Stellenbosch is South Africa’s second oldest town, after Cape Town and is the sentimental heart of the Winelands. Lined with shady oaks and beautiful gabled, white-washed buildings the streets of Stellenbosch still have small irrigation channels on either side of the older roads. In the past, these were used to water gardens, as each householder had a time slot in which to divert the town’s irrigation into their plot.
It is very cultural and somewhat venerable, while also displaying a decidedly young and vibrant air. There are some interesting museums and many of the buildings, including some of the hotels and restaurants, are national monuments and deserve a second look. There is good mountain biking just outside the town, and there are golf courses aplenty, but Stellenbosch is really all about wine.
The town is virtually surrounded by fabulous cellars where you can do a tasting, join a cellar tour, stock up your own personal cellar, and perhaps enjoy a lovely leisurely lunch in the shade of some typical Stellenbosch oaks. Some of the wine farms have become multi-purpose resorts with theatres, restaurants, equestrian centres and much much more.
Keen for a blast in the Winelands? Ride through Stellenbosch vineyards, orchards and fynbos to the top of the historical Bottelary Hills. Magical views of Stellenbosch, its mountains, False Bay and Table Mountain can be seen throughout the ride. Special outings include picnics, wine-tasting or spectacular sunrise or sunset rides. www.barehoofhorsetrails.co.za
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