“The Cape Winelands District: a thousand things to do and then some wine!” These words aptly describe this unique area, home to wonderful places situated in wide open spaces, where adventure is not only possible, but likely! If you are planning your post-pandemic escape, the Cape Winelands District welcomes you warmly.
The district offers something for everyone, whether you are a family of thrill-seeking mountain bikers, a multi-generational group of foodies, birders, campers, glampers or wine (or gin, beer or brandy) connoisseurs; a bunch of festivalgoers, a solo traveller interested in our history or a couple searching for that perfect wedding spot. The CWD has options that will suit your needs and your pockets.
The district is made up of five subdistricts covering an area of 22 309 square kilometres. It stretches from Stellenbosch to Paarl and through majestic mountain passes to Tulbagh, Ceres or Op-die-Berg; or via the Huguenot Tunnel to Worcester and into the Hex River Valley, along the N1 to Touwsriver. For the return drive, one could take a leisurely wind through the backroads to Montagu, taking the long way back to Stellenbosch. The biggest advantage in these times when we are all looking for value for money, is probably that these destinations are accessible within a 30- to 120-minute drive from Cape Town.
The Cape Winelands District Municipality (CWDM) in its function as Regional Tourism Organisation, supports 14 Local Tourism Associations (LTAs) which all post their various activities onto the Cape Winelands Tourism Routes and Events App, which is available free of charge for both Android and iOs Devices. Get the app at Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=co.za.indigo.cwd&hl=en and iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/in/app/cwd-tourism/id1236056615?mt=8. The LTAs in the area work closely with all their local tourism related businesses and activities and list all that is new and exciting on the app. They also have their own websites, so visit them before planning your trip.
“It is with great excitement that we welcome the tourism season of 2020,” said the Executive Mayor, Ald (Dr) Elna von Schlicht at the launch of Tourism Month. “Tourism is an integral part of our GDP, contributing approximately 9% to our country — the majority of which is generated because we have so much to offer. The Cape Winelands District offers more than most! We have something for everyone, but mostly we have people who are passionate about serving our visitors in such a way that keep returning for more. We look forward to hosting visitors in a manner that allows us to be safe while still enjoying all the benefits that a break from daily life offers.”
The CWDM delivers on its mandates in a manner that ensures citizens and visitors can travel comfortably, eat safely and enjoy the biodiversity of the area. “We are a highly functional municipality, which is evidenced by the number of performance excellence awards received, such as the 6th consecutive unqualified audit with no findings, the accountability of staff and ultimately the quality of services delivered,” stated Von Schlicht at a recent event.
In an effort to recognise the valuable input of the tourism sector, the CWDM confers a Mayoral Tourism Award on local establishments that treat guests in such a manner that they keep coming back. Some of the previous winners include Fynbos Farm outside Tulbagh, which entered in the sustainable development category. The farm offers camping and self-catering chalets, each with its own relaxed feel. There are a number of animals for children to feed, an emu, a few potbelly pigs and the most gorgeous peacocks, to mention a few. In the category of luxury self-catering, have a look at Big Sky Cottages outside Ceres, where the view and comfort will rejuvenate the weariest soul.
A winner of the service excellence category for luxury hotels is The Light House. Tucked away in Paarl, this luxurious hotel offers a sumptuous environment where your every need is catered for by the highly attentive staff. Montagu and Franschhoek establishments submitted entries in the entrepreneurship category. Flying Feet in Montagu offers walking and bicycle tours designed to fascinate visitors of all ages, and for the more adventurous there is the late-evening ghost tour.
The fairly new business Tuk Tuk Franschhoek is situated in front of the big church in Main Road and offers tours, pick-ups and drop-offs at various wine cellars, and many special events that will make your stay in the area a treat.
Visit the Cape Winelands, join us for a summer evening ghost tour, historic walking tour, a run in the mountains or a romantic getaway.
To ensure everything goes smoothly with your visit, please access the new app, or if you feel like a little surf around our magical area, click on the various tourism offices’ webpages for the latest news and reviews.