Stellenbosch is a famous town in the Western Cape, just over an hour’s drive from Cape Town. It’s one of the top wine-producing destinations of the Cape Winelands region and well known as the “gourmet capital” of South Africa. But there’s more to this charming town than wine and food. There are hundreds of things to do in Stellenbosch, offering you a wonderful variety. So, in no particular order, let’s look at some of the top highlights from South Africa’s gourmet capital!
Several tour options are available to help you discover all the beautiful locations around the town. Enjoy exploring Stellenbosch with a stunning view of the vineyards of the Cape Winelands and the nature reserves of Jonkershoek and Simonsberg.
Hop and hop off with a minibus tour
Take up a tour with Vine Hopper’s Southern Route! This hop-and-hop-off wine tour operates on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Get ready to explore a part of Stellenbosch, stopping at a variety of wine estates and restaurants, while catching sights of the Cape Dutch architecture, the magnificent vineyards, and serene lakes. Take note that you should reserve your seats well in advance. Adults pay R350 while booking a seat for a child will cost R175. Don’t worry about phoning to book, you can reserve your seat online.
It’s best to take one of the earlier timeslots. If you book for the later slots, you might not end up seeing all the farms on the route.
Enjoy a guided bike tour
Treat yourself to this scenic tour which will reward you with beautiful sights and fascinating history along with superb wine pairings and healthy exercise! One of the highly stimulating things to do in Stellenbosch comes courtesy of Adventure Shop, which has offices in the town. The tour starts at 09:00 every day and lasts for four to five hours. You will have a choice between a regular bicycle or an electric bicycle (E-Bike). You’ll begin at the Adventure Shop office, with your guide taking you through the mountainous Jonkershoek Valley, a number of wine estates for tastings (some including more of the famous Cape Dutch architecture), with the final stretch leading through the well-known Stellenbosch University. The cost of the tour is R830 per person, with an additional R150 if you choose an E-Bike. The package includes:
- A guide
- Bicycle and helmet rental
- 1 wine tasting and 1 wine and chocolate pairing
- Cellar tour
- Snack Pack
The guide will also carry saddle panniers if you’d like to buy any wine. Make sure to reserve your spot in advance online.
Indulge in thrilling balloon rides
There’s nothing like a slow and almost quiet ascent as you can experience with a balloon ride over the picturesque vineyards and mountains. Hot air balloons usually take off around sunrise, which is before thermal activity starts. You can only enjoy a balloon ride when there’s no fog, strong wind, rain or hot weather. Make sure you’re at the starting point at least a half-hour before takeoff. One of the most incredible things to do in Stellenbosch takes place every year from November to the end of April. If you wish to enjoy this fantastic activity, make sure you have two days available, since the team controlling the rides needs to ensure the weather is just right. You can submit a request for more information online. The meeting place is the parking area of the Grande Roche Hotel. The cost of the balloon rides for this period is as follows:
- 22 November 2019 to 22 April 2020 – R3,900
- 15 December 2019 to 12 January 2020 – R4,500
Children between the ages of 8 and 12 can enjoy a balloon ride for R3,200. Children under 8 years are not allowed. You will need to pay for your ride on the day in cash. Credit card payments will not be accepted.
Discover stunning scenery and interesting wildlife
Meet the captivating residents of Eagle Encounters at Spier
If you’re passionate about birds of prey, then make sure you spend time in Spier for one of the unforgettable things to do in Stellenbosch. Eagle Encounters at Spier is all about the rehabilitation and release of birds of prey. They’ve been doing it since 2001, making sure to also promote conservation and education. Enjoy outstanding displays with the numerous eagles, owls, falcons and more at the conservation centre. You don’t need to book in advance, and one of the best things about Eagle Encounters is that it’s unaffected by load shedding. If you’d like to get up close and personal, there is a petting zoo, where you can interact with chickens and even piglets!
|Open:||Monday to Sunday, 09:00 – 17:00 (closed on Christmas)|
|Entrance for adults:||R80 per person|
|Entrance for students and pensioners: *||R65 per person|
|Entrance for children (3-12):||R65 per person|
|One-on-one time with Wally, a Wahlberg’s Eagle **||R30 per person|
|Meet Leo, Verreaux’s Eagle: **||R50 per person|
|Phone:||+27 (0) 84 037 5523|
|Address:||Spier Wine Farm, Baden Powell Drive (R310), Lynedoch, Stellenbosch|
* Make sure to produce your ID or student card when paying (this applies to South African citizens only).
** This is not included in the entrance fee.
If you wish to make group bookings or arrange special packages, feel free to contact Eagle Encounters directly.
Explore the serene Stellenbosch University Botanical Garden
Get in touch with charming nature with the tranquil scenes at Stellenbosch University Botanical Garden. Discover a wide variety of native and imported plants. There are four beautiful glasshouses and themed gardens to explore. Rejuvenate your senses with one of the more relaxing things to do in Stellenbosch. The garden provides a welcome break from the rush of activity in the town, thanks to their location in the middle. The admission fee is R15. You can find the Stellenbosch University Botanical Garden at Neethling Street and Van Riebeeck Street, Stellenbosch Central, Stellenbosch. You can reach the garden via telephone at +27 (0) 21 808 3054. The garden is open every day from 08:00 to 17:00.
|Open:||08:00 – 17:00|
|Address:||Neethling Street and Van Riebeeck Street, Stellenbosch Central, Stellenbosch|
|Phone:||+27 (0) 21 808 3054|
Discover amazing art and culture
Get lost in the Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden
Breathe in the fresh air as you admire a blend of professionalism and creativity. The garden is one of the highly popular things to do in Stellenbosch, thanks to an outdoor setting that’s tailor-made to highlight the beautiful sculptures. The garden is open from Tuesday to Saturday, between 09:00 and 17:00. Visits and tours can only be made by appointment only.
|Address:||Paradyskloof Road, Mulberry Farm, Stellenbosch|
|Phone:||+27 (0) 21 880 0054|
See the local talent on display at The Red Teapot Gallery
Find this little treasure in the heart of Stellenbosch Central. Many of the items on display at The Red Teapot Gallery are the work of the local artists in the town and surrounding areas. Don’t let the name fool you, the gallery is a truly classy example of what you’d expect to find in such a location. Walk inside and admire the colourful scene, with walls decorated from top to bottom with amazing artworks in all sizes. Who knows? You might find something that really captures your attention. You’re more than welcome to buy any one of the artworks at The Red Teapot Gallery.
|Address:||8 Church Street, Stellenbosch Central, Stellenbosch|
|Phone:||+27 (0) 21 887 2052|
Now you know more about all the fantastic things to do in Stellenbosch. If you’re not a local of the town, book cheap flights to Cape Town, and enjoy a scenic drive to Stellenbosch.
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All information on this blog page was correct at the time of publishing and may change at any time without prior notice. Travelstart will not be held liable for loss or inconvenience resulting from the use of out-dated or incorrectly noted information.