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Shelley Phillips
Shelley Phillips Africa Travel Specialist
"It’s so hard to choose just a couple of places in South Africa, but for me beach time at Plettenberg Bay and a safari in Sabi Sand top my list."

Whales & Winelands Holidays

The scenic landscapes of the Winelands are a short drive from Cape Town. They can be explored on a day out, taking lunch at one of the famous wine estates; but many people prefer to savour the experience and prolong their stay. Alternatively, drive about 90 minutes to the east of Cape Town and you reach South Africa’s Whale Route, where Southern Right whales migrate from Antarctica each year between July and November

The Winelands

There is no shortage of outstanding boutique hotels and luxury guesthouses in the region.The most important Wineland towns are Stellenbosch, a living museum of Cape Dutch architecture, Paarl and charming Franschhoek, settled by French Huguenots in 1688, and surrounded by mountains on three sides with vineyards down every other back street.

The Whale Route

The Southern Right whales migrate from Antarctica to the waters off Hermanus each year between July and November. They calve in the sheltered bays of the east coast and Hermanus is one of the most accessible places in the world for land-based whalewatching. Whales breach, lobtail and engage in courtship rituals – often as close as 30 metres from the shore. There is magnificent coastal scenery, sandy beaches and wonderful displays of wild flowers in spring.

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Locations within Whales & Winelands

Franschhoek is a village in valley surrounded by mountains on three sides, with vineyards down every other back street. The Dutch East India Company gave this valley to a group of around 200 French Huguenots who fled to South Africa to escape persecution in the 17th century.They made themselves at...
Montagu & Swellendam
Montagu and Swellendam are historic towns to the east of the winelands in an area known as the ‘Overberg’, literally ‘over the mountain’. These days, the Hugenot tunnel on the N1 offers a faster route through the mountains to the east of Cape Town. On the other side lies a...
As a village, Paarl is the least picturesque of the three.  Occupying an important trade route along the river valley, Paarl is strung out along the valley and has always been a centre of industry.  At the time of the gold-rush, it was the centre of the cart-building industry – you...
Stellenbosch looks like a perfect replica of a 17th century Cape Dutch town, but in fact it’s mostly the real thing. Many parts date from the town’s foundation about 300 years old: the oak trees lining the avenues, the village green, and many of the Cape Dutch buildings. Others are...
The Whale Route
The small fishing village of Hermanus, two hours east of Cape Town, is one of the most accessible places in the world for land-based whale-watching. Each year, between June and November, the Southern Right whale migrates from the cold waters of the Antarctic to calf and mate in the warmer, more...

Some of Our Whales & Winelands Holiday Ideas

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