Stellenbosch is a quick 45 minute drive from Cape Town and a must see on your trip to South Africa. The charming town in the Cape Winelands is romantic, quaint, and unlike anything you'd expect in South Africa. Rolling hills of vineyards and trees surround the colonial style buildings in town. A popular university with 28,000 students is central in Stellenbosch along with countless wineries, restaurants, and the most adorable BnB's. A unique collection of tourists, locals, and students make up this little oasis.
The darling colonial houses and boutique hotels in Stellenbosch are so romantic. I had hearts in my eyes as we drove through the tree lined streets with falling leaves and vineyards as far as you can see. The air is so clean with all the lush greenery around it is impossible to not feel good here. This place is so special it will take you somewhere truly magical.
get grounded in nature
There are hundreds of hiking trails around Stellenbosch with epic waterfalls and mountaintop views. Exploring these trails every morning left us feeling alive and ready for some guilt-free wine tasting and fine dining later in the day. You can hike for hours in these mountains and not see another soul. Talk about the perfect place to meditate or bring your yoga mat for some sun salutations!
Nature is the perfect place for meditation to focus your energy. The sounds of nature without disruption are so grounding and beautiful it is actually quite easy to still your mind with calmness and ease. It is so rare these days to find such silence without a horn honking or people yelling. I love being out in nature - it is such a natural high and the easiest reminder to be grateful.
Have you ever noticed how there is a sense of comfort and ease when you are outside, away from a city? It is such a primal, natural thing for humans that we lose sense of what is reality and what isn't when we are far from nature. Being in nature - that is reality, that is who we are. It quickly reminds you that all the noise and petty things from your "real" life don't matter. Stellenbosch with all the wine tasting aside was such a wonderfully grounding weekend for me.
Organic wine tasting
I don't drink a lot but when I do I try and only have organic wine at least. Stellenbosch has some of the best organic wine I've ever had at Laibach winery. The adorable family run winery had incredible bottles of wine anywhere from USD $10-$20 - such a steal! And a flight of wine tasting was $2 a person. Tempting to go overboard but the outdoors of Stellenbosch already give such a natural high we really didn't feel the need. We just appreciated the wine and stocked up on a few bottles for our upcoming Kruger Safari :)
Where to stay
This is so easy actually - there are tons of the cutest BnB's and boutique hotels all around. All of which are hopelessly romantic. We stayed at the charming River Manor BnB and loved it. They even had GF bread and loads of my fave papaya for breakfast - I was a happy camper.
Now for the good stuff. There a lot of quaint restaurants with local organic ingredients in Stellenbosch. Helena's was my favorite as they were beyond accommodating with my many dietary requests and everything we had was perfection. Not to mention it was the cutest little place I have ever been. Oddly enough just about everywhere was very accommodating with my dietary needs and finding things like gluten free bread was surprisingly easy.
Have you been to Stellenbosch? What were your favorite wineries and restaurants? Tell me about your experiences in the Cape Winelands!