Day Trips From Cape Town ~ Cape Town is beautiful. Let’s face it. The iconic Table Mountain is in the middle of the city, swoon-worthy beaches beg bikini season to stay all-year long, wineries are on your doorstep, everywhere you go something scenic await, streets are buzzing with art and culture and there are foodie hotspots around every corner.
It is easy to understand why it has been voted – over and over again – as one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
But just a short drive from the city and all its not-to-miss sights, small towns – the one as unique as the other with oodles of activities and charm – beckon you closer and wave you over for a day visit.
From the West Coast to the Overberg, the Swartland to the Winelands, these towns inspires you to wave Table Mountain adieu, and explore the beauty of the Western Cape on these Day Trips From Cape Town – all easily accessible from the Mother City (to book your stay in Cape Town, click here).
Here are 5 Day Trips From Cape Town:
If you appreciate and admire fine wine and fine cuisine, say goodbye to the city and head for the quintessential town of Franschhoek with its art galleries, historic architecture, local artisans, mountain views and je ne sais quoi atmosphere. All perfectly paired with a glass of the valley’s finest wine and the award-winning restaurants’ palate pleasers.
Do this: Don’t drive for the day and hop on the Wine Tram with its different routes to over 20 wine farms in the region; to name a few, you can taste oysters and Method Cap Classique at Grande Provence, stroll through the gardens of Babylonstoren and do a panna cotta and wine pairing at Rickety Bridge. There is also the opportunity to do an artisanal chocolate tasting, you can visit a cheesery, a vintage car museum, hike and bike and explore the vineyards on horseback.
Eat here: Chef’s Warehouse at Maison, Foilage, The Werf, Reuben’s, Bistron BonBon, The Franschoek Beer Co. and The French Connection.
Distance from Cape Town: 81 km on this Day Trip From Cape Town.
Overnight? There are so many stunning options, see Franschhoek accommodation to make your choice..
What does a beer brewery, South Africa’s most famous white woman, wild flowers and a slew of festivals have in common? The answer is simple: Darling. And this small charming town, situated between the West Coast’s waves, vineyards and wheat fields, comes packing for a day of exploring which it features on our list of Day Trips From Cape Town.
Do this: Grab a cold one at Darling Brew and learn more about the art of beer brewing, step back in time to the 18th century at Darling Museum and go beyond that at !Khwa Ttu San Culture & Education Centre. Catch a theatre production of Tannie Evita Bezuidenhout (Pieter Dirk Uys) at Evita se Perron and during the wild flower season, see a carpet of tiny flowers in bloom at one of the surrounding reserves.
You can also be active and tackle one of the mountain bike trails at Wolwefontein, taste the toffees of Darling Sweet and visit Ormonde Private Cellar for wine. And if fancy festivals, you can attend the Voorkamerfest, the Wildflower Festival and Darling Summer Festival.
Eat here: The Marmalade Cat, Chicory Cheese Café, Evita se Perron and The Bistro 7.
Distance from Cape Town: 72 km.
Overnight? There are a few excellent Accommodations options in Darling.
Third on our list of Day Trips from Cape Town is this gem! Riebeek Kasteel is for most visitors a love at first sight situation, and falling head over heels for this picturesque town in the Swartland – hemmed by olive grows, vineyards and wheat fields – is a given. In fact, many were – and still are – so captured by Riebeek Kasteel’s ambiance that the town has become a creative mecca and source of inspiration for artists and writers.
Do this: Indulge in the region’s wines at Allesverloren Wine Estate, Het Vlock Casteel, Meerhof Wines, Mullineux Wines and Kloovenberg Wine Estate, and don’t forget to do an olive tasting – a crowd-pleaser hailing from Riebeek Kasteel – at Goedgedact and Olive Boutique.
Nature calls you to explore on foot, on the 2-3 hour Carl Thunberg Trail or the Pieter Cruythoff Trail, and at Batholomeus Klip you can get your wild on during a guided nature drive. If you happen to be in the area over the weekend, don’t miss out on rubbing shoulders with locals showcasing their talents at the Riebeek Kasteel Village Market and the Riebeeck West Fresh Funky Market. For art, make sure you visit The Gallery, and don’t miss Short Street with its quirky shops and old Karoo-inspired architecture.
Eat here: Shake & Bake, Pulpit Rock, The Valley Kitchen, Red Tin Roof, La Parrilla, Mama Cucina, Café Felix, De Stoep, Bartholomeus Klip and Old Dalby.
Distance from Cape Town: 87 km.
Overnight? See Riebeeck-Kasteel accommodation for a variety of options.
Situated on the Overberg coast, Betty’s Bay – with its rocky coastline, the rugged Kogelberg Mountain backdrop and pristine fynbos – prides itself in its laid-back and slow living atmosphere, and tranquillity is up for grabs with each visit. If you take Clarence Drive (why would you choose any other road), the Hangklip Coast will reward you with more than just Betty’s Bay to explore – there is also Kleinmond, Hangklip, Pringle Bay and Rooiels, and pristine beaches abound.
Do this: Make some time for the beach somewhere along the 4 km long sandy white stretch, perfect for swimming and surfing. Stony Point Nature Reserve is home to one of the world’s largest breeding colonies of African penguins and you can see them close-up. Spend some more time in nature and visit the scenic Harold Porter Botanical Garden, or the Kogelberg Nature Reserve where there are hiking trails.
Eat here: On the Edge Restaurant, Jack’s Restaurant, Sea Biscuit, The Tides Restaurant, Camelot Restaurant and Hook, Line & Sinker.
Distance from Cape Town: 93 km on this Day Trip From Cape Town.
Overnight? See accommodation in Betty’s Bay.
There is more to this vibrant seaside town on the Cape Whale Coast than just its abundance of whales, which is why we have included it in our list of Day Trips From Cape Town. The town’s relaxing atmosphere urged doctors in the 1900s to prescribe it to patients for rest and recuperation due to its ‘champagne air’ and the healing, calming and restorative properties thereof. And apart from the myriad of things to do, Hermanus also recently joined the UNESCO Creative Cities Network as Africa’s first UNESCO City of Gastronomy.
Do this: Water enthusiasts can indulge a number of activities such as kite surfing, sea kayaking, shark cage diving and of course, being one of the best whale watching destinations in the world, don’t miss the opportunity to head to one of the popular viewpoints to spot the ocean’s giants.
Fernkloof Nature Reserve offers a number of hiking trails, and over the weekend there is the Salandra Country Garden (Sundays), Market in the Garden (Saturdays), the Curio & Craft Daily Market at Old Harbour Market Square, and every first Friday of the month it is the First Friday Art Walk and galleries are open until 8pm.
Eat here: Bientang’s Cave Restaurant & Wine Bar, Pear Tree Bistro, Aromatish Café & Bakery, Burgundy Restaurant, Char’d Grill & Wine Bar and Fishermans Cottage.
Distance from Cape Town: 122 km.
Overnight? See accommodation in Hermanus to see what’s available.