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Post-lockdown travel: Explore four contrasting Overberg spots

Whilst places like Hermanus tend to feature (quite rightly) as a top Cape Overberg highlight, there’s a rich kaleidoscope of other experiences and places to discover in the region after lockdown.


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The Overberg, which can roughly be translated as “Over the mountain”, is ideally positioned a hop and skip away from Cape Town. This makes it a fantastic weekend or holiday getaway. It’s a huge area of exquisite and stark contrasts. The diverse landscapes offer dramatic mountain scenery, sweeping coastlines, fertile farmlands, and even wine lands.

Here are four delightfully distinct Overberg places that illustrate just how much novelty this beautiful region offers its visitors.

Elgin and Grabouw

This must surely be one of the Overberg’s biggest surprises for many and an easy day trip from Cape Town. Whilst this area is famously known for its luscious apples, its cool climate enables the local valley wine estates to produce gorgeous crisp wines. Indulge in MCC bubbly at Charles Fox or sip wine at Oneiric and take in breathtaking scenery every which way you turn.

Consider a fun and unique weekend steam train ride to revel in all that the Elgin Railway Market has on offer. If you’re driving, be sure to stop at the Peregrine Farm Stall on your way in or out of the valley.


All too often this town serves as a mere pit stop en route somewhere further along the N2, but it’s fully worthy of a proper visit. Swellendam is South Africa’s third oldest town and flanked by the imposing Langeberg Mountains. The town is full of charming character and home to stately architecture, cosy country houses like Schoone Oordt, plenty of arty places and superb restaurants.

Swellendam is surrounded by lush green farmland and there are quite a few guest farms. Some even with a game farm feel such as Kwetu, which provides weary city slickers both outdoor adventure and a chance to relax in blissful nature. Guest farms will be perfect getaways to maintain social distancing goals without any effort.


This mellow seaside village with its azure waters is a living snapshot of a bygone era. It’s specifically this quality that gives Arniston much of its quaint charm. Nestled between Cape Agulhas and Witsand, it’s characterised by white-washed cottages dotted around and the fishermen that take their boats out daily to catch a haul.

Go to Arniston to relax and enjoy the slow life. Enjoy the beautiful beach, spot frolicking whales in season, take walks to explore Kassiesbaai or the famous Waenhuiskrans Cave. Visit nearby nature reserves or take a drive to Cape Agulhas, the “true” southernmost tip of Africa. A sea-facing room with a balcony at the Arniston Hotel is the ultimate treat.


Inland Barrydale is also part of Route 62 and gateway to the Little Karoo with its wide-open expanses and starry skies. Barrydale is quirky. Enjoy fascinating memorabilia, decor and legendary milkshakes at Diesel and Crème or honey tasting at Bee Things.

Whilst these four Overberg gems are just a drop in the proverbial ocean, it gives an idea of just how much this extraordinary region holds, waiting to be explored after this very long lockdown comes to an end.

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