Hidden Gems Near Somerset West: 21 Must-Visit Attractions Within an Hour's Drive
The Western Cape is a treasure trove of stunning locations and unique experiences. Here, we delve into 21 of the best hidden gems near Somerset West, all within an hour's drive of the Cape Vermeer guesthouse.
21 Hidden Gems Near Somerset West
Situated in the heart of the Western Cape, Somerset West is a hub of local culture and scenic beauty.
With many attractions nearby, there's no shortage of things to see and do.
1. Vergelegen Wine Estate
A short 12-minute drive will take you to one of the finest wine farms in the area.
Take a stroll through the Rose or Lavender Gardens, visit the Museum, and enjoy a gourmet lunch at the Stables Restaurant.
Or, opt for a luxury white tablecloth picnic in the mystic camphor forest.
2. Helderberg Nature Reserve
Take a 9-minute drive to the Helderberg Nature Reserve to explore its walking trails and take in the region's scenic beauty.
Explore one of the walking trails in the area, such as The Pink Trail, which goes to the top of Helderberg Mountain, or The Orange Trail, a new section linking Watsonia, West Peak, and The Dome via Porcupine Buttress.
3. Visit Stellenbosch
While Stellenbosch may not be regarded as a "secret spot" on its own, the second-oldest town in South Africa offers plenty of secret spots for you to explore, including a variety of historical buildings, art galleries, and shops like ‘Oom Samie se Winkel’ on Dorp Street.
A mere 22 minutes away from Somerset West and Cape Vermeer, it would be a crime not to visit.
4. Morgenster Wine & Olive Oil Tasting
In just 11 minutes, you can reach Morgenster, a thriving olive and wine farm dating back to 1711.
It's known for producing internationally acclaimed Bordeaux-style wines and extra virgin olive oil of astounding quality.
5. Strand Beach
Only 14 minutes away, Strand Beach boasts a 5 km white sandy beach perfect for relaxation.
Don't forget to visit the Belgian-inspired De Brasserie (on Beach Road) for a stunning sunset view.
6. Idiom Wines
A 24-minute drive will bring you to this small boutique winery.
Here, you can enjoy tastings and tours of their vineyards and wine-making facilities, as well as a delightful lunch in the Italian-inspired restaurant.
7. Lourensford Market
Just 12 minutes away, you'll find the Lourensford Market. Open on Friday evenings, Saturdays, and Sundays; the market offers a chance to taste award-winning wines, snack on decadent delights, or spend hours combing through vendors’ unique offerings.
8. Stony Point Penguin Colony
Located in the coastal town of Betty’s Bay (55 min drive), the Stony Point Nature Reserve is home to one of the world's largest successful breeding colonies of African Penguins.
It also features Hartlaub’s Gulls and Kelp Gulls, and the infamous Rock Hyrax, also known as the Dassie.
9. Erinvale Golf Club
In a quick 14-minute drive, the Gary Player-designed golf course awaits you.
Opened in 1995, it offers one of the best golfing experiences in the Western Cape.
10. Waterkloof Wine Estate
Only 16 minutes away, this wine estate is known for its biodynamic and organic wines.
You can't go wrong here, with wine tastings, tours, and a restaurant with panoramic views of the vineyards, False Bay, and the surrounding area.
11. Cape Town's Table Mountain
This iconic Cape Town location is a 47-minute drive away from Somerset West.
The Aerial Cableway provides access to the top of Table Mountain, with views, plants, and animals to see, easy paths to explore, and wonderful photo opportunities.
12. Cavalli Wine Estate
A quick 13-minute drive will lead you to this estate, offering tastings, tours, and horse riding through the beautiful vineyards.
13. Vergenoegd Löw Wine Estate
Just 15 minutes away, Vergenoegd Löw is one of the oldest working farms in South Africa, with land rights granted in 1696.
Famous for its sustainable farming practices and the one thousand Indian Runner ducks that parade on the farm around 10 a.m. to start their day of work at the farm. Visitors can tour the farm, learn about its history and sustainable practices while tasting some of its wines.
14. Kalk Bay
A 50-minute drive takes you to this seaside village, known for its charming and eclectic mix of historic buildings, cobbled streets, bohemian shops, ocean and mountain views, quaint cafes and restaurants, and colourful fishing vessels.
Visitors can explore the village, stop by the iconic coloured beach huts in Muizenburg, and take in the unique atmosphere of this seaside village.
15. Somerset Mall
Only 10 minutes away, Somerset Mall is one of the biggest and best malls in the Western Cape, offering over 200 shops for visitors to browse and purchase from.
16. PIER Restaurant
Enjoy a meal at this award-winning restaurant located in V&A Waterfront (only 44 minutes away).
With 3 stars in the Eat Out Awards 2022 and the title of Chef of the Year, PIER Restaurant is one of the best restaurants in Cape Town and a must-visit destination for foodies.
17. Dylan Lewis Studio & Sculpture Garden
In a mere 22-minute drive, you can experience the artwork of world-renowned artist and sculptor Dylan Lewis, featuring a variety of animal and human interpretations.
The serene atmosphere and beautiful sculptures make for a truly awe-inspiring experience.
18. Jonkershoek Nature Reserve
The Jonkershoek Nature Reserve is only a 34-minute drive away from Somerset West.
You'll find a variety of activities available such as walking, driving, cycling, and hiking, as well as a diverse array of birdlife, including the jackal buzzard, ground woodpecker, and Cape sugarbird.
Visitors can also spot other wildlife, such as honey badgers, baboons, and leopards.
19. Picnic at Warwick
In 33 minutes, you can reach Warwick for a gourmet picnic experience with locally sourced, fresh food, served on wine crates and surrounded by beautiful oak trees.
Book a spot in the picnic pods in the Cabana area for a private and rustic setting.
20. Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art
A 41-minute drive takes you to the largest art museum in Africa, housing an impressive collection of work from all over the continent and beyond.
The museum is housed in a historic landmark, the old grain silo at the V&A Waterfront, and features a stunning interior design.
21. Winemakers Lunch at Rust en Vrede
Just an 18-minute drive away, enjoy a delicious lunch, with a choice of three mains and a glass of wine, at this award-winning winery known for its heritage Cape Dutch buildings and views of the Helderberg.
Visitors can taste some of the farm's finest cabernet sauvignons and syrahs while enjoying the beautiful surroundings.
Each of these attractions are some of the most enchanting hidden gems near Somerset West, waiting to be explored. So pack your bags and prepare to uncover the beauty that lies within an hour's drive of Somerset West!
- Photograph (above) by Joe Smereczansky