The mother city is famous throughout the world for its beautiful landscapes, cultural diversity and creative energy. Although Cape Town itself is certainly one of the greatest places both to live and vacation, there’s more to the Cape Town area than just the city. Here we let you in on five of the most beautiful but not-so-talked-about fringe spots to explore on your next Cape Town holiday.
The Babylonstoren farmlands, named after the fabled Babylon Garden, are located about 40 kilometres outside the city. Upon entering the 500-acre farm, you’ll see the Cape Dutch architecture of the manor house, which dates back to 1777. There’s a dam you can swim in after taking a stroll through the organic plantations of pear, pumpkin, peach and passion fruit. Meals are available for health-conscious food lovers, with many ingredients freshly picked. There’s also a gym, a spa and loads of picturesque picnic spots, making Babylonstoren perfect for any vacationer looking for some time out.
Betty’s Bay is about 100 kilometres from Cape Town, on the Overberg coast. During the early part of the 20th century, a whale watching station was located in the village – and if you’re lucky, you still might spot a whale lurching by in the bay. As well as enjoying the pristine beaches of Betty’s Bay, you can head to one of many hidden coves on the coast for an ocean swim or a dive you won’t soon forget. You can enjoy a delicious lunch as you admire the fynbos at the Harold Porter National Botanical Garden or enjoy a cool beer after a four-hour hike to the top of the waterfall from Palmiet River.
The Spier wine farm, nestled in the Stellenbosch region, has a history dating back to 1692. The farm is best known for its award-winning wines, which are made under the expertise of cellar master Frans Smit. Spier also offers Heritage Walk tours, eagle encounters, a spa facility, an impressive collection of local contemporary art, wine tasting and Segway tours, among other activities, and is home to a village-styled, four-star hotel.
If you’re interested in water sports, you can head to the charming village of Langebaan, about 120 kilometres from Cape Town. The village still maintains a rural charm. As you walk along the white sandy beaches, you can see the fishermen on their way out to sea in quaint wooden boats. After swimming, canoeing and skiing in the lagoons, you can head to a rustic cottage and enjoy a sherry seated on weathered porch furniture.
The historical town of Tulbagh is situated in the Boland Winelands, at the edge of the Tulbagh valley. You can be a part of the elite few who stay at the two-hundred-year-old manor, which has maintained all its original charm, or opt for more relaxed backpacker accommodation at The Traveller’s Lodge. Tulbagh is well known for its magnificent landscapes and diverse animal and plant life – and the people are friendly and hospitable; making Tulbagh a perfect country holiday destination.