Calitzdorp, Karoo

The typical little Karoo town of Calitzdorp lies on Route 62, about four hours drive from Cape Town and roughly half way to Port Elizabeth. Calitzdorp is renowned in its own right for a number of reasons, not least of which is its bona fide Klein Karoo character. The little town is home to a variety of quaint lodges, guest farms and B&Bs in the Karoo; where the pace is slower and the landscapes endless.

The Klein Karoo is a gorgeous part of the Cape Floral Kingdom that functions as something of a mini desert - sparse, dry and arid countryside interjected by surprisingly fertile valleys, through which mountain streams meander to provide a source of water for the surprising amount of fruit grown in the area.

Calitzdorp’s beauty is also largely attributable to the fact that it is bounded on three sides by mountain ranges - the Swartberg, the Rooiberge and the mountains of the Huisrivier Pass - that shelter the town and add to its character.

But Calitzdorp is probably most well recognized for its production of some of the country’s best port wines due largely to the hot, dry climate regarded as similar to the Duoiro valley in Portugal. Vines apparently struggle to ripen here, which, contrary to expectation, actually results in a grape with an aroma-intensity and depth that is key to port making.

Queen Street is one of the oldest streets in town and begs a stroll to properly absorb the number of Edwardian and Victorian, and Karoo style buildings heavily influenced by English architecture. There are walking trails in the Gamkaberg Nature Reserve, the Redstone Hills and at Retreat at Groenfontein, and birding in the hillsides and the areas fynbos is more than rewarding.

Travellers' Reviews

2 Reviews from travellers. All reviews are verified.

Verified reviewexcellent

One of the reasons why I visit Calitzdorp is the Hanepoot pluk. This was my third year and I hope there is still many years to come. The best grapes and the best wine you can get. The food provided by the old age home is worth the money.

Philip Lerm (Sasolburg)

Verified reviewvery good

If you are travelling along the Cape Route 62 - then do yourself a favour and stay the night in Calitzdorp. The stay allowed us to enjoy what the region is known for - Port! There are various Port & wine cellars worth visiting including Boplaas and De Krans - we packed the car with a few extra bottles after the tastings. We relaxed with a hearty Karoo country dinner at the Die Dorpshuis Restaurant and were welcomed by the friendly, smiling staff. After a good nights sleep we hit the road again to discover what other quaint towns the Cape Route 62 had to offer . . .

Mandy Johnson (Cape Town)

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