Average read time: 5 minutes.
Are you headed up the South Coast to enjoy some downtime over the festive season? Yay for you! It’s such a beautiful part of sunny South Africa. To make your adventure to this amazing neck of the woods even more special, ASA has rounded up 5 super stopovers you can enjoy along the way.
Here you go!
Lourensford Wine Estate
As you make your way out of the Winelands to travel up the coast, it’s often a good idea to pop in at a wine estate to stock up on some festive beverages to take along. Lourensford is always a treat and such a lovely destination for locals and tourists alike.
Firstly, it’s just visually stunning. The estate spans 4 000 hectares of forest, fynbos, fruit orchards, and vineyards, which amble up the slopes of the Helderberg Mountains. It also happens to have been one of the key locations for the HBO TV series Raised By Wolves, which was partly filmed in South Africa!
The estate also offers a wide variety of things to see and do. This includes the Lourensford tasting room, where guests can enjoy wine pairings with Belgian chocolate, and Turkish Delight, as well as blind wine tastings that test their skills as an oenophile, and premium tastings that introduce the estate’s top-tier vintages.
However, the estate is also home to The Millhouse Kitchen, The Coffee Roasting Co, as well as the very popular Lourensford Market. The latter is a particularly fun option for when you’re on the road over the festive season – it’s kid-friendly and pet-friendly (if you have your leash), and there are so many tasty things to try.
Please note the different businesses operating on the premises of Lourensford Wine Estate each make their own schedule. If you plan on visiting over the festive season, it’s best to call ahead to check whether they will be open on a particular day.
Bikini Beach Books
If you love your seaside attractions completely off the grid, Bikini Beach Books is going to be right up your alley. Go on, we double-dare you to find a website or (working!) telephone number that connects you to this hidden gem on the beachfront in Gordon’s Bay…
See, that’s the beauty of this second-hand bookstore – the only way to know if they’re open, or what books there are, or how much these books cost is to go there. Like in the olden days! In most cases, you’ll find the doors open 7 days a week, and often quite late into the evening.
However, you could also rock up and find the door (somewhat) closed when the owner decides to pop out to run an errand or take a walk on the beach…
When you do find it open – which you mostly will – Bikini Beach Books is the ideal place to stock up on reading material for the holidays (or an entire lifetime if you’re so inclined). The second-hand books are (mostly) sorted into fiction and non-fiction, and alphabetically according to the author, but some stacks are also beautifully jumbled for no reason at all.
It’s a great place to get lost for an afternoon and drink in that singular ‘old book’ smell. They also don’t really mind if you take a seat on the floor in a nook somewhere and read a bit of the book you’re intending to buy. In short – it’s a complete breath of fresh air in the consumerist madhouse we call modern-day life.
You simply must go. Bonus points if you buy yourself an ice cream cone next door!
Cape Canopy Tour
If you like your vacation with a side of adrenaline-inducing fun, the Cape Canopy Tour experiences that take place in the Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve in the Elgin Valley near Grabouw will tick all your must-have boxes.
Here you can join in on a half-day guided nature zipline experience through verdant mountain scenery that includes a 4×4 mountain transfer, no less than 11 ziplines, and a suspension bridge over an iconic waterfall!
A Cape Canopy Tour zipline experience starts at R895 per person. Tours depart every 30 minutes in most weather conditions. Pre-bookings are required to secure your spot.
Click here to check availability.
Top Tip: If you’re wondering how scary it is, what you need to wear, how old you have to be to take part, whether you need any training beforehand, etc., visit this super-helpful FAQ page (scroll to the bottom).
Peregrine Farm Stall
What is a road trip without a stopover at an iconic farm stall?
Peregrine Farm Stall is one of those destinations that call out to you from the road, and that call should always be heeded – not least of which because you need to have one of their pies. It’s a crucial ingredient of any successful South Coast Road trip.
Established in the 1960s, Peregrine has been serving generations of travelers tasty homemade fare, warm country hospitality, and beautiful artisanal goods sourced from local vendors in the Elgin Valley and further afield.
It’s a great place to stop over for a quick coffee, a bite to eat, a bit of a romp on the playground if you have kiddos, and some last-minute festive shopping if you aren’t quite finished with that particular errand…
Please note that Peregrine Farm Stall will be closed on Christmas Day, but operational on all other days throughout the summer holiday.
Bontebok National Park
Bontebok National Park near Swellendam is the perfect spot for a day’s visit during your travels. Even if you don’t stay over at the park, you can still enjoy a picnic on the banks of the Breede River, braai at one of the designated braai spots, or take a load off at Die Stroom function centre, also on the banks of the Breede River.
In fact, guests can also do game viewing from their own vehicles, swim in the river at designated areas, as well as fish, canoe, kayak, and mountain bike (all with their own equipment). Daily entry fees start at R50 per adult and R25 per child per day for South Africans and R150 per adult and R75 per child per day for international visitors.
Words | Anna-Bet Stemmet @skryfyster
Editor | Nikki Temkin @NikkiTemkin
Images | Images at Bikini Beach by ZaraZoo Photography, images at Bontebok National Park by Rene Haarhoof, others courtesy of the venues/activity providers