Day trips from The Marine: small Overberg towns to explore
The Marine, perched on the edge of seaside cliffs in Hermanus, makes for an ideal base from which to take advantage of all the famous coastal town has to offer.
Hermanus is a destination that ticks all the boxes: from the food and wine scene to contemporary art galleries and boutique shopping to festivals, concerts and events as well as sea adventures and hiking and walks, and so much more. (See: Hermanus.)
And while there is plenty for you to do and see while staying in Hermanus, The Marine is also at the centre of the Overberg, and makes for the perfect base from which to enjoy all it has to offer.
The Overberg also has a wealth of quaint, small towns surrounding it, and many are easily accessible from The Marine. Organise a day trip to one of these charming places; here are our tips on where to go and what to do.
Go here for an historic sojourn; think whitewashed fishermen’s cottages, most of which date back to the 19th century. These cottages are made of mud-brick, and are plastered with lime plaster made of seashells. It’s also one of the few surviving South African mission stations, which was founded in 1824.
Tip: go see the biggest water mill wheel in the country
A slice of beautiful mountainous nature lying between the Groenland and Kogelberg Mountains, surrounded by forests, vineyards and fruit orchards. Come here for wine, fruit, flowers and views!
Tip: the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve borders on Grabouw and the Groenland Mountain. There are 1 600 different plant species, of which 150 are endemic in the reserve.
There’s so much to do in the riverside village of Stanford. A visit to this charming small town is like stepping back in time. Though it’s quaint, there are plenty of good restaurants, galleries and coffee shops. Take a cruise along the Klein River, attend one of the regular markets; or simply enjoy a stroll to admire the architecture.
Tip: The original farmhouse of De Kleine Riviers Valey was built in 1785 and is one of the oldest houses still in existence in the Cape Overberg. The town’s stone church is thought to have been built in the 1700s, too.
Bot River (butter river) got its name, as it was once a spot for bartering butter with the Khoi-khoi tribes. This tranquil town plays host to many good, slightly off the beaten track, wineries. Add to that outdoor activities, such as horse-riding quad biking and waterskiing.
Tip: Botrivier has its own species of protea, the Botrivier Sugarbush (Compacta Protea).
Napier was established in 1838 and has many centuries-old cottages standing testament to this. Other interesting historical structures to seek out are: the Kakebeenwa monument commemorating the Ossewa Trek and the watermill and sundial at the municipal offices. There are also some award-winning wineries to try.
Tip: a must-visit is the Napier Farmstall; stock up on local treats while appreciating the whimsical atmosphere.
What is your favourite small Overberg town, and why?