New year, new escapades! With the fresh start comes the perfect chance to meticulously plan our weekends, ensuring each one is packed with exploration and discovery. Why venture far and wide when some of Earth’s most picturesque hideaways are nestled right in our backyard in the Overberg? Let’s seize every moment to uncover these gems, hidden just off the beaten path!
Stanford, a true jewel in local travel, bursts with charm and history. Established in 1857, this quaint village takes its name from Sir Robert Stanford, a British landowner known for his humanitarian efforts and distinguished military service.
Once merely a brief pause for travelers journeying to and from Gansbaai, Stanford has blossomed into a much-sought-after retreat over the past decade. Fueled by the dedication and creativity of its vibrant community, this village now stands as one of the region’s most fashionable ‘hidden treasures’, a testament to its residents’ hard work and passion.
Directions to Stanford, Overberg
Only two hours away from the hustle and bustle of Cape Town’s CBD lies Stanford, an MTB enthusiast’s paradise. So, load up your car, gather the kids, strap on those mountain bikes, and set off on an adventure. Leaving the city after work? Perfect timing to arrive at the serene foothills of the Klein River Mountains just as the sun sets, painting the sky with colors perfect for sundowners.
Your great escape begins on the N2 highway, a swift departure from urban chaos. As you ascend Sir Lowry’s Pass and descend into the tranquil Elgin Valley, the change of pace is palpable. Surrounded by the sweet scent of apple orchards, you’ll find yourself naturally slowing down. Then, take the R43 offramp towards Hermanus and enjoy the smooth ride on the newly upgraded road, leading you straight to the heart of Stanford.
Awaken in Stanford to the quintessential country morning serenade: distant roosters heralding the dawn with their melodic exchanges. This is your natural alarm clock, inviting you to rise and shine in the peaceful countryside.
In Stanford, no matter your accommodation, you’re likely just a leisurely stroll away from Queen Victoria Street, the village’s vibrant artery. Here, nestled amongst charming coffee shops, cozy bistro-style restaurants, quaint antique stores, and inviting art galleries, is where the heart of the village truly beats. It’s on this bustling main road that you’ll encounter the warm, welcoming locals, ready to share stories and smiles.
Check out some accommodation in Stanford: xplorio.com/stanford/en/accommodation
Self-Guided Heritage Tour
Fuel up with a hearty breakfast, the perfect start to a day of exploration in Stanford. Then, make your way to the local tourism office for an essential pitstop. Here, you can craft your weekend adventure itinerary with some expert local insights. Are you a history enthusiast? Be sure to ask for the Heritage Tour booklet. This invaluable guide details all of Stanford’s historical treasures – homes, churches, and significant meeting points, each marked on an easy-to-navigate map.
Accompanied by brief historical snippets, this self-guided tour offers a captivating journey through 200 years of Stanford’s rich heritage, allowing you to immerse yourself in the stories that shaped this charming village.
Antique Stores and Art Galleries
For fans of the “Antiques Road Show,” Stanford is a haven of hidden gems and historical treasures. In a village steeped in history, countless antique and second-hand shops await, each potentially harboring invaluable finds. Picture yourself uncovering rare Queen Anne furniture, vintage shop signs, elegant silver pocket watches, first edition books, or even a forgotten bundle of love letters. Rest assured, you’re unlikely to leave Stanford without a unique and cherished keepsake in hand!
Stanford’s artistic flair is evident in every corner, with galleries and studios tucked away, ready to be discovered. Here, you can expect to encounter breathtaking art pieces, each offering a distinct perspective on the Cape Floral Kingdom’s vibrant fauna and flora. For a more personalized experience, many studios welcome visitors by appointment. A bit of pre-visit research can lead to memorable encounters with local artists, allowing you a closer look at their creative process and perhaps even the chance to commission a bespoke piece for your collection.
Award-winning Wine Estates
Having explored and wandered to your heart’s content, it’s now the perfect moment to relax and indulge in a leisurely lunch. Stanford is a haven for wine lovers, boasting over ten exquisite wine estates along the celebrated Stanford Wine Route. Each vineyard offers its unique charm, nestled in the picturesque valley, making it an ideal spot for connoisseurs and casual sippers alike to unwind and savor the local flavors.
Stanford Hills Estate
Spend your afternoon in the lap of luxury, sipping on award-winning wines under the Stanford sun. As you taste these exquisite vintages, complement them with a selection of luscious valley olives, artisanal charcuterie, and sumptuously creamy cheese sourced from a local farm. For those with a more robust appetite, the day’s blackboard specials promise a culinary delight.
Picture gourmet burgers, savory veggie quiches, and the traditional waterblommetjie bredie, cooked with a homely touch reminiscent of your favorite aunt’s kitchen.
These wine estates offer more than just a treat for the palate; they are oases of hospitality for everyone. Families with children and well-behaved pets are all welcomed with open arms, ensuring a delightful experience for visitors of all ages.
028 341 0841, stanfordhills.co.za
Address: Weltevrede Farm, Stanford, 7210
Evenings in Stanford
Prepare to be utterly charmed by Stanford’s evening allure – it just might tempt you to call this village your forever home.
Dinner time in Stanford is nothing short of enchanting. It’s when the community unites, reveling in the day’s beauty and camaraderie. The village offers a delightful array of dining options, from cozy bistros and bustling restaurants to quaint corner cafes.
Many of these eateries boast charming outdoor seating, allowing you to immerse yourself in the vibrant village atmosphere. Choose to dine on a veranda, soaking in the lively buzz of village life, or opt for a serene outdoor setting overlooking the lush, green expanse of the village square. In Stanford, meal times are not just about the food – they’re a celebration of the village’s spirit and charm.
Be sure to make a visit to the Fynbos Distillery at Jolly Rooster (xplorio.com/stanford/jolly-rooster-at-fynbos-distillery) an integral part of your Stanford experience. And here’s a little insider tip: don’t be taken aback if, as the evening unfolds, you find yourself joining a communal table, bonding and sharing stories with new friends. It’s all part of the spontaneous, friendly vibe that makes Stanford so unique and memorable.
Indulge in a leisurely morning and a well-deserved sleep-in. After you’ve enjoyed a quick breakfast, let chance decide your day’s adventure with a simple coin toss. Heads for a thrilling bike ride along the myriad of fantastic MTB trails weaving through the mountainside. Tails for a more serene experience: packing a cooler box and embarking on a delightful riverboat journey along the tranquil Klein River.
And it’s tails! Prepare for a peaceful and scenic riverboat excursion, where you can sit back, relax, and soak in the natural beauty of Stanford from the gentle waters of the Klein River. It’s the perfect way to unwind and immerse yourself in the serene side of this charming village.
If you love birding, this one is for you visit the Lady Stanford River Cruise tour operators. (xplorio.com/stanford/lady-stanford-river-cruises) The Klein River and its estuary attract over 120 bird species at any given time. From the majestic African fish eagle to the blue crane, get ready to be wowed in an all-natural world of birds.
Pack your bather. On hot days, your skipper will stop en route so that you can fling yourself overboard for a refreshing swim.
Skip the boat and hire double kayaks if you prefer doing your own thing.
It’s Not Goodbye – It’s See You Later!
After a fantastic two days spent in Stanford, it’s time to make your way home. You may have lugged the mountain bikes along for nothing, but who cares because you will be back!
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Courtesy : https://www.getaway.co.za/things-to-do/dorps/48-hours-in-stanford/