Best weekend escapes from Cape Town

Where to go for weekend from Cape Town
Best places for weekend getaways around Cape Town

Capetonians like residents of any other big city in the world sometimes want to escape from busy city life, to find a quite place in the mountains or by the sea to recharge their batteries, to get new ideas and inspiration. Luckily there are many great places suitable for weekend getaways around the city. We chose some of the best places to spend a weekend near Cape Town and divided them into different categories according to activities you can do there and required budget. All places are located not further than 300 km from Cape Town which makes them easy to access from the city. The post is 100% based on our personal travel experience.

Map of best places for weekend getaways from Cape Town

Romantic getaways Cape Town

Franschhoek

Distance from Cape Town – 81 km, about 1h30min.

Franschhoek is a perfect place for a romantic getaway; located close to Cape Town, in a picturesque valley surrounded by vineyards with some of the best wine farms and restaurants in the country. You will be surprised how much you can do and how many places there are to visit in this small town. It’s not all about wining and dining though for adventure and outdoor lovers there are several hiking and mountain biking trails nearby. The best way to spend a weekend here is to come on Friday night and stay till Sunday to have enough time to explore, taste and enjoy the area.

Things to do in Franschhoek

  • Take the wine tram.
  • Wine tasting and dining.
  • Hiking in Mont Rochelle Nature reserve , there are several hiking trails with some stunning look outs and views over the area.
  • Mountain biking, there are several routes; Robertsvlei Loop, Franschhoek Pass MTB route, Mattopie MBT.
  • Chocolate tasting at Huguenot Fine Chocolate, daily at 11am and 3pm, a half an hour sweet experience, R40 pp.
  • Stroll around stalls of Franschhoek Saturday Village market on Huguenot road in the city center. Opened fm 9am to 3pm, closed in July.

Accommodation in Franschhoek

If you’re looking for great stay in the center of the town Centre Ville guest house is an amazing place. Located walking distance from the best restaurants and bars this guest houses offers an exquisite stay. Big and beautiful rooms, attentive staff, delicious breakfast, outside swimming pool, Beautiful mountain view from the garden. Everything in this hotel from the decoration of the rooms to serving breakfast is impeccable. Double rooms from R1100.

Wine tram in the vineyards, Franschhoek.
Wine tram in the vineyards, Franschhoek.

Hermanus

Distance from Cape Town – 120 km, about 1h30min.

This beautiful coastal town is an ideal place for a romantic getaway by the sea. Wake up in the morning, go for breakfast to one of the sea view restaurants, walk around, go out with a boat to spot whales and dolphins or go to the beach. Hermanus has a great range of accommodation and restaurant options for different budgets, you’ll be able to find one that suits you the best.  

Things to do in Hermanus

  • Whale watching – between September and December when Southern Right whales come here for breeding.Outside of the season you might be lucky to spot dolphins, seals and sharks.
  • Wine tasting, there are some great wine farms around Hermanus.
  • Chilling on the beach e.g. Grotto Beach, the most popular and easy to access.
  • Visiting African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary in Gansbaai. There is a nice coffee shop inside where you can have light lunch, coffee, dessert while watching rescued penguins in the pool. They do penguin feeding every day at 3pm.
  • Wandering around Hermanus Saturday Country market, here you can find anything from local farm products to antique and clothes. Opened every Saturday from 9am to 1pm at Hermanus Cricket Club.

Accommodation for a romantic getaway in Hermanus

Misty Mountains Chalets is a perfect place to stay if you’re seeking for peace and tranquility. Located outside Hermanus with a beautiful view on surrounding vineyards.  Cottages are modern and spacious with a personal touch in small details. Each cottage has a bedroom, a bathroom and fully equipped kitchen. Price for a double room ZAR900.

If it’s not just a romantic holiday but a very special occasion Selkirk House is a great place to stay. This 5-star hotel with an exceptional service will make your weekend unforgettable. It’s not a big hotel rather a villa with beautifully decorated spacious room, outside terrace, swimming pool, big continental breakfast and all the features you’d expect from a 5-star hotel. Double room ZAR2700.

A beautiful town of Hermanus
Hermanus is a perfect place for a romantic weekend getaway from Cape Town

Paternoster

Distance from Cape Town – 160 km, about 2 hours.

One of the most beautiful towns on the West Coast Paternoster has all you need to spend a romantic weekend here; splendid scenery, cozy architecture, endless beaches, though water is freezing here, and great restaurants, local seafood and fish are always fresh, not to forget about local bakery, their stuff is a real delight! Paternoster is a place to come for inspiration, to relax and forget about everyday trouble.

