Visit the Winelands, South Africa
Drive just an hour east of Cape Town and you reach vine-woven valleys slotted between great knuckle-like mountains. This is South Africa’s Winelands region, one of the first areas of the country settled by Europeans and a hub for all things food and drink.
The region’s three main towns — Franschhoek, Stellenbosch and Paarl — form a triangle that you can easily visit all in one trip. Our South Africa specialists have done so many times, and can give you tips on what to see and do, creating a Winelands itinerary that suits your interests.
It almost goes without saying that wine tasting usually forms a significant part of your stay. Many vineyards offer guided tours and tastings, from smaller boutique wineries to sprawling estates. You can cycle between them or take the Wine Tram from Franschhoek, hopping on and off at different estates as and when you please.
The food scene also thrives here, and many wine estates have their own restaurants where you can enjoy food-and-wine pairings. Alternatively, take a guided food tour of Stellenbosch, sampling everything from biltong (dried cured meat) to koeksisters (a sweet, syrupy pastry).
Stellenbosch is also a good place to explore the region’s history. It’s South Africa’s second-oldest European settlement, established in 1679 by Dutch Governor Simon van der Stel. You can soak up its colonial heritage, from the dazzling-white Cape Dutch buildings to the Victorian and Georgian mansions set along oak-lined streets.
Places to visit in the Winelands
Featuring heavily on our experiences of visiting the Winelands, these selected places are destinations that also prove consistently popular with our travelers. Our specialists can help you choose how to include them in your wider trip, based on your preferences.
Suggested itineraries featuring the Winelands
Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel in the Winelands, and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.
Map of the Winelands
Places & hotels on the map
Places in and around the Winelands
- Franschhoek The Winelands
- Paarl The Winelands
- Stellenbosch The Winelands
- Cape Town 53 kilometers away
- Constantia 57 kilometers away
- Hermanus 70 kilometers away
- The Cape Peninsula 71 kilometers away
- The Whale Coast 71 kilometers away
- De Kelders 88 kilometers away
- The Overberg 102 kilometers away
- Montagu 106 kilometers away
- Langebaan 122 kilometers away
- Swellendam 137 kilometers away
- Sanbona Game Reserve 146 kilometers away
- The Cederberg Mountains 149 kilometers away
- Paternoster 153 kilometers away
- De Hoop Nature Reserve 159 kilometers away
- Calitzdorp 253 kilometers away
- Oudtshoorn & Surrounds 300 kilometers away
- The Cango Caves & Swartberg Pass 304 kilometers away
- Wilderness 333 kilometers away
- The Klein Karoo 365 kilometers away
- Knysna 377 kilometers away
- Plettenberg Bay 405 kilometers away
- Tsitsikamma Forest 439 kilometers away
- Namaqualand 480 kilometers away
Photos of the Winelands
Our expert guides to exploring the Winelands
Written by our specialists from their own experiences of visiting the Winelands, these guides will help you make the most of your time there. We share both our practical recommendations and the best ways to appreciate the Winelands at its best.
The Cape Region is the perfect introduction to South Africa with places such as Cape Town, the Winelands and Walker Bay, where you can see migrating whales. Equally famous is the Garden Route, a scenic stretch of coastline some 185 miles long.
South Africa's wine is world-renowned and there are a number of tours you can include in a tailor-made trip of South Africa that allow you to sample these tasty tipples. Our specialists are able to recommend suitable vineyards for you to explore based on your own taste.
Accommodation choices for the Winelands
We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit the Winelands. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.
River Manor is the ideal place to stay within Stellenbosch itself. For those who really are looking for that elusive home-from-home feel, River Manor delivers exactly that, and Johan and Leigh will ensure your stay is convivial and comfortable.
The Grande Roche is without doubt the best hotel in Paarl, and possibly in the whole Winelands. Discretion, attentive service, and luxurious accommodation are assured, and the location is ideal.
Babylonstoren is one of the best preserved farms of the Cape Dutch tradition. The manor house dates from 1777 and some of the structures date back to the founding of the farm in 1692.
L’Auberge Chanteclair, situated near the historical town of Franschhoek, is a tastefully converted farmhouse nestled in stunning landscaped gardens surrounded by orchards, vineyards and epic mountain scenery.
Located on the outskirts of Franschhoek with sweeping views across vineyards and the surrounding mountains, Franschhoek Country House has a selection of luxurious accommodation. Guests stay in rooms in the manor house itself, or in villas in the estate’s grounds.
La Fontaine is ideally situated just off Franschhoek’s main street. A heritage building, it retains a lot of its original features; each room is individual and well-appointed with antique furniture that's in keeping with the guesthouse's character.
Located in the beautiful Cape Winelands region of Franschhoek, the Last Word is a luxury boutique hotel situated within an historic and refurbished Franschhoek house with a backdrop of vineyards and panoramic mountains.
A tranquil retreat just on the edge of Franschhoek, this small, contemporary guesthouse offers attentive, personal service, stylish rooms and large gardens with panoramic views. Guests can also enjoy the swimming pool and putting green.
This boutique hotel is well situated in the center of Franschhoek, making it well-placed for exploring the area’s colonial history and dramatic scenery. Offering spacious and comfortable accommodation alongside an excellent service, it’s also home to one of the finest restaurants in town.
Leeu House is a boutique hotel in the Franschhoek valley and is an oasis of comfort and luxury with a country guesthouse feel. Located on the main street of Franschhoek village, the property is close to restaurants, galleries and shops.
La Residence is tucked away in the tranquil vineyards of Franschhoek Valley. It is located on the private wine and olive estate commanding breathtaking views of the surrounding area.
The overall feeling at Mont Rochelle is one of secluded luxury, which never threatens to feel overbearing thanks to the friendly manner of the staff and the fine balance between elegance and informality.
This award-winning guest house prides itself on a high level of service and all within a stone's throw of the center of Franschhoek.