Western Cape Holiday Destinations
Discover 50 of the most popular holiday destinations across South Africa’s breathtakingly beautiful Western Cape province
At the southern tip of the African continent, you will find the Western Cape province which is arguably the most picturesque province of South Africa’s nine provinces.
The holiday destinations in the Western Cape are South Africa’s premier tourist attraction where visitors can experience the Cape’s natural beauty, mountains, vineyards and its vibrant capital, the city of Cape Town.
Your gateway to the Western Cape
Visitors generally start their travels in the Western Cape with a stay in Cape Town, which is a destination in itself. The Mother City, as it is fondly known, is where the first development in South Africa took place in the mid-17th century.
Cape Town is home to the Cape Town International Airport. Thousands of tourists flock here every year to experience the majestic Table Mountain and Cape Peninsula. It is the gateway to the best destinations in the Western Cape, a region which offers visitors fabulous food and wine, scenic nature, historical significance, luxury accommodation options and overall, a really good time.
Where to go
The Cape Winelands is only 40 minutes’ drive from Cape Town and offers a large variety of experiences and tastes for the gourmand visitor.
An hour and a half’s drive from Cape Town takes visitors to the wide expanse of the Overberg with magnificent coastal towns and inland beauty.
The Garden Route offers magical forests and trees and stunning seaside hides.
Visitors who head north from Cape Town experience the West Coast in all its glory. This area with its Mediterranean vegetation is atmospheric and bursts into a colourful flower display in spring each year.
Stellenbosch (a student town), Somerset West and Franschhoek are busy and popular, while the Boland towns of Paarl, Wellington and Riebeek Kasteel are quieter with many gems still to be discovered.
Visit the quaint towns of Elgin, Bot River and Greyton, or head to the coast to experience Hermanus and the many other interesting seaside spots down the Cape South Coast
Wilderness is a beautiful coastal town and the nearby Sedgefield also has special appeal. Brenton on Sea is the closest coastal stay to Knysna, which never fails to delight visitors to the area. Plettenberg Bay is a hot resort town not to be missed.
Yzerfontein and Langebaan flank the West Coast National Park, where endemic fauna and flora can be sighted. Paternoster is a very popular West Coast town and further north, Elands Bay and Lamberts Bay offer West Coast charm.
- Take the Table Mountain Cableway or hike up this majestic mountain, which has been proclaimed one of the world’s new seven wonders of nature.
- Visit the V&A Waterfront to shop at more than 450 retailers; enjoy restaurants, pubs and coffee shops; catch a ride on the Cape Wheel, take a Robben Island Tour departing by boat from the Nelson Mandela Gateway or marvel at the marine life on display at the Two Oceans Aquarium.
- Experience Cape Town’s numerous beaches and seaside attractions.
Tour the Cape Winelands. Every area has its own wine route which lists the wineries you can visit.
- Watch whales in Walker Bay’s Hermanus and all along the Cape South Coast. While at least 37 species of whales and dolphins can be found in South Africa’s oceans, the southern right whales, humpback whales and several coastal dolphin species are spotted more frequently. African penguins, Cape fur seals and black oystercatcher birds can also be spotted along the coast.
- Don your trail shoes or rent a mountain bike to explore hundreds of kilometers of hiking, running and biking routes in the mountainous Western Cape – take your pick since these scenic routes can be found throughout the province.
- Enjoy the Garden Route and Knysna forest, take a lazy boat trip on the Knysna Lagoon and relax in this beautiful area known for its slow lifestyle.
- Head up the West Coast to eat fresh crayfish (local lobster) and black mussels, get to know the unique culture of the area and enjoy watching fields of flowers budding everywhere in springtime.
What to expect
The Western Cape has hot summers, temperate springs and autumns and cold wet winters.
Between November and January, the South Easter wind (also known as the Cape Doctor) can play havoc on visitors’ beach plans, although there are wind-free beaches on the Cape Peninsula where you can always soak up the sun.
February and March bring in grape harvest time and local festivals in celebration of the gifts of the earth abound.
Winter in the Western Cape is a good time to enjoy award-winning local red wines and delicious meals next to roaring fireplaces. Whale watching is also a popular winter activity.
If flowers are your thing, spring is perfect to catch the Western Cape in full bloom.
When to come
When is the best time to visit Cape Town? We believe every season has something special to offer tourists. Truthfully, the Mother City is a great destination all year-round, you just need to choose your ideal experience considering the type of vacation you seek.
The ideal time to visit South Africa depends on what you want to do. Summer (November to March) and Autumn (March to May) are particularly popular periods for national and international visitors.
Are you planning to visit the Western Cape?
Have a look at our holiday rental portfolio. Choose from over 1,500 luxury villas and apartments for rent offering space, privacy, and complimentary cleaning services.
Call us on +27 21 201 1495 to speak to us about your accommodation needs.
Explore Cape Town and the Peninsula
Cape Town, as one of the top 10 cities in the world, deserves a spot at the top of your travel itinerary. See what makes this city so special among tourist and locals alike, and be captivated by Cape Town’s charm.
Explore the Cape Winelands
The Cape Winelands, with its lush green valleys and rugged mountain ranges is truly a sight to behold. This is the biggest wine producing region in the Western Cape and every so often you will pass one of the many fruit orchards where award winning grapes are being transformed into some of the most sought-after wines in the country.
Pick a Cape Winelands destination to learn more:
Explore the Garden Route
The Garden Route is one of South Africa’s richest botanical treasures where travellers can lose themselves in the beauty of the region’s incredible mountain ranges, remarkable views, colourful landscapes with valleys, lakes, rivers and forests, as well as kilometres of beautiful, white sandy beaches.
Pick a Garden Route destination to learn more:
Explore the Overberg
The Overberg is full of natural disparity and spectacular scenery. It is filled with rugged mountain ranges, kilometres of fynbos, rolling fields of wheat and canola, as well as extravagant coastal views. If you need some time to reflect, discover who you are, or have the adventure of a lifetime, the Overberg is the place for you.
Pick an Overberg destination to learn more:
Explore the West Coast
The West Coast, a previously unexplored region for tourists, is a popular retreat for locals. Tourists are slowly starting to wonder further into this region although it is still a hidden gem if you are looking for peace, quiet and an authentically South African experience. This is a region that has some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world with breathtaking mountains, sparkling blue oceans and spectacular views of the beautiful surrounding areas.
Need more inspiration?
Make sure you don’t miss out on any of Cape Town’s best-kept secrets! Follow our locally curated holiday itinerary planning guide with over 100 ideas to make the most of your vacation in South Africa’s charming Mother City.
Also, have a look at our holiday accommodation and travel guide for discerning travellers and our guide on planning the perfect honeymoon to Cape Town.
Why do families choose Cape Town Villas?
We vet every villa so you can avoid unpleasant surprises and make your booking with peace of mind!
Are your stuck on choosing a Destination?
Tell us about your idea of a perfect holiday. Our reservations team can suggest places in the Western Cape that match your unique requirements.
Call us on +27 21 201 1495 to get advice on choosing the ideal destination.