Cape Town and the Winelands Travel Guide

Use this Cape Town and the Winelands Travel Guide to help plan your trip.

South Africa's 'Mother City', dominated by Table Mountain and surrounded by the wild Atlantic, has unquestionably one of the most beautiful city backdrops in the world. Despite being a considerable urban hub, its surroundings are surprisingly untamed, characterized by a mountainous spine stretching between two seaboards and edged by rugged coast and dramatic beaches.

Central Cape Town with its grandiose colonial buildings and beautiful public gardens crammed up against modern skyscrapers lies in the steep-sided bowl created by Table Mountain. Atmospheric Victorian suburbs stretch around the lower slopes, while the Atlantic Seaboard with its promenade and dense crop of holiday flats and the popular V&A Waterfront development hug the coast.

Further out on False Bay are the Cape Flats, their sprawling townships a lasting testimony of the Apartheid era. Beyond, in the beautiful Winelands region, the old towns of Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl nestle in a range of low mountains and scenic valleys covered by the vineyards of historic wine estates which have been cultivating grapes for some 300 years.

Cape Town's population is the most cosmopolitan in the country, with a mix of cultures, ethnicities and religions that drive the very pulse of the city. The mishmash of people, including white descendants of Dutch and British settlers, a black African population and the distinctive 'Cape Coloured' community, results in a vibrant cultural scene.

It is this mixture of environments and communities that makes Cape Town such an instantly likeable and captivating city. Few places in the world can offer mountain hiking, lazing on a beach, tasting world-class wines and drinking beer in a township shebeen all in one day. Put simply, it is a city worth crossing the world for.

This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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