South Africa Wine Tour
21 February-01 March 2020

£2,300.00

Sorry, this tour is now fully booked! But you can still add your name to the waitlist to be the first to know if any spaces become available.

South Africa has some of the most beautiful scenery of any wine region of the world and late February/early March is the perfect time to visit. This tour offers the highlights of the Cape Peninsula – the sights and spectacular setting of Cape Town, one of the most beautiful cities in the world; wine tastings in several different wine regions including Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Durbanville and Hermanus; a 2-night stay on a private game reserve…plus fabulous settings for meals, varied and dramatic landscapes and unforgettable coastal views. The Western Cape is all about wine, food and scenery. You won’t want to leave…

Itinerary

DRAFT ITINERARY (winery visits are subject to confirmation):

Day 1: Friday 21st February
Morning arrival in Cape Town and own transfer to Cloud 9 Boutique Hotel & Spa. Time to relax and freshen up. Afternoon orientation tour of Cape Town followed by a welcome Group tasting and dinner.

Day 2: Saturday 22nd February
Visit Durbanville Wine Region just half an hour from Cape Town. Visit Diemersdal winery in the morning for a tasting. Continue to De Grendel for lunch and tasting. Late afternoon return to Cape Town. Free evening. Overnight at Cloud 9 Boutique Hotel & Spa.

DURBANVILLE: Nestled in the Tygerberg Hills, a mere 30 minutes’ drive from Cape Town, lies the Durbanville Wine Valley. With its hectares of flourishing vineyards, award winning wines and hospitable atmosphere, this wine valley is fast becoming the Cape’s destination of choice.

Day 3: Sunday 23rd February
Leave Cape Town and head south-west to the wine regions of Elgin and Bot River. Visit two more wineries today with lunch at one of them. On the shortlist are Gabrielskloof, Beaumont and Crystallum. Continue to Hermanus, overnight at Harbour House Hotel.

HERMANUS: The Hermanus Wine Route is nestled amongst the spectacular scenery of Walker Bay and the picturesque area known as the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. Its proximity to the Ocean makes this a classic ‘cool climate’ region ideal for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. There are just fifteen wineries, each growing small volumes of premium quality wine in carefully and sustainably managed vineyards.

Day 4: Monday 24th February
This morning, a tasting at a winery in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. On our shortlist are Newton Johnson and Ataraxia. Then for a very special visit we will be welcomed by Anthony and Olive Hamilton-Russell for a tasting at the winery followed by lunch at their house. Late afternoon, return to Hermanus for some free time to enjoy the town. Free evening, overnight at Harbour House Hotel.

Day 5: Tuesday 25th February
Depart Hermanus this morning and drive 300kms east along the Garden Route. After a stop for lunch, early afternoon arrival at Botlierskop, our base for the next two nights. In the afternoon there will be a private Game Drive led by the in-house rangers accompanied by some liquid refreshments! The evening includes a buffet dinner in the grand dining room of the Firehouse Restaurant with a large variety of meats cooked by the team of chefs. Overnight at Botlierskop.

Day 6: Wednesday 26th February
Optional early morning Game Drive followed by breakfast, or lie in, stay by the pool and relax! Mid-morning visit to a local winery, Boplass, who specialise in fortified wines and brandies. Return to Botlierskop with free time for lunch and relaxation, and maybe a spa treatment? Mid-afternoon there will be another Game Drive to a different part of the reserve. Dinner at the Firehouse Restaurant. Overnight at Botlierskop.

Day 7: Thursday 27th February
After breakfast, check out and drive west back towards the main wine regions. We will stop in Robertson for a tasting and lunch at a winery. On our short list are De Wetshof, Van Loveren and Viljoensdrift. Late afternoon, arrive in the beautiful town of Franschhoek and check in at Marriott Protea Hotel. This evening is free to enjoy one of the many fine restaurants.

FRANSCHHOEK: nestled between towering mountains, this is the food and wine heartland of the country, where splendid wines are grown and top chefs create international cuisine. One of the oldest towns in South Africa Franschhoek is a mecca for foodies and wine lovers from around the world.

Day 8: Friday 28th February
A busy day with visits to three wineries in the premier region of Stellenbosch, including lunch at one winery. On our shortlist are Rustenberg, Thelema, Tokara and more. Late afternoon return to Franschhoek and this evening is free to enjoy the town. Overnight in Franschhoek.

STELLENBOSCH: the Napa Valley of South Africa, this is the country’s most prestigious wine valley. Stellenbosch has a wide variety of terroirs and so is split into a number of sub-regions to reflect this – Simonsberg, Devon Valley and Bottelary are some of these. There are so many great producers here that it’s hard to choose only three to visit!

Day 9: Saturday 29th February
Check out of our accommodation and visit two wineries in Franschhoek including lunch at one. On our shortlist are La Motte, La Bri, Topiary and Glenwood. Late afternoon return to Cape Town and check into the Cloud 9 Boutique Hotel & Spa. Group farewell meal in the evening.

Day 10 Sunday 1st March
TOUR ENDS after breakfast. Free time for sightseeing – maybe a visit to Table Mountain, or Robben Island before transfer to the airport. Depending on your return flight time you could fit in a full day excursion to Boulders Beach, Chapmans Peak, Simonstown and Cape Point.

Please note that some winery visits are subject to confirmation.

TRAVEL

Please note that flights are not included in the cost of the tour so you will need to book your own travel to/from Cape Town.

Arrival/Departure Times: the tour will start at Cloud 9 hotel at around 4 pm on Friday 21stFebruary, so if arriving on Day 1 we suggest that you book a flight which is scheduled to arrive in Cape Town no later than 10 am that morning. Remember that if you plan to arrive on 21stFebruary you will need to leave London on Thursday 20th! The tour will finish at Cloud 9 after breakfast on Sunday 1stMarch so you can book any flight departing that day.

