Wine lovers Nirvana – The Cape Winelands and Route 62
South Africa boasts many of the greatest tourist attractions in the world. The world-renowned Kruger National park is just one of many spectacular Southern African safari destinations to be found in this beautiful country. Scenic splendours like the breath-taking Drakensberg mountain range, the Panorama Route and the famous Garden route scenic drive, are all familiar to international travellers.
Possibly less well known to those who are not wine lovers however is one of South Africa’s greatest claims to fame, the world’s longest wine route – Route 62! It stretches 850 Km from the ‘Mother City’ Cape Town to Port Elizabeth and is an alternative to the famed Garden Route, offering wine lovers the kind of splendours that they prefer.
Some stops along the way
Far less commercial than the Garden Route, Route 62 starts in the Cape Winelands just outside Cape Town on the way to Paarl and extends through the Klein Karoo. It has its own unspoilt, rustic beauty and scenic splendour and for wine enthusiasts, it offers a seemingly never-ending wine tasting meander.
The famed Cape Winelands, with the quaint towns of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, is usually the starting point. Wine estate after Wine estate, each one more beautiful and offering something more different and unique than the other, wait to welcome you.
Beautifully kept wine farms, with their manicured lawns, rows of vineyards and old Cape Dutch style tasting houses, offer a taste of not only superb wines (some of the best in the world) but of the glorious and fascinating historic lifestyle of the Dutch and English settlers in this serene and lovely part of the world.
It is advisable to get some tips from your expert tour operators and local travel guides on which are some of the more attractive venues to visit, as there are just so many with so much to offer. They can arrange for your own drive vehicles or guided tours.
Along the way, you will pass through and can stop to enjoy these famous spots, all well-known wine-growing areas, some specialising in certain wine types and grape cultivars.
Paarl and Worcester – Paarl known as the ‘Pearl of the Winelands’ is great for a night’s stopover, as is Worcester, in the heart of the Breede River Valley with its lovely mountain vistas.
The Klein Karoo and Robertson – Drive through this semi-desert region, famed for its delicious lamb and stop in at the Karoo National Botanical gardens situated at the foot of the Hex River Mountain Range.
This leads to Robertson also famed for a vast range of wines and one of South Africa’s most famous brandies – Klipdrift. You can also do river rafting here on the Breede River and take in the Winelands on the banks from the relatively calm waters, fine for amateur rafters, with alternate routes for those with a taste for adventure.
Montague, Barrydale and Calitzdorp – Some of the country’s best dessert wines and dried fruit are accredited to the fertile soils of the Montague area. Barrydale plays host to the famed the Joubert-Tradauw wine farm and Deli Alfresco which serves authentic Klein Karoo tapas comprising olives, nuts, fruits, chicken wings and cheeses.
Calitzdorp is also a must-see, with quaint buildings and world-famous port wines, thanks to an unusual imported grape varietal.
Oudtshoorn and the Swartberg Mountain pass – Visit the amazing Cango Caves near Oudtshoorn, famed for its Ostriches (Ostrich racing is a favourite) its craft beer and great hospitality.
Route 62 culminates in the sometimes heart-stopping Swartberg mountain pass drive. This drive between Oudtshoorn and Prince Albert is the pinnacle of what is an unforgettable experience for not only wine lovers, but all who love the beauty, cultures and many splendours that South Africa has to offer.
Book with the experts
Safari Odyssey has been facilitating seamless, tailor-made and exceptionally well organised Southern African safari and guided tours to many of Africa’s top destinations for many years.
Whether it is a whole range of safari experiences, ranging from adventure, to photographic, to golfing, or gourmet safaris and more – or this type of relaxed, scenic meander through beautiful countryside – we can arrange it and ensure that you get the vacation experience of a lifetime.
Watch out for our next article, which will give you some more useful information and travel advice on this amazing Cape winelands and route 62 road trip and contact us to book now as Jan through to April is one of the best times of the year to enjoy this unforgettable travel experience.