The city can easily get overwhelming and boring and sometimes you just need to “escape the city”. There’s so many places just outside Cape Town you can drive to for the weekend. In this post I only write about the places I have been to. Unlike most people, we usually leave the city in search for adventure rather than for peace. I can sit on my balcony and watch the sun set over the waterfront and RELAX. I don’t need to get away for that. Adventure is what I love.
This is our ‘most visited’ weekend destination. It’s just 1 h 30 minutes from Cape Town. We love Hermanus because it’s just beautiful.
The hiking trails at Fernkloof Nature Reserve are amazing! They wind up through nature, up to where you can look down on the town and then down to waterfalls. Just Perfect!
There’s so much to fill up your weekend with in Hermanus. You can go whale watching during whale watching season, go to the weekend market on Saturday morning for good food and fruits, go wine tasting and if you feel like going out at night try out Cocos. 1 weekend is not enough for Hermanus, that’s why we keep going back. And when you feel tired, head down to Grotto’s beach and look out into the sea.
Kleinmond is a few minutes away from Hermanus. We went here sorely for horseback riding. The Overstrand equestrian centre has very good horses and they have different rides to suit everyone’s needs. So do try it out, ride through the forest and down to the beach and gallop away on the sand with the sound of the ocean echoing in the background. We’ve ridden with them 3 times and we loved it each time.
Langeeban is on the West Coast about 1 h 40 mins from Cape Town. It’s another spectacular seaside town .
I’ve been there a couple of times now and it looks smaller each time 😦 . Guess we just run out of things to do. To fill up your weekend, start with a morning jog by the beach, have seafood for breakfast, lunch and supper, play games at Club Mykonos and queue with kids to redeem your tickets, do quad biking and archery at Club Mykonos and go bird watching and if you into horseback riding, head down to Windstone Rides near Vredenburg.
We went camping in Elgin Hills Luxury Tented Camps sometime last year. It was an awesome experience. There’s enough to do to fill up a weekend. You can go hiking, visit the Apple Museum and at the Elgin Hills Camps, we canoed (if thats the past tense of canoe) around the Palmiet river. We’ll probably go there again because it’s not that far from Cape Town and it’s different.You get to sleep in a tent with nature around you and the sound of a stream flowing outside plus you don’t have to pitch your own tent!
We totally love Franschoek! The picturesque mountains, the cute little restaurants, the motorcar museum and the whole ambiance. The first time we went there we discovered a small restaurant selling everything bacon and we fell in love with their peanut butter-banana smoothie. The next time we went there the restaurant wasn’t there anymore, my heart just broke 😥 .
Leave Cape Town early and passby Polkadraai farm, Stellenbosch to pick strawberries. Strawberry picking is seasonal so you’d have to check first before you drive all the way for nothing.
A little town in the West coast. My best friend has a house there so it quickly became our ‘holiday house’. We love the beaches and the restaurants by the seaside. It’s also close to Langebaan if you feel bored.
We spent a beautiful 4 days in this place on the garden route. It’s a bit far from Cape Town (~6 h 30 mins) it’s worth it. The drive through the garden route is scenic. We stayed at Tsitsikamma Village Inn (I recommend highly!). There’s so much to do and we hardly ever rested! Do the segway tour,
go zipping, go abseiling in the forest,
go see the big tree (It’s very tall and old!),
try the burger at the Marilyn (Monroe) 60s diner, drive down to Knysna to do the highest bunjee jump in the world, drive for 20 minutes towards Plettenberg to Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary to see lions, cheeters, tigers, leopards, monkeys etc. Don’t miss the swing bridge, leave your car at the parking lot and hike up a kilometre of steps to the swing bridge, your legs might hate you but your eyes will thank you for the amazing views!
To celebrate our friend’s birthday, we headed out this past weekend to Botterkloof Resort in Stillbai.
It’s about 3.5 hours from Cape Town. We had a blast! The resort is well kept and we had lots of fun playing like kids in the swimming pool. The resort is on a working olive farm so do buy some organic olive oil from their farmstall (a bit pricy though!). Take a drive down to the beach and don’t miss the hike. Do it early morning and wear comfortable shoes as there are snakes (we were told, didn’t see any).
Not far from Cape Town but still counts right? We spent a weekend at a guesthouse by the beach front for my birthday. I loved waking up to the ocean, taking a walk with my feet in the ocean and having breakfast facing the ocean. The guest house also had a spa and we had the half day package so this was a very relaxed weekend.
A short drive took us to the part of Hout Bay with seals (Not as many as in Duiler island). Stinky place that!
So for a getaway close to town but far enough to disconnect you from the hustle and bustle of your everyday life, Hout bay is good. Just stay away from the seals, they stink!
You don’t have to go to the desert to ride a camel! Head down to Kommitjie and you can do camel riding on the Saturday and horse riding on Sunday. For the camel riding you can opt for a short 15 minutes ride if you don’t want to spend an hour on a camel. A camel ride is not as comfortable as a horse ride but it’s an experience.
Visit the farm and see a Llama, feed rabbits and run away from ostriches.
You can combine this with Hermanus or make a stop on your way from Stillbai. If you like gaming then you should make a stop at Caledon Hotel and Spa. They have a casino and gaming arena. Buy a lot of tokens and game away.
What better place to weekend than at the Southern-most tip of Africa?
Yes it’s just words in stone saying ‘Southern-most tip of Africa’ blah blah and you’ll be bored in 10 minutes. But think big! You will be looking at an invisible line that divides the Atlantic ocean and Indian ocean! You might not see it but its there! (Sounds ridiculous even writing it LOL).
Throw pebbles into the ocean and go up to the lighthouse (you can climb up the steep steps for rewarding views). You can also go on a 2 hour ghost hunting on Spookdraai hiking trail. If you lucky you can see a headless ghost of a man and the ghost of a woman with the voice of an angel (Maybe its not a ghost, its an angel! Didn’t anyone think of the possibility?). Ok I admit, there isn’t much to do in Cape Aghulus to fill up a weekend but so what? You at the Southern most tip of Africa!
Sir Lowry’s Pass
Make a stop at Sir Lowry’s Pass for beautiful views.
And don’t feed the baboons! (Although I’ve never seen any baboon there.) Not that I’d feed it if I saw it, I’d probably run away.