The ultimate guide to visiting Swellendam in South Africa with all the best restaurants, accommodations and activities.
Activities,  South Africa,  Hotels

Visit Swellendam in South Africa: the complete guide

Swellendam is a small town in South Africa. Located only 2h30 from Cape Town, this city is worth the detour. Its popularity has only increased over the years. It comes alive every weekend with the arrival of South African tourists. The charm of these mountains and its peaceful life attract urban populations in need of peace and nature. It is also the ideal stage for holidaymakers traveling to Plettenberg Bay from Cape Town. Indeed, the city is located halfway and allows to divide in two the 6h journey. In this guide you will find all the information you need to discover Swellendam. We tell you the best things to do, where to eat and where to sleep. The city has no beaches or seaside but you will appreciate, among other things, the many hikes in superb national parks. This article will help you visit Swellendam in South Africa like a local whether you stay for one night, a weekend or 3 days.

What to do when visiting Swellendam: our favorite things to do

You can visit Swellendam in South Africa in one day. But to really relax, we recommend staying 3 days. The first thing to do is to visit the main street of Swellendam. You will be greeted by rows of old oak trees and plenty of shops selling local produce. We particularly liked Bee things. They sell honey and a multitude of derivative products such as creams or candles. You can taste many different honeys but especially the famous fynbos honey only produced in South Africa. Stop by The Country Deli if you want to buy more local produce. They have fresh bread, biltong and good coffee!

The ultimate guide to visiting Swellendam in South Africa with all the best restaurants, accommodations and activities.
The Bee Things store in Swellendam, South Africa

You can extend your walk by visiting the stunning Swellendam Church. You can also learn about the city's history at the Drostdy Museum.

If you are staying in Swellendam for a few days, then you have to hike in the surrounding mountains. The Marloth Nature Reserve has many walking and mountain biking trails. You just have to choose the distance adapted to your physical form. The second park in the region is Bontebok National Park. You won't see the BIG 5 there but it will allow you to see many different gazelle species.

The ultimate guide to visiting Swellendam in South Africa with all the best restaurants, accommodations and activities.
Visit the stunning Swellendam Church in South Africa

NB: if you visit Swellendam for a weekend, we recommend Under The Oaks Market. It takes place every Saturday morning just behind the GRACE + MERCY restaurant. You will find many local artisans there.

Visiting Swellendam in South Africa: Where to eat in this city?

Swellendam has many restaurants. To help you choose, we've made a selection of the best places to eat.

GRACE+MERCI: the best restaurant in Swellendam with fresh, seasonal and organic products

We fell in love with GRACE+THANK YOU. This Swellendam restaurant offers quality breakfasts and lunches. Here, the dishes are cooked with local and seasonal products. You won't find coca cola or industrial chickens on the menu! Everything is delicious. We did not hesitate to refill twice.

The ultimate guide to visiting Swellendam in South Africa with all the best restaurants, accommodations and activities.
The Grace + Merci restaurant in Swellendam, South Africa

The Republic: Swellendam's best restaurant for a convivial dinner.

The Republic is the perfect place for a burger or a pizza. They also have some South African dishes, a selection of craft beers and even a tasting of local gins. The atmosphere is very pleasant in the evening. We reserved a table on the terrace under the oaks and we enjoyed it.

Swellendam's 4 high-end restaurants for a romantic dinner

There are four gourmet restaurants in Swellendam. They are ideal if you want to eat more refined dishes than a burger or a pizza. Drostdy has a wonderful view of the mountains. Koornlands specializes in Cape cuisine. La Sosta is owned by an Italian chef. And Field and Fork is located in one of the oldest buildings in South Africa!  

Visiting Swellendam in South Africa: Where to sleep in this city?

Visit Swellendam in South Africa is very simple. Indeed, the city offers a wide choice of B&Bs. But if we had to choose only one accommodation, then we recommend Arumvale Country House. Our room was very comfortable and tastefully decorated.

The ultimate guide to visiting Swellendam in South Africa with all the best restaurants, accommodations and activities.
The Arumvale Country House B&B in Sewellendam, South Africa

It was also very functional with a fireplace, a living room and even a kitchen. Everything was very clean and we had a good night's rest. But the surprise is when you wake up! The view of the mountains is incredible. The panorama is sublime from the bedroom terrace.

The ultimate guide to visiting Swellendam in South Africa with all the best restaurants, accommodations and activities.

If you stay for the weekend, you can enjoy the garden and the magnificent swimming pool. Also the hosts are extremely friendly. As a bonus, breakfast is served at GRACE+MERCI: our favorite restaurant!

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Itinéterre is a travel blog written by a team of expatriates and locals. They share their experiences so that you can enjoy the best tours in their countries. Their advice will help you plan your vacation easily as if a local is accompanying you!