Just a two and half hour drive away from Cape Town, you’ll discover a town with plenty of character and charm – not to mention its incredible setting against the Langeberg mountains. Swellendam is South Africa’s third oldest town and is steeped in history with beautiful Cape Dutch architecture on every corner.
The town has so many cute and quirky places to eat and explore and the best part for me is all the nature that’s on offer. I’ve rounded up a few places that I discovered on a recent visit ~ I hope it inspires you to visit.
BUT FIRST COFFEE
For the coffee lovers, there are a number of great spots to try. Visit Clock Peaks Coffee for an authentic coffee roasting experience. Pop in for a coffee or to buy some of their freshly roasted beans.
Ikigai Coffee Bar & Deli serves fantastic coffees and gourmet treats and also has a selection of gifts for browsing.
Tredici is the place to go for freshly baked treats and delectable dishes. Ideal to pick up some padkos for your trip or to stay for a leisurely meal.
There’s no shortage of restaurants and eateries, from casual and relaxed options to more fine dining. Woodpecker Pizzadeli Restaurant is a fave with the locals and has a large outdoor area. Fantastic pizzas, kid friendly and well priced too.
Republic is the newest addition to Swellendam and looks set to be a winner with its steampunk inspired look and a large outdoor area. The food on offer is delicious and they produce their own craft gins.
Try The Beach Restaurant at The Garden Shack Nursery for seafood in a quirky setting.
Lily’s Restaurant at The Milestone Manor is a great kid friendly option.
WHERE TO STAY
De Companjie is a stylish boutique guest house with a colourful, eclectic flair. Only three suites plus a lush garden and small swimming pool for cooling down in. Their restaurant serves incredible food and is open for dinners from Thursday – Monday.
Situated in the heart of town, Cypress Cottage has a charming old world feel and is in walking distance of many of the popular restaurants. Breakfast out on the front porch, overlooking the stunning garden, is just magic.
For a real treat, book a night or two at Schoone Oordt Country House for a luxurious experience. You can look forward to dining in their Conservatory Restaurant and enjoying a 3-course set breakfast and complimentary tea in the afternoon.
Of course there are plenty of self catering options too. Battenberg’s Guest House is conveniently located and has a great family unit with all the mod cons. Just minutes away from the river and a number of restaurants.
THINGS TO DO
– Visit the Rain Day Spa & shop for beautiful body & soap products
– Experience local at Under The Oaks Market – every Saturday from 9 till 2
– Get your honey fix at Bee Things
– Visit the Bukkenburg Pottery Studio
– Try a liqueur tasting at Wildebraam Berry Estate or stock up on their incredible products
– Take a trip to Suurbraak and visit artist Donovan Julius at his Zinc gallery. You might get lost, so ask for help along the way – there are no signs!
ESCAPE INTO NATURE
There’s an abundance of nature activities in and around Swellendam.
– Bontebok National Park
– De Hoop Nature Reserve
– Marloth Nature Reserve
– Buffeljags dam at Umshanti for boat cruises, swimming, canoeing, hiking/cycling to stunning mountain pools, water-skiing. If you are brave enough, hitch a ride on Kosie’s microlite
– Park Run every Saturday
– Horse riding and Bass & Tilapia Fishing at Kwetu
– Horse riding at Appelsbosch Farm
– Swellendam Golf Course