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Scenic Routes and Wine Tasting

The Robertson Wine Route

The Robertson Wine Route leads you to 31 wine cellars and wine estates. There are about 50 wineries in the Robertson Wine Valley; from small family owned boutique wineries to medium state-of-the-art estates and large modern wineries.

This increasingly popular wine route offers a landscape of flower fringed roads, majestic mountains, the mighty Breede River, spectacular vineyards and world class wines. The area is called the Valley of Wine and Roses and includes towns as Ashton, Bonnievale, and McGregor.

The Robertson area is the home of champion wines. The lime-rich soils and unique climate give the region the natural attributes to produce outstanding wines, in line with recognized trends within the wine industry. In earlier days Robertson was noted for its exceptional dessert wines. But in recent years it has won great acclaim in South Africa, and around the world, for the production of outstanding white (Chardonnay, Colombar, and Sauvignon Blanc) and red wines as well as Cap Classique sparkling wines.

De Hoop Nature Reserve

The road to De Hoop Nature Reserve is a beautiful scenic road. At Malgas you cross the Breede River on a small, hand drawn pont (pontoon ferry). It is probably the last remaining pont operating in South Africa. The Pont is operating between dawn and dusk.

De Hoop is South Africa’s most southerly nature reserve. Walk past 30 metres high sand dunes to wide unspoilt beaches along the Indian Ocean. View zebra’s, bonteboks, and other game, together with birdlife as the Cape vultures and flamingos along the riverside. From June until November the greatest concentration of Southern Right Whales on South Africa’s coast can be found here. For hikers: an 8 km trail along the cliffs of the De Hoop Vlei (Lake), and day trails by various lengths on Potberg Mountain.

Swellendam – Suurbraak – Tradouw pass – Barrydale – Montagu – Swellendam

The London Mission established Suurbraak as a mission station in 1812. It is an unspoiled country village with old dwellings sheltered by old oak trees. The mountains are full of fynbos and bird life. Cattle paths act as mountain trails for hikers and mountain bikers.

After Suurbraak, you take the turnoff to the Tradouw pass, a 315 m mountain pass with spectacular scenic views. It is the only known habitat of the rare Laucandendron Tradouwense Protea.

Via the Tradouw pass you drive to Barrydale, a town with a rural village charm. Visit the curio and antique shops.

The road from Barrydale to Montagu is part of the legendary Route 62. Montagu is a good place to get a brief taste of the Little Karoo. Soaring mountains that display reds and ochre’s, and from September to October the colours of the peach and apricot blossoms flood the valley. Montagu is famous for its hot springs, the Montagu Spring Resort, situated 3 km outside of town. Several open-air pools of different temperature, and a couple of jacuzzi’s are situated at the foot of cliffs. The local museum and the Francois Krige House are also worth a visit.

A scenic drive through Cogman’s Kloof Gorge brings you back to Swellendam.

Greyton and Genadendal

Greyton is shaded with old oak trees and based around a core of Georgian and Victorian houses. Stroll down the streets and visit the antique shops and tea gardens. The main attraction of the town is the Boesmanskloof Traverse, a hiking trail of 14 km (one way) that takes you from Greyton across the Riviersonderend mountain range to the glaring Karoo scrubland around the town of McGregor. A hiking permit is needed.

A few kilometres from Greyton you will find Genadendal, the ‘Valley of Grace’. Established in 1737, it is South Africa’s oldest mission station, founded by Moravians. Today, the inhabitants belong to a variety of Christian churches, no longer just Moravian. Explore the Mission Museum and wander through the town, down to the rural graveyard with tombstones dating back to the early nineteenth century. There is a tearoom just off Church Square.

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Swellendam Country Lodge