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Constantia Valley - Breathtaking Wineland-Cape Town-South Africa

Ezine Article by Gerald Crawford

The Constantia Valley is one of Cape Town's official big 6 tourist destinations. A visit to the oldest wine estate in the country, Groot Constantia (established in 1685) is unforgettable. It is one of the world's great wine brands and situated within the city borders in the heart of breathtaking Constantia Valley. The wines are exceptional and tasting is very popular.

Prepare yourself for an amazing day between breathtaking wineland and forests- you will feel a thousand miles away even though you are still in the suburbs of Cape Town.

The first attraction on this scenic route is Groot Constantia (Big Constantia)- the Mother of all wine farms in South Africa. If you only want to visit one wine farm in the Constantia Valley, this should be number one on your list. From the estate you will have a beautiful view towards Muizenberg in the south and the back side of Table Mountain to the north. Groot Constantia offers wine tasting and sales (their red wines are very popular), some beautiful Cape Dutch style buildings and scenic walks through the peaceful gardens. Visitors can also attend a guided cellar tour. There is a museum and two excellent restaurants - Jonkershoek and Simon's. Take some time and discover the estate by foot.

The breathtaking estates of Buitenverwachting (Beyond Expectations) and Klein Constantia (Little Constantia) are located a short distance from Groot Constantia. On your way you will pass through stunning landscapes and wine farms - this area can be considered the centre of the Constantia Valley. Buitenverwachting has some beautiful gardens and a spectacular lane of trees greets you as you arrive. Activities include cellar tours, wine tasting and sales. Café Petite offers light lunches - or you may choose to buy a picnic basket at the estate to enjoy in the gardens.

The road circles all the way to beautiful Klein Constantia. Do not miss their famous Sauvignon Blanc - winner of many international awards. Continue pass Klein Constantia's entrance to the very end of this road where you can enjoy spectacular views over the Constantia Valley with False Bay in the far distance. Take note: both estates are closed on Sundays and Public Holidays.

For the best forest scenery in Cape Town continue along the M42 until you reach Tokai Forest on your left. This is the perfect spot to stretch your legs and enjoy the fresh air. The forest is popular for strolls and runs. Looking for a Sunday afternoon picnic with the locals? Head for Tokai Road to one of the most popular picnic spots (with facilities) in Cape Town. It is beautifully situated between rows of trees, and don't be surprised if hundreds turn up on a beautiful day.

Continue towards Sunnydale over the Ou Kaapse Road - a scenic mountain route and the start of the Silvermine Nature Reserve. Some excellent viewpoints are situated in the reserve overlooking the Kalk Bay Mountains. Make sure you stop at the Steenberg Lookout Point for some splendid views. The reserve, falling within the Table Mountain National Park is popular for hiking, mountain biking, picnicking and barbequing. Hikes range from 1.5 hours to 4 hours. The Kalk Bay Mountain walk via Echo Valley offers the most spectacular mountain scenery and starts from the Wolfkop parking area off the Ou Kaapse Weg Road. A walk to the Silvermine Waterfall is also worth the sweat.

Reaching the M65 you have a choice of turning back, right towards Chapman's Peak or left towards beautiful Kalk Bay. Enjoy!

How to get there:

From the Cape Town take the N2 towards the airport. Turn right off the Rhodes drive (M3) and continue along this road as it becomes Union Ave, Paradise Road and Edinburgh Road. It finally becomes the Simon van der Stel Freeway (M3). Continue along the highway and turn left off the Constantia M41 turnoff and left again. Drive along Constantia Main Road (M41) towards the mountain. You will soon reach Groot Constantia Road where you need to turn left for Groot Constantia Estate.

For Buitenverwachting and Klein Constantia head back to the Constania Main Road (M41) and turn right into Ladies Mile Road. Continue along this road until you reach Spaanschemat River Road (M42) where you should turn right again. Turn right into Klein Constantia Road where you will see directions to Buitenverwachting and Klein Constantia - both reachable from this road.

For Tokai forest continue along the Spaanschemat River Road (M42). You will soon drive into the Tokai Forest Reserve. Park on the left hand side to discover the forest. For the Tokai picnic area continue along the M42 and turn right into Tokai Road. The picnic area is located on the right hand side of Tokai Road.

For the Silvermine Nature Reserve continue south along the M42 and turn right into Ou Kaapse Road. The road circles all the way up the mountain and takes you through spectacular scenery. Reaching the M65 you have a choice of turning back, right towards Chapman's Peak or left towards Kalk Bay.


Gerald Crawford was born in South Africa, studied electronics, telecommunication, eco-travel and african travel concepts. He taught responsible tourism in South Africa. If you have any questions or comments please e-mail me on:
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