In case you didn’t know a thing about Cape Town and its surrounds you’ll learn quick enough there is plenty to see and do, all in a close proximity. A two hour drive in any direction will have your environment change from urban to mountains, forest to semi-dessert and active to relaxed. This post is about how much can be done in just one day. The challenge we set to ourselves included our favourite attractions – mountain, wine farm and a beach – all in a chilled ‘capetownian’ way.
We picked out a sunny Saturday and chose to start the day with a hike up the Table Mountain. Yes, that’s the flat roofed mountain which is a ‘must see’ in every guidebook. In mid summer it tends to get HOT on the berg ( wind is an essential part of the summer too ) so an early start is highly recommended. Because the City Bowl is literally on the slopes of the mountain a quick drive from nearly anywhere in the surrounding suburbs will have you at the starting point of one of the many trails. We chose to hike up the Platteklip Gorge route which climbs its way up the front side of the table, just past the cable way station (for those who don’t fancy a hike). The route takes about an hour and a half up and offers increasingly more spectacular views of the city and the bay as you get higher. No crazy level of fitness is needed to get up to the top but the hike is more strenuous than the neighbouring Lions Head. Through the summer we climbed several different routes on the mountains, each unique in its own way. Once on top we walked towards the cable car station and enjoyed the clear views stretching towards the Cape Point in the distance, Noordhoek, Hout Bay and gorgeous Camps Bay and Clifton beaches. Surrounded with tourists that took the short route up ( cable car ) we found quiet spots inside the station with stunning views of Lions Head, Atlantic Seaboard, City Bowl and Devil’s Peak mountain.
We quickly descended via the cable car and headed towards Constantia – a picturesque leafy suburb sitting on the perimeter of the mountain. It is also the setting to some of the Cape’s oldest and most established wine farms. While the Western Cape province is loaded with wine areas such as the most famous Frranschoek and Stellenbosch we chose Constantia due to a shorter drive from town. It took us about 25 minutes to reach Beau Constantia, a small modern wine farm. The restaurant on the premises was quite busy but we decided to stay outside under a sun umbrella and relax after the hike. We got a bottle of their refreshing Sauvignon Blanc and chilled on the grass slopes overlooking the mountains and the surrounding area. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon!
From Contantia we continued our lap around the mountain through to Hout Bay, a popular harbour town, and back towards Cape Town following the coastal road. The drive is absolutely spectacular so if and when you come visit make sure you time this drive on a nice day to appreciate the natural beauty surrounding you. The Atlantic ocean on one side and the mountain range on the other side ( Twelve Apostles ) followed us all the way to our last stop for the day – Clifton beach. We got there in time to soak some sun and dip our feet ( Thane was brave enough for a quick swim ) in the freezing cold water. From the beach we could see where we stood on top of Table Mountain that same morning making it a perfect ending to a pretty damn good day.