Quick Facts: Stellenbosch
- In proximity to Franschhoek, Paarl and Wellington
- Many quaint hotels, B&B's and Guest Houses can be found here
- University of Stellenbosch
- Founded by the Governor of the Cape Colony, Simon van der Stel in 1679
- Home to the oldest girls school in South Africa, which is the “Rhenish Girls' High School, ” established in 1860
- Museums and galleries
- Many award-winning wine estates can be found here
- Amphitheatres Oude Libertas, Spier
- Bike Rides Bikes Wines, DelVera (Dirtopia Trail Centre)
- Bird Watching Alluvia, Delheim, Devonvale, Hartenberg Estate, Hidden Valley, Knorhoek, Mount Rozier, Spier
- Brandy Avontuur, Bellevue, Bergkelder, Kaapzicht, Louiesenhof, Spier, Tokara, Uitkyk, Van Rhyn
- Carriage Rides at the Blaauwklippen Wine Estate
- Cheese Making at the Lourensford and Zevenwacht Wine Estates
- Cheese Platters Clos Malverne, Delheim, Ernie Els, Fort Simon, Hartenberg Estate, Hoopenburg, Jordan, Kanonkop, Ken Forrester, Lourensford Winery, Muratie, Overgaauw, Peter Falke, Saxenburg, Spier
- Children’s facilities: Avontuur, Beyerskloof, Bilton, Blaauwklippen, DelVera (Simonsberg Café & Mama Joan’s Farm Kitchen), Dombeya, Dornier, Eaglevlei, Eikendal, Hartenberg, Hazendal, Hoopenburg, Kanonkop, Le Bonheur, Le Pommier, Middelvlei, Morgenhof, Skilpadvlei, Somerbosch, Spier, Vergelegen, Vredenheim, Warwick, Zevenwacht, Zorgvliet
- Coffee: Beyerskloof, De Meyer, Lourensford, Muratie
- Fly-fishing: Alluvia, Eikendal, Jordan, Ridgemor
- Frozen Yogurt: Beyerskloof
- Game Drives: Villiers, Vredenheim
- Grape Juice: Bellevue, Devonvale, Kaapzicht, Koelenhof, L’Avenir, Morgenhof, Skilpadvlei, Vredenheim
- Grappa: Dalla Cia, De Toren, Kaapzicht
- Honey: Delheim, Jordan, Ken Forrester, Simonsig
- Horse Riding: Mount Rozier, Onderkloof, Overgaauw, Spier
- Lavender Oil: De Meyer
- Nougat & Wine Tasting: Lourensford, J.C. le Roux
- Nuts & Wine Tasting: Stellenbosch Hills
- Olives: Delheim, DelVera (Christina's Olives), Hidden Valley, Kaapzicht, Koopmanskloof, L ’Avenir, Louiesenhof, Mooiplaas, Morgenstern, Mount Rozier, Remhoogte, Simonsig, Tokara, Yonder Hill
- Olive Marmalade" Muratie
- Olive Oil: Asara, Beyerskloof, Camberley, Delheim, Hidden Valley, Kaapzicht, Koopmanskloof, L ’Avenir, Louiesenhof, Mooiplaas, Morgenstern, Muratie, Remhoogte, Lomond Vineyards, Saxenburg, Simonsig, Tokara, Yonder Hill
- Quad bikes: Ridgemor
- Salami: Beyerskloof
- Spa’s: Alluvia, Clos Malverne, Lanzerac Wine Estate / Lanzerac Hotel & Spa, Spier, Zorgvliet
- Sparkling Wine & Sorbet: J.C. Le Roux
- Walking /Hiking Trail Amani, Beau Joubert, Bilton, Bein, DelVera (Dirtopia Trail Centre), De Toren, Hartenberg Estate, Mooiplaas, Mount Rozier, Onderkloof, Sylvanvale, Walks for Wine
- Wine & Chocolate Experience: Bilton, Waterford, Zevenwacht
- Wine & Biltong Experience: Stellenbosch Hills
- Wine & Ice Cream: Somerbosch
- Wine Drive: Warwick, Waterford
Distance to Airport: 38 km
Distance to City: 54 km
The historic town of Stellenbosch offers a feast of period architecture garnished with rows of ancient oak trees. South Africa’s second oldest city and sites such as d'Ouwe Werf Hotel or River Manor Boutique Hotel and Spa have retained the grace and charm of a long gone era. Wine lovers have been following the Stellenbosch wine route since 1971, making it the oldest way in the country.
Today, wine of origin Stellenbosch encompasses a massive area with more than 148 wine farms that blanket the surrounding mountains and valleys. This vast network has been divided into five sub-routes that fan out north of Stellenbosch towards the N1; south towards Somerset West; east into the Simonsberg and Stellenboschberg mountains; and west towards Cape Town.
The Cape Winelands town of Stellenbosch in South Africa has the oldest wine route and is one of the prettiest villages surrounded by spectacular mountains. Stellenbosch is situated 55km east of Cape Town and 28km from the Cape Town International Airport. This picturesque city in the Cape Winelands is a very popular destination for both local and international tourists. The climate and soil in this region of South Africa are ideal for grape growing and is home to more than 60 wine estates. Stellenbosch is the leading centre for viticulture and viticultural research. Stellenbosch was founded by the Governor of the Cape Colony, Simon van der Stel in 1679.
It was the second settlement after Cape Town and became an independent local authority in 1682. Sometimes it is referred to as Eikestad or “town of Oaks” with its beautiful oak-lined streets. Many of these trees were planted by van der Stel still lines the historic Dorp Street. Initially, Stellenbosch was established to produce fruit and vegetables and later vines.
