Ten amazing things to do in the Cape Winelands

The Cape Winelands boasts some of our country’s most scenic spots. Be prepared to be amazed by the sheer number of delicious and exciting things to eat, see and do in this magnificent sprawling region. Enjoy, darlings!

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#1: Get your wine fix

Of course this is at the very top of the list! You know I’m a wine lover of note. The Cape Winelands is host to South Africa’s best wine estates with award-winning bottles on offer. I highly recommend Tokara in Stellenbosch and Leopard’s Leap in Franschhoek. Indulge in their stunning tasting rooms or at their restaurants. Also, be sure to purchase a few bottles to take home!

#2: Tuck into gourmet meals

No place does gourmet cuisine quite like the Cape Winelands! With the mix of fresh ingredients, cultural influences and a flair for luxury, spots like Spier in Stellenbosch and Babylonstoren in Simondium serve up some exceptionally tasty and beautifully-presented dishes that are sure to take your taste buds on a journey!

#3: Go shopping at a market

There are lots of great country markets to visit in the Cape Winelands region. Shop for handmade garments and home-baked treats while you listen to live music with the vineyards as your backdrop. I recommend checking out the Stellenbosch Slow Market and Root 44 Market.

#4: Flit over to Butterfly World

Butterfly World in Paarl boasts over 24 species of exotic butterflies from places such as Costa Rica, Malaysia, China and the Philippines. You can also view spiders, scorpions, birds and reptiles. Stay as long as you like, wander through the lush indoor garden and take plenty of pictures!

#5: Take to the sky in a hot air balloon ride

Go hot air ballooning with certified companies, such as Extreme Scene. The flights take place in the scenic Berg River Valley just outside of Paarl, towards Malmesbury. The views you’ll take in are simply breathtaking!

#6: See the winelands by horseback

Go horse riding in the stunning natural settings of the Cape Winelands. You can contact Cape Winelands Riding, which is only half an hour from the CBD in the heart of the winelands.

#7: Get up close and personal with birds of prey

Eagle Encounters at Spier isn’t a zoo, but rather a bird of prey rehabilitation, education, conservation and eco-tourism centre. You’ll be able to view and even touch birds like owls and eagles in an open-air weathering area under the watchful eye of experienced handlers.

#8: Ride the wine tram

The Franschhoek Wine Tram, which only rolled in at the beginning of this month, is the first hop on/hop off wine tasting tram service in the Cape Winelands. First stop is the ticket office behind the famous Station Pub, and will stop along the way at wine farms like Franschhoek Cellar, Rickety Bridge and Grande Provence.

#9: Go chocolate tasting

Huguenot Fine Chocolates in Franschhoek is just the place to visit to satisfy your sweet tooth. Go on a half hour tour that will take you through the history of the chocolatier, where chocolate comes from, a demo of how their chocolates are made, and then a taste test. The selection of perfectly-wrapped Belgian chocolates on display like coffee crème, pistachio marzipan, cherry kirsch and praline will have you feeling like a kid in a candy store!

#10: Sip tea in the gardens

Visit Koelenbosch Country Estate in Stellenbosch to sip tea and munch on cakes and pastries in the gorgeous gardens that boast weeping willows, exotic plants and serene ponds with sunbirds chirping in the background. You can even extend your stay by overnighting in the luxurious lodge.

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