Tulbagh (100km from Cape Town) comprises two main parallel roads, one an architectural pleasure, the other a sunbaked stretch of buildings plying a dusty commercial trade. The town’s pride and joy is historic Church Street and the long, moody valley – an alternating slideshow of foaming spring blossom, crimson autumn rust and mountains topped with swirls of winter cream. Church Street has the greatest concentration of national monuments in the country (32); most of these were virtually flattened by a devastating earthquake in 1969, but thanks to an impressive restoration effort all are back on their feet and doing a steady trade with local and overseas tourists.
Things To Do
- Strolling down historic Church Street is the standard introduction to Tulbagh. The street is a concentration of Cape Dutch and Victorian architecture, beautifully restored after the 1969 earthquake pegged 6.4 on the Richter scale.
- The village is enclosed on three sides by mountains – the Obiqua, Winterhoek and Witzenberg. This translates into good hiking, cycling, horseriding and scenic drives. A walking and cycling map, as well as permits for these activities can be collected from the tourism office on Church Street.
- There are a number of wine cellars in the immediate area, including one or two new boutique cellars. TweeJonge Gezellen and old faithful Drostdyhof are the better-known estates, while Manley Wine Cellar and Saronsberg are among the new contenders. Most are open for tastings during the week and Saturday morning.
- Tulbagh has several coffee shops and dinner options, which tend to come and go with the weather. As there are none of the usual fast-food outlets, we joined the blue-overalled locals at the Vis Paleis for hake/barbel wrapped in brown paper – the name alone deserved a visit.
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Where You'll Also Find Us
Arniston (Waenhuiskrans) • Barrydale • Baviaanskloof • Betty's Bay • Bonnievale • Bredasdorp • Caledon • Calitzdorp • Cape Agulhas & Struisbaai • Cape Peninsula & Surrounds • Cape St Francis & St Francis Bay • Ceres • Citrusdal • Clanwilliam & Cederberg • Colesberg • Darling • De Rust • Elands Bay • Gansbaai • George • Grabouw & Elgin Valley • Greyton • Hermanus • Hogsback • Jozi and Surrounds • Knysna • Ladismith • Malgas • Matjiesfontein • McGregor • Montagu • Mossel Bay • Napier • Oudtshoorn • Paarl • Plettenberg Bay • Port Elizabeth • Porterville • Pringle Bay, Betty's Bay and Kleinmond • Riebeek West & Riebeek-Kasteel • Robertson • Rustenburg • St Helena Bay • Stanford • Stilbaai • Sutherland • Swellendam • Tulbagh • Velddrif • Vermaaklikheid • Wellington • Wilderness • Worcester & Hex Valley • Yzerfontein