The town of Stellenbosch nestles on the banks of the Eerste River Valley. The area is rich in history and contains many finely preserved examples of Cape Dutch style architecture. There are some historical buildings dating from the early 1700’s many of which have been restored. Walking through the streets one can almost feel its history. It is also a University town, the University of Stellenbosch with its 19th-century buildings and bustling with students during term time. Stellenbosch is also home to the oldest girls school in South Africa which is the “Rhenish Girls’ High School” established in 1860. It also houses the oldest music school “Stellenbosch Conservatoire”.
Weather in Stellenbosch, Western Cape (South Africa)
Summers in Stellenbosch are dry and warm to hot, with some February and March days rising to over 30°Celcius. Winters in the Cape Winelands are cool, rainy and sometimes quite windy, with daytime temperatures averaging 16°C. Snow is usually seen a couple of times in winter on the surrounding mountains. Spring and autumn are shoulder seasons and daytime temperatures hover in the 20°C’s.
Wine in and near Stellenbosch in the Cape Winelands (South Africa)
The Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek valleys form the Cape Winelands in South Africa. The South African wine industry produces about 1,000,000,000 litres of wine annually. The Stellenbosch wine route, arguably the country’s most famous, was established in 1971 by Frans Malan from Simonsig, Spatz Sperling from Delheim and Neil Joubert from Spier, has become a world-renowned and popular tourist destination in South Africa.
Attractions in and in proximity to Stellenbosch, Western Cape (South Africa)
There are many museums and galleries housing important national and international art collections in Stellenbosch. It is recommended to experience Stellenbosch on foot to hear the numerous fables and tales of this historic town. Visitors may enjoy the full moon and sunset hikes at the Dirtopia Trail Centre or a leisurely stroll along the vineyard trail through a Renosterveld Conservancy and yellowwood forest.
Other attractions which are in proximity to Stellenbosch for children are the Tygerberg Zoo, Butterfly World, the Drakenstein Lion Park, The Giraffe House animal sanctuary, Le Bonheur Crocodile Farm and the Cheetah Outreach program at Spier. During the summer months, one can pick their strawberries at the Mooiberge Strawbery Farm or the Polkadraai Farm Stall.
Sports options in Stellenbosch
Stellenbosch provides visitors with a choice of 3 top golf courses in town with a further eight golf courses within 25 minutes drive. Many hiking trails are available which make for unforgettable day trips. Trails are available at Amani, Beau Joubert, Bilton, Bein, De Toren, Hartenberg Estate, Mount Rozier and Sylvanvale.
Wine Estates in and around Stellenbosch, Cape Winelands (South Africa)
Many internationally well-known wine estates are located in and around Stellenbosch. Most wine estates provide accommodation, restaurants, wine tasting and cellar tours in a magnificent setting. The Villiera Wine Estate, for example, is a wine farm and has a 175-hectare wildlife sanctuary, with a vibrant birdlife plus varieties of Buck, foxes and caracal.
Guests are welcome to enjoy a wine tasting before experiencing a 2-hour game drive for which bookings are essential. The Blaauwklippen Wine Estate, Stellenbosch, nestles beautifully under branches of the wild fig trees offering carriage rides through the vineyards. The Eikendal Wine Estate, which is situated on the R44 route between Stellenbosch and Somerset West, invites visitors to relax in the lush gardens under the pine and oak trees.
Delaire Wine Estate
It comes as no surprise that this jewel of a wine farm is owned by leading diamond expert Laurence Graff. Perched on Helshoogte Mountain Pass, the views from Delaire are breathtaking. And Graff’s contemporary South African art collection is equally dazzling – think landscaped gardens studded with sculptures by Dylan Lewis and walls adorned with artworks by William Kentridge, Sydney Kumalo and Deborah Bell, to name just a few.
Hidden Valley Wine Estate
Hidden Valley has embraced biodiversity and conservation in various aspects of its agriculture – from soil preparation to water recycling. In addition to wines, the farm produces a range of olive products. Wines can be enjoyed during a meal at their award-winning restaurant, Overture, or in a beautifully designed wine tasting centre overlooking rolling vineyards and mountains.
Muratie Wine Estate
In 1658, when a piece of land at the foot of the Simonsberg mountains was given to Lourens Campher, a young soldier in the service of the Dutch East India Company, the story of Muratie was born. From the picturesque buildings and gardens to the names of the wines, Muratie resonates with historic charm. And if you’re a lover of Shiraz, their Ronnie Melck Shiraz is as good as it gets.
Spier Wine Estate
Spier has grown beyond a wine estate into a modern entertainment destination on the outskirts of Stellenbosch. Not only can you taste the complete collection of wines produced on the estate, but you can also touch cheetahs and birds of prey, browse art and crafts and explore the massive grounds with a picnic assembled in the Spier Deli. In fact, with so many activities on offer, you may want to spend the night here at Spier Village.
Vergelegen Wine Estate
This much-adored, historic estate is situated on the Helderberg route near Somerset West – a perfect choice should you be staying at Straightway Head Country Hotel or Erinvale Estate, both a short drive away. Vergelegen was established by the governor of the Cape, Willem Adriaan van der Stel, between 1700 and 1706. Three centuries later visitors can explore his gracious homestead, ancient camphor trees (proclaimed National Monuments) and exquisite grounds before tasting a collection of award winning wines.
Waterford Wine Estate
On the doorstep of Stellenbosch, nestled in the Blaauwklippen Valley, lies the chateaux style residence of Waterford. Set in magnificent gardens permeated with the aroma of lavender, this is a comfortable space to enjoy free wine tastings. Chocolate lovers will adore their wine and chocolate tasting experience where hand-made chocolates are imaginatively paired with a selection of red wines.