It’s the time of the year when we finally have time to explore the Mother City’s hidden treasures and share the city’s gems with visitors, friends and family. So we’ve rounded up five of Cape Town’s must-visit destinations perfect for a short out-of-town excursion that you need to tick off your list before the year picks up steam.
One of Cape Town’s best-kept secrets has to be the Elgin Railway Market – an old apple warehouse which has been converted into a bustling steampunk station market boasting local vendors and live music in a space where Art Deco meets Victorian. Here, you’ll find everything from delicious fare to jewelry and clothing – a true destination market and gateway to the picturesque Overberg town.
To make your outing all the more exciting, a Ceres Rail Company steam train departs to the market a few times a month. Market-goers can meet the train on the station platform or view its arrival from the Elgin Market’s leisure deck overlooking the railway.
Exploring the Cape winelands doesn’t get more festive than by boarding a vintage style open-air railway tram which stops at some of South Africa’s oldest and most distinguished wine estates. Journey through rolling vineyards on the hop-on hop-off Franschhoek wine tram and experience wine tasting, cellar tours, lunch or a stroll through the vineyards at each destination.
The tour leads into the heart of the Franschhoek Valley, with narration focusing on the history of Franschhoek and wine cultivation in the valley while passengers take in unparalleled views of the valley and vineyards.
If you’re looking to plan a day trip to a new destination just outside Cape Town for the entire family, Norval Foundation in Steenberg is our festive destination of choice. Not only will you be able to visit powerful art exhibitions with global appeal in world-class galleries, you can combine your visit with lunch or dinner at The Skotnes Restaurant and Bar.
Or choose to pre-order a gourmet picnic to enjoy in the expansive sculpture garden established in a seriously impressive outdoor setting, complete with its own amphitheatre for music and cultural events.
Head out to Cavalli wine estate just off the R44 between Stellenbosch and Somerset West to depart on a relaxing hour-long carriage tour of the farm. The tour includes the state of the art stables (a veritable horse hotel!), the exquisite gardens designed by Keith Kirsten and the vineyards.
Then settle in for a festive lunch with a glass of the new vintage Cavalli Capriole at the award-winning Restaurant at Cavalli, led by award-winning Chef Michael Deg before paying a visit to the art gallery downstairs. Breath-taking views of the Helderberg mountains are complimentary.
There’s something to be said about a relatively effortless cycling excursion along some of Cape Town’s most pristine coastline, made possible by Venture South’s e-biking adventures.
Just over an hour’s drive outside of Cape Town lies the Cape of Good Hope and what better way to explore its breath-taking scenery and wildlife – ostrich, baboons and various species of antelope as well as the famous Simonstown penguins – than from the comfort of your e-bike saddle. Take on the hills with absolute ease and reward yourself with a gourmet picnic at a secluded location or dine at one of the Southern suburbs top restaurants along the way.