Western Cape DestinationsCeres, Breede River Valley
This beautiful part of the world, named after the Goddess of Fertility for good reason, lies tucked away in a valley surrounded by the mountains of the Boland, accessed only via mountain passes that take your breath away, particularly Theronsberg Pass through the foothills of the Hex River Mountains on the N1 from Cape Town.
Utter the name ‘Ceres’ in South Africa and any local will immediately retort ‘fruit juice’ and indeed, the Ceres district is one of the country’s largest deciduous fruit-growing regions and home to the Ceres Group that produces a fruit juice of the same name.
Farms that produce fruit and vegetables lie on the mountainous plateau of the Ceres district, whilst in the valley lie the towns of Ceres and Prince Alfred’s Hamlet. The district of Ceres also extends into the Karoo, where game farms and bird watching are popular amongst visitors.
The river provides some fantastic trout fishing opportunities where its pools and forms rapids, and for this reason it is very popular with Capetonians who need to drive only 150 km to enjoy this popular sport. The village of Ceres is also home to a museum and several gift and craft shops.
In winter snow can fall on the higher mountains, which brings a great many visitors to the Ceres Valley, also known as ‘the Switzerland of South Africa’. For the nature lover this part of the world offers a beauty all of its own and there are several hikes and walks along rivers and streams and in the surrounding mountains.