Three Easy Women’s Day Getaways near the Mother City
In South Africa, Women’s Day commemorates the 9th of August 1956, when a group of determined South African women took a stand against unjust pass laws.
With Women’s Day just around the corner (on the Thursday the 9th of August) many will be taking that Friday off too and making a long weekend of it. With that in mind here are some quick and easy getaway ideas near Cape Town for you and your girlfriends.
The Overberg: Hermanus
The whales are already back in Hermanus this year, so why not head out this popular seaside town for a picturesque weekend away? There is plenty to do in ‘the village’ and on the way there. When driving to Hermanus (via Sir Lowry’s Pass) be sure to stop at The Hickory Shack in Elgin for a delicious Texas-style barbecue feast in a stunning mountainside setting. Just pull in off the N2 about 1.2km after Paul Cluver. The menu has something for everyone but their ‘Backyard Brunch’ could be the perfect start to a girl’s road trip.
A quicker but equally tasty food stop is the Houw Hoek Farmstall (also off the N2 just a few kilometres before the Botriver turnoff). They’re famous for their wide selection of pies with the venison option being a firm favourite for many. Another great and worthwhile detour is a pampering session at the Western Cape’s most famous Natural Warm Mineral Baths located in the farming town of Caledon (approximately two hours from Cape Town). You could drive on to Hermanus through Caledon by taking the back route into town through the gorgeous Hemel-En-Aarde Valley.
Facilities at the Caledon Hotel & Spa include an elegant Victorian Bath House (erected 1897), cascading hot pools, a steam room, sauna, frigidarium pool, Swiss shower and jacuzzi. Only 80 tickets are available per day and demand is high weekends and public holidays so arrive early or book in advance to avoid disappointment. (028 214 5100)
Once in Hermanus, you’ll be truly spoiled for choice. There are wine estates to explore (visits to Creation or Hamilton Russell are always worthwhile). Or you could have a seafood lunch at the pristine Marine Hotel with its fantastic ocean views and then follow that up with a stroll along the cliff paths where whale sightings are frequent. If you prefer to take it easy, then enjoy a sublime sunset on the dunes of Grotto Beach. But the more adventurous in your group could opt for tandem paragliding above the town or shark diving below it. Visit Hermanus Tourism to see just how much is on offer.
The West Coast: Yzerfontein
If you and your gal crew are looking for a chilled, super- escape, then take a trip out to Yzerfrontein located only 80 kilometres from Cape Town. This charming oceanside village is not only a haven for birdlife, wildlife, sea life and indigenous flora, it also boasts South Africa’s longest stretch of beach which runs for 25 kilometres, all the way up to the start of the West Coast National Park in the north. Popular with water sports enthusiasts, other activities include whale spotting, fishing and hiking.
You may also want to visit the nearby town of Darling, made famous by satirist Pieter Dirk Uys whose popular quirky theatre complex ‘Evita se Perron’ is a must-see – especially if Tannie Evita Bezuidenhout is in residence. And road tripping is thirsty work so be sure not to miss the Darling Brew Experience for a taste of ‘slow living’ at its best. The Tasterroom & Brewery on Caledon Street is a genuine treat. Indulge in an unusual beer and food pairing while soaking up the relaxed country atmosphere.
A visit to the West Coast National Park is another great detour even during off-peak periods. The reserve stretches from Yzerfontein to Langebaan and offers an array of activities such as bird watching, game sighting, biking and whale spotting. Avid birdwatchers can spot over 200 species of land and seabirds, and the game includes springbok, kudu, gemsbok and the rare mountain zebra. The popular restaurant, Geelbek, is situated near the Langebaan lagoon.
The Winelands: Franschhoek
A girls’ weekend away in Franschhoek is always a winning idea. This historic and postcard perfect village is a wine and food lovers’ paradise. And best of all it can be reached by driving through the university town of Stellenbosch which has many of its own culinary hotspots to enjoy.
Franschhoek, stemming from the Dutch for ‘French Corner’ is situated 75 kilometres from Cape Town and was founded in 1688 by French Huguenots. This quaint mountain valley village has many Bed & Breakfast options and a stunning array of restaurants, coffee shops and bars to choose from. You can sample a host of award-winning estate wines all within a 5km radius and it’s impossible to run out of dining options. From simple country fayre through to Michelin Star status, you can sample some of the finest food that South Africa has to offer. The ‘wine tram’ is a popular activity among visitors and the town is also famous for its unusual boutique shopping selections. It’s not too late to make a booking so get busy planning.
There’s a whole world waiting on your doorstep so don’t let winter weather keep you at home. Get your girls together and celebrate somewhere special.
From all of us at The Point, we wish you a very happy and fun-filled Women’s Day.
The Point Team x