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The Western Cape Travel Guide

Take It All In

3 Days: You could devote a couple of days to touring the wineries, spending perhaps one day visiting Stellenbosch-area wineries such as Simonsig and Villiera, and another day around Franschhoek or Paarl. Consider breaking up your wine touring with horseback riding at one of the vineyards and a night in Franschhoek. A third day could be devoted to a long, scenic route back to Cape Town after lunch at one of Franschhoek's many good restaurants. Another option is to spend the first day wine tasting, and then drive over Sir Lowry's Pass through Elgin and on to Greyton, where you can wander around the village and visit the Moravian Mission complex in Genadendal. The last morning of your stay could be spent in Greyton before you head back to Cape Town via the coastal road, Clarence Drive, that passes Kleinmond, Betty's Bay, Pringle Bay, and Gordon's Bay.

5 Days: With five days, you can work in time to see the Winelands as well as Clanwilliam, at the edge of the Cederberg. (The drive to the Clanwilliam area will take you through the Swartland and the beginning of the wildflower route, which is best in spring.) If nature beckons, head into the Cederberg, where you can easily spend two nights in some of the country's most spectacular scenery. You can hike, swim in crystal-clear rock pools, and admire ancient San rock art. You could also combine a trip to the Winelands or Cederberg with a visit to the coast's Langebaan and the West Coast National Park, where the birding is exceptional.

7 Days: A week would allow you to comfortably visit the Winelands, Cederberg, and the coast. You could spend a few days in the Cederberg and then head through Riebeek Kasteel and Wellington and on to the Winelands towns of Paarl, Stellenbosch, and Franschhoek, where you can linger for the next two or three days. You could easily spend your last days in the beautiful Franschhoek valley. Or you could take a scenic back route on the R45 and then the R321 into the Overberg. You could spend a couple of days exploring the coast, overnighting in Hermanus or Arniston. If it's winter, watch whales, and if you're not sick of wine by this point, sample some of the Overberg wines. Drive back to Cape Town via the spectacular coastal road of Clarence Drive.

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