It’s winter. You’re cold, it’s rainy outside and you rarely feel like going out. We get it.
And while there’s nothing better than curling up on the couch in front of the television during winter, there are some amazing activities to do in Cape Town and surrounds during this season to help you beat the inevitable cabin fever from creeping in.
Winter in Cape Town is a spin of Lady Fortune’s Wheel; some icy cold days sprinkled with some gorgeous, sunny days that will make you forget why you turned your electric blanket on last night. This is exactly what makes winter in the Mother City so wonderful (and unexpected).
To help you brave the cold (or sun), we’ve rounded up some of the best activities to do in and around Cape Town this season.
Breakfast at The Bay Hotel
The Bay Hotel in Camps Bay is one of Cape Town’s most iconic luxury beachfront hotels. Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, breakfast at this hotel not only provides a mesmerizing view, but a menu to die for.
Tides at The Bay Hotel is the hotel’s in-house breakfast restaurant. Offering a continental breakfast second to none, and a mouthwatering a la carte menu, you’d be hard pressed to find a breakfast spot with a better view or atmosphere.
Indulge in freshly baked croissants, fresh fruits, cereals or top class hot breakfasts whilst overlooking the tumbling waves of the ocean. Even on a cloudy day, the Atlantic Ocean is sight to behold.
A Visit to The West Coast
The West Coast of South Africa is always magical, and more so in winter time. The breathtaking fauna and flora, the tumultuous ocean and the warmth and friendliness of the people will make trip to this untouched gem of the country unforgettable.
While a trip to alsot anywhere on the West Coast is highly recommended in winter time, a stop in Langebaan can not be ignored.
Famed for their sparkling lagoon, offering an array of wonderful water sports, to the numerous cafés and restaurants, Langebaan is a must-see when traveling up the West Coast.
Offering an array of fun activities – from golf at the country club, to wildlife spotting and delicious West Coast cuisine, Langebaan is the perfect place for a winter getaway.
While you’re in Langebaan, you might as well pop in to the stunning Farmhouse Hotel, overlooking the lagoon, for a delicious breakfast, dinner or sundowner.
Snow in the Cederberg
It very rarely snows in the Mother City itself, but that doesn’t mean that locals don’t go completely bonkers when it snows anywhere within a 200km radius of Cape Town.
The Cederberg region, which includes beautiful, old towns such as Clanwilliam and Citrusdal, is known for showing off snow in the deep of winter. Many Cape Town locals will gladly make the trek to the Cederberg to frolic in the snow – albeit a limited amount!
These towns also offer wonderful activities for the whole family, and the mountains surrounding the area offers a majestic setting that could fill up any camera SD card (or roll of film) instantaneously.
Whale Watching in Hermanus
Though the Southern Right Whales traditionally only make their appearance in Hermanus in September (which is ‘technically’ spring), there have been countless occasions where the whales show up earlier than expected, in July and August.
Just as the whales can’t resist Hermanus, tourists can’t either. The town is gloriously quaint, with several bistros, restaurants and cocktail bars sprawled across the town.
Less than two hours from Cape Town, you can thoroughly enjoy a a whale watching expedition in Hermanus, followed by a soul-soothing sundowner or fresh seafood platter.
The Harbour House Hotel in Hermanus is located right on the beachfront, overlooking the bay where the whales like to play. Sitting on their deck, sipping on champagne, and watching the whales do their thing in the bay right in front of you is highly recommended!
Jazz and Wine at Piano Bar
The Piano Bar in De Waterkant offers something to warm the heart, soul and body. Their cosy lounge is not only the best place to enjoy a glass of award-winning wine, but they have live music at least once a week.
With their stunning baby grand piano in their lounge area, you can expect soulful jazz, folk and cabaret-esque performances by their band of talented musicians.
Piano Bar is also only a stone’s throw away from the cosy Charles Café that boasts an impressive menu and a fireplace! The restaurant also recently launched a Cape Malay-style menu on Monday and Wednesday evenings, so you can head to The Charles for a bite to eat before indulging in some jazz and juice at Piano Bar.
Early Morning Coffee
If there is one thing that Capetonians can agree on, it is that coffee is an essential part of the Cape Town culture. Whether you prefer a single shot espresso to get you going for the day, or a leisurely latte, Cape Town is the mecca of coffee shops.
While you may not want to crawl out of bed at the crack of dawn in winter, meeting friends or colleagues for an early morning coffee in the Mother City is a great way to beat the winter blues.
From the countless coffee shops in the (always buzzing) Kloof Street such as Yours Truly and Today & Tomorrow, to the world renowned coffee emporiums such as Truth Coffee in Buitenkant Street or Origin in De Waterkant, you’ll be sure to find your fix around every corner.
Watch a Film at The Labia
Nowadays, watching a film at the cinemas has become a commercial (and expensive) outing. Capturing the old school glamour of a night out to the movies, The Labia Theatre in Gardens has been an icon on the Cape Town culture scene since its inception in 1949 . It is also the oldest, independent art-repertory cinema in South Africa.
The Labia prides itself in showing art films, as well as box office hits, in an intimate setting. They also offer a selection of tasty treats and drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) to enjoy whilst you watch your movie, and if you’re lucky, a cup of delectable glüwhein on a cold, winter’s evening.
Ticket prices are also significantly cheaper than that of the commercial cinemas, and because of The Labia’s great, central location, it’s a minute’s walk from dozens of café’s, eateries and bars.
So whether you’re looking to stay within the City Bowl, or travel a bit further, you’ll definitely find something special to do in Cape Town and surrounds during winter.