Luxury holidays in Stellenbosch

The vibrant university town of Stellenbosch punches well above its weight on many fronts. Small in size, but big on scenery, it stands amid the soaring clefts of the Cape Winelands – an area where natural beauty isn’t exactly in short supply. Indeed, little Stellenbosch forms the centrepiece – along with nearby Franschhoek – of this oenologically obsessed area. Better still, it’s only 30 minutes from Cape Town, so easy to visit on a day trip, weekend break or a longer stay. And you will want to stay longer – because another area where Stellenbosch excels is in world-class restaurants, wineries and tasting rooms. In short, syrbriates and scenery fans will be well served with a stay in this Western Cape town, whose compact size belies its cultural dimensions.

When to go

Winter isn’t an ideal time to visit South Africa (June to August), as it gets cold and brings rain. Instead, wait until spring (September to November), when the gardens of Stellenbosch’s hotels come to life and the vines take root. Summer is glorious (October to March), paving the way for pool parties and braais; autumn (April to June) brings harvest and the best of the region’s bounty with abundant wine and farm-to-fork meals (even more than usual).

Getting there

  • Planes

    Cape Town’s main international airport is a 30-minute drive to the west.
  • Automobiles

    Driving’s a popular way for visitors to explore South Africa car hire is easily arranged at all major airports and city centres. Roads are well maintained and easy to navigate, especially along the main N2 highway, which snakes from Cape Town to the Garden Route and into the Eastern Cape. Many hotels offer a free shuttle around Stellenbosch if you want to go car free and explore the wineries without a designated driver.