Now I may be biased, but I seriously think my home country of South Africa is one of the most beautiful in the world, and a must-visit for every seasoned traveller (even for you not so seasoned travellers – it’s THAT visit-worthy :)). Cape Town and the Eastern Cape is the place to be. Cape Town – because it’s Cape Town!…and did I mention the vineyards? – and the Eastern Cape because of Plettenberg Bay – one of the most beautiful places on God’s green earth.
The One & Only, Cape Town, overlooking Table Mountain.
There are some great markets to check out when visiting Cape Town – it’s a great place to sit outdoors in the sun nursing a beer or a glass of wine, after exploring the tasty treats on offer, and browsing the stalls for authentic, handmade goods. I visited the Old Biscuit Mill for the first time on my trip to Cape Town. This is one of Cape Town’s most well-known neighbourhood market and you can tell. It was heaving by the time we arrived, and the smells of cooking paella and braai’ed meat (bbq’ed meat for those who aren’t South African) were simply heavenly. Trying at least three different food stalls is mandatory. I also walked out with several jars of honey and honey liqueur.
Touring Stellenbosch and the slightly further away Franschhoek are a must when visiting the Cape. Stellenbosch is a half hour drive away while Franschhoek is a little over an hour. There are a great number of top notch vineyards to see – I’d suggest Googling and doing your research beforehand (some might be closed to tours or close a little earlier than others). The Delaire vineyards are my personal favourite to visit in Stellenbosch. If I could afford it, I’d definitely pay to stay here on my visit too.
The beautiful MolenVliet.
I love visiting Franschhoek. The main town consists of one street, but there are smaller side streets that are filled with restaurants and coffee shops that you can eat at, while the vineyards and wineries are dotted further afield.
The streets of Franschhoek.
La Motte is one of my favourites to visit in Franschhoek, but I am by no means a wine connoisseur. There are a great many excellent vineyards here to explore – especially if wine IS your thing.
If you’re into your cars, the Franschhoek Motor Museum is a must-see. It’s a great place to get in some motoring history, and the cars on display are exquisite. Also, this view.
We road tripped it from Franschhoek to Cape Agulhas, the southernmost tip of the African continent, where the Indian Ocean meets the Atlantic. Cape Agulhas is one of the most desolate, wildly beautiful landscapes I’ve seen yet.
And then onto my favourite part of South Africa – Plettenberg Bay. We always stay in Keurboomstrand – which is about a 7 minute drive from the main town centre of Plett. It’s more remote (none of those pesky in-season tourists getting in your way ;)), and it’s right on the beach – so beach views when waking each morning, and if you’re the sporty type like me, sunset beach runs every evening. I mean, who wouldn’t want to see this every day:
The best part about this area of South Africa are the incredible hikes. Nearby Robberg Nature Reserve and the Tsitsikamma National Park and Storms River are excellent locations to pack a backpack and set off for a couple hours of hard walking. If you’re an avid hiker, this is where you’ll find the Otter Trail – one of South Africa’s most popular trails known world-wide. It is a five-day trail, commencing at Storms River and stretching westward for about 43km to Natures Valley. We didn’t hike the Otter Trail (you need to book for this months in advance), but we did several hikes in the area, which were absolutely tremendous. Did I mention the views?
Storms River Suspension Bridge.
On the other side of Plettenberg Bay at Robberg Nature Reserve, you’ll find equally beautiful views.
How lucky am I to call this place home?