There is a lot to love about South Africa, and there are many, MANY beautiful places to explore… but my favorite so far has been the three day adventure I had at Cape Winelands Riding. If you really want to experience the wine country just outside of Cape Town in a special way, I highly suggest doing it on horseback. I spent three days in the saddle here, and each day provided a unique trial ride with stunning views and more wine tastings and great food than I knew I could consume!
You have a few different options for staying overnight at Cape Winelands Riding, and for the first night we chose to stay on the farm property so we could wake up and walk straight out to see the horses! We started our rides around 9:30 in the mornings and rode for a few hours across some of the most stunning landscapes i’ve ever seen. Around lunchtime each day, you stop at a beautiful winery where the horses get a nice rest and you get to enjoy an incredible lunch and wine tasting.
The first day we had lunch at Plaisir de Merle Wine Estate. It’s in an insanely peaceful setting, where we enjoyed a wine tasting and a light lunch. The best part is they have a pasture full of lush green grass for the horses to enjoy! I loved seeing that the horses get untacked and turned out while we enjoyed our lunch so they could have a well deserved break of their own! After lunch, the horses are ready for the second half of the day and you mount up and ride about another two-three hours until you end up back at the Cape Winelands farm just in time to head out and enjoy dinner in the close by town of Paarl. By the way — I had one of the best meals of my life at ‘Noop' restaurant on our first night! It is an absolute MUST!
I know a lot of people really like the idea of a horse back riding trip but may not be that experienced of a rider — but let me tell you that Cape Winelands Riding has some fantastic horses, and they are really great at pairing you with the right partner for your ride. My boyfriend had only been on a horse once before, and he fell in love with his horse Sky and had the time of his life! The guides are excellent at taking care of their riders and making sure everyone is comfortable for the entire ride. This trip would actually be a really great way to expand your horse skills and learn a lot while enjoying such an incredible adventure!
Since I have quite a bit of riding experience, I was paired with a spunky Appaloosa named Amado, and I just fell in love with him! We had some thrilling gallops through the fields as well as some leisurely walks through the vineyards. Both Ry and I were so obsessed with our horses it was hard to leave them at the end of our stay!
For lunch on our second day we stopped at Anura Vineyards, which is at the bottom of the hill in this photos. Another amazing meal and wine tasting was had while the horses frolicked in the field outside. PRO TIP: order the Butternut & Feta Cheese pizza… you will not be disappointed!
The ride down to this farm was one of the most beautiful views of the day!
On our third and last day, I gave my horse Amado a well deserved rest and had the pleasure of riding this handsome boy Charleston! Our lunch stop this day was my favorite -- Backsberg Estate Cellars. The food was phenominal (I had the butternut squash soup and it was to die for!) and we loved the wine in our tasting so much that we ended up leaving with 6 bottles before we headed home! The farm is stunning and if it weren’t for a horse waiting for me I could’ve lounged here all day in the beautiful gardens outside.
So I mentioned there are a few options for accommodations during your stay, and the last two nights we stayed at the luxury boutique hotel just down the street from the farm — Angala Boutique Hotel.
I have been so blessed to stay in some pretty amazing places in my life, but this one might have been the most incredible. This hotel is located in the middle of the Simonberg mountains in the heart of wine country and it is BEYOND stunning. The staff was insanely kind and so amazing, the amenities were 10/10 (how stunning is this eco-pool?!) and the food was 12/10. This place is so serene you feel like you’re living in a dreamland. I cannot emphasize enough how much I adored staying at this place. Ry and I had the time of our lives!!
If you are looking for a unique and unforgettable adventure outside of Cape Town, South Africa book your stay with Cape Winelands Riding. You will see some of the beautiful landscapes that the Western Cape has to offer and make memories that will last you a lifetime. There is no better way to experience nature than on the back of a horse. It will truly fill your soul with so much goodness you won’t be able to leave without feeling changed! If you do visit Cape Winelands Riding, please say hello to Amado and Charleston for me! Both horses hold a special place in my heart now that i’ll never forget!