Things to do in Paternoster

  • Driving to Cape Columbine lighthouse.
  • Visiting Tietiesbaai Nature Reserve.  
  • Having lunch or dinner at Voorstrandt restaurant, they have great variety of seafood and fish dishes.
  • Sea kayaking.
  • Horse riding.
  • Drinking beer or cocktails at Panties Bar.

Accommodation in Paternoster

De Linden Boutique guest house is perfect for a romantic weekend; close to the beach, comfortable rooms, cozy interior, outside patio with the sea view, delicious buffet breakfast and attentive staff. Double rooms from R1300.

Paternoster beach, West Coast
Paternoster is a perfect place for a romantic getaway from Cape Town

The Baths Hot Springs, Citrusdal

Distance from Cape Town – 190 km, 2h30min.

If spending holiday with your dearest half chilling next to a hot spring pool or in a private jacuzzi sounds good for you, go to a The Baths, natural hot springs near Citrusdal. Beautifully located in a small valley surrounded by mountain between orange plantations far from busy roads and city noises. It offers different accommodation options; camping – R320 (for two people); flats – R1000; chalets with jacuzzi – R1200.

Thing to do at The Baths

  • Chilling in the hot spring swimming pools.
  • Relaxing in rock pools hidden in the forest.
  • Hiking, two scenic trails uphill with beautiful view over the area.
  • Floating in the pool at night looking at the stars.
The Baths Hot Springs, romantic getaway from Cape Town
Hidden in the mountains, The Baths Hot Springs is a great option for a romantic holiday.

Cheap weekend getaways Cape Town

Breedekloof wine route, Rawsonville

Distance from Cape Town – 93 km, 1h20min.

Budget; fuel (+/- 16l) – about R225; accommodation – camping from R160 per site, B&B – from R500 for a double room; wine tasting – free (one or two places R20 for tasting).

For those who wants to do some off the beaten track wine tasting and doesn’t want to pay a fortune for it, Breedekloof is a perfect place. One of the few wine routes where tasting is still free or costs very little (if you buy a bottle of wine you don’t pay then). The wine route includes 15 wine estates. Our favorites are Jason’s Hill,  Deetlefs and Du Toitskloof. The area is famous for its Chenin Blanc wines we’d definitely recommend to taste it here. 

Things to do on Breedekloof wine route

  • Wine tasting – farms are opened Saturday mornings/early afternoon, closed on Sundays.
  • Hiking – there are several hiking trails that start right after the Huguenot tunnel. Krom River trail is probably the most picturesque, ends with two beautiful waterfalls. Distance 10km, takes between 4 to 5 hours. Obtain permit and map at Dwarsberg Trout Hideaway, on the left after the tunnel. 
  • Mountain biking – some wine farms have MTB trail you can combine cycling and wine tasting experiences.

Accommodation options

The most budget will be camping, Tweede Tol campsite in Limietberg Nature Reserve is quite a good option. Located 15 min. drive from Rawsonville, in a beautiful area, with good facilities. Price R160 per site, 6 people max. 

Breedekloof Wine Route, cheap getaway from Cape Town
Breedekloof Wine Route, a nice and budget weekend getaway option for Capetonians.

Betty’s Bay

Distance from Cape Town – 92 km, about 1 hour.

Budget; fuel (+/- 16l) – about R225; accommodation – B&B from R500 for a double room; entrance fees – Crystal Pools – R60, Stony Point R20, Harold Porter Botanical garden – R25.

Betty’s Bay is a nice place to come for a cheap weekend getaway; close to Cape Town, not a long or expensive drive. There are some budget accommodation options in the town, from R500 for a room. There are quite a few things to do around; hiking, surfing, a nice long beach and many cute African penguins around.  

Things to do in Betty’s Bay

Accommodation in Betty’s Bay

If you want to have some privacy and still stick to low budget you can rent a studio room at Sol y Sombra. A small but cozy apartment with little kitchen, a private outside yard with BBQ facilities. Located close to the penguin sanctuary, in a quiet area. The owners are very nice and friendly, the place is nice and clean. Price R550 for a double room.

Penguins, Stony Point
Hundreds of penguins at Stony Point Nature Reserve, Betty’s Bay

Umshanti, Buffeljags Dam, Swellendam

Distance from Cape Town – 230 km, about 3 hours.

