Swellendam, Cape Overberg
Once you've booked your accommodation in Swellendam, explore our pages for info on attractions and what to do in Swellendam.
The picturesque little town of Swellendam is just off the N2 about 240 km outside of Cape Town and connects the Southern Overberg with the Garden Route.
Swellendam lies at the foot of the Langeberg Mountains and has become popular in recent times as a place to retire and as a retreat for artists seeking a lifestyle outside of the city rat race. One of the oldest settlements of colonial times, Swellendam is seeped in history and buildings such as the Drostdy date back to the time when Swellendam was declared a magisterial district in 1743 and named after Governor Hendrik Swellendgrebel and his wife, Helena Ten Damme.
The Tourism Bureau in Swellendam provides a brochure, aptly entitled ‘Swellendam Treasures’, full of appealing snippets of information about the various National Monuments in Swellendam and the surrounding area and the Drostdy Museum is definitely worth a visit to ogle the amazing collection of late 18th and early 19th century Cape furniture.
Swellendam is the largest youngberry growing area in the world, due mainly to the unique microclimate of the Hermitage valley just a few kilometres outside of Swellendam, and includes farms such as Wildebraam Liqueur farm, which offers liqueur tasting and a cellar tour. The foot of the Langeberg is home to a number of fruit and dairy farms whilst the dryer and flatter region, further in from the mountain, is predominantly sheep and grain farming.
Swellendam has retained its ability to refresh both gastronomically and cerebrally - it began its life as a refreshment station for those undertaking the rather tedious journey up the coast - with the beauty of its surroundings and the fine fare provided by its coffee shops and restaurants.
For more info about Swellendam see our articles on the SA Travel News Blog:
• The Swellendam Hiking Trail - A 6 day hike in the Langeberg Mountains
• Swellendam - A swell weekend getaway
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"A common misperception is that Swellendam is just a beautiful place to stop for lunch or for a one-night break in the journey. As discovered by those who are ..." - Amanda Shackley, Swellendam
Visitorials: We Love South Africa
Featured in: Visitorials: We Love South Africa
We’ve asked those in the know to share their favourites things about Swellendam. Find out where locals go for the best cup of coffee, lunch suggestions and much more. We’re letting you in on all of their secrets ... I Love Swellendam because ...
Featured Attractions in (or near) Swellendam
Sheltered by the Langeberg Mountains and bordered to the south by the Breede River, the Bontebok National Park provides a refuge for not only bontebok, but also for other species such as the Cape mountain zebra, red hartebeest and grey rhebok. The park is situated within the Cape Floral ... more information
Boosmansbos Wilderness Area lies in the beautiful Langeberg Mountains, over 14 000 hectares that is, in turn, part of the Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve. It is regarded as a hiker's domain, a great space in which to scale peaks to reach views that are virtually unsurpassable, if clambering up ... more information
The Drostdy Museum is actually a collection of several historical buildings that include one of the oldest surviving examples of a Drostdy building in South Africa, hence the name of the museum. It is not only a beautiful museum that includes large grounds and a typically nineteenth-century Cape garden, but is also ... more information
Lying in the heart of the Langeberg Mountains, roughly 22 kilometres north-west of Heidelberg in the Cape Overberg, Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve is exactly as its name denotes - a wonderful large section of forest - 250 hectares of the largest remaining example of indigenous forest in the Langeberg. This ... more information
Lying just three kilometres from the pretty little town of Swellendam, the Marloth Nature Reserve conserves the central Langeberg Mountains that lie between the towns of Swellendam, Ashton, Barrydale and Suurbraak. The Marloth Nature reserve includes what residents of Swellendam call ... more information
Based on the Overberg Tourism map, the Mountain Treasure Route starts on the N2 en route to Swellendam, past Riviersonderend. Riviersonderend is a beautiful little town with incredible mountain and river scenery that takes its name from the perennial Sonderend River. It it's mountains and fynbos ... more information
Just 10 kilometres east of Robertson, Soekershof lies in Klaas Voogds West - 10 hectares of amazing mazes, a cactus labyrinth, a tree of growing creativity, the world’s largest hedge-maze, a stone-age cinema, a fingerpointing maze, earth sculptures, succulents you didn’t even know existed, and a touch of magic ... more information
Thomas Bain's Tradouw Pass is a masterpiece. A drive through this wonderfully rugged terrain will soon acquaint you with why he was known as 'the man with the theodolite eye' (an instrument used to measure horizontal and vertical angles), for the pass' sheer magnificence is inspiring ... more information
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Things to Do in Swellendam
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