Country markets or “farmers markets” are increasingly popular as people seek out locally grown fresh produce, artisanal food and drink, and handcrafted wares – all presented in an authentic and unique setting that makes shopping a memorable experience filled with social connection and fun.

If you are keen to try some new markets that are well worth adding to your “experience itinerary”, here are a few ideas for must-visit markets right on Cape Town’s doorstep, which are situated in gorgeous country locations that offer a jam-packed weekend away or day trip deluxe!

The CEX Community Market in the beautiful town of Porterville takes place every month. 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 suit all tastes in the village. An art experience is highly recommended as Porterville is home to a large community of artists.

A short drive from Porterville will take you into the mountains above the neighbouring town of Piketberg. The area, known as Piket-Bo-Berg, is home to a hugely popular monthly market which takes place from 9 am to 12 pm on the Kruistementvlei Farm on the last Saturday of every month. The Piket Bo-Berg Farmers Market has become an institution for locals and visitors alike – who are drawn to the hand-crafted items and delicious goodies, ranging from crispy croissants and baked treats to artisanal charcuterie meats and the valley’s fresh fruit, as well as olive oil on tap and mead made the traditional way.  There are also stalls that sell items such as books, olive products and beautifully crafted wooden games and items for the home.

The town of Piketberg itself, which is nestled at the foot of the Piketberg Mountain range, offers stunning natural surroundings and abundant outdoor activities for hikers, mountain bike enthusiasts, trail runners and fun-seeking families. Piketberg boasts a unique and fascinating self-guided tour – the Piketberg Historical Route – which is the best way to experience the heritage of this town, with its meticulously restored cottages and the imposing neo-gothic style Dutch Reformed Church. A visit to Org-de-Rac, the local organic winery, is a must to sample their wine and cheese pairing, as well as the fresh oysters served with Methode Cap Classique.

And while in Piketberg, 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.

Moving further towards the coast, market and memory-making seekers will come to the town of Velddrif, and neighbouring Port Owen, with its monthly Port Owen Market (which takes place on the first Saturday of the month) that offers unique and local wares, as well as handmade artisanal products and fresh produce – all presented in the beautiful setting of the Port Owen mariner.

A new market recently launched in Velddrif called the Velddrif Village Market which runs every Saturday from 9 am to 2 pm and offers a host of local wares, artisanal food and drink, organic produce, pizzas, coffee, cakes and more. Once a month there is also a themed market, with the most recent event in February being all about loving local.

The popular West Coast village of Velddrif is one of the most popular bird-watching sites in South Africa, and the area offers abundant water sports and fishing opportunities. The Fisheries Museum is well worth a visit to find out about the colourful history of the fishing industry along this coast.  The area also offers 4×4’ing, hiking, mountain climbing, and more.

A boat cruise up the river 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 sip artisanal coffee or a cocktail. Also, visit the art gallery and eclectic shops dotted along this quaint dirt road. Velddrif is a foodie’s paradise and some recommended experiences include wine and biltong tasting, Bokkom tasting, craft beer tasting, gin tasting, and artisanal cheese tasting.

From markets and bustling rural village life to wide open spaces and breathtaking scenery, these towns within the Bergrivier region, situated right on Cape Town’s doorstep, have it all. Make 2024 one of your most travelled and memorable yet by getting out there and experiencing all that is on offer in this adventure capital – starting with the markets!

For more information on the Bergrivier area and where to find the monthly markets, as well as other things to see and do, visit

Join us on October 14th for an epic day of mountain biking at the Piketberg MTB Challenge hosted by Org De Rac.