Budget; fuel (+/- 35l) – about R490; accommodation – camping R280 per site, cottage R400; kayaks and boats – free of charge for guests.

A guest farm/campsite located in a beautiful place at Buffeljags dam with stunning view over the area. The place is great for a budget romantic getaway or family weekend. Except for camping there are several accommodation options, the most budget one is small wooden cottages at the edge of the cliff with incredible view. Gypsy is the smallest and the cheapest one (accommodate only 2 people) but very cozy in a way reminds of a Hobbit house. It  has all you need for a nice stay, even little fridge and stove. Prices from R400 per cottage, camping R280 per site, max 6 people, dogs stay free. Umshanti is a dog-friendly place, even if you stay in a cottage.

Things to do at Buffeljags Dam 

  • Hiking in the nearby mountains
  • Kayaking, you can use their kayaks for free.
  • Swimming, the water is nice and warm, there is a small sandy beach and a wooden deck at the dam.
  • Jet skiing, you’ll need your own gear.
  • Relaxing, braaiing, reading. 

Campsite facilities

  • Hot water shower – yes
  • Flush toilets – yes
  • Electricity – yes
  • Power outlets – yes
  • Braai place – yes
  • Cell phone reception – yes
Buffeljags Dam, Swellendam
Umshanti campsite at Buffeljags Dam is an ideal place for budget getaway in a beautiful place.

Great campsites near Cape Town for in-nature getaway

We love camping and camped at about 30+ different campsites in South Africa, mostly in the Western Cape. Here are our 5 favorite campsites near Cape Town.

Tweede Tol campsite, Limietberg Nature reserve, Paarl

Distance from Cape Town – 93 km, 1h20min.

From Paarl to Limietberg Nature reserve you drive through Bain’s Kloof Pass – a beautiful pass with some stunning view. The campsite is perfect for those who want to spend a weekend in a tranquil place surrounded by beautiful nature. Activities in Limietberg include; hiking, swimming, fishing, exploring San and Khoi rock painting. No dogs allowed. Price R160 per site, max 6 people. Park entrance fee; R40 – adults; R20 – children.

Campsite facilities

  • Hot water shower – yes
  • Flush toilets – yes
  • Electricity – yes, in the ablution complex
  • Power outlets – no
  • Braai place – yes
  • Cell phone reception – yes

22 Watervalle, Porterville

Distance from Cape Town – 157 km, about 2 hours.

The campsite is not very big but nice and spacious. It’s located in a beautiful area at the foot of the mountain next to a small river. There are literally 22 waterfalls that you walk past on the trail, it goes quite far up all the way to the top and further but the forest part is the most spectacular. No dogs allowed. Price from R240 per site, max 4 people.

Campsite facilities

  • Hot water shower – yes
  • Flush toilets – yes
  • Electricity – yes, in the ablution complex
  • Power outlets – yes, sites with outlets are more expensive
  • Braai place – yes
  • Cell phone reception – yes
22 Watervalle, Porterville
22 Watervalle, Porterville. A perfect place for a camping weekend from Cape Town.

Beaverlac, Porterville

Distance from Cape Town – 175 km, 2h20min.

Hidden behind mountain range on a windy road Quite big campsite with several spacious open grassy areas for camping, great place to camp with friends and family, very social and quite busy over holidays. The area is beautiful and quite remote far from busy roads and noises. You wake up in the morning with the sounds of birds singing. There are nice natural rocky pools for swimming, several hiking and MTB trails. Dog friendly, confirm when book. Price R65 pp, R50 for dog, R30 for car.

Campsite facilities

  • Hot water shower – yes
  • Flush toilets – yes
  • Electricity – yes
  • Power outlets – no
  • Braai place – yes
  • Cell phone reception – no
Camping weekend in Cape Town - Beaverlac campsite
Beaverlac campsite, Porterville. Great place for a camping weekend with friends and family.

Suikerbossie Guest Farm, between Ceres and Citrusdal

Distance from Cape Town – 205 km, 2h30min.

If you want to get away from bustling Cape Town life and unwind in a peaceful place far from city traffic and noises come here. The nearest town is 94km away you’ll be surprised how quiet it can be it night and how bright the night sky is. The camping spots are grassy and spacious, located at a small river, surrounded by trees and bushes so spots are quite private, each site has a roofed shade area. Our favorite site here is , it’s the most private, with beautiful view on the river, nice spot for swimming. Dog friendly, confirm when book. Price

Campsite facilities

  • Hot water shower – yes
  • Flush toilets – yes
  • Electricity – yes
  • Power outlets – yes
  • Braai place – yes
  • Cell phone reception – no
Camping site at Suikerbossie Farm
Camping at Suikerbossie Farm, a great place for family camping weekend.

