According to Trivial Pursuit the word ‘Stellenbosch’ means “to relegate an incompetent person to a place where he can’t do any harm” – probably how the platteland folks feel when they pack their kids off to the town’s university. Stellenbosch (50km from Cape Town) also means ‘undisputed heartbeat of the Cape winelands’. Not only is she South Africa’s second oldest town but also one of the prettiest, boasting a rich cultural and architectural heritage, shady oak-lined avenues, great wine farms and good restaurants, all capped by striking mountain scenery. Problem is, the town doesn’t have much in the way of cheap accommodation.
Things To Do
- Stellenbosch seeps with rich heritage. The town is made for Sunday strolling – the rest of the week is a bit hectic. Dorp Street is the oldest in town, with a higher concentration of historical monuments than any other street in the country. Oom Samie se Winkel is at one end – Stellenbosch’s oldest surviving trading store and still going strong.
- Join a guided walk of the town centre and get the low-down on three centuries of turbulent history. Alternatively, pick up a Discover Stellenbosch on Foot brochure from the tourism office (36 Market St) and do your own thing.
- Jonkershoek, incorporating the Assegaai Nature Reserve, counts among the country’s most beautiful valleys. The setting is one of pine plantations, scented fynbos and fern-lined kloofs punctuated by a towering wall of rock and the Jonkershoek Twins. Mountain biking in the plantation and several mapped hikes are available with permit.
- Stellenbosch is dotted with restaurants, coffee shops and student watering holes suited to a range of budget, palate and social temperament. There is also plenty of cultural opportunity, with art galleries and live music and theatre over weekends.
- Do the Stellenbosch wine route. With around 70 estates and co-ops the choice is daunting, but fortunately not all are open to the public. Perhaps go for the smaller estates, which cater less to tour buses and more to personal service. Though getting more commercial by the day, Spier is a popular venue with a heaped portion of side attractions.
Enveloped by the Stellenbosch and Helderberg ranges, Languedoc is a lifestyle farm with a warm, homespun feel. You have a choice of two very elegant units: the Garden Suite (sleeps 2) and the Paddock...
You'll find Avenues Guest Lodge in the heart of Stellenbosch, along its jacaranda–lined streets. This lovingly restored nineteenth-century home with its wooden floors and simple, yet tasteful f...
A restored Victorian home in the historic hub of gorgeous Stellenbosch, Victoria House will appeal to anyone hankering after tradition and cosy old world charm. The three bedrooms (two ensuite) are s...
A leisurely breakfast at a cozy cafe, chased by an afternoon of wine and chocolate pairing and a quick visit to a quaint art gallery, before sundowners and dinner with a few friends. Your type of day?...
Where You'll Also Find Us
Addo • Arniston (Waenhuiskrans) • Aurora • Barberton • Barrydale • Baviaanskloof • Bela Bela • Bergville & Northern Drakensberg • Betty's Bay • Bonnievale • Bredasdorp • Bronkhorstspruit • Caledon • Calitzdorp • Calvinia • Cape Agulhas & Struisbaai • Cape Peninsula & Surrounds • Cape St Francis & St Francis Bay • Ceres • Citrusdal • Clanwilliam & Cederberg • Clarens • Colesberg • Darling • De Rust • Dullstroom • East London • Elands Bay • Franschhoek • Gansbaai • George • Graaff-Reinet • Grabouw & Elgin Valley • Grahamstown • Greyton • Hazyview • Hermanus • Hogsback • Jeffreys Bay • Jozi and Surrounds • Kaapsehoop • Knysna • Ladismith • Ladybrand • Laingsburg • Lamberts Bay • Langebaan • Magaliesberg • Magoebaskloof & Haenertsburg • Malgas • Marloth Park • Matjiesfontein • McGregor • Montagu • Mossel Bay • Mtunzini • Napier • Nature's Valley • Nelspruit • Nieu-Bethesda • Oudtshoorn • Paarl • Paternoster • Philippolis • Piketberg • Plettenberg Bay • Port Alfred • Port Elizabeth • Porterville • Prince Albert • Pringle Bay, Betty's Bay and Kleinmond • Rhodes • Riebeek West & Riebeek-Kasteel • Riversdale • Robertson • Rustenburg • Sabie • Sedgefield • St Helena Bay • Stanford • Stellenbosch • Stilbaai • Storms River Mouth & Tsitsikamma • Sutherland • Swellendam • Thabazimbi • Tulbagh • Underberg & Southern Drakensberg • Uniondale • Vaalwater & Waterberg • Van Wyksdorp • Velddrif • Vermaaklikheid • Victoria Bay • Wakkerstroom • Wellington • Wild Coast • Wilderness • Winterton & Central Drakensberg • Witsand • Worcester & Hex Valley • Yzerfontein •