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Grabouw & Elgin Valley

Western Cape

70km from Cape Town

Grabouw & Elgin Valley Snapshot

First stop coming over Sir Lowry's Pass, Grabouw is a small commercial hub offering little more than dusty streets and drab shop windows. As such there's much to recommend the dorp itself. In marked contrast, the surrounding countryside, a dense collage of fynbos and pine-clad mountains lying heavy under the sweet smell of apples, is immensely appealing. The picturesque Elgin Valley, Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve and Theewaterskloof Dam near Villiersdorp, are among the weekend attractions.

Things To Do

  • Sitting just above the town, Grabouw Plantation is a mecca for mountain bikers and hikers alike. Plantation roads, bursts of single track, marked trails, beautiful views and rock pools, offer a varied experience. Permits are required to enter the plantation and can be purchased at the adjacent Country Club, which is also good for after-action-satisfaction.
  • The Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve is a massive swathe of wild mountainous terrain filling the triangle between Grabouw, Franschhoek and Stellenbosch. Several day and overnight hiking trails, kloofing and a 4x4 trail are up for grabs. Entry to the reserve is via Nuweberg, along Viljoen's Pass between Grabouw and Villiersdorp. 
  • On the far side of the scenic Viljoens Pass to Villiersdorp, Theewaterskloof Dam (among the largest in SA), offers the usual medley of watersports and freshwater fishing.
  • In our view, prize for best meal and coffee in town goes to the Houw Hoek Farmstall, found along the N2, opposite the historic Houw Hoek Inn. Darting across the road, The Inn offers both day and evening meals. Closer to Grabouw and Elgin, the Peregrine Farmstall is friendly and packed to the rafters with wholesome goodies and country smells, while Grabouw itself is yet to shine on the culinary stakes.
  • Grabouw, Elgin and their surrounds provide a useful base to the winelands and restaurants of Franschhoek as well as the coastal spots between Gordon's Bay and Hermanus. All are linked by impressive passes and picturesque scenery - Viljoens Pass, Franschhoek Pass, Van Der Stel Pass and the coastal road between Gordon's Bay to Kleinmond, to mention a few enjoyable day drives.
Getaways in and around Grabouw & Elgin Valley
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UnderHill Farm

Grabouw & Elgin Valley, Western Cape

Smallholding with a farmhouse and three cottages set under oak trees next to a stream - 27km from Grabouw (and 17km from Villiersdorp and Botrivier)

An easy-to-reach bolthole from the Mother City, UnderHill Farm offers a soothing setting under giant oak trees and a poplar-lined river bank. Totally off-grid and solar-powered, the farm lies just of...