Chasing The Winter Sun: Part 1
It's safe to say that the moment that Autumnal chill sets in, the hours you spend gazing at travel inspiration soar. September is a great month to spend planning you're winter getaway. If you're anything like us, this month always proves to hit us like a freight train and it's a well-known fact that having something to look forward to, does wonders for your September sanity!
For a new series of blog posts, we asked Dan & Katie where their favourite far-flung winter sun destinations were, to help inspire you to decide where to go.
The best part of going to South Africa is there is no jet lag, which is usually hard to avoid for long-haul destinations. Great mix of city, beach, safari, gardens and most importantly, wineries!
We have two favourite hotels here; Ellerman House Bantry Bay and Cape Grace Hotel. Ellerman is about 10 minutes out from the city centre and set in a small but stunning property. The service here is as phenomenal as the ocean views. Cape Grace is set on a private quay between the bustling V&A Waterfront and the tranquil yacht marina so offers plenty of privacy. It's a luxury boutique hotel that makes families feel as at home as a couple or solo traveller would.
An hour out of Cape Town, we venture into what is considered to be the heart and soul of food and drink for the country, Franschhoek (and home to some of our favourite beloved winelands). Nestled between two mountains, it's filled with centuries-old vineyards and plenty of Cape Dutch architecture. Our hotel recommendation here is Mont Rochelle, part of Richard Branson's Virgin portfolio, and offers some of the best views of the area.
As the 4th oldest town in South Africa, there are over 50 heritage sites in Swellendam. There are 3 large national parks nearby so if you're an outdoors type, you're going to love it here! It's a 2-hour drive out of Cape Town and you must stay at Jan Harmsgat Country House. This is one of our favourite hotels and offers the perfect country experience that's filled with ambience, charm and history.
We've had the most incredible whale watching experiences in Hermanus. It's a seaside town on the southern coast of the Western Cape. It's the perfect destination to relax, unwind and have some much needed R&R (especially if you've overdone the vineyard visits!). The Marine Hotel is where you should stay. They're up on the cliff path and the views over the breathtaking Walker Bay are something else. You can actually see the whales from your hotel room if you're lucky!
Plettenberg is where Cape Town residents go to escape the city. The beaches of the bay are hugely popular for South Africans but don't ever feel too populated by tourists. It's a great place to catch some rays but we also highly recommend taking a boat cruise through the Keurbooms Nature Reserve. It's a great place to go to as a family as it caters to so many. There are two great hotels here; Tsala Treetop Lodge and The Plettenberg. Tsala is 10km from the beaches, bars and boutiques of Plettenberg Bay and offers more of an experience, whereas The Plettenberg is in the heart of the Bay and offers outstanding service and comfort.
Flights to Cape Town are currently priced from £510 in the British Airways sale (economy).
For more ideas, restaurant and experience recommendations, let us help you plan your South African adventure. Get in touch with Dan and Katie here.