The only direct non-stop flights between London and Cape Town are with British Airways (twice daily from Heathrow and three times a week from Gatwick). BA also operate one-stop flights via Joburg daily or Durban 3 times a week. Several other carriers operate one-stop flights via their own hubs including Lufthansa, KLM, Air France, Qatar, Emirates, Kenya A/L, Ethiopian A/L, etc. We have found the website www.skyscanner.net a good tool for searching for flights.

ACCOMMODATION

CAPE TOWN (3 nights) Cloud 9 Boutique Hotel & Spa
Nestled at the foot of Table Mountain, Cloud 9 Boutique Hotel and Spa is located within walking distance of a variety of trendy shops and restaurants on vibrant Kloof and Long Streets. Nearby attractions include the V&A Waterfront, the cableway and Camps Bay.

The hotel opened at the end of 2016, integrating a small guesthouse, formerly known as Leeuwenvoet House, with three other heritage properties into a beautiful new 47-room Boutique Hotel. Rooms at Cloud 9 are equipped with modern amenities such as a Nespresso coffee machine, Ultra HD TV with an extensive channel selection, air conditioning, a fridge and complimentary high-speed fibre Wi-Fi.

ROOM UPGRADE: Heritage Deluxe Rooms which are more spacious with larger bathrooms.

There is a spectacular rooftop bar with a 360-degree view of the city and Table Mountain and three on-site restaurants. There is also an art gallery, a fitness room, a spa with a sauna and three treatment rooms. Guests can relax on the sun deck and enjoy a splash in one of the plunge pools or the Jacuzzi.

HERMANUS (2 nights) Harbour House Hotel.
Harbour House Hotel enjoys a prominent of position in the heart of the old harbour area, flanked by the seaside and the bustling centre of this holiday town. Our rooms will be in the newer contemporary wing which includes Harbour House and Harbour Square. All rooms are spacious and luxuriously appointed with sophisticated modern décor, air-conditioning and flat screen TVs.

ROOM UPGRADE: Harbour Square Luxury Suites (60 m², bedroom en-suite room, separate  open-plan living area, dining space and kitchen, private balcony with seating, ocean views).

BOTLIERSKOP GAME RESERVE (2 nights) Botlierskop With the magnificent Outeniqua Mountains as a backdrop and sweeping views out over the glistening Indian Ocean below, lies Botlierskop Private Game Reserve. Just 4.5 hours’ drive from Cape Town, and midway between Mossel Bay and George, on South Africa’s scenic Garden Route. The 4,200 hectare reserve offers a uniquely South African Safari Experience, and is stocked with 4 of the Big 5 (lion, elephant, buffalo and rhino) as well as a host of antelope, including rare black impala, zebra, giraffe, wildebeest, hippo and more.

Meals are served in the Fire Place Restaurant which is situated on a hilly outcrop with uninterrupted views of the bush and river. Apart from the open-plan dining room there is a spacious lounge leading out onto a wooden deck. There is a swimming pool near the restaurant, and, situated on the riverbank surrounded by magnificent mountain scenery, the Spa which offers massages, facials and other treatments.

The Luxury Tented Suites are air-conditioned and built on private wooden decks offering breath-taking views of the distant river and imposing mountains. These suites are elegantly bedecked in a Colonial style with 4-poster beds draped with mosquito nets (though the reserve is malaria free). The generous en-suite bathroom has a lavish oval bath and an open-air shower. Think 5 star luxury in the wild!

ROOM UPGRADE: New Executive Suites (brand new for November 2019 and not yet on the website, but features include 180 degrees view of the river, 125 m² area, en-suite bathroom and outdoor shower, outdoor lounge with private Jacuzzi, extra king size bed with mosquito nets).

FRANSCHHOEK (2 nights) Marriott Protea Hotel
This 4-star property has a rich history, with one section dating back to the 1880s. The hotel prides itself on its charming ambience, gracious style and attentive service. There is an outdoor pool and an onsite restaurant, the Hussar Grill which is an upmarket New York styled steakhouse offering an authentic grill room dining experience. There are numerous restaurants, bars and coffee shops within minutes’ walk and one of the best wine shops in all of South Africa next door!

There are 40 spacious en-suite rooms equipped with TVs, bar fridges, air-conditioning, free wi-fi and more.

ROOM UPGRADE: Not available at this hotel

PRICING INFORMATION

Price Includes:

  • £2,300 per person sharing a double or twin room.
  • Ground transport throughout in a spacious, air-conditioned executive coach.
  • Nine nights’ accommodation with en-suite facilities – 7 nights with breakfast at 4-star hotels + 2 nights half board at the 5 star Botlierskop Game Reserve
  • 9 main meals: 1 welcome dinner with wine in Cape Town; 6 lunches at wineries with 2-3 glasses of wine; 2 dinners at Botlierskop (drinks not included but BYO available)
  • Tastings at 11-12 different wineries (including the 6 where we will be having lunch)
  • 2 Private Guided Game Drives with refreshments at Botlierskop
  • Services of Tour/Wine Guide from Criterion Wine Tours.

Supplements:

  • Single occupancy of a double/twin room (limited number of single rooms available): £495
  • Room Upgrade (double occupancy only and just 2 rooms available): £250 per person. Please note the room upgrade is for 7 nights of the tour as there is no room upgrade at Protea Franschhoek.

Not Included:

  • International Flights to/from Cape Town (see more details in the ‘Travel’ tab)
  • Gratuities for Coach driver
  • Drinks not mentioned in the itinerary

A non-refundable deposit of £575 per person is payable when booking. The remaining balance is due eight weeks before the start of the tour. Your money will be held in a secure Client Deposit Account and is fully protected.

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