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3 Gems of the Cape Winelands

Wine buffs are increasingly drawn to the area, as South African wines grow in reputation and popularity on the world stage. Lovers of history too, come to enjoy the wonderfully distinctive Cape Dutch architecture of the majestic homesteads that dot the valleys and hills. The Cape Winelands are perfect to visit as part of a tailor-made holiday to South Africa, or to explore on your own South African travel adventure.

Whether it’s just a day trip from Cape Town or a few days spent touring the sights, there is plenty for you to see. If you are lucky enough to be on a luxury holiday to South Africa, you should include a few nights of decadence on a specialised wine tour, staying on a grand Cape Estate. You will revel in the famous Cape hospitality, with world-class cuisine and, of course, a mouth-watering selection of local wines!

If your budget doesn’t stretch to luxury, there are many other ways to enjoy a tailor-made holiday to South Africa: View things from a different perspective and hit the open road on a Cape sidecar motorcycle, whizz around the countryside with the wind in your hair as a passenger, or take charge and drive your own! The area is also criss-crossed with hiking trails of all levels, and you can spend an afternoon strolling through rolling pastures and vineyards – stopping for a quick (or leisurely) taste on the way! You can also visit one of the many local cheese or chocolate factories.

The scenic route around the Cape Wineland region takes in a number of quaint towns and is easily explored by car or coach. Each town has its own distinct personality and any tailor-made holiday to South Africa should include a visit to at least one, or all of them.

Stellenbosch is South Africa’s second oldest town. It is renowned for its splendid Cape Dutch architecture and charming oak-lined streets. It’s also the starting point of a major wine route, which encompasses twenty glorious estates and wineries within a concentrated radius. For this reason, it is included in the itinerary of most tailor-made South African holidays but its wonderful alfresco cafes and great shopping facilities do not disappoint the casual visitor either!

From Stellenbosch, the tiny town of Franchhoek is reached by a picturesque mountain route. This scenic road is one of the most beautiful drives in South Africa. Travel along the twisting, winding Helshoogte Pass (with its endless mountain vistas) and arrive in the town just in time for lunch! Franschhoek is famous for its fabulous restaurants and you can dine on wonderful food while enjoying panoramic views over the valley and the pass.

Paarl -"the pearl of the Cape" – is home to the original Afrikaans language and the largest of the towns in the Winelands. Nederburg – South Africa’s best known wine estate is located in Paarl, but over and above the obvious choice of wine-tasting, there are a host of other activities to try. The mountains around the area are a designated nature reserve and there is a network of hiking and horse riding trails, as well as fly fishing facilities and some of the best golf courses in South Africa. Travel companies offering balloon flights and helicopter rides can treat you to a birds-eye view of the region that will take your breath away.

If you are planning a luxury holiday to South Africa, you will definitely not be disappointed by the Winelands. But whatever your priorities, while you travel South Africa, you will be embraced by the magic of this wonderful country - and as you explore the Cape Winelands, you will be entranced by the history, amazed by the food and wine, and warmed by the hospitality.
About Author Rachel Hill :

Rachel Hill is a Southern Africa Travel specialist, a company specialising in tailor-made holidays to South Africa (<a href="" target="_blank"></a>), as well as holidays to other destinations in Southern Africa.

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Article Added on Friday, September 18, 2009
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