The charming little town of Tulbagh is situated within the valley of the same name, and surrounded by the magnificent mountain ranges of the Western Cape. Summers are sweltering and winters are icy, but Tulbagh is picturesque and inviting all year round. This historical retreat lies about 90 minutes’ drive from the bustling hub of hotels in Cape Town, and enjoys being a convenient, nearby, getaway for locals, as well as a popular escape for international tourists.
Here are five of the top activities and attractions in Tulbagh, recommended for anyone visiting the town:
1. Historical Tours
The town is full of history, having been discovered in 1658 by European settlers, who quickly established farms and homes in the lush valley. Walking the wide streets and exploring the neighbourhoods is fascinating. The museum church dates back to 1743, testifying to the age-old nature of this town. Church Street is famous for being the site of the most National Monuments (32 separate buildings) in the country. Visitors that appreciate the historical nature of the architecture and monuments will do well to chat to the locals, who are acclaimed for their hospitality and friendly nature.
2. Horse Riding
Take in the splendour of the Western Cape countryside from the heights of horseback. Formal horse riding tours take visitors through the valley and the town, as well as through vineyards and farmlands. This gives riders a fantastic experience of Tulbagh while they enjoy the restful pace of this powerful animal. The horse trails are suited to all rider levels.
3. Enjoy an overnight or weekend stay
You can easily “do” Tulbagh in a day if you live in Cape Town, but why not stay the night and dine at one of the lovely restaurant, sample the regions fine wines and then drift off to sleep in a B&B or guest house? The accommodation in Tulbagh is varied from hotels to self catering homes and cottages – Hosts are friendly, offering wonderful country hosptality.
4. Moniki Chocolates
The famous Moniki Chocolatier is situated on the scenic Schoonderzicht Farm, which guarantees magnificent views at every turn. Chocolate tastings are conducted, inviting visitors to enjoy samples of these world-class treats, accompanied by a choice of different beverages. There is an outside balcony for warm summer afternoons, or a log fire inside for the chilly winter days. The views from the tasting room leave lasting memories, as do the lingering flavours of chocolates flavoured with port, Amarula, chilli, whiskey and the like.
5. Wine Farms
Being situated in the Winelands of the Cape, Tulbagh is home to a number of acclaimed farms that produce wonderful wine varieties. The soils and climate (which can be extreme) are both well suited to produce excellent grapes that make equally wonderful red, white, rosé and sparkling wines. Formal tastings and cellar tours are recommended for those wanting an inclusive experience of the wine-making process. Local wine farms include Saronsberg, Tulbagh Winery, and Schalkenbosch Wine Estate amongst many others.
6. Hiking, Walking and Cycling
Take advantage of the breath-taking beauty of the natural landscape around Tulbagh by exploring the various trails surrounding the town. The mountains are comprised of the Obiqua, Winterhoek and Witzenhoek ranges. These boast stunning vegetation, including the endemic fynbos that brightens up the mountain faces with its colourful variety. Walking and hiking is a great way for the entire family to enjoy the scenery, as it is at a comfortable pace. For those that love mountain biking, these bergs certainly offer a wide array of trails that promise a few technical areas, always accompanied by lovely vistas.