Roads and mountain passes

547km, 5 nights, 7 towns, 2 spectacular mountain passes.

“Road trips are the perfect way to get up close and personal with the Western Cape’s unspoilt landscapes, locals and culinary and wine secrets,” says Judy Lain, Wesgro CMO. “We’ve put together a little itinerary to help you along your way.”

Day 1: Cape Town to Citrusdal

Road: N7

Distance: 176km 

An easy two-hour drive from the city, Citrusdal is nestled between the picturesque Cederberg, Koue Bokkeveld and the Swartberg Mountain. Meandering through the magnificent fertile valley, is the Olifants River – lifeblood of the area’s renowned citrus industry. The oldest orange tree in South Africa is found on the farm “Heksrivier” in the Citrusdal valley. It is more than 160 years old, still bears fruit and has been declared a national monument.

Don’t forget to buy homemade orange marmalade from one of the farm stalls.

Day 2: Citrusdal to Ceres, via the Middelberg Pass

Road: R303

Distance: 110km

The Middelberg Pass offers exquisite views of the Kouebokkeveld and rugged mountainous terrain on a mix of gravel and tar. With hairpin bends and steep drop-offs it will awaken the adrenalin even in a seasoned adventurer.

Ceres is home to Ceres Zipslide Adventures, the longest zipslide in Africa. Quad biking, mountain biking, horseback riding, fishing, bird watching, golfing and game viewing are some of the activities available. Tours to the working fruit farms and to the Ceres Fruit Growers packing shed – the largest in the southern hemisphere can also be arrange.

Pack some sundried fruit and homemade preserves for your enjoyment at home. 

Day 3: Ceres to Worcester, via the Michells Pass

Road: R43 and R46

Distance: 54km

Michells Pass (often misspelt as Mitchells Pass) was named after Charles Michell. A talented military engineer who had a major influence in road construction in the Western Cape. However he perhaps gained more fame by eloping with the 15-year daughter of a French colonel. The scenery along the pass is rugged but spectacular, much like its namesake.

Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden is where you will discover a wide variety of desert and semi-desert plants and enjoy a number of walks and hikes in nature, the garden is also home to a large succulent collection. In Worcester you can sip your favourite drink while on a relaxing river cruise, indulge in traditional cuisine and local wines, appreciate local arts and crafts, visit the museums or stroll down the many tree-lined streets and admire the architectural masterpieces of an era past. 

Day 4: Worcester – McGregor - Bonnievale

Road: R60 and R317

Distance: 105km

The charming town of McGregor is a 20km picturesque drive from Robertson. Discover traditional, whitewashed, thatched cottages, surrounded by mountains, wildlife, and wine estates. McGregor is known to be one of the Western Capes jewels. This unique town is therapeutic village away from the hustle and bustle where you can truly unwind, step back in time and just relax. With many unique restaurants to choose from eating out is always a pleasure.

McGregor Art Route 

Explore the McGregor Art Route either by foot, a scenic drive through the small town, or cycle. Visit art galleries such as the Edna Fourie Gallery to African Queen where natural materials are used to create some of the most beautiful creations. 

www.artroutemcgregor.co.za 

Day 5: Bonnievale to Bredasdorp

Road: R317

Distance: 78km

Bonnievale rests in a fertile valley between the Langeberg Mountains and mighty Breede River, Bonnievale’s name says it all – it is a friendly, happy place with loads on offer for any traveler. Visit the fascinating Bredasdorp Shipwreck Museum which is filled with artefacts remaining from the many ships which have sunk along the treacherous coast of Agulhas, as well as the Audrey Blignaut Room which pays homage to the famous Bredasdorp born essayist. 

Day 6: Bredasdorp to Arniston

Road: R316

Distance: 24km

Explore Kassiesbaai, a 200-year-old fishing village, which is a national heritage site. Characterised by unassuming white thatch cottages, this is where you can experience the customs of the locals, as many who live here still make a living from the sea. There are some lovely little coffee and craft shops to visit in the village, the sea is safe for swimming (and relatively warm), and the sand dunes around the town are great to explore. 

Arniston is approximately a 2h30min drive from Cape Town.

Explore the McGregor Art Route either by foot, a scenic drive through the small town, or cycle. 

Be sure to stop and discover the unique charm of each town.