Western Cape DestinationsMalmesbury, Swartland
In the heart of the Swartland Wine Route, not even three kilometres from the closest wine farm, the historic town of Malmesbury rests in a simply gorgeous setting surrounded by mountains, wheat fields, and in winter, yellow blazes of canola and indigenous wild flowers.
The largest town in the Swartland, Malmesbury is only 40 minutes’ drive from Cape Town and makes getting away for a weekend a simple matter that includes wine tasting and some superb hikes.
Malmesbury might have a rural setting, but the town has a vibrant community that plays host to the annual Swartland Food and Wine Festival during winter, where wine tasting and good food are the measure of the day. The secret to Swartland wines is the cool sea breezes from the Atlantic Ocean, and the low-yielding bush vines that do so well in the dry land vineyards surrounding Malmesbury.
The original settlers in Malmesbury were drawn here by a sulphur chloride mineral spring, renowned for its healing ability. Today there is a wonderful ‘historic walk about route’ through Malmesbury that takes in the local museum and includes the landmark Dutch Reformed Church - the fifth oldest congregation in the country.
Malmesbury is a mere 30 minutes from the coastal towns of the Cape west coast region and an hour from Stellenbosch, Paarl and Wellington which - other than the attraction of the Mediterranean climate, the vineyards and the tranquillity of a rural setting so close to a major metropolis - make it an attractive proposition for any traveller.