Written by: Kelly Winkler
When I consider where to go on a weekend escape, I take three things into consideration. Firstly, the distance – is the location close enough to Cape Town to avoid a long drive? Secondly, does the accommodation have most of the amenities I need to avoid having to pack up and bring my whole life with me? And lastly, are there wine farms close by? Only kidding, well, kind of – but it is important to me that there are activities in the area if I wish to pop out on an afternoon.
Taking all of the above on board I set out to plan our next weekend break and stumbled across reviews of the picturesque Elgin Valley. Located a mere 45 minutes from Cape Town in the Overberg region of South Africa, this little piece of heaven is surrounded by rocky mountains, flourishing fruit farms and, most importantly, a wide expanse of winelands.
Elgin is a serene hideaway for those looking to relax, but also a fun hub with plenty of activities to keep you entertained. From leisurely days spent sampling famous wines, visiting art galleries, fishing or taking nature walks, to going on zipline adventures through the canopy, there is something to suit all tastes.
After ticking off two boxes – location and activities, the search continued for the perfect accommodation until we discovered a hidden gem called Keurbos Farm House. The reason I say hidden is that this gorgeous log house was a residential property that has only recently been made available to holiday makers, and we were the lucky guinea pigs who could test it out!
Our stay was nothing but serene. The log cabin is set on a lake surrounded by vineyards, which made it the perfect place to switch off (metaphorically as electricity and WiFi are still available) and enjoy the calm of the Elgin Valley. Our days involved strolls around the vineyards or the nursery on the property, walking to the Saturday organic food market and to nearby wine farms. Thanks to no designated driver being required and there being a braai on our private deck, this was the perfect place to just relax and overlook the lake as the sun set, listening to the sounds of nature with a glass of wine in hand.
This is also a birder’s paradise and those who are twitching to twitch can relax in the bird hide, which has been set up about one kilometre from the house. And if you’re feeling a little adventurous, other activities in the area include some of the best mountain biking in the country, quad biking, sunset river cruises, and open air concerts.
For those looking for an affordable, zen-like retreat near Cape Town, a stay in the Elgin Valley may be just what the doctor ordered. It made me feel as though I had been on a month’s yoga and spa retreat, and I left rejuvenated and ready for the manic Monday morning ahead!