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Other Than Wine...

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Fort Lauderdale
posts: 121
Other Than Wine...

We love wine, and we plan to taste plenty of it. Is there anything other than wine tasting and eating fabulous food that we should be doing while visiting Stellenbosch and Franschhoek?

Thanks!

-Jacy

Cape Town
posts: 8,660
1. Re: Other Than Wine...

Franschhoek is one main street and there is not much to do in the village. There is walking in the surrounding areas and horseriding in the vineyards. Stellenbosch on the other hand is one of the most historic and interesting towns in South Africa. Here are some notes I put together on here some time ago for a poster asking the same question :

Simon van der Stel founded Stellenbosch in 1679, the second Dutch settlement after Cape Town. He ordered the planting of the oaks, which is why it is sometimes referred to as Eikestad, or ‘town of oaks'. Today these massive trees shade the historic Dorp Street, which runs through the well-preserved old town which has more National Heritage sites than any other town in South Africa. A number of these buildings, dating back to the seventeenth century and later, can be visited as part of the Stellenbosch Village Museum.

Stellenbosch is also the home of one of South Africa’s oldest and most prestigious Universities whose main campus is a lovely place to visit. Another quiet place to visit are the University Botanical Gardens, which are one of the oldest in South Africa. As an important cultural and heritage centre there are also many museums and galleries, especially in the old part of town. On the outskirts is the new Rupert Museum which is a wonderful, purpose built Art Museum in the middle of the vineyards. It is now the home of one of the most important collections of South African Art as well as the venue for major International Exhibitions. Currently, until the end of 2010, it is staging the biggest exhibition of the French sculptor Auguste Rodin to be held outside Europe or North America.

The town is also a major centre of the performing arts in South Africa with regular classical concerts being given in the Endler Hall of the University Conservatorium, the Fismer Hall and the Stellenbosch Town Hall. With the University, the town has it’s own Symphony Orchestra as well chamber ensembles and is a regular venue for visiting international soloists and conductors. In the summer the outdoor arenas at both, Oude Libertas and Spier host a wide range of South African and International arts events including both Opera and Ballet. Lighter popular concerts are also held and, of course the University and many of the surrounding pubs are regular venues for a wide range of pop and rock groups.

Stellenbosch is both a student and wine town so there's plenty to keep one busy, from raucous nightlife to staid museums and more. The scenery in the area is absolutely stunning and a short walk from the town you can get right into the mountains and then hike for hours on mountain trails in the Jonkershoek Forest Reserve.

There are other scenic walks in and around the area, including a full day trek through the winelands in Stellenbosch. A number of operators also offer Horseback rides through the vineyards.

So lots to keep you busy even when you are not tasting wine or eating fabulous food!

Edited: 7:59 pm, January 12, 2010
McGregor, South...
Destination Expert
for Western Cape, Cape Town
posts: 2,803
reviews: 103
2. Re: Other Than Wine...

here is a useful link for Stellenbosch:

stellenboschtravelguide.com/travelguides/tra…

3. Re: Other Than Wine...

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