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Replanning the Cape Town part of my trip

Lewes, United...
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Replanning the Cape Town part of my trip

The original plan had been to spend about 3 nights in part of Cape Town, followed by 2 nights - the final nights of the trip - in the Wine Lands, possibly Sellenbosch or Franschoek. Part of the reason for this was, as it's the rural aspects of South Africa rather than city life that we wish to major on. Also, this perhaps allowed us to spend our last nights in a nice lodge, relaxing and enjoying the wine, our driving pretty much over.

However, reading the Cape Town forums, it seems lots of people visit the wine lands as a day trip. Also, there is possibly a larger choice of good value accommodation with the city, in one residential area or another.

Should we reconsider our original plan and stay in CT the whole time, or stick with the original plan?

If we stay in CT, should we consider staying in 2 different areas, or just find one convenient area, with good access to both CT's attractions and roads out? If the latter, which areas should we aim to stay in. We aren't interested in beaches for beach life, but do want an area with good restaurants, especially where we can find informal seafood ones.

Should we consider something else completely different? Opinions would be most welcome!

Leigh-on Sea...
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1. Re: Replanning the Cape Town part of my trip

Franschoek is a very nice village top spend a couple of nights. There are many good places to eat in the evening and you would not need to worry about driving all the way to Cape Town. There are many vineyards to visit and you can visit Stellenbosch also (30 minutes drive) .

We stayed at Plumwood INN and visited De Graaf and Boschendahl vineyards , all highly recommended .

Not sure if Stellenbosch or Franschoek would be all that convenient for the airport as CT would be for your last night , I suppose it depends on the time of your flight. This subject was discussed a few weeks ago .

I would base yourself in one place in CT, it isn't a large city. We loved Camps Bay, it is near to all the attractions and the Hop On Hop Off bus stops there. Plenty of eating places , the Codfather is good for sea food . Even if you do not want to use the beach, it is lovely to watch the sunsets oover the ocean.

Kent
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2. Re: Replanning the Cape Town part of my trip

In an ideal world I would do 2 nights in the city area, leave early on day 3 for Stellenbosch/Franschhoek then decide if you want more time in this region if not head for the small towns along False Bay, Kalk Bay, St James, Clovelly, Fish Hoek & Simon's Town, do the attraction in this area over 1½ days but I recommend at least 2 nights in this area. Stellenbosch is about 40 mins drive from the city & about the same to False Bay & from here the airport is about 30 mins.

IMO, Kalk bay is the best for fish, Harbour House & The Brass Bell pub.

Cape Town Central...
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3. Re: Replanning the Cape Town part of my trip

I would rather do day trips from Cape Town.... If you're not interested in beaches then I'd recommend staying in a Holiday Inn (such as the Garden Court Nelson Mandela Boulevard - at least you'll have a view) and hiring a tour company to take you to wine farms during the day. Try Ilios Travels in Cape Town. They do Garden Route wine tours and can recommend lodge type accomodation should you wish to go that way and drive yourselves. Hope it goes well!

Paris, France
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4. Re: Replanning the Cape Town part of my trip

For variation I would stick to your original plan and stay at a lodge or b and b - defintely not a Holiday Inn which you could stay at anywhere in the world - the guest houses in SA are extremely welcoming ,unique and luxurious, many will let you use their garden and pool plus showering facilities on the last day if you have an over night flight home -it's worth enquiring if they have this facility when you book. Personally I would not use a guide for the Winelands, it's so easy to do it yourself.

Edited: 23 July 2012, 13:14
Lewes, United...
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5. Re: Replanning the Cape Town part of my trip

Thank you to all of you for your totally different and interesting takes on my conundrum. Plenty of food for thought.

As we always have to stay in conventional or chain hotels in many big cities in other countries, I think we would prefer to opt for guesthouses, B&Bs or decent self catering for our time in Cape Town as the city has some great sounding options of that type, but I'll look at the hotel in post 3 above to see how the prices stack up.

