A short drive from Cape Town takes you into the undulating valleys and towering mountains of the Cape Winelands, South Africa’s main wine producing region. This area, which encompasses the small towns of Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl, can be easily visited on a day trip from Cape Town, but longer stays are recommended. Sample local wines, have lunch at a wine estate or arrange to have a picnic made up to eat beside one of the area’s many streams and lakes. The oldest European settlement in South Africa, Stellenbosch is a university town of oak lined avenues surrounded by vineyards, while the French Huguenot village of Franschhoek is considered the prettiest of the three towns, and is home to some of South Africa’s finest chefs. For those with a particular interest in wines, we recommend a tour with Pietman Retief. Having spent 30 years in the wine industry, Pietman has extensive knowledge and an infectious enthusiasm. For gourmet travelers and recreational cooks, African Relish’s cooking courses, based in the charming town of Prince Albert, provide a fantastic opportunity to discover South Africa’s eclectic cuisine. If you plan your holiday between July and November, Hermanus is Africa’s top spot for whale watching, either by boat or from the scenic cliffs.
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