A taste of Africa: wine & whales in the Overberg

Many travellers driving from the Garden Route to Cape Town tend to overlook the Cape Overberg. It is a beaitiful area with some lesser known -but very charming- villages. We advise you to leave the beaten track for a couple of days and follow our self-drive itinerary taking you to winefarms and some of the most spectacular ocean views you might have ever seen. It is a route showing you historic architecture, real South African country life, stunning wine esates and some of South Africa's best restaurants. In five days time you visit the gourmet capital if South Africa and the surrounding winelands. You will also visit the Cape's southern coast and stay in a cosy seaside town where -during whale season (July to November)- you can be certain to see a whole lot of these gentle giants.

Tour duration: 5 days, 4 nights

Price: From £ 474 per person (high), from £ 449 per person (low) for two adults sharing

Best time to visit: All year round (whale season from Juli to November)

Day 1: Swellendam - Hermanus

hermanus luxury hotel

After your visit to the Garden Route the journey continues across the Overberg in the direction of Cape Town. You'll pass many endless rolling wheat fields that provide some beautiful views. At the small village of Botrivier you turn off the motorway towards the coastal town of Hermanus. Getting closer to the vollage the Indian Ocean comes into view, a promising sight. The guest house offers panoramic sea views throughout the building. Each room on the first floor has a private balcony from where you can enjoy perfect sunsets. All rooms are equipped with an electronic safe, satellite television, coffee/tea making facilities and heater for colder days. A delicious breakfast outside on the terrace is included. (Driving distance 87 miles)

Hotel name: Oceans Eleven Hotel style: coastal delight

Day 2: Hermanus

hermanus hotel

Today you have the opportunity to explore Hermanus and surroundings. Maybe you are very lucky, as whales may even get very close to the guest house where you'll be staying. Southern right whales visit the bay of Hermanus every year from late July to November. Female whales arrive first, they venture into the calm waters to nurse their young whale calves. In October the population is at its peak as the male whales come in and pick up their females and youngsters for the long journey back. The whales come very close to the coastline, sometimes up to only twenty meters. You can almost touch them so to speak. When staying in Hermanus during these months it is very unlikely thay you will leave town without some great pictures of the southern right whale. Visiting Hermanus off whale season? Don't worry, there's plenty to see and do. There are quite a few wonderful beaches that are lovely for walking or just relaxing. Thrillseekers will be very excited with the opportunity to go in nearby Gansbaai. This is one of the very few places in the world where you can swim among great white sharks - protected by a cage fortunately.

Hotel name: Oceans Eleven Hotel style: coastal delight

Day 3: Hermanus - Franschhoek

south africa whale

Today is just a short drive in the direction of Cape Twon. We recommend avoidin the motorway, but rather choose for the much more beautiful route along the coast. En route you pass some sleep seaside resort towns, after which the roads winds along steep cliffs and the Indian Ocean on the other side. Franschhoek is a small village in the middle if a fairytale like valley. The village gained a lot in popularity over the last few years, mainly due to the culinary boom that took place in Franschhoek. A repectable number of world class restaurants -many of which are award winning- can be found here. Franschhoek is also part of the so called "wine triangle", made up by Paarl, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. This is the place to combine good food with some delicious wines. You'll be staying just outside the village, in a hotel surrounded by vineyards. The whole setup of the hotel creates a true country feelig. Comfortable rooms are equipped with airconditioning, mini-bar, coffee/tea making facilities and private outdoor patio. (Driving distance 100 miles)

Hotel name: Franschhoek Country House Hotel style: classic country chic

Day 4: Franschhoek

wine estate south africa

Today is the day to enjoy all that the Cape Winelands have to offer. There's a lot to see and do in the area, so make sure to start early today. A good idea is to start with a visit to the Huguenot Museum in Franschhoek at the end of the main road. Naturally, visiting one or more wine estates is not to be missed when staying in Franschhoek. We recommend driving in the direction of Stellenbosch via the Helshoogte Pass. On your way you'll pass many large and small wineries, all of which have something different to offer. As such we suggest you enquire at the reception of Franschhoek Country House which estates would be best for your particular taste before you leave, they happily provide some great choices. Our favourite estates include Kanonkop Estate, Bosch en Dal, Blaauwklippen and Waterford. Back in Franschhoek your toughest decision is yet to be made: with a choice from more than 31 restaurants this might prove not the easiest task! We happily advise you to go have yourself surprised at the "Topsi & Company" restaurant, just off the main road.

Hotel name: Franschhoek Country House Hotel style: classic country chic

Day 5: Franschhoek - Cape Town

accommodation hotel franschhoek

After breakfast, your Cape Winelands tour continues to Cape Town, a driving time of about one and a half hours. En route there's still plenty of time to stop at one of the many wine farms that you might have missed the day before. If you arrive in Cape Town early afternoon, then there is the opportunity to go explore the city centre already.

Please see "Discovering Cape Town. Chic!" for our connecting luxury travel module. Are you travelling in the other direction? Your luxury South Africa holiday can then be extended by following our Garden Route itinerary, please see "Garden Route essentials". (Driving distance 50 miles)

You can request a quote for this South Africa luxury travel module by completing a quote request form. For more travel options see our luxury South Africa modules overview.

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Included: bed & breakfast

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