seafood restaurants.

Things to do

  • Wine tasting at Durbanville, the area is famous for Sauvignon Blanc. Many wine farms in Durbanville have interesting pairings e.g. wine and nougat, MCC and macaroons, etc.
  • Hiking/driving and enjoying wildflowers at West Coast National Park.
  • Chilling at the Lagoon in Langebaan.
  • Eating fresh seafood at Paternoster.

Spring is the best time to drive the Namaqualand flower route though the area is beautiful any time of the year and worth visiting even outside the flower season. On the way from Cape Town to the West Coast, you can stop at a couple of wine farms in Durbanville and do some tasting. A big advantage of this drive compared to the other coastal routes is that there is never much traffic even during the December holiday. This drive can be a perfect start for a Cape Town – Namibia road trip.

West Coast National Park

The closest place to Cape Town to see the famous flowers of Namaqualand. At West Coast National Park you can see a unique combination of fields and hills covered in a flower carpet next to white-sand beaches of the Atlantic Ocean. There are a couple of hiking, cycling, and driving routes inside the park that will take you to the most spectacular corners of the West Coast. 

  • Working hours; daily September to March from 7am to 7pm; April to August from 7am to 6pm.
  • Entrance fee (during flower season); foreigners ZAR 210/US$ adults, ZAR 105/US$ children, South Africans ZAR 94/US$ adults, ZAR 47/US$ children. Out of the flower season, entrance fees are lower for foreigners and locals.
A carpet of flowers on the West Coast driving route
The flower season at the West Coast National Park near Langebaan

Langebaan

A small town with a beautiful lagoon and long sandy beaches is one of the most popular places for kitesurfing in Cape Town. Summer months December to February is the best time for kitesurfing here. If you visit it during the flower season, it’s unlikely there will be any wind.

Paternoster

Another small town on the West Coast with traditional fishermen’s white houses, endless white sandy beaches, and beautiful coastline. Paternoster is famous for its fresh seafood and fish restaurants as well as bakeries. It’s a nice place to stop for lunch with beautiful seaviews. 

Places to stay in Langebaan

Langebaan Lagoon at low tide
Beautiful Langebaan Lagoon – a perfect place for kitesurfing

Fantastic inland drives in Cape Town

Cape Winelands drive (Stellenbosch & Franschhoek)

Driving route: Cape Town – Stellenbosch – Helshoogte Road – Franschhoek – Franschhoek Pass – Babylonstoren – Cape Town

  • Distance – 180 km return
  • Time – 1-2 days if you want to do wine tasting and some other activities in the area.
  • Best time for the drive – summer between November to March is the best time for visiting the Winelands. Wine farms get extremely busy in summer over weekends if you have a chance it’s better to do a tasting on weekdays.
A driving route of the Cape Winelands scenic road trip
A map of the Cape Winelands scenic drive in Cape Town

Highlights of the drive

  • Fantastic wine farms around Stellenbosch – you can find some of the best South African wine farms here.
  • The historical center and the University of Stellenbosch – a nice area to walk around and drink a cup of coffee.
  • Jonkershoek Nature Reserve – a stunning place for hiking.
  • Beautiful Helshoogte Road with a couple of stunning estates. 
  • Franschhoek Motor Museum – hundreds of cars from the first motorized vehicles to the Formula 1 racing cars.
  • Wine farms in Franschhoek – this wine route is one of our favorite in Cape Winelands
  • Franschhoek Pass – a beautiful mountain pass with amazing views
  • Babylonstoren – this place has everything; wine tasting, lush green gardens, restaurants, etc. You can easily spend a couple of hours exploring it.

If you don’t want to worry about drinking wine and driving and rather relax and enjoy the tasting you can join one of the wine tasting tours from Cape Town.

