The spotlight is on South Africa’s Mother City, Cape Town, as the best destination to head for on vacation. Baroque Travel details the top six reasons to visit this magnificent location
For the fourth year in a row, Cape Town has captivated the judges in the 2016/2017 Telegraph Travel Awards, and has been chosen as the best city and best value long-haul destination to visit. And whilst the dollar, the pound and the Euro are all very strong against the South African Rand, making the destination a dream come true price-wise, that’s not the only reason that people are flocking there from all over the world.
Cape Town’s ‘affordable luxury’ status is certainly a draw card, but the scenic beauty of the Mother City, its magnificent white sand beaches, the choice of activities and entertainment all add to its allure.
For a while now, the city has attracted people from far afield, so the restaurants, bars and hotels are all top class. You’ll find a One&Only in Cape Town, a Taj, a Belmond Hotel and many other establishments that could be rated 6 star in a heartbeat, such as Ellerman House, which has a reputation for being one of the most superlative. For this reason, the Cape is also considered a luxury city destination – in fact, it’s been awarded Luxury City Destination of the Year for the second year in a row by the Luxury Travel Guide & Middle East Awards 2016.
Of course, it’s had numerous other accolades. It’s considered Best City in the 2015/2016 Telegraph Travel Awards, Number One food city in the world for 2016 as well as best city in the world for bars and restaurants by Conde Nast’s Readers Choice Awards.
6 reasons to visit South Africa’s Mother City
While Cape Town is on top of the hotlist, we’ve put together some good reasons to visit. Take a look…
1. It’s beautiful: You can’t get away from the fact, that the Cape, and Cape Town in particular, are scenically mind-boggling. Whether you’re enjoying the view of the city below you from the top of Table Mountain, or looking at the city from your yacht on the sea, mountain and all will take your breath away. Let’s not forget pristine white sand beaches, the actual craggy Cape Peninsula itself, the nearby Winelands where the mountain views are spectacular and the wine even better… the list is endless.
2. Wherever you go, you’re close to nature: From viewing zebra grazing on the slopes of Table Mountain to watching baboons cavort at Cape Point, you’re always touched by nature. The flora and fauna is quite spectacular too, and the opportunities to see wildlife, including the Big Five, is there, even in the Cape, which boasts some excellent game lodges offering an opportunity to view wild animals in their natural habitat. Let’s also not forget whale and dolphin watching, a popular pastime along the Cape Coast, including in Hermanus. Or the pretty penguins at Boulders Beach and seals at nearby Seal Island.
3. Let’s talk about the wine: Within an hour or two by car from Cape Town you come across the spectacular Cape Winelands, an area that is full of more than 200 wine estates offering a sample of what has made the area famous – some of the best vintages in the world. These wine farms also offer a choice of some of the country’s best restaurants, as well as a place to stay in the country. And yes, the scenery is quite spectacular.
4. The scenery is quite magnificent: Wherever you go, whether it’s round the mountain from the city center to visit Kirstenbosch Gardens, to the little town of Noordhoek whose beaches are legendary, or to Constantia, also home to some excellent wine farms, you’ll find incredible landscapes waiting for you. Of course, a highlight of a visit here is to see where the two oceans – the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean – meet at Cape Point, a wild, rugged area at the end of the Cape Peninsula.
5. Dining options are sublime: The Cape, and Cape Town in particular, is home to most of the country’s best restaurants, so dining here is a dream. And with the rate of exchange, it’s affordable luxe at its best, meaning you can enjoy a true taste of what’s on offer. Local cuisine is simple and delicious, and the seafood on offer in the Cape, especially if you venture along the West Coast, is sublime.
6. There’s so much to do: Surfing at Blouberg, hiking up Chapman’s Peak, exploring historic sites such as Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was held captive for so many years, shopping for local and international designers’ and artists’ wares, browsing through weekend markets… you’ll be spoilt for choice.