Focus on Cape Winelands, Western Cape, South Africa
With its magnificent natural beauty, its rich cultural heritage and its world-renowned wines - the Winelands Region is synonymous with all the best that the Cape has to offer.

See also Encounter Magazine's comprehensive guide on South African Wine Routes.

A 45-minute drive from Cape Town take you to the Winelands where splendid mountains form a dramatic backdrop to lush vineyards and gabled Cape Dutch homesteads steeped in history.

Experience the hospitality and beauty of Stellenbosch, Paarl, Wellington, Franschhoek and Robertson in the Breede River Valley.

Visit some of the many wine farms, or stroll down a beautifully restored street in one of the historical town centres and visit the museums and monuments that pay homage to our proud history.

The excellent wines produced in this area are world-renowned. Join the winemaker on a tour of his cellar where the harvest is lovingly transformed into every wine lover's delight.

The Winelands is the ideal base from which to explore Cape Town and its surrounding area. Indulge yourself in luxury at one of the exclusive boutique hotels, or enjoy the hospitality of one of the many guest houses and bed and breakfast establishments throughout the area.

Many wine farms offer a variety of tranquil and secure accommodation options.

Only 56 km from Cape Town, Paarl offers historical charm, culture, architectural heritage, wine and fruit farms, breathtaking scenery and many cycling and nature trails. Major attractions include Paarl Mountain (one of the largest solid rocks in the world), the Afrikaans Language Monument and a treasure house of architecture found along the 2 km stretch of the Main Street.

Franschhoek is well known for its excellent restaurants, top accommodation establishments, splendid mountains and openhearted hospitality. Spend time browsing its many arts-and-craft shops, galleries and antique stores.

Stellenbosch, the oldest town in the country after Cape Town, is undoubtedly one of the most scenic and historically-preserved towns in southern Africa. The town, ideally situated in a magnificent mountain valley, boasts a mild Mediterranean climate and is the ideal destination from which to explore the Winelands and the many tourists attractions that the area has to offer.

Wellington is famous for the panoramic Bain's Kloof Pass, Dried Fruit shop, picturesque wine estates where wine as well as olive tastes are offered and well-known leather factories.

Numerous award-winning wines can be tasted in the cellars where they were developed, the better known being Twee Jonge Gezellen, Tulbagh Winery, Theuniskraal and Drostdyhof.

The largest wine-producing area under irrigation in South Africa, Robertson is known for superior wines, some of the country's top racehorse studs and is well-known as the Garden Town of the Boland

As you travel from Stellenbosch to Franschhoek via the scenic Hellshoogte Pass, the modest village of Pniel lies on the banks of the Dwars River in the Drakenstein Valley. This peaceful town with its close-knit community is well worth a visit.

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