5 Things you absolutely HAVE to do in the Riebeek Valley in springtime
The Swartland is a pretty gorgeous place at any time of the year, but in springtime the region really shows off in a big way. If you are planning to head out to the Riebeek Valley sometime soon, here are 5 recommendations for things you absolutely have to see and do, according to the Besters.
Take a drive (or a run/cycle) around Kasteelberg
“I love taking a drive around Kasteelberg in the springtime. It's not a long trip, only around 45km. It's the ideal way to drink in the beauty of the Swartland and watch the development of the vineyards and wheat fields as the season progresses. It's a beautiful sight to behold,” says Zakkie.
You can also enjoy this same scenery from the seat of your mountain bike, or the soles of your favourite pair of running takkies!
Have a drink on the stoep of the Royal Hotel
“Then of course there is our beloved Royal Hotel in the heart of Riebeek Kasteel - my favourite place to sit down and have a drink while I watch the world go by. I myself a partial to a gin on that wonderful front stoep, but they also stock BESTER Family Wines, so that's an option as well...,” Zakkie recommends.
TOP TIP: If you want to taste some more proudly W.O. Swartland wines while you are in the vicinity, make your way across the road to The Wine Kollective - the only little wine shop in the world dedicated exclusively to Swartland wines.
Stop for coffee at 8 Feet Village on the Bothmaskloof Pass
According to Mona Hall, the second Bester daughter, 8 Feet Village on the Bothmaskloof Pass as you enter the valley from Cape Town side is not to be missed.
“It's such a lovely destination, and the views are amazing - you can see the whole valley. Plus, the coffee is great and there are great collections of homeware and olive products on site as well.”
TOP TIP: If you are travelling with smallies in tow, and don't want to be running after them at 8 Feet Village, simply make your way a little lower down the pass, and pull in at Kringe Inni Bos at Kloovenburg Estate for some pizza (and the same great coffee). Or wine, of course! This space is tailormade for families - there is a trampoline, a great big sand pit, tractor rides, and more.
Get excited about gardening at Riebeek Valley Garden Centre
According to Sandra, springtime is the ideal time of year to head to the Riebeek Valley Garden Centre, where a true sanctuary awaits green-fingered gardening enthusiasts.
“André and Corné created the most beautiful space at the Garden Centre. We love to go for tea and scones with our granddaughters, and this is also where I get all my seedlings, house plants, and other botanical necessities.”
Take a stroll through Riebeek Kasteel to pick up eats & treats
According to Anna-Bet Stemmet, the eldest Bester daughter, a simple stroll through town should also be on your list of must-do’s in Riebeek Kasteel.
“When you go to a new town, it can be tempting to fill your itinerary with very specific activities. However, towns like Riebeek Kasteel are best discovered on foot. This is when you notice all the quirky little shops, and wonderful art galleries. The town also has a great variety of local purveyors of bread, cheese, and fresh produce. So, pack your cloth bags and pick up a variety of eats and treats on your walk.”
Side note: Riebeek Kasteel, like most small towns in South Africa, have a very vulnerable youth community. As such, you may encounter children who might ask for money, or something to eat. If you feel saddened by their plight, it is best to reach out to the facilitators of established community support programs so you can contribute in a constructive way. We recommend ACVV Riebeek Kasteel.
Check back soon for more info on awesome things to do, see and experience in the Riebeek Valley!