The second oldest town in South Africa, Stellenbosch is known for its natural beauty and oak-lined avenues, Cape Dutch architecture, history and culture – and of course its wine routes.
Stellies – as it’s affectionately known – is a university town, so despite its heritage it retains a youthful vibe. They say you’re not a full-blown “matie” (Stellenbosch student) until you’ve been kissed in The Avenue, or until an acorn falls on your head. Both are relatively easy to achieve.
Surrounded by wine farms, the town is abuzz with hotels, wine shops, cafés, restaurants, boutiques, art galleries and museums. It’s quite small, so park your car and wander around on foot.
The Stellenbosch Wine Routes – the largest and oldest in the country – encompass more than 200 wine and grape producers in the region, which are divided into five sub-routes: Greater Simonsberg, Bottelary Hills, Stellenbosch Valley, Stellenbosch Berg and Helderberg, each with unique wines, climates and charm.
Stellenbosch is home to many of the Western Cape’s top restaurants, most of which are on wine estates.