Using the HOHO bus within the city itself makes total sense, but as we will still have the hire car until we drop it at the airport on our departure, I think we'd rather self drive to the wine lands and other out of city excursions. It also gives us more flexibility. We will have come from the Garden Route area, so are really only considering the wine areas that incorporate Stellenbosch, Paarl, Constantia or Franschoek while we're in Cape Town area.

How easy is it to find good seafood restaurants in Cape Town? We will have travelled along the coast from near Durban, so will have seen some of the Wild Coast and along the Garden Route itself by the time we reach CT. From the research I'm doing, it seems frustratingly that few restaurants in the small places right on the coast (I'm talking about say Port St John, Port St Alfred, Kenton on Sea and around Storms River, Jeffreys Bay, Mossel Bay, etc) offer any quantity of seafood, the default meals are all based on meat!

BTW, our flight home departs from CPT in the evening, so timing shouldn't be an issue, wherever we are the night before, just trying to make our route logical!

Thanks again,

SWT

Birmingham, United...
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6. Re: Replanning the Cape Town part of my trip

Hi SWT,

I have just returned from SA and reading your post cant help but ask...why are you not visiting Garden Route: PlettBay, Knysna, Oudstroom, Mussel Bay?

What we did was we stayed a night in Franchoek as it was towards the east made sense as we were flying out of George!

Adrain

Kent
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7. Re: Replanning the Cape Town part of my trip

#6 You did not read the post properly as SWT states twice in post #5 that they will have come from the Garden Route ;0)

SWT: Here's a few good restaurants out on the peninsular, I have been to all & recommend, with the exception of The Lookout Deck.

The Gallery - Fish Hoek

capepointroute.co.za/moreinfoRestaurants.php…

The Black Marlin - Simon's Town

capepointroute.co.za/moreinfoRestaurants.php…

Bertha's - Simon's Town

capepointroute.co.za/moreinfoRestaurants.php…

The Lookout Deck - Hout Bay

capepointroute.co.za/moreinfoRestaurants.php…

Wharfside Grill - Hout Bay

capepointroute.co.za/moreinfoRestaurants.php…

The Harbour House - Kalk Bay

http://www.harbourhouse.co.za/harbourhouse/

The Brass Bell - Kalk Bay

http://www.brassbell.co.za/wmenu.php

Edited: 24 July 2012, 09:18
Lewes, United...
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8. Re: Replanning the Cape Town part of my trip

Wow, braaiseason, thanks ever so much for that list and links. Looks like we will be able to more than make up for the lack of seafood elsewhere while we're in CT. Wonderful! Salivating already!

SWT

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9. Re: Replanning the Cape Town part of my trip

I would stick to part of your origina; plan. 5 days is not a lot of time to spend in Cape Town and`definitely dont go for the Holiday Inn. Its a business class hotel as opposed to leisure and its in the centre of the city. Not recommended. I personally would suggest 5 days in ONE place. Its takes hours off a day checking in and checking out of hotels/guesthouses. If you were here for 7-10 days then i would suggest 2 nights at Franschoek but seeing as youre not then do a day out to Franschoek leaving EARLY in the morning so you can get in a full day there. I would stay along the Atlantic Seaboard, namely anywhere between the Waterfront/Cape Quarter and Camps Bay. The vibe there is much better than being miles away like Kalk Bay. You can then do whateever you like from the area and take day outings. What do you mean by "seafood" - do you mean "fish" or ddo you mean "sshellfish". There are plenty of "fish" restaurants which also have sshellfish. Harbour House, besides being in Kalk Bay is at the Waterfront too. Willoubys is great for fish and sushi and Baia at the Waterfront for seafood.

Lewes, United...
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10. Re: Replanning the Cape Town part of my trip

Thanks, divacape, for your input.

Sorry, when I said seafood, I meant really shellfish - crabs, prawns, lobster, or bivalves. Fish itself will also be welcome after the meat heavy diet of the earlier part of the trip, but it's those crustacea, etc that I will crave - and that are so expensive and hard to come by fresh and local at home. BTW, what if any are the local SA words, if they differ, that I should look out for on a capetonian menu?

SWT