Rondeberg holiday resort and camping, Clanwilliam

Distance from Cape Town – 224 km, 2h20min.

A beautiful campsite at Bulshoek Dam, a perfect place to camp with family especially if you like water activities; kayaking, swimming, jet skiing, waterskiing, fishing, there is a slipway for launching boats. The area is big and grassy, with a nice sandy beach. You can do hiking, explore caves with rock painting or just relax in the sun. Children will enjoy swings and trampoline. Dog friendly, confirm when booking. Price from R180 per site, max 6 people.

Campsite facilities

  • Hot water shower – yes
  • Flush toilets – yes
  • Electricity – yes
  • Power outlets – yes
  • Braai place – yes
  • Cell phone reception – yes
Camping area at Rondeberg Resort, Bulshoek
Rondeberg Holiday Resort and camping at Bulshoek Dam.

Weekend road trips from Cape Town

Cape Town to Cape Agulhas

Total distance – 505 km return.

This beautiful coastal drive to the Southernmost Point of Africa can be done over two days. Start Saturday morning in Cape Town, drive past Gordon’s Bay, stop at one of the view points to take photos and to spot seals or Southern Right whales if you do the trip between September and December. Stretch you legs at Crystal Pools or Harold Porter botanical garden. Visit penguin colony at Stony Point Nature Reserve in Betty’s Bay. Stop for lunch and wine tasting at Hermanus, drive through cozy little town of Elim and end your day at the Southernmost Point of Africa. Next day drive to Arniston to check out the white fisherman cottages and Waenhuiskrans cave, make sure you go there at low tide. Stop for lunch or coffee in a cozy town of Napier before heading back to Cape Town.

Route; Cape Town – Gordon’s Bay – Crystal Pools – Betty’s Bay – Harold Porter Botanical Garden – Hermanus – Elim – Stuisbaai – Cape Agulhas – Arniston – Napier – Cape Town.

Cape Town to Cape Agulhas highlights

  • Gordon’s Bay Drive
  • Crystal Pools Nature Reserve – if you want to do a hike you need to book it beforehand.
  • Stony Point Penguin Nature Reserve, Betty’s Bay.
  • Harold Porter Botanical Garden – beautiful garden with several hiking trail.
  • Hermanus – whales, restaurants, wine estates.
  • Elim – beautiful small town.
  • Napier – nice town with many souvenir and coffee shops on the main street.
  • Arniston – white fisherman houses and Waenhuiskrans
  • Cape Agulhas – the Southernmost Point of Africa, Parri the Stingray in the harbour, nice beach.

Accommodation in Struisbaai/Cape Agulhas

Budget optionCape Agulhas Backpackers, ZAR160 for a dorm bed, ZAR420 for a double. It’s a great place to stay if you travel alone, very social, nice vibe, good facilities, close to the beach and restaurants. Different accommodation options; dormitory, private rooms with shared bathroom, in-suite cabins and camping spots.

Middle priceTop Deck, ZAR800 for an apartment (two people), located 1min. walk from the beach, close to Cape Agulhas. Fully equipped apartment with balcony, kitchen, TV, washing machine etc.

LuxuryMermaid Guest House, ZAR1200 for a double, continental breakfast included. A beautiful set up with a swimming pool, outside terrace, located close to the beach and restaurants, ideal place for a romantic holiday.

Weekend getaways Cape Town to Cape Agulhas trip
Map of Africa at Cape Agulhas. Weekend road trip Cape Town to Cape Agulhas.

West Coast drive

Distance (Cape Town – St.Helena Bay) – 393 km return.

The West Coast is something different and special; an endless coast line, spacious and airy, incredible combination of bright blue and white colors. A great place to come if you need to think, relax and reload. And of course to try seafood and fish freshly caught and cooked in a best possible way. The best time for this drive is August – September, the flower season in Namaqualand when you can see this arid area turning into one big flower garden.

Route; Cape Town – West Coast national park – Langebaan – Jacobsbaai – Paternoster – Tietiesbaai – St.Helena Bay – Cape Town.

