I’ve been freelancing for a few months and that comes with it’s ups and downs. One of the biggest benefits are that you get to work remotely….and so I got to spend an entire month in my home country, South Africa. That means that I got to escape a little bit of winter in the UK and spend a glorious summer in small town, South Africa.
The country is currently in a wonderfully, exciting period and if you ever wanted to feel the true South African spirit in full glory then now is the time to go. The country has more than enough accommodation, some seriously good food and activity choices to keep you busy for a lifetime, but today I want to share some of my favourite small towns worth adding to your road trip.
This feature is focused on 5 small towns specifically in the Western Cape province. All of the towns have options to stay on Booking.com if you want to explore their full beauty for longer than a day trip. I would advise renting a car from Cape Town to reach any of the below gems.
This town is very near to my heart, and full disclosure it’s the region where my parents have retired so I’m not very objective. It’s got wonderful beaches, mountains to hike and just the right amount of restaurants, shops and spa facilities to keep you very busy. Oh, and then there are the whales. Actual whales just hanging around the Old Harbour as if it were their backyard. Make sure to visit between July – November if you want to spot the whales while having lunch.
Hermanus is easily reachable by car from Cape Town and you can get there in approximately a 1.5 hours drive.
Only another short 24 km drive from Hermanus you’ll find this small country town, Stanford. Where Hermanus has the beach Stanford has the river. And what a river it is. This idyllic town filled with Victorian style houses and palm trees has a charm you will struggle to find anywhere else. Grab a delicious coffee and lunch at Ou Meul as you enter the town and finish off with a sunset cruise on the river. Simply dreamy.
If the African sun isn’t enough for you and you need an extra source of heat then Montagu is where it’s at. This lovely town is blessed with the most striking mountain range and natural warm baths. Again, you’ll be surrounded by Victorian history, but with exceptionally friendly locals all around. Never have I felt so at home because of a few smiles and jokes. If you need a bit of perspective then you’ll get it here.
I have written about Ladismith before, and I’ll continue to do so. The small town where my father’s family is from will sweep you away in its desert style landscape, vineyards and ostrich farms. It’s further from Cape Town at 324 km but this can be the perfect halfway stop if you intend to explore to the famous Garden Route.
Another one that you can find more info on this site but for good reason. This one is not that simple though. You’ll need to book a few months in advance and there aren’t many options for 1 or 2 people, but for a group, this is an absolute treat. Completely tranquil, surrounded by nature and filled with families who have been spending their summers there for decades. It’s where you go to connect with your soul and simply forget about the rest of the world. Simplicity at it’s best!