20 Epic Ways of Getting Around the Winelands

If you’re looking for extraordinary ways of getting around the South African winelands, read on.

From bicycles and boats to scooters and sidecars you’re set to tick off some bucket-list-worthy experiences amongst the vines.

Other than being once in a lifetime activities these modes of transport are also practical and responsible. And let’s be honest, way cooler than driving your own family sedan from one farm to another.

Agulhas

1. By Fatbike

Have you dreamed of cycling carefree across the dunes and along the water’s edge? Dream no more! Fatbike Tours in Gansbaai’s bicycles are designed to run on soft sand, it’s a first in South Africa, and allows you to explore the dunes and a 20km stretch of beach in De Kelders.  Take the R43 from Gansbaai to Cape Agulhas, stopping at the wineries along the way, and ultimately, standing on the southernmost tip of Africa.

Breedekloof

2. By River Raft

To experience both the majestic Breede River and its bordering wine valley, head up to Rawsonville to join a Gravity Breede Rafting Trip. This section of the river has no demanding rapids so expect a day of gently paddling (and even tanning) as you navigate the streams flowing through vineyards. Your relaxing day ends with a glass of local wine but if you don’t want it to end that soon you can extend your trip for an overnight experience.

Constantia

3. By Hop-on Hop-off Bus

Cape Town’s “red bus” is a fun and convenient way to explore not only the city but its resident wine region. The City Sightseeing Mini Peninsula Tour stops at Constantia Nek where you’ll hop onto the Constantia Valley Wine Bus taking you to three farms: Groot Constantia (the oldest wine farm in the country), Eagle’s Nest (a secluded gem) and Beau Constantia (with the best views in the area). Make sure to book a table at one of the winery restaurants before you head off.

4. By Harley Davidson

Imagine the sound of your Harley roaring as you lean into the bends of the Constantia valley roads en route to taste award-winning wines. Okay, so you don’t have a license and don’t own a Harley? No problem. With Cape Bike Travel you can either go on a guided multi-day Cape Peninsula and winelands tour, rent your own motorbike, or opt for the half-day or full-day chauffeured rides. Don’t forget your blue steel look.

Durbanville

5. By Mountain Bike

Hitting the gravel and single tracks amongst vineyards are a very popular way of exploring most of South Africa’s wine regions. A mecca for world-class mountain biking (and Sauvignon Blanc) is Durbanville. The local Tygerberg Mountain Bike Club has established more than 120 kilometres of linked routes in the area with winery beacons like Bloemendal and Meerendal serving as idyllic departure points for both cycling and tasting.

Elgin

6. By Locomotive Train

Huff and puff your way to (and through) the winelands by booking a steam train ticket. It’s not only your transportation though, the heritage of each 20th century restored train creates a charming experience. Ceres Rail has a schedule of different routes to various wine regions to check out, but hot and happening right now is their trip to the bustling Elgin Railway Market. Here you can taste wine, enjoy fresh food and listen to live music.

Franschhoek

7. By Mountain Scooter

Imagine free-wheeling down an ox wagon trail in a mountain reserve overlooking the Franschhoek wine valley. With Scootours you can do just that in a safe but exciting way. Their non-motorised Monster Mountain Scooters are a family-friendly option to explore one of the most picturesque views in the country. The experience ends off on a high note at Haute Cabrière Cellar Restaurant where you can taste some of their incredible wines. 

8. By Wine Tram

Arguably one of the most famous ways to get around in the Cape Winelands. Hop on (and off) the elegant Franschhoek wine tram and (tram-busses) to experience narrated tours of the historical town and a selection of premiere wine farms in the area. By buying one standard ticket, you get to choose from six colour-coded tour lines, each offering a different combination and order of winery visits. At a price, you can also book a curated wine experience.

Hemel en Aarde

9. By Helicopter

The most luxurious way of going about a wine tasting must be by scenic chopper flight. Board at the V&A Waterfront to lift off with an awe-inspiring view of Table Mountain and the Atlantic Seaboard. From here there are many wine destination options with a trip to Hemel en Aarde Valley being a highlight. Indulge in a laidback food and wine pairing lunch at Creation Wines before soaring back over the never-ending winelands and Overberg vistas.