West Coast drive highlights 

  • West Coast National park  – the best place to come in flower season.
  • Langebaan – typical West Coast white town with great conditions for kite surfing between November and March.
  • Jacobsbaai – a small and sleepy little town with long empty beaches.
  • Paternoster – one more small white town with some good seafood restaurants and a couple of nice cafes.
  • Tietiesbaai park – beautiful coastal scenery, popular place for camping over December holidays. The campsite is nice but recently there were quite a few people complaining about security issues they had there. Never leave any valuables in your tent when you are not there, lock everything in the car.
  • St.Helena Bay – Shelley Point lighthouse and seals chilling on the rocks there.

Accommodation in St.Helena Bay

Middle priceGoblin’s Creek, R700 for a double room. Simple but cozy guest house located at Shelly Point, 5 min. away from the beach. Rooms are nicely decorated, neat and clean. Every room has a fire place and a bath tube. Outside yard with braai facilities, fully equipped kitchen for guests’ use, outside swimming pool.

LuxuryMusselcracker bnb, R1000 for a double room. Great location, right at Shelly Point, facing the sea – beautiful views are guaranteed. Rooms are spacious, with big comfortable bed, they have all you may need for a comfortable stay. Continental breakfast included. Very clean, neat and cozy.

St.Helena Bay, West Coast
St.Helena Bay, West Coast weekend trip from Cape Town.

Route  62

Distance (Cape Town – Barrydale) – 490 km return.

To drive the complete route all the way to Port Elizabeth over a weekend is too much, most of the time you’ll spend driving. You can drive a part of Route 62 in two days to Barrydale, which is 246km from Cape Town. Route 62 is a perfect escape option, if it’s unpleasantly windy at the coast you can go more inland and explore some cozy towns.

From Paarl don’t drive through Huguenot tunnel take a scenic route over Du Toits Kloof Pass. Stop at a couple of wine estates on Breedekloof Wine Route, most of them offer free tasting. Stop for lunch and wine tasting at Nuy Winery, between Worcester and Robertson; beautiful estate, good wines, great food and desserts. You can end your first day in Montagu chilling in the mineral hot springs.  If you want to explore more of the countryside on Route 62 continue to Barrydale. The drive between Montagu and Barrydale offers a very typical Platteland scenery; crop fields with occasional vineyards, a farm padstall here and there and endless road.

Route; Cape Town – Paarl – Rawsonville – Worcester – Robertson – Montagu – Barrydale – Cape Town.

Route 62 highlights 

  • Paarl.
  • Du Toits Kloof Pass.
  • Breedekloof Wine Route.
  • Robertson Wine Valley.
  • Montagu hot mineral springs.
  • Platteland scenery.
  • Barrydale.

Accommodation in Barrydale

BudgetBarrydale Backpackers, R480 for a double room. Quite basic accommodation but good value for money, good location close to the Info and start of the hiking trail. The place is new and clean. It has an outside yard, kitchen, outside swimming pool.

Middle priceBlue Cow Barn boutique farm, R600 for a cottage (two people). Located on a peaceful farm walking distance from the town. All cottages have private bathroom, comfortable double bed, small fully equipped kitchen and wi-fi. Outside area boasts a big yard with braai facilities and farm restaurant.

LuxuryThe Whitehouse, from R1080 for a double room. A lovely old-farm style guesthouse, nicely decorated, very neat and cozy. Rooms are spacious, with big and comfortable double beds. Beautiful garden, small outside pool, English breakfast included. Located in the town close to the restaurants and shops.

Route 62, Platteland
Typical scenery along Route 62, so different from the coast.

Hiking getaways from Cape Town

Cape of Good hope hiking trail

Distance from Cape Town – 70 km.

It’s not necessary to go far from the city to have a great outdoor experience, Cape Point National park offers amazing 2-day hiking route with staying in overnight huts. Total distance 33,8 km, circular route. Recent attacks on hikers might raise concerns about safety on the hike but this park is well protected with only one gate you can drive in and out and rangers patrolling the territory. The trail doesn’t go through very remote areas and on weekends there are many people driving around the park.

The Highlands Trail, Kogelberg Nature Reserve, Kleinmond

Distance from Cape Town – 110 km, 1h 20min.

This beautiful 2-day hike that takes you through fynbos area of Kogelberg Nature Reserve, along the beach and over the mountains. The trail offers stunning scenery with little human presence. Total walking distance – 37 km, circular route, staying in overnight hut. Maximum group size – 12 people. The trail starts at Iona Wine Farm. Booking is required.

Diaz Beach, Cape of Good Hope hike
Diaz beach, Cape of Good Hope. Hiking weekend from Cape Town.

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