|Take a tour of the world-class vineyards
The Western Cape is known for the excellent wines that can be found in the famous Cape Winelands. The area boasts an impressive 200 cellars offering some of the best South African wines you will ever find. The diversity of wines aside, though, the area also boasts many other activities from beautiful scenery, idyllic towns and traditional fare that are all part of the Cape Winelands experience.
The summer is the best season to visit the Cape Winelands. The warm Mediterranean climate is tempered by the cool coastal breezes from the south. Nestled between lush green mountain valleys, you will discover historical towns that seem to step right out of history surrounded by expansive vineyards. Guided tours of the area are available, but the clearly marked routes make it easy to discover the area on your own.
Three well-known wine routes are often visited. The Stellenbosch route is probably one of the most famous routes. Starting in the beautiful town of Stellenbosch, this route wanders through the countryside visiting the widest variety of cellars in the area. The Constantia route offers the visitor beautiful mountain scenery along with some of the oldest estates in the areas and classic gabled Dutch homesteads. Finally, the Franschoek route visits over 30 different cellars descended from the French Huguenots that settled here over 300 years ago and gives you the opportunity to visit the various arts and crafts markets of the small town of the same name.
The Cape Winelands wine routes offer visitors the chance to sample some of South Africa's best wines. Many of the cellars offer guided tours of their property, giving visitors an inside view of the process of wine making. These wine farms sometimes offer more than just wine. You can expect to find delicious restaurants situated in the shade of large trees, fruit picking tours and small museums that follow the history of wine making and the farm itself.
Once you have had your fill of wine, the Cape Winelands also offers other distractions. There are numerous towns both big and small that seem to step right out of history. Restored buildings converted into living museums offer a glimpse of life in the area centuries ago. Arts and crafts markets put local talent on offer and, especially in the summer months, there are a number of festivals that celebrate the bounty of the area.
The Cape Winelands is a must as a destination when you are visiting the Western Cape. Situated close to major cities, it is just a short trip to visit one of the most beautiful areas of South Africa. From tasting tours of some of the finest cellars in the world to colourful art markets, the Cape Winelands are sure to be worth the visit.
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