Things to do

  • Wine tasting in Stellenbosch
  • Hiking in Jonkershoek Nature Reserve
  • Wine tasting in Franschhoek
  • Riding the Franschhoek wine tram
  • Diving over the Franschhoek Pass
  • Visiting Franschhoek Motor Museum
  • Enjoying the beautiful garden at Babylonstoren

It’s a beautiful drive through the main wine areas in Cape Town with stunning views, great wines, beautiful estates, and many amazing activities. You can do this trip in one day or spend more time in the area there are enough places and things to do to keep you busy for a week. 

Stellenbosch

The town itself and the surrounding area are absolutely gorgeous. Stellenbosch is a bustling University town the only time you can see it quiet is during holidays. The historical center of the town is very nice for walking; old oak trees, colonial-style buildings, the University campus, antique shops, and small cafes.

Despite the small size, there are many things to do around Stellenbosch including amazing outdoor activities. Fantastic Stellenbosch wine farms are one of the main reasons that attract thousands of tourists. There are more than 100 wine estates here even if you spend months doing wine tasting you won’t be able to visit all of them. 

  • Wine tasting hours: most farms are open for tasting daily between 10am and 4pm.
  • Price of tasting: ZAR 50-80/US$3-5.
Hills covered in vineyards with the mountains at the back at Tokara wine farm
Fantastic scenery of Stellenbosch vineyards from Tokara wine estate, a must-stop farm on this scenic drive

Places to stay in Stellenbosch

Jonkershoek Nature Reserve

The best place for hiking near Stellenbosch. There are several trails from short and easy routes to challenging hikes that might take pretty much the whole day. If you decide to combine hiking in Jonkershoek Nature Reserve with your scenic drive you’ll need more than 1 day. 

  • Working hours; daily from 8am to 6pm
  • Entrance fee; ZAR 50/US$4 adults, ZAR 30/US$2 children.

Franschhoek

The small charming town of Franschhoek is a great place for a romantic getaway from Cape Town. Located in the picturesque Franschhoek Valley the town boasts some of the finest restaurants and the best wine estates in the country. It’s definitely the place to come if you enjoy fine dining and great wines. You can drive around the valley stopping at different wine estates or take a break from driving and jump on the Franschhoek wine tram. It’s a great way of visiting some of the wine estates on the route. Just like in Stellenbosch there are many amazing activities in Franschhoek besides wine tasting. 

  • Wine tasting hours: most farms are open for tasting Mon-Sat from 10am to 4pm. Many farms and restaurants in Franschhoek are closed on Sundays.
  • Price of tasting: ZAR 75/US$5

Places to stay in Franschhoek

Franschhoek double decker wine tram
Franschhoek wine tram that you can use to visit local wine farms in case you don’t want to drive

Constantia Valley trip

Driving route: Cape Town city center – Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden (Rhodes Avenue) – Rhodes Drive – Constantia Wine Valley – Cape Town city center.

  • Distance – 46 km return
  • Time – 2 hours for the drive and photos plus the time you’ll spend wine tasting, eating, etc.
  • Best time for the drive – any season if it’s a nice and sunny day. Mondays are not great as most wine farms are closed for visitors. On weekends wine estates and restaurants get very busy.
A driving route map of the trip to Constantia Valley
A map of the Constantia Valley scenic drive from Cape Town

Highlights of the drive

  • Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden – the greenest place in Cape Town
  • Rhodes Drive – a stunning 7 km drive
  • Stunning wine estates in Constantia Valley

There are different tours from Cape Town that combine wine tasting in Constantia with other activities you can join one of them if you’re alone or don’t have a designated driver (drinking and driving is never a good idea).

Things to do

  • Walking/hiking or picnicking in Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden.
  • Wine tasting in the Constantia Valley.
  • Enjoying lunch with stunning views over the vineyards at one of the wine farms.

This is the shortest out of the suggested scenic drives in Cape Town but it’s a truly spectacular area. The drive is perfect for a romantic day out it has all you need; stunning scenery, great wines, and delicious food. You can combine this drive with a trip around the Cape Peninsula. 

