When the weather is warm and the flowers are out, a mini spring road trip in Cape Town offers the perfect way to get out into nature and enjoy the beauty of this time of year. The Mother City offers an enormous variety of interesting little towns, regions and routes, ranging from out-of-town hot-spots to places that are easy to get to in an hour or less.
Whether you’re in the mood to see some flowers, birds, wildlife, mountains, ocean, people or a bit of everything, we have put together a list of short but sweet road Cape Town trip ideas that are sure to make you fall in love with the city and its surrounds all over again.
Try These Inspiring Spring Road Trips in Cape Town
First things first, you’ll need to decide how to enjoy your road trip. You could hire a car or get a group of friends together and elect a designated driver. Some useful things to have with you when setting out include a GPS and/or decent map, plenty of water, a fully charged camera (you should also make sure that your phone is charged as well) and anything else you may need on the road.
Where will you go once you hit the road? For starters, here are some ideas for road trips in Cape Town and surrounds, listed in order of duration.
One of the longer but certainly worthwhile routes, the Garden Route is filled with scenic wonders and coastal hot-spots. This route spans from Mossel Bay all the way through to the border of the Eastern Cape. Highlights include the towns of Hermanus, Gansbaai, Oudtshoorn, Knysna, George, Plettenberg Bay, Jeffrey’s Bay, Nature’s Valley and Tsikamma. What makes this route so magical is the vast amount of greenery, unspoiled beaches, laid-back people and abundance of natural attractions. From whale watching to shark cage diving, surfing, sailing, paragliding, bungee jumping, scuba diving, hiking, walking, sight-seeing, photography and plenty more besides, this route has something for everyone.
On the West Coast, there are a number of amazing spots. If you’re keen to see the wildflowers before the season ends, West Coast National Park is a good choice. But there are also many fascinating little towns in this region that are equally lovely all-year around. The postcard-perfect coastal towns of Yzerfontein, Lamberts Bay, Elands Bay, Langebaan and Paternoster will make you feel like you’re on holiday (even if you’re only there for the day). The pretty town of Darling is always great for a visit, with quaint coffee shops, art galleries and other attractions. The town of Vredendal has a rather interesting wine route to explore, while Saldanha is home to ship wrecks and a beautiful coastline.
Perfect for a day out on the road, the Cape Winelands are truly magnificent throughout the year. The scenery is breath-taking, the towns are picturesque, and, of course, the food and wine is first rate, too. Stellenbosch is the largest and best-known of the Cape Wine Route towns, but Paarl and Franschhoek are worth visiting as well. While you’re in the area, you can pay a visit to Butterfly World, which is in Klapmuts, just outside of Paarl. Be sure to stop somewhere for lunch and a bit of wine tasting. In Stellenbosch, there are a number of amazing lunch spots such as Spier (beautiful grounds with lots to do), Zevenwacht (great for picnics by the lake) and Vergenoegd (home to the famous duck parade).
Over on the other side of the peninsula, the False Bay coastline has a lot to offer visitors. Whether you choose to explore Cape Point and its spectacular Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, or drive up to Simons Town to visit the penguin sanctuary of Boulders Beach, stopping at Kalk Bay along the way for lunch overlooking the Indian Ocean, this route is not too far to travel. The water on this side is warm, with whales often seen in the bays between August and November. Areas such as Kalk Bay are dotted with unique shops, galleries and sidewalk cafes that make the ideal place to stop for a bite to eat.
Constantia Wine Route
Even closer to home is the Constantia Wine Route. This is one of the oldest wine-growing regions in the province, and while it is far smaller than the Cape Winelands, the wines produced here include some of the country’s finest. Key estates to visit include Groot Constantia, which is great for a walk, lunch and wine tasting; Constantia Uitsig, one of the top ranked estates in the Cape and The Cellars-Hohenort, an estate home to an epic garden akin to a tropical jungle. Be sure to try some of the local wines, stop for lunch, take in the views and drive to the City Bowl in half an hour or so.
This season, set off on a mini adventure with your very own custom road trip in Cape Town that you have designed yourself. What are you waiting for?