5 Cape Town Adventures to Embark on this Festive Season
From excursions to art, food and everything in between, here's your itinerary for the holidays in Cape Town.
There's a reason why so many people flock to the Western Cape over the holidays. There is a vast array of adventures to enjoy, regardless of what your interests are. If you're overwhelmed by all the options, here are five not-to-be-missed activities that you should experience in some of the most beautiful parts of the province.
1. Visit a steampunk market in Elgin
One of Cape Town’s best-kept secrets has to be the Elgin Railway Market - an old apple warehouse that has been converted into a bustling steampunk station market boasting local vendors and live musicians in a space where Art Deco meets Victorian. Here, you’ll find everything from delicious fare to jewellery and clothing. It is a true destination market and gateway to the picturesque Overberg town. To make your outing all the more exciting, a Ceres Rail Companysteam train departs to the market a few times a month. Market-goers can meet the train on the station platform or view its arrival from the Elgin Market's leisure deck overlooking the railway.
Book your train ticket here.
2. Take a vintage tram through Franschhoek
Exploring the Cape winelands doesn't get more festive than boarding a vintage-style open-air railway tram, which stops at some of South Africa’s oldest and most distinguished wine estates. Journey through rolling vineyards on the hop-on hop-off Franschhoek wine tram and enjoy wine tasting, cellar tours, lunch or a stroll through the vineyards at each destination. The tour leads into the heart of the Franschhoek Valley, with narration focusing on the history of Franschhoek and wine cultivation in the valley, while passengers take in unparalleled views of the valley and vineyards.
3. Explore art and nature at Norval Foundation in Steenberg
If you’re looking to plan a family day trip to a new destination just outside Cape Town, Norval Foundationin Steenberg is our festive destination of choice. Not only will you be able to view powerful art exhibitions with global appeal in world-class galleries, but you can also combine your visit with lunch or dinner at The Skotnes Restaurant and Bar. Or choose to pre-order a gourmet picnic while enjoying the expansive sculpture garden, established in a seriously impressive outdoor setting, complete with its own amphitheatre for music and cultural events.
4. Take a horse-drawn carriage tour through vineyards
Head out to Cavalli wine estate, just off the R44 between Stellenbosch and Somerset West, to depart on a relaxing hour-long carriage tour of the farm. The tour includes the state-of-the-art stables (a veritable horse hotel!), the exquisite gardens designed by Keith Kirsten and the vineyards. Then settle in for a festive lunch with a glass of the new vintage Cavalli Capriole at the award-winning Restaurant at Cavalli, led by award-winning Chef Michael Deg, before paying a visit to the art gallery downstairs. Breathtaking views of the surrounding Helderberg mountains are complimentary.
5. Cycle off festive-season guilt on an e-bike
There’s something to be said about a relatively effortless cycling excursion along some of Cape Town’s most pristine coastline, made possible by Venture South’s e-biking adventures. Just over an hour’s drive outside of Cape Town lies the Cape of Good Hope, and what better way to explore its rugged scenery and wildlife (including ostrich, baboons and various species of antelopes, as well as the famous Simon's Town penguins) than from the vantage point of your e-bike saddle. Take on the hills with absolute ease and reward yourself with a gourmet picnic at a secluded location, or dine at one of the Southern Suburbs' top restaurants along the way.