Holding two titles – as South Africa’s second-oldest town and as the country’s liveliest university town – Stellenbosch seems to be a town of contradictions. Oak trees, restaurants, art galleries, and museums line historic Dorp Street while (only a block or so away) bars and clubs set the scene for Stellenbosch’s rowdy student nightlife. There is, however, something binding the town’s old-world gravitas and youthful vitality together: wine. And lots of it.
With over 140 wineries between the folds of its rugged mountain ranges and rolling vineyards, Stellenbosch is the wine-producing epicentre of the Cape Winelands. While wine tours and tastings are among the most popular pastimes, that’s hardly all this town has to offer. Explore this historic town’s architecture and museums on foot or by bike, or head out to the Assegaaibosch, Jonkershoek, or Helderberg nature reserves for a day of hiking and bird-watching.
Known as the Eikestad (or the ‘town of oaks’), Stellenbosch is only 45-minutes’ drive from Cape Town. Not only is the town ideally positioned to be a countryside getaway for those in the Mother City, but it is also an ideal base from which to explore the rest of the Cape Winelands: both Franschhoek and Paarl are only about half-an-hour’s drive a way.
- Stellenbosch is South Africa’s second-oldest town, boasting a number of museums and monuments
- Over 140 wineries, many offering daily wine tastings and tours, can be found on the town’s surrounding wine route
- Visit the chic restaurants and art galleries dotted throughout the Dorp Street area
- Go hiking or bird-watching in the Assegaaibosch, Jonkershoek, and Helderberg nature reserves
- Several vibey bars and nightclubs (thanks to its status as a university town) dot Stellenbosch’s streets