Welcome to Visit Stellenbosch

Welcome to Visit Stellenbosch – the complete tourist information, travel and destination guide to the magnificent wine and food town of Stellenbosch – also known as the Gourmet Capital of South Africa.
Stellenbosch is one of the most beautiful wine regions in the world and stands out as the premier wine and food region of South Africa.
Not only is Stellenbosch a modern, thriving town – it is also the second oldest town in South Africa after Cape Town and is steeped in history.
No visit to South Africa should be complete without a visit to this breathtaking town.
Tourism, wine and food plays a leading and vital role in the history and future of Stellenbosch although there is a lot more to this lovely region than what meets the eye.
Visit Stellenbosch has been created to offer practical and up to date tourist information for visitors to Stellenbosch and the surrounding winelands of the Western Cape.
We will also provide articles related to travel and tourism in the Stellenbosch region.

Stellenbosch is surrounded by beautiful mountains and vineyards which offer magnificent views throughout the year.
It is here in Stellenbosch where you will find world-class cuisine, mouth-watering wines, friendly people and impeccable service – everything you need to make your Stellenbosch memories last forever.
The centre of Stellenbosch is where everything happens.
The area around Church, Andringa and Dorp Street are the tourist hub of Stellenbosch.
In this area you will find great restaurants, wine bars, curio shops, coffee shops and art galleries that are all open until late at night.
Stellenbosch is also very well known for its University and the students (some 30 000 of them) add to the lively vibe of this thriving town.
Stellenbosch is a place where outsiders are welcomed and soon feel at home.
This is a town where 4 nights won’t be enough to truly experience the region.

The off-season months (May to September) is often the best time of the year to visit Stellenbosch.
Th weather is mild, it is less crowded and accommodation is on average 20% to 40% cheaper than in high season – this also holds true to the rest of South Africa.
You will find that many of the Stellenbosch restaurants offer great specials during this time and sometimes offer fun, themed evenings.
The wine estates of Stellenbosch have their fireplaces lit, bring out special vintages to taste and are less crowded.
During the summer or high season months (October to April) we can recommend that you book your accommodation, tours and restaurants well in advance as Stellenbosch is one of the most visited town in South Africa and is often booked out months ahead of time.
It happens very often that restaurants and day tour companies are booked out for weeks on end with no last minute availability.

A Short History on Stellenbosch
Stellenbosch was founded in 1679 by the Governor of the Cape Colony, Simon van der Stel, who named the town after himself.
Stellenbosch means “(Van Der) Stel’s Bush”.
This beautiful village is situated on the banks of the Eerste River (First River), so named as it was the first new river he reached and followed when he went on an expedition over the Cape Flats to explore the territories towards what is now known as Stellenbosch.
The town grew so quickly that it became an important local authority in 1682 and the seat of a magistrate with jurisdiction over 25 000sq km’s in 1685.
The Dutch were skilled in hydraulic engineering and they devised a system of furrows to divert water from the Eerste River in the vicinity of Thibault Street through the town along Van Riebeeck Street to Mill Street where a mill was erected.
During 1690 some Huguenot refugees visited and settled in Stellenbosch, grapes were planted in the fertile valleys around Stellenbosch and soon it became the centre of the South African Wine Industry.
In 1710 a fire destroyed most of Stellenbosch, including the first church, all the Company property and twelve houses.
Only two or three houses were left standing.
When the church was rebuilt in 1723 it was located on what was then the outskirts of the town, to prevent any similar incident from destroying it again.
This church was enlarged a number of times since 1723 and is currently known as the “Moederkerk” – Mother Church.
Driving through historic Dorp Street you will notice many buildings in typical Cape Dutch architecture with thatched roofs.
Stellenbosch also has thousands of oak trees lining the streets.

