The town of Stellenbosch, sitting proudly in the unspoilt Jonkershoek River Valley and encompassed by striking mountains, is both one of South Africa’s principal wine regions and its oldest and most stunning. Behind Cape Town, it is the country’s second oldest town and, being founded in 1679 by Governor van der Sel, owes much of its captivating charm to its long history.
On the banks of the Eerste River, it is a delight to explore the town on foot or bicycle, admiring the fine displays of Cape Dutch, Gregorian and Victorian architecture. Often referred to as the Eikestad (City of Oak), due to the elegantly oak lined streets, especially along the main drag of Dorp Street. In the centre of town lies The Braak, a lush grassy green square bordered by historic buildings. The remainder of town is a wonderful collection of tranquil streets and lanes, housing restaurants, cafés and guesthouses. Moreover, with mountain and orchard views, looking in all directions provides picture perfect impressions in this idyllic setting.
Situated only 50kms east of Cape Town, Stellenbosch is easily accessible and perfect for daytrips. A number of buses run from Cape Town, including a convenient hostel service. Arriving by train is another good alternative as the station, on Adam Tas Street, is just a few minutes walk from The Braak. Being only a short distance from the likes of Muizenberg and Simon’s Town, renting a car is the most comfortable option, especially if wanting to explore the surrounding winelands.
Often visited on day tours, an extended stay in Stellenbosch, the gateway to the winelands, is worth its weight in gold. Sit back, sample the world’s finest wines, soak up the atmosphere and take time to enjoy the hidden wonders waiting to be explored.
Stellenbosch Wine Route - Whether a connoisseur or simply a lover of wine, head into the winelands and get a taste of the finest South Africa has to offer. With over 300 wineries, there is enough to keep you occupied for years. Can be explored independently by car, on bike, or with an organised tour.
Bergkelder - For those unable to get into the wine region, this wine centre, a short walk from the centre, provides good value tours and tasting sessions. There is a shop where you can purchase some to take home.
Village Museum - Comprising a collection of historical buildings, each of which represents the changing architectural periods of the towns history.
Walking - The Stellenbosch region is blessed with an abundance of walking trails in its magnificent surroundings. The nearby Jonkershoek and Assegaaibosch Nature Reserves have popular scenic trails with a wealth of nature.
Stellenbosch Nightlife - Due to its large student population, the town has a vibrant nightlife and range of bars and restaurants. Fashionable drinking spots include, The Terrace, on Alexander Street, Bohemia, corner of Adringa/Victoria, and Finlay’s Wine Bar, on Plein Street.
Budget Hotels Stellenbosch
Midrange Hotels Stellenbosch
BellaBosch B&B - Cosy bed & breakfast only 5 minutes walk from the winelands. Tel (27) (21) 8829686.
Roland’s Utispan - Selection of elegant rooms in a guesthouse just outside the centre. Tel (27) (21) 8832897.
Luxury Hotels Stellenbosch