Make space for yourself this season with timely winter getaways. We’ve got an assortment of the province’s spots for budgets of all sizes, from total mountaintop seclusion to eco cabins and luxury game reserves. Ideal for couples or groups, this winter getaway selection is so good you might stay over until spring.
Where: 113/7 Van der Stel Pass Botrivier, Cape Town
Southern Yurts is situated on the Porcupine Hills Guest Farm in the beautiful Overberg, an ideal getaway retreat, home to both a small olive growing operation and a nature conservancy. A short 100km drive from Cape Town, there are three Yurt accommodations, each equipped with private wood-fired hot tubs, self-catering kitchens, bathrooms and braai areas.
The Forest View Yurt is positioned for the perfect sunrise and sunset on a gently sloping hill that overlooks the nature conservancy. It’s accompanied by a distinctive self-catering kitchen cabin that includes an indoor fireplace and daybed. In a separate location on the farm and split into two visually separated and private sites, Kestrel and Malachite, the Yurt Camp offers guests a unique stay under a magnificent cliff face.
These two sites can either be booked separately or together, allowing for both couples and small families who are looking for their privacy and larger friend and family getaways. Each site is equipped with its own private wood-fired hot tub, bathroom, braai area, and a stylish kitchen cabin with a small indoor fireplace and day bed.
All Yurt accommodation is equipped with linen and towels, braai facilities, firewood, firelighters, soaps, shampoos, salt, pepper, filter coffee, sugar, tea and the farm’s homegrown organic olive oil. You need only bring food and drinks!
Where: The Baths Farm, The Baths Rd
Found atop natural hot springs that heat water beyond 40˚C and in the pristine setting of Citrusdal, The Baths Natural Hot Springs is an ideal pick-me-up winter getaway. The main mountain eye provides over 100 000 litres of water an hour and the natural spring water is good to drink. If you’re looking to leave the cold bite for warmer pastures, this Citrusdal treasure should be at the top of your list.
The springs feature different accommodation styles – three separate houses, eight traditional chalets in the Kloof and a further eight with a valley view, as well as 25 different caravan and camping spots. Citrusdal is a great place to ingratiate yourself into the Olifants River Valley environment and community.
Soak up the fauna and flora on a hike or dip your toes into cold or hot rock pools. If you want to stay in, enjoy a round of pool (the tabletop kind) or a game of tennis. If you’re not braaing, book a table at MacGregors’, The Baths’ restaurant, which features its own a la carte menu. This warm water wonder has a diverse range of accommodation options available that can fit your budget, from less than R1000 per person in one of the spacious chalets.
Where: Bethel St, Hermitage Valley, Swellendam
It’s easy to forget that Swellendam is just two short hours outside of Cape Town. You can find Arumvale Country Retreat in the Hermitage Valley, a quick drive or walk from Swellendam town centre. The rolling gardens blend into the neighbouring farms to deliver a landscape that never seems to end, dotted and coloured with over 70 different indigenous bird species.
Both knowledgeable and appreciative of their surroundings, the Arumvale team has equipped every bedroom with a bird book and wild bird seed so that you can get to know your avian associates for the duration of your stay. Great for families, Arumvale has five accommodation options available, including three luxury suites, a traditional suite and a rustic garden cottage, placed in a picturesque countryside setting.
The Anneline garden cottage is a standalone double-story cottage and the rustic garden cottage is over a small walk bridge, offering an extra slice of privacy. With kids in mind, Arumvale charges R200 per child 9-11 and 0-8 year-olds stay for free! From 1 May to 31 July, Arumvale is running a special where you can stay for three nights when you pay for two nights.
Where: R43 Gansbaai
Gansbaai is best known for sharks and whales, but the Grootbos Private Nature Reserve is making a name for itself as a luxurious winter getaway spot. Special offers are provided for couples, honeymoons, families or groups of friends, but everyone is welcome.
Choose from private villas, the forest or the garden lodge, and enjoy an experience that features freely-roaming mammals, thriving plant species, as well as bee pollination workshops. The forest lodge features 16 free-standing suites, walkways through the 1000-year-old Milkwood Forest and a dining experience under the Milkwood trees.
Appearing in Conde Nast Traveler’s Gold List for 2022, Grootbos is one of South Africa’s most sought-after holiday destinations. The Summer Sun special, which offers up to 45% off the normal rate, is running until 30 April and The Secret Season special, which offers up to 50% off the normal rate, runs from 1 May until 31 August.
Live lavish for your winter getaway and book a private villa, which includes private wine tours and botanical hikes and horse riding led by trained guides. Experience the natural wonders of the region in luxury as you journey to the southernmost tip of Africa.
