Villiersdorp, Cape Overberg

Lying in the centre of a flourishing apple-growing region, which also happens to produce grapes, onions, peaches and apricots, itís not hard to imagine Villiersdorpís prettiness and its attraction to visitors. Villiersdorp lies between the N1 and the N2 on the R43 in the Cape Overberg Region, in a valley accessed by one of four spectacular mountain passes.

The quaint little town lies just 90 minutesí from Cape Town, and only 30 minutesí from Franschhoek, making it ideally placed and an appealing option for a weekend break. The town is part of the Worcester Wine Route and wine tastings are a regular draw card, particularly at the local farm stall, Kelkiewyn.

Another major attraction is the Theewaterskloof Dam, the largest dam in the region and main source of water to Cape Town, which offers some excellent fishing and water sports.

Between Villiersdorp and Grabouw, the town due south of the Theewaterskloof Dam famous for its apples, lies the Hottentots-Holland Nature Reserve, which has small populations of rhebok, klipspringer, duiker and grysbok, and plays an important role in the protection of mountain fynbos.

It is the collection of old Victorian houses, cottages and smallholdings, enhanced by its thriving artistsí community, who have been drawn here largely by the peace and beauty of the surrounds, that give Villiersdorp its character. Autumn is a particularly beautiful time of year in Villiersdorp as the many tree-lined avenues are heavy with leaves of every colour, and in October, at the end of the winter fruit season, Villiersdorp celebrates its annual harvest festival.

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