SA’s Top Holiday Hotspots to visit this December
The December holidays are around the corner and many South Africans are planning where they will stay, and play, this year for their annual getaway.
The Bergrivier region, and the beautiful towns situated within it – which are right on Cape Town’s doorstep – offers something for everyone this December, and is also close enough for day-trippers to enjoy. There are a vast array of activities and accommodation options, as well as some of the most pristine and untouched nature reserves, wetlands, lagoons, mountain landscapes and more.
The CEX Community Market in the beautiful town of Porterville takes place every month and the next event will be on Saturday 12 February with a Valentine’s Day theme. Visitors can look forward to hand crafted wares, artisanal foods, arts, live music and warm country community hospitality. There truly is something for everyone at this market – invest in some art; stock up on, and taste, fresh local produce and other delicacies, enjoy a delicious snack, relax and savour small town life – the list goes on.
Porterville is an increasingly popular village nestled on the slopes of the Olifant’s River Mountains at the base of the Groot Winterhoek Wilderness Area. The area offers a variety of wonderful hiking trails and mountain bike routes. There is an uphill waterfall trail dotted with 22 waterfalls snaking their way down the mountainside, interspersed with crystal clear pools. Porterville boasts an artisanal gin distillery in the mountains above the town and a variety of eateries to suite all tastes in the village. An art experience is highly recommended as Porterville is home to a large community of artists.
Inland from Velddrif is the town of Piketberg, nestled at the foot of the Piketberg Mountain range. This historic village offers abundant outdoor activities, good food, good wine, attractive architecture, warm country hospitality and rich heritage.
The self-guided Piketberg Historical Route (which can be done on foot) is the best way to experience the town, with its gorgeously restored cottages, and the imposing neo-gothic style Dutch Reformed Church. And don’t miss Piketberg’s increasingly popular Last Friday – 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.
For wine lovers, a visit to Org-de-Rac, the local organic winery to sample the fruits of the local vineyards is highly recommended and the wine and cheese pairing on offer, as well as the fresh oysters and MCC, are a must. Org-de-Rac are also hosting the Org-de-Rac Somerfees which promises to be a lovely family day out, with great entertainment, cycling, a fun run, food stalls, kids activities and a guest artist. There is a wealth of activities to enjoy while staying in Piketberg – amongst these is horse riding, with beautiful 1.5 hour and 3-hour trails on offer in Piket-Bo-Berg, as well as hiking in this stunning terrain overlooking the valley.
Last but certainly not least on the list of highly recommended towns to visit this holiday is Porterville, a quaint village nestled on the slopes of the Olifant’s River Mountains at the base of the Groot Winterhoek Wilderness Area.
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. For foodies there are a myriad of coffee shops, restaurants, and eateries. Amongst these are two exciting new offerings – Ben’s Diner, a 50’s themed American style diner at the Porterville Hotel, and Ystermeisie at the Flyers Lodge – serving fresh artisanal meals with stunning views over the surrounding fields. Gin enthusiasts can enjoy a gin-tasting and tapas experience at the boutique distillery in the mountains above Porterville. An art experience at Die Lighuis Art and Coffee Shop is also highly recommended (Porterville is home to a large community of artists). From 25 November to 5 December there will be a Christmas market at the Rendezvous Restaurant, and visitors are well advised to stay on and sample their famous ribs.
Outdoor enthusiasts are also in for a treat with a visit to Porterville, which offers a variety of hiking trails to fascinating destinations like De Hel (the hell) and De Tronk (the jail). 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. A camping stay at Beaverlac is also always a good idea. On the 10th of December the town’s monthly market will be taking place at the show grounds – the Porterville Community Market – and visitors can look forward to hand crafted wares, artisanal foods, arts, and live music.
Whether it is birdwatching, river cruising, canoeing, fishing, hiking, mountain biking,
horse-riding, shopping, enjoying delicious food and great wine, gin-tasting, or just relaxing and re-energizing in nature – there is so much to do in the Bergrivier area that visitors are truly spoilt for choice, which is great news for people looking for something to do this December. All of these towns promise a great escape for the entire family and memories to be made over the festive season.
For more information on these towns and where to stay, eat and things to do visit https://bergriviertourism.co.za.
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