The Franschhoek Wine Tram in the Western Cape

Alternative holiday destinations in the Western Cape

Cape Town is one of the top tourist destinations in the world, and certainly a favourite amongst travellers visiting South Africa. The iconic Table Mountain is the perfect backdrop for the city’s pristine beaches and social hangouts. Visitors flock to Cape Town every year during summer (November to March) but there are alternative destinations to see in the surrounding region.


The Western Cape is full of many beautiful holiday destinations, from seaside towns to mountain-backed vineyard settlements. Visitors should really make the most of their trip to the Western Cape by exploring these towns and uncovering some of the rich history and stunning scenery that they have to offer. Cape Town Villas has luxury accommodation options in each of these towns.




Hermanus is a quaint seaside town on the southern coast of the Western Cape. It is about a one-and-a-half-hour drive from the Cape Town city centre. Hermanus is blessed with twisting pathways, lush green mountain ranges and deep blue ocean waters. It is best known for its annual whale-watching season (September to October) when thousands of visitors flock to the cliffs to catch a glimpse of some of the biggest mammals on earth – the Southern Right whale.


Book a stay in Hermanus at our luxury villa, Huis Langbaai, and explore the exceptional beaches and mountain trails in the town. Guests can take part in a variety of activities, from sea-kayaking and wine tasting to shopping and hiking. Hermanus is a fantastic little town that will etch its place in your heart.



This endearing town is located in the heart of one of the oldest and most beautiful wine-growing regions in South Africa. Some of the most historic wine estates are located in the Franschhoek valley, nestled between the high mountains. These wine farms produce some of the finest produce in the country and many still carry their original names and have their original architecture.


Guests visiting Franschhoek have no shortage of award-winning restaurants to choose from. One of the best ways to experience the wine culture of the town is to hop on the Franschhoek Wine Tram, which whisks guests between the various farms along the tracks. We have several accommodation options in Franschhoek, including The Residence @ Vrede en Lust, Sixteen Cabriere and La Rive.




This seaside town is the perfect combination between ocean and indigenous forest. Knysna has many activities to do and things to see – ideal for the active visitor who loves the outdoors. One of the most popular tourist attractions is the Knysna Heads – two sandstone cliffs that flank the Knysna Lagoon as it enters the Indian Ocean. This offers some magnificent photo opportunities at sunset.


The landscape around Knysna is dramatic and pristine. The Knysna forest is home to some of the last remaining indigenous Yellowwood trees in South Africa, as well as a diverse array of fynbos species. The forest was also home to Knysna elephants – while they haven’t been spotted for a number of years, these elusive giants have not been declared extinct yet. Stay in one of our villas in Knysna, such as Cliff House, Blue Horizon or Number Eleven.




Paarl is an old-school town in the middle of the Cape Winelands, about an hour northeast of Cape Town. It is the biggest town in the region but still contains many examples of original Cape Dutch houses and architecture, which give Paarl a country feel. The area is surrounded by wine farms and award-winning vineyards.


The Paarl Wine Route travels between 25 wine farms, including KWV, Simonsvlei, Nederburg, Backsberg Estate, Avondale and Nelsons Creek. There are also a couple of brandy distilleries, cheese dairies, and olive farms in the area. Our luxury property, Pearl Villa, is the ideal place to stay when visiting this historic wine region.


Plettenberg Bay


This seaside town is located right on the eastern edge of the Western Cape, about a six-hour drive from Cape Town. The distance is worth it as Plettenberg Bay is a world-class destination for adventure seekers and nature-lovers. Plett, as the locals call it, is a great place for a relaxing seaside holiday, an adrenaline-packed getaway or a wilderness adventure – there is so much to see and do.


There is also a flourishing arts community that features locally-produced arts and crafts, including beadwork, wood and metalwork. Visitors can purchase items directly from farm stalls and artists’ workshops. Cape Town Villas has a beautiful property available in Plett, aptly called Home By The Sea.


Somerset West


This is the nearest large town to Cape Town – a mere 30 to 45-minute drive. Like Cape Town, Somerset West offers a combination of beaches, mountains and peaceful countryside. The town is part of the Cape Winelands, offering several large and historic wine estates of its own. Somerset West was established in 1819 and some of the original homesteads and architecture can still be seen to this day. 


Best known for its scenic beauty and majestic mountains, a wide variety of endemic flora and fauna, award-winning wine, fruit and food, Somerset West offers friendly hospitality and historical heritage. We have two amazing villas available in the region – Mount Rhodes Villa and Spanish Farm – both of which offer a luxury stay for our guests.



Stellenbosch is usually the first stop for tourists visiting Cape Town and wanting to experience the beauty of the Cape Winelands. It is a short drive out of Cape Town and is the second-oldest town in the country. Most visitors come for the wine as there is a large number of award-winning estates situated in the surrounding areas. 


Stellenbosch is one of the most well-preserved towns in terms of history, architecture and infrastructure. It is also home to a variety of art galleries, shops, museums, restaurants, pubs, taverns and coffee shops. Book a stay at one of two of our villas in Stellenbosch – Oldenburg Homestead or Old Nectar – and spend a weekend exploring this beautiful old town and surrounding estates.


Header image credit: Joshua Oates



Cape Town Villas has over 17 years of experience in the hospitality industry. We are based in Cape Town and, as locals, we can offer guests the best options and advice for accommodation and holiday experiences. Cape Town Villas can provide surety and a guarantee that our properties are of world-class standards


Our properties are located all around Cape Town and the Western Cape, including Knysna and Plettenberg Bay. As these properties are owned by different people, we operate on an inquiry-only basis. Get in touch with one of our Villa experts for all the information you will need.

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