This apple producing region has in more recent years become an important name in local winemaking. Apple orchards and vineyards stretch into endless mountain ranges, dotted with old farm houses, local farm stores and an array of guesthouses and restaurants.
Between the Hottentots-Holland, Kogelberg and Groenland mountains stretches the vast and fertile Elgin Valley. Mainly comprised of apple, pear and wine farms, the valley is heartbreakingly picturesque and dearly treasured by its friendly inhabitants. The commercial centre of the valley is the historic town of Grabouw, although there are plenty of local farm stalls, delis, restaurants and guest houses extending throughout the region.
Elgin Valley is home to some of South Africa’s most beautiful hiking trails. The nearby Hottentots Holland Reserve is a rugged, mountainous terrain with breath-taking views and abundant bird and plant life, and the easily accessible Kogelberg Reserve boasts some of the finest and most biodiverse examples of fynbos in the Western Cape. Those looking for a real adventure might try the four day Green Mountain Eco-Trail, which extends through the Groenland Mountains and into the valley and orchards below.
Mountain biking, fishing and kloofing are also popular activities in the area, and there are plenty of tranquil walks to be taken through the pine forests and orchards.
Elgin Valley is renowned for its cool-climate wines, many of which have won international accolades. The Elgin Valley Wine Route includes over 20 wine farms, and offers open wine weekends with tastings at 17 farms along the way. Elgin Valley is also part of the first biodiversity wine route known as the Green Mountain Eco Route, stretching for 75km from Bot River, through the valley and into Houw Hoek and Villiersdorp.
Wine farms in this area stand out for the heartfelt commitment and passion of the farm owners, the strong sense of tradition and community, the astounding scenic beauty and the world-class restaurants and delis. And for those who prefer a non-alcoholic beverage, the freshly squeezed apple juices at the local farm stalls are an absolute must