Visitorials: We Love South Africa / Western Cape / Western Cape Visitorials

I Love Calitzdorp Because …

Updated Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Hi, I’m Marie Holstensson from The Retreat At Groenfontein just outside Calitzdorp in the Karoo.

Calitzdorp IS BEST KNOWN FOR its Port wine cellars and excellent wines, tranquil walks through the town admiring the intact vernacular architecture, interesting art-galleries and enjoying the good lunch spots.

GET YOUR PICTURE TAKEN AT the Handelshuis, having lunch on their verandah – lovely sunny spot!


THE BEST vineyard PICTURES CAN BE TAKEN AT De Krans during their grape picking season.

OTHER HAPPY SNAPS along the Groenfontein route passing the Calitzdorp Dam, through spectacular scenery also through the red mountains and back to Calitzdorp.

WHEN THE WEATHER’S GOOD, I LIKE TO swim in the pool, dam or river at the Retreat at Groenfontein or do one of the trails in the foothills of the Swartberg.

WHEN THE WEATHER’S BAD, I LIKE TO visit the museum in Calitzdorp, browse in the ‘smallest bookshop’ visit the museum in Calitzdorp, browse in the ‘smallest bookshop’ and the many art galleries or enjoy a nice Cappuccino in one of the good coffee-shops.


I THINK THE BEST TIME OF YEAR TO VISIT IS Spring, BECAUSE the flowers in the hills are spectacular, but all the other seasons also have their highlights – in winter after rain the vygies appear and the aloes are spectacular and we often have snow on the Swartberg peaks, autumn is also beautiful and one can visit De Krans for their grape picking.

Summer in the Klein Karoo is great if you like the heat, lie with a book under the trees at the Retreat’s pool and look at the Swartberg mountains.


FOR LUNCH, I SUGGEST Zamani under the vines in their garden.


MY FAVOURITE RESTAURANT IS Lorenzo’s, TRY THE ostrich or venison.

IF YOU WANT TO MEET LOCALS, GO TO the Naked Woman Pub at Spekboom Cottages.

Calitzdorp’s BEST KEPT SECRET IS the Groenfontein Valley with all its accommodation facilities including the Retreat at Groenfontein! In the valley we also have the famous Donkey Trail – a 3 day hike over the Swartberg to Gamkaskloof (Die Hel) and back by car.

MY FAVOURITE THING TO DO WITH FRIENDS IS to wander through the quaint streets of the village and have a coffe and cake at one of the lovely coffee-shops.


FOR SOME CULTURE, I LIKE TO GO TO listen to our famous organist Noel-Jean Creil at one of his daily recitals in the Church.

TO RELAX AND RESTORE MY SOUL, I LIKE TO take a wander up one of our trails and sit at the top of a hill and gaze over the Swartberg.

IF YOU’RE FEELING ADVENTUROUS, TRY one of our more challenging mountain trails.

MY FAVOURITE DRIVE IS the Swartberg Pass with lunch in Prince Albert and back via Meiringspoort with coffee in De rust.


MY FAVOURITE people / tourist WATCHING SPOT IS the stoep of the Dorpshuis with lunch or coffee.

IF YOU’RE HERE IN May / June (check the date), JOIN IN THE FUN AT the Port and Wine festival.

MY FAVOURITE GALLERY IS Gallery Route 62. CHECK OUT THE local Calitzdorp artists.

MY FAVOURITE BUILDING IS the Dutch Reformed Church, FOR ITS wall hangings.


TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN? A FUN OUTING IS to visit the nearby Cango Caves or an Ostrich Farm.

BEST CHEAP AND CHEERFUL OUTING IS wander in the veld and learn about the the Karoo Succulents.

WHEN MONEY’S NO OBJECT, I will have a slap-up lunch at Rietfontein Ostrich Palace with a good bottle of wine.

THE MOST UNUSUAL THING I SEE HERE IS the variety of vygies, succulents and carpets of flowers in the veld.


MY FAVOURITE WEEKEND GETAWAY IS Gamkaskloof or Prince Albert.

WHEN I WANT TO GIVE BACK TO THE COMMUNITY, I support the recently created Calitzdorp Dream Project.

I Love Calitzdorp Because the village is full of friendly people and everyone goes out of their way to be welcoming and friendly towards foreigners and tourists.


Calitzdorp Info

Desirable Digits

De Krans: +27 (0)44 213-3314
Zamani: +27 (0)44 213-3701
Lorenzo’s: +27 (0)44 213-3300
Spekboom Cottages: +27 (0)44 213-3067
Donkey Trail: +27 (0)83 628-9394
Gallery Route 62: +27 (0)72 278-5148
Cango Caves: +27 (0)44 272-7410
Rietfontein Ostrich Palace: +27 (0)44 213-3784