Where: Grootrivier Farm, Breede River DC
The Cederberg is easy to enjoy if you’re looking to get back in touch with nature, or nature lovers ready for their next foray into this botanical winter getaway. How you enjoy the scenery of Mount Ceder is up to you. If you’re travelling with the family, take a morning stroll in the mountains, climb the unique rock formations that dot the landscape or, if you’re all feeling brave, take a dip in Grootrivier.
Three hours out of Cape Town, this valley vacation is on the footsteps of the Cederberg Mountain Range where you can catch a glimpse of snow and get your hands on some too if the weather plays along. This mountainous retreat also has its own restaurant, Old Mill House, where you can enjoy a hearty three-course meal after a day out adventuring.
Mount Ceder’s range of accommodation ensures that parties of all sizes can enjoy their tranquil experience without interruptions. Book out their luxury guest house, Klipbokkop or Waboomhoek, both of which sleep six and are charged at R1800 and R1090 per person sharing respectively – all other accommodation is less than R1000 per person sharing.
If you’re feeling extra adventurous, try the Giant Camping offering, where you sleep under the stars. Subject to favourable weather conditions, Giant Camping includes a hike led by a trained field guide and the camping spot features ablution and hot water shower facilities.
Where: Tierhoek Organic Farm, Noree Valley, Robertson
There’s a certain kind of magic to Tierhoek. Who wouldn’t marvel at waking up and eating freshly grown fruit? Though summer’s apricots are out, this winter getaway isn’t left wanting as plums, lemons and quince are in season at Tierhoek Organic Farm.
Featuring five separate accommodation options that cater to groups of up to 14 – Fig Tree House sleeps 10-14, Tierhoek House sleeps 8-10, Quince Cottage sleeps 4-6 and Pepper Tree and Stone Cottage both sleep 2 – Tierhoek balances a quaint stay in an expansive valley environment.
Tucked away for a private getaway but close enough to Robertson to still be in touch with the world, you can enjoy the pristine peace of the farm and its surroundings or take a trip into town. Entertain the family with activities like putt putt, hiking and biking trails or take a boat ride down the Breede River.
If you decide to stay on the farm for the day, stroll through private trails, never miss a moment with uninterrupted bird watching, or saunter through the orchards.
Where: Van Der Stel Pass Rd, Bot River
Only an hour outside of Cape Town, Kolkol Mountain Lodge has a warm water surprise guaranteed to inject some heat into your winter getaway: wood-fired hot tubs. If you’re feeling inspired, lodge founder and owner, Rudi Oosthuyse, will custom build you one for roughly R30 000 so that you can enjoy it in your own space and at your own leisure. The wood-fired hot tubs are indicative of the rustic ambience at Kolkol – and it’s not just a rustic ‘feel’, much of Kolkol was designed and built by Oosthuyse himself.
“I levelled out all the bumps and dents from the logs and then grooved and dipped them in a heated container to prevent wood decay. The logs dried for about six months while I got to work laying the foundations of the cabin and laying the floor by hand. I have since built another eight cabins for the lodge and a few Scandinavian-style pods,” the founder and owner said.
Kol Kol has three fynbos pods – the Pecan, Witwater and Firelily – all of which sleep two and are fitted with en-suite bathrooms and wood-fired hot tubs. Two adults can book a pod for R2350 per night for two nights or at R2400 for a single night. The Kolkol Mountain Lodge has nine different cabins which include features like a fire pit, wood-fired pizza ovens and house keeping every third day.
Where: Groot Toren, Olifantsdoorn, McGregor
If you’re looking to get away from it all – and I mean a winter get away, not just a winter getaway – then the Klipspringer Stone Cottage is for you. All alone atop Groot Toren and only accessible via 4×4 or an off-road vehicle with adequate ground clearance, this cottage is the timeless embodiment of seclusion.
Affectionately known as the Klipspringer Berghuisie, it’s a short drive from McGregor (roughly 14km) and is a picturesque two-hour drive from Cape Town through Paarl and Worcester. A stone’s throw from the Riviersonderend Nature Reserve, and well placed to watch over it, staying at Berghuisie can feel like living in a mountainous lighthouse as you supervise the clouds rolling over the mountains and hills.
Priced between R500 and R600 a night per person sharing, it’s rustic as it is affordable. Be sure to dress warmly and pack extra layers as Klipspringer is not equipped with electricity, however it does feature an indoor braai, gas geyser, two plate gas stove and solar panels. Stunning sundowners and sunsets will greet you from the deck and, if you’d like, your hosts will arrange a welcoming cheese platter and bottle of MCC for your arrival.