Thought I'd post one of my recent pieces about THE most gorgeous place in the world. I swear it'll take your breath away. Its got everything going for it, great restaurants, amazingly lovely people and lots and lots of beautiful wine. Have a read, enjoy and hopefully start planning your trip there! Its only 2 hours out of Cape Town so it makes for the purrrrrfect breakaway. mmmm yum:)
Hemel en Aarde Valley
Translated as Heaven on Earth Valley, it is that and so much more.
Part of the Hermanus Wine Route, Hemel en Aarde valley lies between the R43 to Hermanus and R320 to Caledon.
The area is made up of three wine wards - Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley and Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge. The wines produced in these wards are entirely unique to South Africa though rather similar to the ones from North France, due to the cool sea breeze and clay soil which favours the area. Two of the most popular wines produced in the valley are a chardonnay and an exceptional pinot noir though innovative blends and mineral Sauvignon Blancs complement the range and leave no palate unsatisfied.
The Hemel & Aarde Village situated at the entrance to the valley and just 2 kilometers from Hermanus is an undiscovered gem. With its three wineries Hermanuspieterfontein, Hornbill House & Whalehaven Winery, world famous Wine Village and brilliant restaurants, visitors are spoilt with a huge range of wines within walking distance of each other.
Steadily gaining recognition as an integral part of the Hermanus Wine Route, connoisseurs and simple wine lovers alike have been quick to add Hemel en Aarde Valley to their itineraries and weekly forays.
Add to your wine valley experience by exploring the surrounding Overberg region, best known for its outdoor and eco attractions. These choice eco adventures top our list:
· Count the skeletons of century old wrecked ships along the shores of Cape Agulhas, the southernmost tip of Africa and the official meeting place of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.
· A horticulturalist’ and bird lovers paradise, the Overberg which forms part of the Cape Floral Kingdom abounds with vast species of fynbos and endless hiking and walking trails.
· Make for Gansbaai, the Great White Shark capital of the world, and if you’re feeling really adventurous slip on a wetsuit and go shark cage diving with the oceans fiercest predator.
· The Jackass Penguin Colony at Stony Point in Betty’s Bay is one of only two breeding colonies in South Africa.
· Considered one of life’s musts –watch the Southern Right Whales and their calves frolicking in the bays around Hermanus ‘the best land based whale watching site in the world’ between July and November.
· The Overberg fruit route meandering through the villages of Barrydale, Elgin and Villiersdorp, is a great way of getting to grips with the region.
· See the rare and endangered Cape Vulture in its only remaining breeding colony at De Hoop Nature Reserve.