Go explore South Africa’s gorgeous Garden Route

Table Mountain
I am going to South Africa for three weeks with my girlfriend and we plan to travel the Garden Route. We arrive into Cape Town airport and are scheduled to spend three days there. We want to pack as much as possible into the short period of time. Is there anything that we really can’t miss during our stay?

I am going to South Africa for three weeks with my girlfriend and we plan to travel the Garden Route. We arrive into Cape Town airport and are scheduled to spend three days there. We want to pack as much as possible into the short period of time. Is there anything that we really can’t miss during our stay?

South Africa is a breath-taking country and the Garden Route is one of the most popular tourist routes on the continent. You will certainly have a fantastic stay and there are plenty of sites to see during your short stop in Cape Town. The only difficulty you will have is choosing where to visit first.

Cape Town is the oldest city in South Africa, best known for its beautiful natural landscape which boasts

one of the seven wonders of nature, Table Mountain. The mountain is a must-see for any visitor to the city. The aerial cableway is the only way to truly experience it unless you’re extremely fit and up for a challenge. The cable cars or ‘rotairs’ provide passengers with a 360-degree view of the city and mountain as they make their way up and down the mountain. It takes about five minutes to reach the upper station which lies 1067m above sea level.

The summit offers breathtaking views of Cape Town and Robben Island, where former president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, was imprisoned for 20 years. There is also a charming summit tea room, where you can sit with a cup of rooibos tea, relax and take in the scenery. I would recommend booking your tickets online well in advance as the mountain tends to be busy during calm weather periods.

After your exciting jaunt up the mountain, you may be in the mood to explore somewhere a little less elevated. The V & A Waterfront is Cape Town’s coastal tourist hub, with a collection of curios shops and more familiar brands, as well as an endless sprawl of harbour-side restaurants and bars. Make sure to check out the Waterfront craft market to pick up some one-of-a-kind souvenirs and artwork, handmade by the residents of nearby townships. If it’s food you’re after, the Market on the Wharf offers fresh, multicultural fare from a number of small local producers.

When you’ve recovered from the excitement of day one, why not take a trip to the most south-westerly tip of Africa and see where some of the world’s greatest explorers once dared to travel. The narrow finger of land that is Cape Point is a natural world heritage site composed of rugged rocks and sheer cliffs almost 200 metres above sea level. While you are there make sure to have a go on the Flying Dutchman funicular, named so because of the local legend of The Flying Dutchman. It is an exciting and novel way to travel up to the old lighthouse, where you can view the cliffs of the stunning Cape of Good Hope. If you happen to be visiting during the summer months, you may just spot a whale or two in the ocean!

A visit to Cape Town wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the region’s wine district. Constantia Valley is the oldest wine-growing area in the whole of South Africa, a secret rural retreat perfect if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city for a while. Steenberg Wine Estate is the oldest Winery in the picturesque valley. If you’re so inclined you can sample their world famous wines whilst dining on fine food in their modern and innovative bistro and wine tasting lounge. If you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, The Spier Hotel and Wine Estate offers a half-day Segway tour of the vineyard and Protea farm. The estate is located approximately 40 minutes from Cape Town and offers a wealth of attractions such as its Bird of Prey Rehabilitation and Conservation Centre, making it a worthwhile excursion. From here you can continue on your travels along the beautiful Garden Route.

Where to stay:

The Twelve Apostles Hotel(*****)

Prices start from €350 per room per night on Hotels.com

*Prices are subject to availability at the time of booking

Within easy reach of the beach, The Twelve Apostles Hotel is in Cape Town, close to Llandudno Beach, World of Birds, and the illustrious Camps Bay. The hotel boasts a luxurious full-service spa, an outdoor pool, and a health club. There are two restaurants along with a coffee shop/café and a bar/lounge. Complimentary cars are provided for those who wish to travel to the heart of Cape Town, the V&A Waterfront.

The Victoria & Alfred Hotel(****)

Prices start from €229 per room per night on Hotels.com

*Prices are subject to availability at the time of booking

Situated right in the very heart of the V&A Waterfront, the Victoria & Alfred Hotel occupies an old warehouse on the harbor. It is just footsteps away from an array of attractions and activities such as The South Africa Maritime Museum and Victoria Wharf. Guests can make use of a complimentary health club and pool, as well as a poolside bar and café. The breakfast buffet is a thing of luxury with sparkling wine and oysters on offer.

Protea Hotel President(****)

Prices start from €185 per room per night on Hotels.com

*Prices are subject to availability at the time of booking

Named after South Africa’s national flower, the Protea hotel is located close to the magnificent Lions Head and Milton Beach. The hotel has all the basic facilities as well as an outdoor pool and 24-hour fitness centre. The helpful staff can provide plenty of information about the area’s attractions and offer a ticket-booking service. Complimentary Wi-Fi is provided to all guests at the hotel.

*All prices are tips on planning subject to availability at the time of booking

For more information and travel your holiday visit www.Hotels.com or call 1800 55 3338 to wake up happy on your holiday!