Stellenbosch – Jewel of the Winelands

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Stellenbosch might be well known as a university town, but it has a lot to offer non-students as well. The many wine farms situated in the surrounding area are popular among all kinds of tourists, international and local. These might be the main attractions this quaint little town has to offer, but I believe the town itself is the true gem.

As one of the oldest established settlements in the Western Cape and the country, Stellenbosch has a rich history; which can easily be seen in the many beautiful Victorian buildings occupying it. There are several interesting museums one could visit, to admire fantastic art and to learn more about this old town’s history. There are several public artworks all around town for anyone to admire.

I know what you’re thinking, what about the students, well that’s just it. The university is closed over the summer, so, no more students. The town becomes much more accessible and traffic reduces significantly. In December all the ‘Stellies’ locals come out to play.

When roaming the streets of central Stellenbosch one cannot help but admire the magnificent european-esque atmosphere the many coffee shops, bistros and restaurants exert. Then, when looking to the horizon one becomes blessed by the absolutely stunning views of the mountains of the valley.

Just around the corner lies the beautiful Jonkershoek, a perfect place for day walks if one isn’t the mountain hiking type. Several bike trails are also laced in between the Coetzenburg forest. The Jan Marais nature reserve is also open to the public and is one of many beautiful picnic spots one can enjoy with any party.

Certainly Stellenbosch is one of the more underrated vacation spots in South Africa.

Of course, year round Stellenbosch still has many wonderful experiences to offer any visiting party. Annually it plays host to “Woordfees” a ten-day literary festival usually around March. The University’s conservatorium also showcases weekly musical performances from the top students also open to the public.

Whether you just drop in for a day, a weekend or stay a few weeks, Stellenbosch certainly is worth the visit.