Average read time: 5 minutes.
If you’re traveling up the beautiful West Coast this festive season, we have the ultimate list of stopovers to enjoy along the way. After all, it’s always good to have options when the ‘are we there yet?’ chorus starts… Here you go!
Situated on an 850-hectare nature reserve 70 kilometers north of Cape Town, !Khwa ttu is a San culture and education center that teaches visitors all about the fascinating San people in an entertaining and interactive way.
Here, you can learn about one of the last hunter-gatherer societies left on earth, their ancient way of life, languages, and a whole lot more in a space where the San tell their own story in their own words.
This thriving tourism destination encompasses a bustling restaurant, inviting guest houses, open-air tented camps, epic mountain bike trails, as well as a shop selling hand-crafted gifts. There are also tours by San guides, which are priced at R160 per person and take approximately 45 minutes.
This includes everything from tea tastings and sessions on tracking, to stories and recollections on the first encounters with Europeans, and the way of the San. These tours can be booked at reception and start every hour on the hour, from 9am until 4pm. Groups of 10 or more are advised to pre-book their tours.
Visitors who prefer to experience the museum at their own pace can do so at R80 per person, with the help of a self-guided map, available at reception. There are also a variety of self-guided running, hiking, and biking trails to enjoy. It’s BYOB – bring your own bike. Accommodation is best booked in advance.
Please note that !Khwa ttu will be closed on Christmas Day and the 1st of January 2022.
Darling Brew is one of the most recognisable and highly acclaimed craft beer brands in South Africa, having recently earned the title of Best Local Craft Beer at the 2021 Kfm Best of the Cape awards.
Their DB Tasteroom in the West Coast hamlet of Darling is an ideal spot for a beer tasting, and a great meal in a convivial, family-friendly atmosphere. If you want to sit down for a meal, bookings are recommended over the holidays (it gets busy!) but there are also snacks and merch you can buy on the go – apart from the amazing beer of course!
Please note that the Darling Brew Tasteroom will be closed on Christmas Day and 26th of December and will open at 10am on 1st of January 2022.
West Coast Fossil Park
Take a guided tour to a fossil dig site and travel back in time to 5 million years ago and learn about the rich history of the West Coast Fossil Park when the West was still very, very wild. See the fossils of bears, saber-tooth cats, short-necked giraffes, and the many other animals that roamed here millions of years ago …
Located near West Coast National Park, West Coast Fossil Park is open from 9am until 3pm Tuesday to Sunday, with guided tours departing at 11am, 12:30 and 2pm each day. Admission to the museum starts at R50 per person, and guided tours are R100 per person. See the full rates card here. These tickets can be pre-booked.
There are also BYOB cycling trails and walking trails available on the premises if you feel like stretching your legs in a stunning location.
Please note that West Coast Fossil Park will be closed on Christmas Day and the 1st of January 2022.
De Tol Farm Deli
De Tol Farm Deli is located on the picturesque Piekenierskloof pass, along the N7, near Citrusdal – the ideal place to stop for lunch en route to many beautiful seaside destinations on the West Coast.
Here you can taste Piekenierskloof Wines, pick up Carmién Tea (or indulge in an on-site tasting), enjoy the beautiful farm-fresh fare at the child and pet-friendly restaurant, or simply pick up a few tasty snacks on the go.
However, we can pretty much guarantee you’re going to want to stick around and relax outside under the trees.
Please note that De Tol Farm Deli will be closed on Christmas Day as well as the 1st and 2nd of January 2022. They will be open until 3pm on the 31st of December.
Wine tasting right on the ocean with the gentle slap of the waves against the jetty and the smell of salt spray in the air? Don’t mind if we do!
Fryer’s Cove is a winery situated in an old crayfish factory in Doringbaai that offers amazing ocean views while you taste their fantastic wines and dig into some seriously tasty snoekkoekies (fish cakes), kerrievis (pickled fish), roosterkoek, freshly-caught line fish and more at the on-site eatery, The Jetty Restaurant.
The winery is renowned for its Bamboes Bay Sauvignon Blanc, Bamboes Bay Hollebaksstrandfontein Sauvignon Blanc Reserve, and Bamboes Bay Pinot Noir. They’ve also just launched a new range called Fryer’s Cove, which consists of a Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, and Grenache Cinsault, as well as producing Doringbay Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir Rosé.
Tastings can be pre-booked, or you can simply walk in and get served. The winery and eatery are open from 9am to 6pm daily. Bookings at the restaurant are advised over the holidays.
Fun Fact: Bamboes Bay is the smallest wine ward in South Africa and only 500m from the coast, which makes it the vineyards closest to the ocean throughout the country. Wine wards are geographical areas that speak to the role that soil, climate, and weather play in the nature of the vintages that are crafted in each region. It’s also referred to as ‘terroir’.
So, in short, Bamboes Bay is so special and unique that it was given award all by itself – yet another reason to stop over at Fryer’s Cove! You simply won’t find wines like these anywhere in South Africa and it’s extra special to taste it right where it was made.
Please note Fryer’s Cove is closed on Christmas Day.
Words | Anna-Bet Stemmet @skryfyster
Editor | Nikki Temkin @NikkiTemkin
Images | Images supplied by the venues; West Coast Fossil Park images taken by Ron Muller