Barrydale can be found tucked off the popular Route 62 in the Klein Karoo and surrounded by mountains. It is a haven for folk searching for a quieter life while still being accessible to Cape Town (approx 2.5 hours).
Botrivier is a hamlet situated at the bottom of the Houw Hoek Pass and within easy travelling distance to Hermanus. It is surrounded by vineyards and the Houw Hoek mountains and offers tranquility and a place away from it all.
Kalk Bay is like a barefoot, hippy sister. No Jimmy-Choos and cocktails, abundant on the Atlantic side of Cape Town, but a more down-to-earth, alternative kind of place nestled between mountains and sea in the “deep South” (Southern Peninsula).
It is truly like stepping back in time 100 years or so – this tiny hamlet of just 300 inhabitants lies off the N1 between Cape Town and Johannesburg. It’s one road wide (in fact an extremely wide road) with Victorian buildings on the left hand side and the railway track on the right.
McGregor is a small, quaint village nestled at the foot of the Riversonderend mountains. It is a short detour off the R62 and well worth it – there is no way out (unless you hike 14km!) so it has to be a destination.
For a while Muizenberg was sited as the poorer, scruffier neighbour of Kalk Bay, after hitting its peak as a holiday destination in the 1950’s and subsequently going into decline and semi-decay; but not anymore.
Napier is situated in the farmlands of the Overberg with the restaurants and shops lining both sides of the main road as you drive through. It’s a truly rural village – great for unwinding and relaxing.
I’m sorry to say that we had pre-conceived ideas about the town that weren’t exactly flattering, so to be proved wrong was a great surprise!
Paternoster is far removed from the sophisticated Camps Bay scene or even the more down-to-earth Kalk Bay. It is much smaller and wilder with a long, long stretch of sandy beach, but it’s still the Atlantic Ocean so swimming is not for sissies, even on a hot summer’s day!
Not really being close to anywhere is probably part of its attraction. Surrounded by the majestic Swartberg mountains it’s burning hot in summer and freezing in winter. There is the feeling of space and never-ending views; the way the light changes is balm to the soul.
It’s only an hour’s drive from Cape Town so no excuse for not visiting if you live in the Mother City. If you don’t, then book a night or two there, it’ll be worth it!
This charming village is situated on the Garden Route between George and Knysna. Surrounded by sea, lakes and indigenous forest it makes for a truly picturesque place.
Take the long and winding road for 50kms from Graaff Reniet and you will end up in the sleepy village of Nieu Bethesda. It feels as if you’re stepping back in time, but in a good way. The pace of life slows and the locals are friendly; it’s postcard pretty and a place to lay back and relax.
This hamlet in the Eastern Cape is surrounded by citrus farms and packing sheds. It’s the area where most of the oranges you buy at Woolworths are likely to come from! It is green and lush with semi-tropical vegetation.
A very quiet town bordering the Klein and the Groot Karoo, impeccably clean with a wide main street awash with bourgainvilla. A quaint town; a lost-in-time town.
Storms River Village – a mere kilometre or so off the N2 is often passed over in favour of Storms River Mouth and the Tsitsikama National park. Which is a shame or a best kept secret, whichever you prefer. We have also been guilty of passing the turn off many times and not bothering to see what was on offer.
This small, pretty village where the houses are built of sandstone and the church is a National monument, comes alive in August and September with vibrant wild flowers as far as the eye can see and beyond. It is no wonder it is called the bulb capital of the world and tourists from all over flock here in season.
This small Karoo village in the Northern Cape is known for it’s very cold temperatures and snow falls in winter. It is said to be one of the coldest places in South Africa and we wouldn’t disagree, but be warned it also gets very hot in summer.
One of our favourite places to visit – Clarens is situated in the eastern Free State at the foot of the Mulati mountains. It has positioned itself as a creative hub and is full of art galleries, furniture makers, crafters and creatives.
Our new favourite village! Rosendal is a tiny village in the eastern Free State an hour’s drive from Clarens. The only tar road is the main one through the village and it is a beautiful, well kept secret of a destination.
A Frontier Town – as it’s described by one of the locals and Smithfield is indeed a frontier town at first glance. The highway cuts straight through the middle and it’s not very pretty on either side, but drive down the side roads and you will discover an altogether different vibe.