Klein Karoo

10. By Tractor

The scenic Koo Valley outside Montagu is the perfect setting for a sightseeing trip by tractor. These farm-style rides up the Langeberg mountain started on Protea Farm in 1985 already and has remained popular with locals and visitors. The tractor meanders its way to the top and rests at the Arangieskop hut for beautiful views and to offer a taste of local Muscadel (sweet white wine). A fun outing for the whole family is guaranteed.

Paarl

11. By Quad Bike

Following in the footsteps (or more literally on the horse trails) of their range of popular adventure activities, Rhebokskloof also offers guided quad bike tours. There are various options to choose from ranging from entry-level cruising to more adventurous and longer rides. It’s not just an intrepid event though, the experienced guides point out wine farming activities and talk about the local grape cultivars as you ride through the vineyards.

12. By Hot Air Balloon

If this one isn’t on your to-do-list yet you must be afraid of heights. Why else wouldn’t you dream of rising up above the clouds in a woven basket attached to a colourful balloon? With the Cape Winelands ballooning experience, you get to look down at rows of vineyards in the distance surrounded by dramatic mountain ranges and the Berg River Valley as backdrop. You’ll be up in the air by sunrise and float about for about an hour before descending for a delicious wine farm breakfast.

13. By Vintage Sidecar

Geared with a leather jacket, helmet and goggles, the wind in your hair and the deep growl of a classic World War II motorbike: it’s a recipe for the trip of a lifetime. Let your hair down as a Cape Sidecar Adventures chauffeur drives you around to take in the views. There are numerous routes to choose from, but the full day winelands tour will spoil you with Paarl and Stellenbosch highlights including the ever-popular Spice RouteFairview and Boschendal farms. For the more adventurous at heart there is a self-drive overland option too.

Robertson

14. By Boat

Take to the water and leisurely cruise the Breede River at Viljoensdrift wine farm. Start off with a wine tasting before you depart on your 50 minute trip in their flat-bottomed boat. You can also build your own picnic basket to enjoy onboard with fresh goods and wines purchased from the farm deli.

Also diarise the annual Wine on the River festival where the wineries of Robertson are celebrated at a multi-day family event, usually taking place in October.

15. By Open-air Safari Truck

A fresh and funky new way of experiencing the Robertson Wine Valley is by open-air game drive vehicle. The zebra-striped truck runs every day of the week but each day has a different route and timetable. Check and choose between Wine Appreciation Tours (Mondays – Wednesdays), McGregor Village Tours (Thursdays), Freestyle Wine Safaris (Fridays and Saturdays) or Special Sunday Tours. Book your tickets online and hop on at either Montagu or Robertson to start your wine journey.

Stellenbosch

16. By Segway

Glide through the vineyards and beautiful gardens of Spier on a segway. Don’t worry about falling off, these two-wheeled transporters are self-balancing and battery-operated ensuring a pleasant ride. Just press a button and go. There are three guided tour options, with a two hour sunset experience in summer to make the most of those balmy Boland afternoons.

17. By Safari Vehicle

For a mix of adventure and education hop on a safari-style Land Rover for the Jordan 360° Tasting Experience. You’ll not only be in awe of the all-round views of the Peninsula and Cape Winelands, but also learn more about the terroir and geology of the farm. As a special touch they present the wine tastings in between the vineyards, and again after your private cellar tour.

18. By Tuk Tuk

Taking the prize for one of the quirkiest ways of getting around the winelands is Tuk Tuk Stellies. They offer daily tours in their authentic three-wheel Thai buggies and you can opt for either half-day (including three wine farms) or full day (including five wine farms). Your chauffeur doubles up as a fun and informative tour guide ensuring a great time rain or shine as they have closed vehicles options too.

19. By Game Drive

Not only will you be driven around in a safari vehicle you will actually be viewing wild animals in a nature reserve. Villiera Wines offers two-hour game drives on their 220-hectare wildlife sanctuary. Here you can spot animals like eland, kudu, springbok, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest and an impressive variety of birds. Make sure to book a wine tasting before or after your drive. Their Method Cap Classique is renowned, and paired with nougat is a special tasting experience.

Wellington

20. By Horse

Get on your saddle to gallop the Diemersfontein Fynbos Horse Trails, offering an up close and personal experience of the winelands’ vegetation, vineyards and scenery. The outrides are led by a qualified tour guide telling you interesting stories from the area and surrounds. All riders are welcome, from inexperienced to professional and the rides range from one hour to multi-day depending on your fitness and interest.

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