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

Kirstenbosch is the greenest place in Cape Town with several walking and hiking trails of different lengths and difficulty levels. A perfect place to start a day with a picnic on the grass or breakfast at one of the coffee shops inside the garden. Don’t miss the Boomslang (tree snake) tree canopy in the garden. It winds among tree crowns offering great views of Kirstenbosch and the surrounding area. 

  • Working hours; daily September – March from 8am to 7pm, April – August from 8am to 6pm.
  • Admission fee; ZAR 75 adults, ZAR 20 children.
A sky bridge in the tree canopy at Kirstenbosch Garden in Cape Town
Boomslang canopy walkway at Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden, one of the highlights of the Constantia scenic drive

Constantia Wine route

One of the most spectacular wine areas around Cape Town with some of the oldest wine estates in the country. There are 8 wine farms that open to the public for tasting. If you come here on weekdays there is no need to book anything in advance, on weekends and public holidays, it might be better to make a reservation especially if you’re planning to have lunch or dinner at one of the estates.

Every wine farm in Constantia is worth visiting but there are two estates that are our favorites; Beau Constantia and Constantia Glen. Both have the best views of the area and great wines. We have a detailed post on Constantia wine farms where you can find more information about each farm.

  • Wine tasting hours: most farms are open for tasting daily between 10am and 4pm
  • Price of tasting; ZAR 100/US$6 per person per tasting (5-6 wines). Nobody minds if you share 1 tasting between 2 people. 

Places to stay in Constantia

View over the vineyards of Constantia, Cape Town
A stunning view of the Constantia Valley from Beau Constantia wine estate

Two mountain passes drive (Paarl)

Driving route; Cape Town – Paarl – Du Toitskloof Pass (Rawsonville) – Slanghoek – Bain’s Kloof Pass – Wellington – Cape Town.

  • Distance – 248 km
  • Time – from 4 hours
  • Best time for the drive – any season on a nice day, not recommended driving over the passes in heavy rain or if temperatures are below 0C. On Sundays most of the wine farms on the Breedekloof wine route are closed if you want to do some tasting it’s better to come on weekdays or Saturday.
A road trip map from Cape Town to two passes near Paarl
A map of the drive from Cape Town over two passes

Highlights

  • Du Toitskloof Pass
  • The drive between the pass and Rawsonville
  • Breedekloof Wine Route
  • Bain’s Kloof Pass

Things to do

  • Driving over Du Toitskloof Pass and Bain’s Pass.
  • Hiking at Limietberg Nature Reserve, there are several hiking trails near the passes.
  • Tasting wines at Breedekloof Wine Route.

A beautiful drive over two fantastic passes with several wine farms along the route, a couple of nice restaurants/coffee shops, and farm stalls. This route is probably one of the most off the beaten track drives near Cape Town. It’s never very busy here even wine farms are not overcrowded on holidays and weekends like on the other wine routes. If you’re seeking a tranquil drive with stunning scenery the two passes is a great option.

Places to stay in Paarl

A picturesque waterfall in Du Toitskloof mountains Cape Town
You can see many waterfalls driving over Du Toitskloof Pass after heavy rains

Trip planning resources

Recommended books and guidebooks

Many books and guidebooks are accessible for free for Amazon Kindle Unlimited users, the program allows you to get access to thousands of e-books and audiobooks from any device (Kindle, tablet, mobile). You can try Amazon Kindle Unlimited for free for 30 days.

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Hey! A bit about us - we’re John & Maria and we're a couple that loves to travel the world and document our adventures! We enjoy writing, blogging, exploring and sharing our adventures. We’re always embarking on new journeys and here you’ll find articles covering many travel destinations, and topics, such as culture, history, art and cuisine. Our goal and mission is to present compelling stories, photography and personal opinions, as well as serve as an online resource for anyone who wishes to plan their own trips and visit the destinations we've been to. We genuinely love meeting new people, mingling with locals, listening to their amazing stories and trying new travel experiences.

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