School holidays are upon us and many people may be wondering what to do with their families for the break. The good news for those who haven’t yet made any plans is that there is a myriad of fun and affordable options just a stone’s throw from Cape Town in the Bergrivier region.
There is nothing like a country town getaway, and the Bergrivier area is close enough for a day-trip too. A road trip into the area offers you so much to see and do – adventures of every kind, for every interest, age, and budget.
Here is a list of some of the top things to see and do this holiday in the Bergrivier area:
The Proudly Porterville Art: Winter Series event is a brand-new addition to the events calendar that is taking place over the weekend of 7 – 9 July 2022. This exciting event sees a collaboration of Porterville artisans hosting fun workshops open to the public. Choose from over 25 workshops over three days hosted by local creatives and supported by selected visiting artists.
Jenny Morris will be offering a live cooking show, selected local artists will open their studios, there will also be a Bergrivier Gin Experience – a chance to experience and savour locally produced gins paired with cheese, tapas, and nougat. Over the course of the weekend there will be kiddies’ activities galore, including daily kids’ art workshops.
Some of the workshops to anticipate include fabric painting, mosaicking, crochet, etching, loom beading, baking, photography and felting – to name only a few. For children there is creative yoga, dream catcher making, and bottle top flower workshops. For more information on these workshops visit Proudly Porterville Art: Winter Series – Porterville Tourism (bergriviertourism.co.za).
There are many other wonderful things to see and do while visiting Porterville for this event. This beautiful town – once considered a hidden gem – has now been dubbed as one of the most desirable and popular country towns in the Western Cape. Porterville has so much to offer that travelers would be well-advised to book in and stay for a few days. Visitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to accommodation options – from quaint self-catering cottages to luxury B&B’s and guesthouses, country farm-stays, secluded mountain retreats, renowned camping spots and more – Porterville presents it all.
For foodies there are a myriad of coffee shops, restaurants, and eateries – as well as a popular monthly Community Market that draws visitors in their droves. Restaurants such as Rendezvous and Akkediskis offer kiddies play areas. Outdoor enthusiasts are also in for a treat with a visit to Porterville, which offers a variety of hiking trails to fascinating destinations. There is also an uphill waterfall trail dotted with 22 waterfalls snaking their way down the mountainside, interspersed with crystal clear pools for a cooling dip. Mountain-bikers will love the many trails that wind their way through the surrounding countryside and places such as Berghoff, Pampoenfontein and Beaverlac in the mountains offer great cycling trails, as does the Excelsior guest farm.
Other must-visit towns to explore in the Bergrivier region this holiday includes Piketberg and Velddrif.
Piketberg is a historic village which is named after the impressive mountain that it clings to. The best way to experience this town, with its gorgeously restored cottages and the imposing neo-gothic style Dutch Reformed Church, is by doing the Piketberg Historic Route. Stops along the way, in addition to the church, include the Commercial Hotel, old Sheriff’s Office and original police station, the original bioscope, and the Piketberg Museum. In total the route has 12 points of interest and visitors can walk or drive to each at their leisure. Another great activity in Piketberg includes Last Friday’s – a food and art festival that takes place across the village on the last Friday of every month. Visitors can expect a celebration of arts, culture, live music and delicious artisanal foods and drinks.
Piketberg offers an array of accommodation options. Highly recommended are the Cornerstone Guest House, Elfreda’s B&B, Hagenheim B&B, The Views Guest House and Vue de Montagne. Great self-catering options include Home With A View, and Lemontree.
For those looking to refuel, be sure to pop in at Bravo Wine & Food which serves up a smorgasbord of sweet and savoury offerings. Just outside of town, along a scenic drive up the Piekenierskloof Pass is the Kardoesie Restaurant and farm stall. Slightly further along is the Kloof Restaurant at the Piekenierskloof Mountain Resort. This resort is also a wonderful destination for families and children are kept busy with the heated indoor swimming pool, the outdoor pool with amazing views over the valley, ziplining, archery, mini golf, trampolines and more.
Moving towards the coast, the town of Velddrif offers a smorgasbord of things to do. This hugely popular West Coast village hugs the banks of the beautiful Berg River, just a few kilometers from where the river enters the ocean at St Helena Bay.
This lovely town is one of the post popular bird-watching sites in South Africa, and is perfectly located to offer a myriad of activities to water-sport enthusiasts, including surfing, skiing, sailing, canoeing, windsurfing, kiteboarding, boating, stand-up paddling and more. Fishing enthusiasts will be rewarded as the river holds an abundance of fish species. Rocherpan Nature Reserve is a short drive from Velddrif, and the Fisheries Museum is well worth a visit. The area also offers hiking, golf, putt-putt, and mountain biking trails. A boat cruise up the river on the Cracklin Rosie or with Knot Xtreme, is a must-do experience, and Bokkomlaan – the oldest road in the town that snakes up the edge of the Berg River – is a great place to relax and watch the tide come in while sipping freshly roasted artisanal coffee. Or sit on a jetty with a cocktail. Also visit the art gallery and eclectic shops dotted along this quaint dirt road.
Velddrif is a foodie’s paradise! Whether your appetite is calling for a hearty breakfast, wood-fired pizza, hamburgers, crispy fresh salads, artisanal baked-treats and cakes, vegetarian dishes, traditional country fare or anything in between – this area offers it all from a wide variety of eateries to suite all tastes and budgets. Like everything else in Velddrif – there is an abundance of accommodation options available to appeal to everyone.
Whatever your speed, taste, interest or budget – there is so much to do this holiday in the Bergrivier area that visitors are truly spoilt for choice. For more information on these towns and where to stay, eat and things to do visit https://bergriviertourism.co.za/bergrivier/.