Start off with a few days in the Cape Winelands then head back to Cape Town - about an hour's gentle drive away. The Cape Winelands, surrounded by craggy peaks is a gentle country affair reminiscent of southern France and with some of the best wines you may find worldwide. Cape Town is a picturesque city with Table Mountain and the Twelve Apostles forming a stunning backdrop to the beaches, city, wine farms and working harbour. Activities along the way are enough to keep you happily occupied for a year so you'll have to choose wisely on this short 5-day tour. Your Travel Expert is here to help you with all your arrangements to make this the most relaxing, enjoyable and fun South African holiday imaginable.
A great tour as an add-on to other travel plans if you are heading elsewhere in South Africa or even to neighbouring countries: Namibia, Botswana or Zimbabwe. If you hadn't considered combining this tour with either of these destinations, let us show you how best to put them together and tailor your holiday to make the most of your trip to Southern Africa.
Day 1 & 2: Cape Winelands ( 2 nights )
Let’s get straight to it. You’ll land at Cape Town Airport and then drive straight to the Cape Winelands. Franschhoek is your base for the next two days. You’ll be staying on a bed and breakfast basis so plenty of opportunity to explore the award winning restaurants in the area for lunch and dinner.
On the way: You’ll be met on arrival and handed your travel documents. They’re packed full of useful stuff. Now head to Franschhoek. It’s not a long drive, only about an hour and a quarter from the airport. Easy roads and pleasant scenery. Go for either the N1 or N2. Both are national roads. The N1 is more of a direct route and takes you through Cape Town’s northern suburbs towards Paarl. The N2 will take you via Stellenbosch.
When you're there: Franschhoek. ‘French Corner’ in Afrikaans. There, surrounded by mountains, is one of South Africa’s oldest towns. It’s a valley of wine farms and Cape Dutch homes and is packed with French heritage. 400 years ago the Huguenots arrived, clutching their wine making manuals. Now it’s the centre of the country’s wine production. And most farms are still named after the towns the settlers came from - Chamonix, La Motte, Provence. All in all, it’s an excellent start for this tour. Plus, despite being tiny, it’s regularly described as one of the world’s gastronomic capitals. Hungry? Go get yourself sorted. You’ll be staying at Ashbourne House in the middle of town.
Refreshed? Ok. So if you need to walk it off there are lots of trails around the Drakenstein and Wemmershoek mountains. They circle the town so you can’t exactly miss them.
And now you basically have the difficult task of deciding which of the many wine estates you’re going to visit. As well as Franschhoek you could explore Stellenbosch and Paarl. Taste the wine, explore a cellar, book a picnic on the lawn.
You can even take a wine tour by bicycle. This sounds like a really bad idea if you intend to swallow your tastings. You may end up in a ditch on the way home. At least you’ll be laughing. Well, your friends will be. For sure. On second thoughts, book it. Sounds hilarious.
Or how about the infinitely more sedate Franschhoek wine tram? This is a hop on hop off delight. Travel in style on a double-deck railway tram and an open-air tram-bus. You get narrated to too. Nifty little history of Franschhoek and wine cultivation as you chug along.
And if you want to walk you can. If you take a walking tour through Stellenbosch you’ll get a guide giving you the low down. And we can include these optional extras in your itinerary.
Complete your day of decadence with dinner. Get our notes out, plan your second day. Bed.
Day 3 & 4: Cape Town ( 2 nights )
So now you’re suitably hungover, sorry, refreshed, it’s time to head to the city.
On the way: Being the self driver that you are why not take the other route back? Either N1 or N2? Arrive at your B&B. This is Floreal House and will be your base for the next two days. See Table Mountain? That giant flat topped lump behind you? Yes? Ok. Your B&B is below it.
When you're there: Have you done a spreadsheet? Have you included the V&A Waterfront? Robben Island? The botanical gardens? Good, good, good. Erm... THE PENGUIN COLONY!!! At Boulders Beach! Quick! Is it on your list? Put it on your list. Good, good, good. Go, go, go. By public transport. Take the train and admire the quirky little birds chilling out in Africa. Little loves. And total jackasses. We’re not being unkind, jackass is their nickname as they emit loud, donkey-like brays. Hee haw.
And, of course, the Cape Town list goes on. And on. SA Museum and Bo-Kaap, Chapmans Peak, Cape Peninsula. It all depends what you’re in to. There’s a hop-on hop-off bus so you can see the major sights in a day. And clearly you won’t want to miss Table Mountain. Head to the Aerial Cableway Station and catch a revolving cable car to the summit. You can see everything. Lion’s Head, Signal Hill, the mighty ocean. Unless it’s cloudy and then you might just see your cable car buddies.
There are also plenty of shopping opportunities - you could head to Long Street in the centre. Or go out here in the evening? The 200 year old buildings now house hip bars, restaurants and boutiques. Greenmarket Square is also within walking distance.
Don’t forget to chill at the beach too. Camps Bay is a good spot with white sand. The Atlantic Ocean is pretty freezing all year round so if you’re going in, brace yourself. Eeek. Or go sea kayaking.
There are optional extra activities which we can pre-book for you. A Cape Malay cooking course, Cape Town city walking tour, Table Mountain hike, canopy tour, sidecar tour. Just let us know.
Day 5: Cape Town ( Departure / End of Tour )
So, that’s it. You’re done. Drive to Cape Town Airport, hand back your car and check in for your flight.
Sit on the plane and think about how much you’ve done. Wine tasting at some of the finest farms. Selling some of the finest wines. Splendid. All the highlights of Cape Town and beyond. Thinking back you'll be wishing you'd stayed longer or hand more time. Nevermind. There's always next time. We know you'll be back.