Wave Goodbye to Winter with a Final Cosy Escape in Tulbagh
Updated: Aug 31, 2021
The days are getting longer, the rain less frequent and when the sun is out you can almost pretend it's summer! But the cold, rainy spells are still around- we are still lighting a fire in the evenings and layering up in fluffy dressing gowns and slippers to keep warm. However, these colder months don't have to mean no adventures or travel, it just means finding some cosy accommodation and gearing up properly.
If you are looking for one final trip to enjoy before summer really kicks in, why not take a drive to Tulbagh. Enjoy the mountain scenery, beautiful hikes, icy river swims and relaxing vineyards. Tulbagh is located in the Winelands of the Western Cape and is almost completely surrounded by mountains; the Obliqua Mountains to the west, the Winterhoek Mountains to the north and the Witzenberg Mountains to the east. Only 120km (1 hour 30 mins) from Cape Town, it is an easy location for a weekend adventure. There really is no need to spend ages in the car to find a new area to explore.
Stay cosy at Essere Lodge!
We stayed at Essere Lodge and I am so glad that I found this place. It was exactly what we were looking for. Set in a pretty little garden, with spectacular sunset views of the mountains, the lodge is the perfect getaway from city life. The converted barn is a perfect mix of old and new, staying true to its farm-style roots. My favourite part was the floor-to-ceiling windows where you can sit and enjoy the mountain views while staying warm. Johns favourite things were the roaring fire and fry up for breakfast!
Our room provided us with the perfect cosy base to come back to after a day in the mountains. We also had our own private patio where we could enjoy a morning coffee while watching the sun rise and chickens run around on the lawn.
Day 1- Groot Winterhoek Nature Reserve
A day in the mountains! This was our first time visiting the Groot Winterhoek and I thought it was really beautiful.
There are a few different routes to pick from, from short day hikes to longer multi day hikes. We chose the Groot-Kliphuisriver trail which followed the river down into the valley and back out again creating a ~15km circular route.
Of course I couldn't resist going for a quick dip in the river.
All day out in the mountains and we didn't pass a single other person. That's the way we like it! Cape Town has amazing hikes, but they are so often a bit too busy for our liking!
Day 2- Vineyard and Waterfalls
Stop number one of the day was at Saronsberg Cellar. Good wines (or so John told me- being pregnant at the time I wasn't able to enjoy any of them!), great views and an art gallery to look around as well.
In the afternoon we visited the Waterval Nature Reserve. Lots of waterfalls and rock pools to enjoy icy dips with a view! I have heard it can get very busy in the summer months, but we had the place almost completely to ourselves.
That sums up our weekend away in Tulbagh. I would happily do the whole trip again and I wouldn't change the fact that we went in the winter- in some ways it actually made it more fun.
One of the main reasons we moved to South Africa was to enjoy the warmer weather, so we are always keen to make the most off all of the seasons, come rain or shine. We have been here for almost two years now and we still have a long list of places we really want to visit.
Enjoy Tulbagh if you make the trip!