December brings with it the promise of less (or no work), long days, warm weather and the chance to step out from behind your desk and spend more time outdoors exploring the world, not your screen.
To kick off December’s theme of “Off The Grid”, we tapped into local Travel Bloggers and Enthusiasts, the people who always know the places to go, eat and see. We asked them to share their recommendations for their favourite cities and towns in South Africa. From the places to eat, shop local, do and see – if you’re planning on keeping your December holidays local, here’s what you should be bookmarking.
Roberston by Mischke Bosse
Robertson is a town in the Western Cape known as the valley of wine and roses due to its location in the heart of the Wine Route.
Eat at the Robertson Small Hotel which sources the finest producers of local ingredients and offers a menu of sophisticated and strictly seasonal Italian-inspired dishes.
Shop for wine straight from the farms themselves and for second-hand gems at a little shop called Marlen in McGregor.
Do wine tasting at Mont Blois Wine Farm and a tasting at the Four Cousins Wine Farm
See the Mcgregor Donkey Sanctuary and wander through the little town of McGregor itself.
Onrus / Hermanus / Overberg by Mischke Bosse
Eat at… The Overberg region is a foodies dream! I have so many incredible places to recommend (all whom catered to my vegan diet so kindly).
Hermanus: The Pear Tree & The Gallery Café
Hemel & Aarde Valley: Sumaridge Wine Estate (for their food and wine paired lunch menu)
Shop at the Hermanus Country Market
Do a cave touring session with Padloper Trails just outside of Stanford, (and about 30 mins out of Hermanus).
See everything! From beaches, mountains, the wine farms and even wales around October.
The Mother City / Cape Town by Gaynor
Gaynor is the face behind the South African Travel Blog Tulips and Phoenixes. She is passionate about local travel and promoting all South Africa has to offer. You can read her blog here or find her on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @tulipsandphoenixes
Known as the Mother City, Cape Town is a port city on South Africa’s southwest coast and is home to some of the best mountains and oceans.
Eat Market food – take your pick from the Neighbourgood, Bay Harbour and Root 44 Markets.
Shop I despise big shopping malls so I’d much rather get my fresh produce directly from the source and Anna Beaulah Farm just outside Durbanville is the perfect place for this.
Do During summer it’s a trip down to Bloubergstrand or Melkbosstrand beach. During winter it’s a indoor play area with a restaurant (and vice versa) to keep the little one happy. PlayDate Superpark at the V & A Waterfront and Stone Kitchen Bistro in Wellington are our favourites.
See Table Mountain, Cape Point, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, V & A Waterfront and the picturesque Cape Winelands. You haven’t experienced Cape Town if you haven’t been to all these places
The Garden Route by Rose Bilbrough
Rose is a travel blogger over at Go Travel Bug. She prefers taking the roads less travelled and exploring the places forgotten. You can read her travels here or follow her on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @gotravelbug
The Garden Route begins 4 hours out of Cape Town and is a 300-kilometre stretch of the south-eastern coast of South Africa from Witsand in the Western Cape to the border of Tsitsikamma Storms River in the Eastern Cape. This guide includes Plettenberg Bay, Mossel Bay, Knysna, Sedgefield and Oudtshoorn)
Eat at Totties Farm Kitchen in Rheenendal. Their country-style food is just out of this world and they’re one of my favorites!
Shop at the Wild Oats Farms Market!! I do all my food shopping here and the Rest of the Market offers a great environment to meet with friends and shop for local goodies.
Do paragliding! If you are not an adventurer, the forest offers some of the most beautiful walks with bubbling streams and cool soft flora.
See my favourite must be the lookout point at the Knysna Heads, this geological site of two magnificent cliffs that form the portal from the Indian Ocean to the Knysna Estuary must but one of South Africa’s best views.
Pringle Bay by Dawn Jorgensen
Dawn is a conscious traveller who blogs about her local and international travels on her award winning blog – The Incidental Tourist. Her focus in sustainable tourism and you can read her blog here or follow her on Instagram @dawnjorgensen
Pringle Bay is a small coastal village in the Overberg region of the Western Cape. It forms part of the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO Heritage Site. It is where my parents have lived for the past 18 years and which serves as my second home and the place I most love to retreat to for replenishing the soul. It is perfect with its long white beach, mountains, dirt roads and quaint village feel.
Eat at 365 and La Galerie
Shop at Lemon & Lime Deli, one of the best I’ve been to.
Do a hike to the top of Hangklip, visit the galleries and art shops, see the penguins at nearby Stony Point.
See The beautiful beach, the alpacas and the Saturday morning market.
Cape Town by Loren
Loren is an attorney by trade and the creator of Minky’s.co.za – a South African food, travel and lifestyle blog. You can read about all her discoveries and experiences here or follow her on Instagram or twitter @minkys.co.za
I love the city of Cape Town because even though it’s a hustling bustling busy city, Table Mountain, the ocean and the wine farms make it feel like the perfect escape.
Eat at The Cousins Restaurant (3b Barrack Street). I just love the homemade pasta dishes, the wine menu and the feeling of being in a Trattoria in Italy, while being in Cape Town. Kalky’s in Kalk Bay serves the BEST fish and chips!
Do visit all the wine farms, obviously 🙂
See Take a walk through Bo Kaap and see the beautiful, colourful homes.
Durban by Shelley
Shelley is a travel blogger and the editor of Durbanite. You can discover all Durban has to offer on The Durbanite here or follow her on Instagram @travel_blogged
Durban is a coastal city in the KwaZulu-Natal province. It’s the busiest port in South African and known for its warm climate and extensive beaches.
Eat at my favourite local hangout – a little new place called Jo Paul’s. I’m also really loving Moto Cafe in Umhlanga!
Shop at the Crescent, Umhlanga and Buxons Village.
Do Head out to Durban beach for a leisurely promenade cycle or a longboard skate! (The promenade has also just been extended right out to the harbour!)
See Dolphin and Whale watching – We get them often here at Durban!
Add to the list by commenting with your favourite places to eat, see, shop and do…
Main Image: Dawn Jorgensen.
Zissy is the co-founder of Nutreats. She likes to make things, do things and wear things.