No matter what route you take to get to Tulbagh, once you drive into the valley you’re struck by the beauty of the Witzenberg mountains below which the quaint town lies nestled between vineyards and olive groves. Only an hour and a half’s drive from Cape Town, Tulbagh is an easy day trip or a destination for a refreshing weekend break.
On tour to Tulbagh we normally make our first stop at the Oude Kerk Volksmuseum in Church Street. It is situated across the road from the Tourism Information Office and an ideal spot to leave vehicles and explore historic Church street on foot. Tulbagh dates back to the early 1700’s and Church Street boasts the largest number of Cape Dutch, Edwardian and Victorian provincial heritage sites in one street in South Africa. It was restored after the devastating earthquake of 1969 damaged a large number of these buildings.
Paddagang and Readers Restaurants in Church Street are highly recommended for relaxing lunches or dinners. We enjoy mid-morning refreshments at the Yellowhouse in Van der Stel Street (which runs parallel to Church Street) and also visit M.I.T. (Made In Tulbagh) which showcases the creative talents and abundance of the valley.
We then leave the town centre and venture out to the beautifully situated Rijk’s Hotel and Wine Estate for a wine tasting on the sun-dappled courtyard with amazing views of the lake, vineyards and mountains. There are a number of delightful eateries in Tulbagh and we enjoy the Diggers Home Kitchen for lunch where we can also sample premium wines handcrafted by winemaker Albert Brink.
If we’re out on a day tour, the afternoon will include a visit to the Oakhurst Olive Estate for tasting and gift shopping as well as stopover at Saronsberg Wines, not only to taste and buy their superb wines but to admire the fascinating artwork on display and sculptures in the lush green garden. For an overnight stay opt for the Tulbagh Boutique Heritage Hotel, Wittedrift Manor or Essere Lodge.
For guests who wish to make it a weekend away we also include visits to the charming towns of Wolseley and Ceres. In Wolsely we visit the Fynbos Guest Farm and Animal Rehabilitation Sanctuary to enjoy a relaxed walk through the beautiful gardens and to feed the animals. Tranquility truly abounds in this little piece of paradise. An overnight stayover in the Waverley Hotel must include dinner with the locals to hear their experiences of the 1969 earthquake – the 50th anniversary was commemorated this year.
Breakfast the next morning is at De Ja Brew, just outside Ceres and for the adrenaline junkies, there is the option to do the Ceres Zipslide Adventure, consisting of 1.4km of sliding fun along 8 slides varying from 100 – 290m in length. The slides are set up in the Schurweberg Mountains below the Koekedouw Dam.
We can then continue on through the picturesque Ceres valley, Prince Alfred’s Hamlet and the Gydo pass to Op-die-Berg for a Horse & Carriage Ride. Lunch is at Wonderlik Coffee Shop in the quaint village of Op-die-Berg. In cherry-picking season (November – December) we take the R46 out of Ceres and visit the very well-known Klondyke Farm for hours of happy picking and cherry eating before returning home to Cape Town.
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