If you ever get tired of the hustle and bustle of Cape Town, there is a variety of day trips from Cape Town IF you have a car at your disposal. These are the day trips from Cape Town we have done and enjoyed.
Day trip 1: Driving along Chapman’s Peak and visiting Cape Point, Simon’s Town and Boulders Beach
This is one of the day trips from Cape Town where you don’t leave Cape Town, but since it takes more than an hour to get to Cape Point from Cape Town’s city center, I have included it here.
A drive along Chapman’s Peak never disappoints, the ocean and mountain views from this road are simply fantastic.
From Chapman’s Peak drive you can either go to Cape Point first and then go to Simon’s Town and Boulders Beach or the other way around. Both ways have the same spectacular views.
Cape Point is a nature reserve at the most southwestern point of both Africa and South Africa. If you are into hiking, you can easily spend a whole day here. Most people go to Cape Point for one reason only: to walk to the point where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet.
From Cape Point Nature Reserve the next stop is Boulders Beach where you can see hordes of African penguins.
Simon’s Town is not far from Boulders Beach. Here you can spend some time in the Naval Museum if that is something you find interesting.
Day trip 2: Stellenbosch
Stellenbosch offers visitors many attractions. There are many hiking trails in Stellenbosch and plenty of art galleries. Apart from being pretty, the town center is historic and includes an old shop called, Oom Samie se Winkel (Uncle Samie’s Shop), the beautiful Moederkerk (Mother Church) and plenty of museums covering early life in the Cape – there is something for everyone! Stellenbosch is well-known for its wines. There are many wine cellars to choose from, and most offer tasting tours.
Day trip 3: Franschhoek
Franschhoek means French Corner. The name came from the French who fled from France due to religious persecution and came to settle in the area. The Huguenot Memorial Museum honors the memory of these settlers.
Franschhoek is a beautiful town to visit and is known as South Africa’s food and wine capital. If that does not convince you to visit, there are also many galleries and antique shops in the town. The town also has a wine tram, offering you the opportunity to visit a few of the many vineyards in Franschhoek while traveling on a tram.
Day trip 4: Paarl
You can visit almost any of the town in this region and enjoy good food and wine and Paarl is no exception. What sets Paarl apart is that it is the birthplace of Afrikaans, one of the official languages spoken in South Africa, mostly by the descendants of the Dutch that came to South Africa after Jan van Riebeek. Paarl’s most well-known landmark is the Afrikaans Taal Monument (Afrikaans Language Monument) – quite a striking monument.
Day trip 5: Darling
Darling is a tiny town about an hour’s drive from Cape Town. Darling offers vineyards, wineries, and olives. There is also a museum about the history of the town. Most South Africans who visit Darling go there for a unique experience called Evita se Perron (Evita’s Peron), a play on Evita Peron from Argentina.
Evita se Perron included a restaurant selling traditional South African food such as bobotie (mince mixture with baked egg custard on top), a theater and a museum with a twist. The museum depicts some historical events that occurred in South Africa, but in a humorous way.
Day trip 6: Driving up the West Coast up to Paternoster
Driving along the West Coast is quite a treat. The West Coast National Park is located on the way to Paternoster and offers hiking trails and beaches. It is a beautiful park and worth seeing.
From the West Coast National Park, you can stop in Langebaan for lunch. If water sports are your thing, spending some time in Langebaan is a must. You can find anything from kite surfing to windsurfing here.
After Langebaan, Paternoster is another 30 minutes’ drive. Paternoster is an old fishing town on the West Coast. It has lovely little white houses to stay in, quirky shops for souvenirs and a few good restaurants. When visiting Paternoster, it feels like time is standing still.
As you can see, there are many options for day trips from Cape Town. Any of these day trips can easily be extended to include an overnight stay, giving you more time to explore the beauty of the Western Cape.
Have you ever done any of these day trips from Cape Town? If not, which of these day trips would you like to try? Have you done any other day trips from Cape Town that I have not mentioned?