South Africa holidays
Head into the Winelands to South Africa's second oldest town, Stellenbosch. It was while on a tour of inspection in 1679 that the settler Simon van der Stel spotted the opportunities offered by the lush area between the two branches of the Eerste River for the Cape colony. The fertile valley was soon settled by farmers who planted the region's first vines a few short years later. Three hundred years on, the valley boasts more private cellars than any other Western Cape region (with over 100 open to the public) and the country's oldest wine route. But there's more to Stellenbosch than wineries. This leafy student town is home to some of the country's top restaurants and award-winning producers. Join your culinary guide on a tour through the historic heart of Stellenbosch. Take the opportunity to sample some traditional Cape food and wine (like biltong, Bobotie, koeksisters and melktert) while meeting a host of colourful characters en route. Enjoy a heritage lunch platter at the oldest hotel in the country and visit the oldest shop in town. Continue onward over the scenic Helshoogte Pass to Franschhoek, founded by French Huguenots over 350 years ago and widely regarded as the culinary capital of South Africa. Its beautiful setting and cafe-lined streets will charm you. Stop at several renowned wine estates to sample some of their award-winning wines before heading back to Cape Town. This tour can also be taken in a scheduled group.