Wellington, Western Cape

Photo of Wellington, Western Cape

About Wellington, Western Cape

Wellington is a beautiful little town in the heart of the South African Winelands. To its east looms the Hawequa Mountains; to its west snakes the crystal-clear Berg River. Flanked by fields of grapevine that roll up and down like bright green waves, the town itself is a pretty assortment of Cape Dutch homesteads and pristine gardens, while scattered all around it are fruit orchards and olive groves. A rural idyll as of yet untouched by mass tourism, it is the quintessential country retreat. It is therefore unsurprising that some of the best places to stay in Wellington are in fact just outside the town itself.

In the heart of South African Wineland, Wellington is dominated by viticulture. Amongst the olive groves and orchards are a seemingly endless series of vineyards stretching off into a rolling green horizon. Wellington is, in fact, where an astonishing 85% of South Africa's vine-cutting nurseries can be found. It also boasts countless award-winning wineries, like the Andreas Boutique Wine Estate with its fine shiraz and Bosman Family Vineyards, whose wines are internationally-renowned for their ethical and fair trade practices. Despite this, Wellington retains the air of an undiscovered haven.

When not sampling wines the landscape is ideal for long walks and bike rides. Bainskloof Pass, for example, lying to the east of the town, boasts unbelievably beautiful panoramic views. Cycling around the area is particularly rewarding, but there is a whole host of activities to do here - from Unimog expeditions and abseiling down cliff-faces to mountain biking and bird watching. Consider taking a guided walk around the local wineries or better still, a horse ride from a local farm. Fly-fishing is a popular local pastime and the glittering waters of the Berg River are ideal for this.

What not to miss

  • Wine: boasting countless award-winning wineries, it would be sacrilegious to visit Wellington without paying a visit to one of its famous vineyards.
  • Museums: despite its small size, Wellington has two extremely good museums. The Wellington Museum punches well above its weight, boasting one of the largest collections of Egyptology in the whole of South Africa, artefacts from the Sotho and Tswana tribes, as well as remnants from the French Huguenots who originally settled there.
  • Adventure: being a rural idyll, there's a lot to do. Don't miss out on guided horse rides through the lovely green hills and fields, and consider hiring a bike and ride down the quaint country roads. Take an off-road expedition on a Unimog if you feel you can stomach it, or for something more peaceful, consider walking up to Bainskloof Pass at sunset. Consider also checking out the Limietbeg Nature Reserve, with its many hiking trails.

To get a real sense of the area some the best places to stay in Wellington are actually on the wineries themselves.

The best places to stay in Wellington

For a boutique stay

  • Grand Dedale with its 4-course dinners, luxurious interiors and an utterly spellbinding location set on the Doolhof Wine Estate, this beautiful property is hard to beat. Offering gorgeously-decorated rooms, it is ideal for couples looking to escape from the hustle and bustle of urban life.

For an apartment or villa

  • Our partner Booking.com has a wide range of villas and apartments in the nearby area.

Travel information

  • The best time to visit Wellington is during the summer months (November to March) when temperature highs reach 31 degrees, and there is on average only one day of rainfall per month.
  • Just 45 minutes from Cape Town, the best way to reach Wellington is to fly to Cape Town International Airport and get a shuttle bus to Wellington.
  • If you want to rent a car we recommend you contact our online partner Rentalcars.

Still not sure?

Best Hotels in Wellington, Western Cape

  • Grand Dedale Wellington, Western Cape (PO Box 453) 7 rooms from £231

    Grand Dedale enjoys a splendidly peaceful location nestled in a valley on the 380 hectares of Doolhof Wine Estate. This restored manor house offers chic boutique accommodation, luxurious interiors and lovely bathrooms. Enjoy four course dinners of game and seafood. A top-notch country escape!

    Active Holiday  -  There are a wide array of activities to get you out and about in Grand Dedale's surrounding countryside
    Country Escape  -  Feel a million miles away from all your worries at this tranquil rural spot
    Great walks  -  Head off on the two km River Walk or explore Limietbeg Nature Reserve's nine hiking trails!
    Fishing  -  There are plenty of good trout fishing spots located nearby
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, CN Traveller
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