Festivals and Events in the Stellenbosch Region
When you visit Stellenbosch there is always something for everyone.
Stellenbosch (much like the Dutch and the French) have a rich history of festivals and events.
These events really do make Stellenbosch a year round tourist destination and both local as well as foreign visitors enjoy every moment that they spend in this lovely village.
Some of the festivals and events in and around Stellenbosch include:

• Various Farmer’s Markets - especially over weekends.
• Various Harvest Festivals on wine estates during harvest season.
• Stellenbosch Craft Beer Festival.
• Biltong and Pinotage Festival.
• South African Cheese Festival.
• Stellenbosch Wine Festival.
• Woordfees
• The Winelands Bridal Fair
• Stellenbosch Street Soirees
• Root 44 Park Run
• Slow Market Stellenbosch
• Spring Trail Run
• ABSA Cape Epic
• Die Burger / Sanlam Cycle Tour

Weddings and Conferences in Stellenbosch
Stellenbosch have been the ideal romantic wedding setting for as long as we care to remember and is today one of South Africa’s premier wedding destinations.
Anyone who got married here will tell you that the beautiful and serene Stellenbosch Valley is the perfect place to start your life-long journey together.
The romantic scenery of Stellenbosch adds to a wedding’s ambience and ensures that you never to be forgotten day is just so much more special.
With numerous wedding venues to choose from you’re bound to find somewhere beautiful, but we warned: during high season (September to April) there ae between 150 to 350 weddings per month with venues in and around Stellenbosch booked and confirmed up to 2 years in advance.
If you have guests that requires accommodation you will be better off also booking this in advance as Stellenbosch is an extremely popular tourist destination and almost all tourists to South Africa will visit Stellenbosch at some point.
If you require assistance with finding suitable and available accommodation you are welcome to email us at info@central-reservation.net and our friendly team will gladly assist you.

For our corporate guests, Stellenbosch offers some world-class conference venues and often offer special rates during the off-season period (May to September).
Many corporate clients prefer to visit Stellenbosch for their conference or team building as it is a great place “to just get away from it all”.
Cape Town is only 40 minutes away by car, so it is ideal to come and do some work in Stellenbosch and then relax at your hotel / guest house in the evening while enjoying stunning views and sipping on some of the award-winning wines that Stellenbosch is known for.

Accommodation in Stellenbosch
The accommodation in Stellenbosch includes hotel accommodation, accommodation in guest houses, bed and breakfasts and self-catering accommodation including holiday houses, luxury apartments, suites, villas and country cottages on wine estates.
Stellenbosch is ideal for holiday and business travellers alike.
Most of the hotel and guest house accommodation in Stellenbosch is close to the historic town centre or close to the University of Stellenbosch Campus.
Almost all accommodation in Stellenbosch offers free Wi-Fi.

Day Tours from Stellenbosch
Stellenbosch is ideally situated to take various interesting guided tours as well as non-guided services.
With Stellenbosch being right in the heart of the Cape Winelands we would advise to drink responsibly and rather take a driver or guided wine tour as opposed to drinking and driving.
There are so many wine tour options to choose from, but, to name but a few, the most popular options include the Mystery Tour, The Gourmet Delights Tour, The MCC (Champagne) Tour as well as the Chocolate, Cheese, Olive and Wine Tour.
At night we recommend that you make use of a shuttle service to take you to restaurants.
The Stellenbosch wines are delicious and it is better not to drink and drive during the day or the evening as there are roadblocks daily.
Top Tip: Wine Tours are a lot more affordable if you do it from the winelands vs doing it from Cape Town.

Restaurants in Stellenbosch
Stellenbosch is known as the Gourmet Capital of South Africa and for good reason.
Some of the best restaurants in South Africa can be found right here in Stellenbosch.
Representing some of the best in local and international cuisine, Stellenbosch offers a wide selection of restaurants to suit every palate, budget or mood.
We would suggest that you book your table well in advance to avoid disappointment.

We trust that you will visit Stellenbosch in the very near future to experience all the hidden gems of the region.

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