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Fun Day Trips From Cape Town: Choose Your Adventure

[Updated October 2020]

Grab some friends, jump in the car and head out on an adventure. These are fun day trips from Cape Town which require little to no planning and can double as weekend escapes depending on how much time you have. Escape the city to the rugged beauty of the West Coast, frolic in the flowers, get your palaeontologist on, or do a leisurely wine tour of the Hemel en Aarde Valley.

There’s so much on offer less than two hours from the Mother City.

Photo credit: @nici_earthchild via Instagram

West Coast Wanderer

Into the blue at West Coast National Park

The beautiful blue waters of the lagoon will tempt you to swim even in winter!

Drive time: 1 hour from Cape Town

Also read: Discover West Coast Gems

Photo credit: @jason_se_lens via Instagram

Picnic by the Cape Columbine lighthouse

This picturesque beacon was named after a wooden ship “Columbine” which was wrecked on the shore near here long before the lighthouse was built. It is also one of four lighthouses in South Africa which offer overnight accommodation on site. The popular Titiesbaai Rest camp nearby offers campsites on the beach. No electricity.

Find the lighthouse in Columbine Nature Reserve just a 5-kilometre drive from Paternoster.

Drive time: 2 hours from Cape Town

Also read: Cape Columbine and Paternoster

Photo credit: @janetkleyn via Instagram

Budding palaeontologists will love the West Coast Fossil Park

See a fur seal skull, the remains of sabre tooth cats and short-necked giraffes. This is the only place in the world where you’ll find so many five-million-year-old fossils. Free for kids under five years old. Phone ahead if visiting on a weekend as opening times depend on the season.

Drive time: 1 hour and a half from Cape Town

Photo credit: @olivventer via Instagram

Frolic among the spring flowers

The best place to start your botanical bonanza is the West Coast National Park. This stunning day trip from Cape Town will have you getting lost amongst the beautiful flowers.

Drive time: 1 hour from Cape Town

Also read: 7 Best Places to See the Spring Flowers

Photo credit: via Instagram

Relax in peaceful Paternoster

Walk on the beach, eat a leisurely lunch in the garden at the Noisy Oyster and feel the workweek stress evaporate.

Those in search of a more rambunctious time can stop in for a klippies and coke at the Panty Bar found at the Paternoster Hotel where frilly drawers of all kinds hang from the ceiling.

Drive time: 1 hour and 45 minutes from Cape Town

Photo credit: @asouthafricantravels via Instagram

Overberg overtures

Greyton is a beautiful town tucked in the Overberg perfect for hiking, relaxing and eating in pastoral settings. If you have the chance, stay at The Post House Hotel, however, if it’s a day trip you’re after then a cosy lunch at the pub is called for.

The more active explorers will love the many hikes and trail runs available. It is a rewarding day’s hike over the mountain to McGregor, another Overberg gem.

Drive time to Greyton: 1 hour and 40 minutes from Cape Town

Photo credit: @mikeride100 via Instagram

Wine and song in the Hemel en Aarde Valley

In the gorgeous valley behind Hermanus take a drive to the various wine farms and drink in the view along with the quality wine. Some of our favourite farms include Hamilton Russell, Creation Wines, Bouchard Finlayson and Newton Johnson.

Drive time: 1 hour and 40 minutes from Cape Town

Also see: Undiscovered Wine Farms around Cape Town

History and Spice in Paarl

Ingest some fascinating history at the Paarl Museum before a chocolate and fine brandy tasting at the KWV Emporium. Not only that but the Emporium has a selection of celebrated South African artworks on the walls of the tasting room.

For a day trip which combines educational elements, kids will love the interactive exhibits upstairs at the Taal Museum. Combine this with ice cream at Spice Route, a trip to Fairview to visit the goats, finishing off with a sunset view at the Taal Monument.

The Taal Museum
11 Pastorie Avenue, Paarl
021 872 3441

The KWV Wine Emporium,

Kohler Street, Suider Paarl
021 807 3007 / 021 807 3008

Spice Route
Suid Agter Paarl Road
021 863 5200

Fairview Wine and Cheese
Suid Agter Paarl Road
021 863 2450

Brandy lovers should also pay a visit to the Zomerlust Gastehuis opposite where the old Paarl Wine and Brandy Company used to be. It is here that legend has it the director had a pipe made under the road to take the brandy from the distillery to a tap in his study. There is a bar named “die Kraan” in honour of the legend. The gardens are quite lovely too, especially in summer and are well worth a visit after lunch.

Drive time: 50 minutes from Cape Town

Photo credit: @zomerlust via Instagram


For a weekend away, check out Nine Day Trips for A Weekend Getaway

And if you want to go a little further, check out these 5 Unforgettable Road Trip Routes in South Africa

We love to hear about our readers’ discoveries. Share your favourite day trips from Cape Town in the comments section below. 

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