While the winelands are renowned for their exquisite wines, there’s an abundance of captivating experiences beyond the vines waiting to be explored. Embark on a journey that uncovers the lesser-known treasures of this enchanting region, from quaint artisanal markets and breathtaking hiking trails to charming bed-and-breakfasts offering a serene escape. Indulge in the rich tapestry of culture, cuisine, and captivating history that thrives alongside the iconic vineyards.
The heart of Babylonstoren is without a doubt, its meticulously designed gardens. The garden has different sections, each with its own theme and type of vegetation – from vegetables and fruits to indigenous plants and flowers.
A stroll around the grounds and gardens gifts you with the opportunity for taking great photos!
Should you prefer to have a guided walk instead of a leisurely stroll, there are daily guided tours that provide insight into the history, architecture, and unique features of the estate. This would be your chance to learn about the design principles, sustainability efforts, and farming practices that make Babylonstoren so special.
If you happen to take interest in sustainable farming practices, why not take on the opportunity of getting hands-on with their farming activities such as harvesting, gardening, and taking care of animals.
And if being hands-on is not the flavour of the day for you, pack a picnic basket with fresh, farm-grown produce that can be purchased at the estate and enjoy a relaxing meal.
Babylonstoren is the place to go if you want a full day of activities without having to go from one place to another!
From art exhibitions to horse riding, Boschendal is a must for the family!
– Boschendal is famous for its lovely picnics! Pack a picnic basket with delicious food from the deli and enjoy a meal with your loved ones amidst the lush gardens and scenic views.
– Experience delicious meals made from fresh, locally sourced ingredients at the estate’s restaurants – De Werf and The Deli. Many of the dishes incorporate produce from Boschendal’s own gardens.
– Sometimes learning about wine can be done without tasting it!
Take a guided tour of the historic cellars to learn about the winemaking process, from grape harvesting to bottling. You’ll gain insights into the estate’s winemaking traditions and its role in the local wine industry.
– There is a variety of walking trails that allow you to explore all the beauty Boschendal has to offer. Not to worry! The trails range in difficulty, making it suitable for different fitness levels.
– If you are a frequent cyclist, hungry to explore different cycling trails, you will enjoy the mountain biking trails that wind through the estate’s scenic areas. Bring your own bike or rent one on-site.
– Unwind and relax at the estate’s spa, where you can enjoy a range of treatments, therapies, and wellness experiences.
– Show support to local artists and join an art exhibition or cultural event frequently hosted by Boschendal. Be sure to check their schedule to see if there are any exhibitions during your visit.
– Yes! Boschendal offers horse riding as an activity. Whether you’re a novice rider, or an experienced one, this activity is for you. Bookings are essential and they require pre-payment. Sessions are a lovely hour long!
The Franschhoek Motor Museum:
Take a trip down automotive memory lane at the Franschhoek Motor Museum.
This is a popular attraction in Franschhoek belonging to South Africa’s billionaire – Johann Rupert. It showcases a diverse collection of vintage, classic, and rare automobiles.
The museum has a remarkable collection of between 100 – 220 vehicles. The cars on display represent various eras and showcase the evolution of automotive design and technology.
Many of the vehicles in the collection have historical significance and are examples of engineering excellence from different decades. The museum provides insights into the stories behind these cars and their role in shaping automotive culture.
After an educational guided tour, pop in at the gift shop to pick up a memento of your visit!
Anything But Wine: Stellenbosch
Spier is one of the oldest wine farms in South Africa, dating back to 1692.
Besides their award-winning wines, the estate offers a variety of activities and experiences for visitors to enjoy.
Below are some things you can experience at Spier:
The Art and Craft Market
– Here you can find a range of local crafts, art, and handmade products. It’s a great place to shop for unique gifts. The Cape Dutch buildings were restored and now house the different art. And there is enough for all to enjoy because Spier is home to one of the largest collections of contemporary works in the country!
– Exploring the estate on a guided segway tour is a fun way to cover more ground and take in the scenic beauty of the surroundings. You can click here to book your tour!
Birds of Prey Rehabilitation Centre
– Attend a flying display and learn about the important role that birds play in the ecosystem.
A Bite to Eat
– Take a break from all the excitement to indulge in a delicious bite to eat. Spier offers several dining options, from casual to fine dining. You might even prefer a picnic on the lawn! Pick up a pre-packed picnic basket filled with treats and enjoy a meal outdoors.
– Eagle Encounters is a wildlife rehabilitation, conservation, education and eco-tourism center based at Spier. This facility offers interactive encounters with various bird species, including owls and eagles. They operate Tuesdays to Sundays from 09:30 to 17:00 and have daily shows as well. Click here to view show times and entry fees.
– Rent a bicycle and explore the estate’s scenic trails at your own pace. It’s a great way to get your body moving while enjoying beautiful landscapes.
Toy and Miniature Museum Stellenbosch
The museum features a wide range of toys from various eras, including dolls, model cars, trains, action figures, board games, and more. The collection often spans several generations, offering something of interest for visitors of all ages.
The toys on display offer insights into the cultural and societal influences of different time periods. Here, one can learn about how toys have evolved over time and how they reflect the interests and technologies of their respective eras.
This museum holds a collection of 1:12 scale miniatures of railway sets, furniture, and room boxes as well as detailed dollhouses, stuffed toys, cars, and more.
Don’t miss out on the world’s smallest kitchen in a matchbox and the intricate miniature model of South Africa’s famous Blue Train.
Their operating hours are from Monday to Saturday from 09:30 to 17:00 and Sundays from 14h00 to 17h00. They are closed on Sundays during the Winter months of May to August.
Banhoek Chili Oil Company
60 different combinations of chilies and edible oils later and the perfect chili oil was created!
Banhoek Chili Oil is an amazing little restaurant in the Banhoek Valley. They serve pizzas, burgers, salads and the best flavored oil you will ever taste.
This restaurant is perfect for a family lunch or dinner – a vibrant energy for the adults and lovely play area on the lush green grass for the kiddies.
Besides the great oils and food, you are guaranteed to be met with fabulous and friendly service.
Be sure to get a taste of award-winning chili oil!
They are open from Sundays to Wednesdays at 09:00 – 17:00 and Thursdays to Saturdays at 09:00 to 20:30.