The Cape Winelands, home to some of the most prestigious wineries in the world, is an amazing tourist attraction right on our doorstep. There are gorgeous spots for long, lazy lunches and lavish afternoons of wine tasting. But, more than that, there are unique experiences like vineyard horseback or Segway tours, interactive wine blending experiences, and artisanal markets. Here is your bucket list of activities in the Cape Winelands to check off in 2023.
1. Go on a wine safari drive
Hands up if you want to go on a vino and game drive! The Winelands offers a range of wine estates with their very own game reserves. Besides conservation projects, these farms also offer visitors the opportunity to see their incredible flora and fauna on game drives. To see our list of the best safari drives on farms in the Winelands, click HERE.
2. Watch an open-air movie
The perfect setting for an evening with family and friends or a date night, catch a movie in the Winelands with The Galileo Open Air Cinema. Picnic as the sun sets and watch a movie under the stars on one of the magnificent wine farms in the Cape Winelands. Locations include Leopard’s Leap, Neethlingshof, Waterford, and more.
3. Blend your own wine
Have you ever wanted to try your hand at winemaking? Various wine farms offer workshops where you learn about the basics of wine blending, create your own blend, and design a label for your bottle. Here are a few recommendations:
- Spier: An immersive wine blending experience for groups, hosted at the Riverhouse.
- Middelvlei: An opportunity to create a bottle of your own wine with the Momberg family.
- Rickety Bridge: A wine blending session for both wine novices and enthusiasts alike.
- Slanghoek: An opportunity to attempt the delicate art of wine blending.
4. Tour Franschhoek on a wine tram
The Franschhoek Wine Tram is the best way to discover the Franschhoek Wine Valley. You can hop on and off as you like, and experience the different activities on offer. Take your pick between eight different lines, each visiting a selection of wine estates showcasing a separate part of the valley.
5. Go on a vineyard Segway tour
Glide through the vineyards on a Segway at Spier Wine Farm. These family-friendly Segway tours not only allow you to soak up the beauty of the surrounding vineyards and mountains but also to learn all about farm life.
6. Get a taste of the wine harvest
7. Explore Babylonstoren’s garden
The large Babylonstoren garden is at the heart of the farm. It includes vegetable patches, orchards of fruit and nuts, fragrant indigenous plants, a prickly pear maze, ducks and chickens, and a palette of trees of historical or botanical significance. Stroll through the garden solo or join one of Babylonstoren’s experienced gardeners for a guided tour.
8. Go on a winelands e-bike tour
Tour the Stellenbosch Winelands on an e-bike with Vinebikes. The guided tour departs from Lanzerac and goes through the town, all the way to Rustenberg Wines at the foot of Simonsberg and beyond. Along the way, you stop at wine farms for tastings.
9. Visit Root44 Market and Wine Emporium
Root44 is the perfect family-friendly destination in the heart of the winelands. The ground floor houses a food and drinks market with a kids play area and water feature outside. Upstairs, you’ll find the trendy Root44 Wine Emporium, with wine tasting, a wine shop, a restaurant, and a sushi and oyster bar.
10. Ride a horse through the vineyards
Explore the Winelands via the oldest mode of transport in the world: a horse. Here are a few scenic horseriding trails in the Winelands to choose from:
- Horse Riding at Pink Geranium: Go on a horseback wine tour through various Stellenbosch wine estates including Warwick, Le Bonheur, and De Meye.
- Boschendal Horse Riding: Explore the beauty of Boschendal on horseback via a guided horse ride taking you to different parts of the farm.
- Journey’s End Horseback Rides: Journey’s End’s horseback outrides meander through various vineyards in the area.
11. Partake in the unique Hazendal Tea Ceremony
Hosted in Hazendal‘s elegant tea room, the unique Hazendal Tea Ceremony elevates afternoon tea into a memorable occasion. For centuries tea has formed an integral part of Eastern European culture, a tradition celebrated with this tea ceremony. From the steaming samovar (Russian urn) guests will enjoy Hazendal’s specially imported tea blend, served alongside traditional treats.
12. Complete a ropes course
Discover the Tarzan in you with Acrobranch Stellenbosch, situated at Klein Joostenberg farm and winery. Their tree-top experience is suitable for old and young. Obstacles consist of tree-top high ropes and tricky crossings (with ladders, tunnels, walkways and bridges).
13. Learn how to make coffee like a barista
Learn how to make coffee properly at The Coffee Roasting Co’s barista workshop. Situated on Lourensford in Somerset West, The Coffee Roasting Co. presents monthly workshops that teach you all you need to know to make the perfect cup, from grinding techniques to latte art.
14. Visit the La Motte Museum
The La Motte Museum offers a stimulating cultural-historical experience sharing the history of the estate as well as carefully curated art exhibitions. The museum exhibits art by Jacob Hendrik Pierneef, currently showing ‘Mountains and Valleys’ – a selection of his linocuts.
15. Tour a wine farm on a scooter
Scootours offer an adventurous way to explore wine farms in an exciting and family-friendly way. Choose between the route at Middelvlei, Stellenbosch, and Chamonix, Franschhoek. During the tour you will freewheel down gentle slopes and enjoy breathtaking views. The routes are easy to navigate, and the only requirement is that you are able to ride a bicycle.
16. Travel back in time at Muratie
A visit to Muratie in Stellenbosch reveals a piece of history. The estate’s rich, centuries-old heritage is captured in every nook and cranny: historic buildings; crumbling statues; the rickety cob-webbed tasting room; stained-glass windows; and original art, relics, artefacts and memorabilia. When enjoying a wine tasting, you’ll find that every wine tells a story. Each wine range has a commemorative name, honouring the age-old traditions.
17. Swim with crocodiles
Go crocodile cage diving at Le Bonheur Reptiles and Adventures in Paarl, the only place in the Western Cape where you can view 200+ crocodiles. Facilitated by experienced and passionate guides, this activity brings you close enough to the crocodiles to touch!
18. Ride the Bottelary Hills MTB trails
Are you into mountain biking? The Bottelary Hills MTB trails run across the 20 farms of the Bottelary Hills Renosterveld Conservancy in the hills outside Stellenbosch. While never too technical, there are challenging climbs and a variety of distances on offer for riders of all fitness levels.
19. Visit the Franschhoek Motor Museum
Look back at more than 100 years of motoring history at this museum on L’Ormarins Estate. The Franschhoek Motor Museum has a unique collection of vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles and memorabilia. Its collection exceeds 220 vehicles, ranging from a 1898 Beeston motor tricycle to a 2003 Ferrari Enzo supercar, with more than 80 exhibits on view at any one time.
20. Make your own soap
Learn how to make your own natural soap at Babylonstoren’s soapmaking workshop. From harvesting botanicals for your soap to infusing, preparing and casting soap, the Babylonstoren team will walk you through the entire soapmaking process. You also get to take home your creations at the end of the day.