Explore the Western Cape’s heady mix of world-leading wines, big-city culture and unique natural world as you discover that there’s far more to South Africa than its Big-Five game reserves. You’ll begin in Cape Town, whose sublime setting frames a city rich in cultural heritage and culinary artistry, a theme continued in your next port of call – the Cape Winelands. Take time to explore the Cape Dutch and Victorian heritage of your Stellenbosch base before striking out through the vineyards and wine farms to get acquainted with some of South Africa’s leading producers. Lastly, head south to Hermanus, whose pretty cliff-top vantage point, and your stylish accommodation, looks out onto the breeding grounds of southern right wales.
Start your holiday in style with included VIP lounge access before your overnight flight to Cape Town.
Sun-kissed bays, botanical gardens and mile upon mile of hiking and biking trails greet your arrival into Cape Town, a city devoted to the outdoors. Having transferred to your iconic accommodation, start with the all-encompassing views from Table Mountain’s summit before diving in to explore a rich of cultural mix evidenced in the city’s vibrant arts scene and world-spanning culinary landscape.
Perhaps head to Kloof Street’s bars, boutiques and bistros, revel in the chic sophistication of Camps Bay and get caught up in the bustle of the V&A Waterfront, the setting for your boutique hotel. And, with a hire car on hand throughout, you’ll doubtless be tempted by the penguins of Boulders Beach and the cragged beauty of Cape Point, both just a short drive away.
Leave the city behind as a scenic drive north brings you to the 19th-century estates and sprawling vineyards of the Cape Winelands. Your Franschhoek accommodation, a stunning 26-bedroom hotel set within a 36-acre vineyard. As a Richard Branson-owned property, you can expect an abundance of luxuries, from superlative fine dining to sommelier-led wine tastings and an opulent spa. Of course, it's all set to sweeping Winelands views.
If you can tear yourself away, step out to explore pretty hiking trails, meet local artisan producers and tour and taste your way through some of the region’s famed wineries, pairing award-winning vintages with the Cape’s finest gourmet offerings.
With your glass very much half full, it’s time to return south to the pretty town of Hermanus. Once a sleepy fishing village, today it’s known as the best land-based whale-watching destination on Earth as, between June and November each year, large numbers of southern right whales arrive in the bay to calve.
Your time here is again left free to explore at your own pace, with your seaside retreat providing sweeping sea views and an ideal base for activities that range from shark cage dives, quad biking and deep sea fishing to laid-back cliff-path strolls, museum visits and, of course, guided whale watching cruises.
Stay: The Marine, Hermanus
Driving back to Cape Town, you’ll return your hire car to the airport in time for your overnight flight home.
"Seeing whales is up there on any bucket list, and it's the icing on the cake for this sample itinerary. But before that, there's the small matter of the exceptional Winelands, and a few days in Cape Town with your own hire car, enabling you to explore the surrounding areas. There's everything from beach-roaming penguins to Dutch architecture, and back in town a superb number of bistros and bars that help you realise why Cape Town is renowned for its food."
Low Season from: £3,295 pp
High Season from: £4,445 pp