THE MOTHER CITY.
Only 48 kilometres from Stellenbosch, along the R44 and the N1, is South Africa's oldest city, Cape Town, affectionately known as the Mother City. Founded in 1652 by Jan van Riebeeck, it is the parliamentary capital with a population of over 2 million. Some worthwhile places to visit are the pentagonal-shaped Castle, erected in 1666, the vibrant Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, the magnificent Two Oceans Aquarium, a trip in the cable car to the summit of Table Mountain and the bustling "flea market" at Greenmarket Square. Kirstenbosch, the National Botanical Gardens, stretches over 560 hectares.
Van der Stel's forest
Stellenbosch was founded in 1679 by the second Governor of the Cape Colony, Simon van der Stel. The name, Stellenbosch, may be directly translated as "(van der) Stel's forest" and is situated on the banks of the Eerste River about 50 km (30 mi) away from Cape Town, a mere 40 minute drive. It is also surrounded by the breathtaking mountain scenery of the Jonkershoek valley which supplies visitors with a variety of hiking trails.
Stellenbosch is the second oldest European settlement in the Western Cape Province of South Africa (after Cape Town) and is therefor rich in cultural heritage. Some of the most beautiful old buildings can be viewed by taking a simple walk down the peaceful Dorp Street.
"It's all about the wine!"
The Stellenbosch Wine of Origin area consists of over 100 wine cellars, most of which are open to the public for tasting or viewing purposes.
Stellenbosch is also situated close to the beautiful Franschoek, also known for its production of good quality South African wine. The areas of Paarl and Wellington also offer a large number of wine farms and is also less than 30 minutes drive from Stellenbosch.
A wide variety of wine tours can be booked through the Stellenbosch travel agencies.
Stellenbosch is also home to one of South Africa's top Universities. The Stellenbosch University students are nicknamed Maties and has produced some of the countries top athletes and sporting heroes. But like most universities, campus is not only great place to start your tertiary education but also filled with vibrant inexpensive pubs and food shops. The main University campus also includes some of the oldest buildings in town. Simply taking a walk around campus is a must do!
On the university grounds there are also several hiking and Mountain biking trails.
Just be sure to check the University holidays depending on whether you want a quiet walk through campus or if you want to behold the hussle and bussle of the Stellenbosch student going about their usual routine.