There’s no reason to argue: the Mother City possesses a whole lot of beauty. And while her natural flair and allure attract visitors from near and far, I get on the edge of my seat with excitement when I can venture out and go on day trips from Cape Town to discover the uniqueness of the small towns nearby.
The Western Cape has “unique” written in bold all over its 130 000 km² face; from the winelands to the magic of the Overberg, from the Tankwa-silence, the Karoo’s arid heart and the Garden Route’s serenity, from the bokkoms and veld flowers of the West Coast, to the highs of the Cederberg and the freezing lows of Sutherland.
So much beauty.
I often wonder if we, South Africans, truly grasp just how intensely diverse, picturesque, take-my-breath-away-while-my-jaw-drops-to-the-floor beautiful this place is we call home?
So much beauty.
And it is no wonder that Cape Town has won title after title for being one of the top cities in the world.
But the beauty doesn’t stop there.
While some of the Western Cape’s uniqueness requires an overnight stay, other towns are in close proximity to the city; perfect to be explored on a day trip, or, if you’re keen on more, multiple day trips from Cape Town.
As much as I love a road trip, I’m really bad with packing and unpacking (I always lose things). Every now and then it is great to find yourself a base, book your accommodation in Cape Town, venture out, explore and return to your home away from home where there is no need to pack until the day of your departure.
For a guest house or hotel in Cape Town, visit SA-Venues.com where you can choose from 3436 Cape Town accommodation establishments ranging from budget-friendly to luxury at its best. The search facility is easy to use, you don’t pay any booking fees and there are multiple payment methods.
5 Day Trips from Cape Town
Wave Table Mountain adieu because here are 5 ideas for day trips from Cape Town, but sjoe, there are so much more…
Darling is like a fine wine; a soft yet crisp experience on the West Coast, best enjoyed with good company, at a slow speed, with an explorer’s undertone and a good balance of fun and laughter all together with a blend of uniquely South African.
Good things take time and like a glass of well-aged red, the picturesque town of Darling transformed from an 18th century farming community into the Darling we are familiar with today: a boutique cellar with a collection of some of the West Coasts finest festivals, performances, art, landscapes, wine, beer, food and activities.
Round-trip distance (from the city of Cape Town): + 150 km.
Don’t miss: Evita se Perron.
If you speak the language of wine and food, allow the taste of Franschoek to linger awhile on your palate. The small town with its architecture from yesteryear, its vintage cars in the Motor Museum and centuries-old vineyards against backdrop of take-my-breath-away-while-my-jaw-drops-to-the-floor mountains, is known as the Culinary Capital of South Africa. And it is paired with some of the finest wines, including real French bubbly, Cap Classique.
There is no doubt that with all the liquid grapes it will be your best bet to push your car keys aside. And it could not be easier. Cape Comoot offers a R99 shuttle service from Cape Town to Franschoek and once you’re in Franschoek you can get on the Wine Tram. The Wine Tram is a hop-on hop-off experience that allows you to journey through the vineyards, stop for lunch, do a cellar tour or have a wine-tasting.
Round-trip distance (from the city of Cape Town): + 170 km.
Don’t miss: To opportunity to hop-on.
While a trip to Citrusdal might ask you to set that alarm clock for the early morning hours, the two hour trip on the N7 is worth the distance.
Citrusdal, the gateway to the Cederberg Mountains, is a farming district surrounded by rugged beauty. Here it is not about comparing apples and oranges,but it is all about growing rooibos and oranges.
Did you know that the narrow 60 000 hectare belt along the West Coast of South Africa is the only spot in the world where rooibos tea can be grown? How unique! Carmien Tea is one of the producers in the area; they offer a whole range of teas, from flavoured teas with a mocha hint to more traditional and proudly South African ones like, Buchu and Rooibos. There are also farm tours available where you can experience the whole rooibos process from crop to cup.
Round-trip distance (from the city of Cape Town): + 350 km.
Don’t miss: A Carmien Tea Experience.
4. Cape Point
If you want to visit the spot where the two oceans meet then move along, it is not at Cape Point. But if you want to visit a Natural World Heritage Sight with sheer cliffs dipping its roots into the Atlantic, or if you want to be in awe of rugged rocks and False Bay views, see fynbos for days, go on a hiking trail and put on the explorer’s hat and get all Da Gama and Bartolomeu Dias for a day, then don’t move along.
Cape Point has plenty to offer for visitors; if you want an easy day then take the Flying Dutchman Funicular to the viewing point and spot whales from June to October, shop for Cape Point mementos and have a bite at the Two Oceans restaurant. But if you want to get back to Cape Town completely exhausted (yet satisfied), then go kayaking, mountain biking, bird watching, have a swim at a tidal pool, go on a picnic, see the Cape mountain zebra and walk the Shipwreck trail.
Round-trip distance (from the city of Cape Town): + 140 km.
Don’t miss: The legendary ghost ship…
5. Kleinmond/Betty’s Bay/Pringle Bay/Rooiels
Clarence Drive is reason enough to venture out on a day trip; it might as well be the synonym for scenic, and according to some it is the world’s most scenic drive. It is hard to argue with that.
Coming from Cape Town, the drive rewards you with the Hangklip Coast which includes towns like Kleinmond, Betty’s Bay, Hangklip, Pringle Bay and Rooiels, all situated in the magical Overberg where sunsets turn into beautiful everlasting memories, where fynbos-covered slopes tickle reflection and where pristine beaches beg you to slow down and take it all in.
Round-trip distance (from the city of Cape Town): + 190 km.
Don’t miss: Stony Point Penguin Colony.
5 Day Trips from Cape Town to places I haven’t been to yet
But wait, there’s more!
Here are some spots I haven’t visited yet, but would love to explore.
3) Bain’s Kloof
4) Kogelberg Nature Reserve
Have you explored these spots?
This blog post was sponsored by SA-Venues.com, but as always, all opinions and views expressed are my own.