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Cape Winelands

Overview

Situated in the heart of the Cape Winelands in an area steeped in history, culture and known for its fine wine and dining, this stables offers riding holidays with a difference. You can enjoy excellent riding through varied terrain whilst also taking time to relax with wine-tastings, gourmet meals …

Highlights

  • Wine-tasting at some of South Africa's best estates
  • Happy horses of all shapes and sizes
  • Surprisingly varied trails through vineyards and beyond
  • Hosted restaurant dinners
  • The rollercoaster canter!

Essential Facts

  • 2 itineraries available
  • Max 8 riders per group
  • Average of 4 - 5 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: 90kg / 198lbs / 14 stone 2lbs

Description

Situated in the heart of the Cape Winelands in an area steeped in history, culture and known for its fine wine and dining, this stables offers riding holidays with a difference. You can enjoy excellent riding through varied terrain whilst also taking time to relax with wine-tastings, gourmet meals or perhaps even some spa treatments. Louis, Ellen and their team tailor make your stay so as to offer you the best of the region and to fit in with your preferences, whether you'd like to spend maximum time in the saddle or take an afternoon to visit Cape Town and the beautiful coastline. You have three choices of accommodation from staying on site at the farm to enjoying some luxury in a 5* hotel - the choice is yours!

The team is led by Louis Geyer, a dedicated rider with a passion for people and for sharing his extensive knowledge of the area. Louis has ridden all over Africa, spending time with great horsemen to observe their practices, ensuring that he himself has a rich insight and sensitivity towards his equine staff - gentle horsemanship is a way of life here and it filters through into every part of this wonderful ride. Louis' business partner Ellen is a gifted horsewoman and conscientious guide, especially notable for her high standard of horse care and her dedication to the horses' welfare. After all, the horses are an integral part of the team and the foundation of the business – happy horses and happy guests!

Louis is a certified tour guide with a Bachelor of Science degree in natural sciences and postgraduate studies in education, so he has an intimate knowledge of the region’s history and wildlife. After horses, his particular passion is birding and local wildlife and he is happiest when outdoors. Louis lives by the motto, “What we have is not ours but has been given to us to share. If we keep it to ourselves we will lose it.”

You can be assured of a warm welcome here, whether you come for a longer stay to make the most of the region or as an extension to a safari. Holly from Far and Ride visited in April 2016 (horses and wine are her two favourite things!) and would love to tell you more about this charming destination - please just get in touch! Cathy from Far and Ride has also been lucky enough to ride here and will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Horses & Riding

Tack

The horses are primarily ridden in McClellan trail saddles (English saddles available) with a variety of bridles used, including some bitless which have been handmade for the horses suited to this way of going.

Horses

There is a wonderful range of horses here and guests are well-matched to a suitable steed. Breeds include warmbloods, Thoroughbreds, Friesian, American Saddlebreds, Arab, Shire, Boerperd, Nooitegedacht, Basotho Pony. Appaloosa and crossbreeds. The horses primarily live out in herds and are in excellent condition, fit and sensible. Whether you prefer a quiet, steady ride on an experienced horse or perhaps something more forward-going then you will find a new friend here!

Riding

There are 2 itineraries:

  • Cape Gourmet Wine Trail is a trail ride
  • Horses and Wines is a based ride

Ages

Younger riders welcomed (with insurance in place)

Health

Fit & Healthy

Weight

90kg / 198lbs / 14 stone 2lbs

Food & Accommodation

Food

Guests will experience local fine dining and award winning wines on a par with the best in the world. From local cheese and wine tastings to gourmet meals, the gastronomical delicacies of the wine region and what will make your riding holiday complete in every way. With the exception of the odd picnic of local barbeque (braai) all lunches are enjoyed at restaurants where guests are able to order direct from the extensive a la carte menus.

Accommodation

You have three accommodation choices for your Cape Winelands riding holiday:

The Farm: the onsite farm accommodation is for guests wanting a close equestrian experience rich with all the sights, sounds and energy of a working stable yard. They offer cosy twin or double bedrooms that have been converted from old stables, all with views of the breathtaking Simonsberg Mountains. The rooms have an ensuite bathroom with a shower, safe and mini fridge stocked with a cold breakfast to be enjoyed in the comfort of your room. This relaxed farm stay option lets you immerse yourself in the Cape Winelands riding experience.

The Mid-Range Option: Offering four star level rooms in a beautiful setting and with a really lovely atmosphere. The rooms are light and airy and there are charming views surrounding the property. There is a new pool and recent upgrades to the rooms.

The Luxury Option: The third option is a 5 star graded luxury intimate boutique hotel called Angala, where homely luxury blends with the pristine beauty of nature. Located in the heart of the winelands between magnificent mountains, it is a retreat for body, mind and spirit. It is situated high up on the majestic Simonsberg Mountains with spectacular vistas across vineyards to the Great Drakenstein Mountains, where guests can enjoy splendid sunsets and watch the mountains glow in the dusk light. All suites and cottages are fully equipped with special detailed attention paid to the decor. After a day's ride you can treat yourself to a variety of professional spa and massage treatments in the privacy of your own room or you can take a dip in the sparkling eco-pool, a feature which recreates the natural filtering process found in mountain streams and rivers. It is the first eco-pool of South Africa!

Please note that for the mid-range and luxury accommodation, prices are based on entry-level rooms. If these rooms are not available then you will be quoted based on which standard of room they have available.

Itineraries

Cape Gourmet Wine Trail Standard / Luxury accommodation.

Horses and Wines Standard / Luxury accommodation.

Other Activities

Non riders can visit the nearby towns of Paarl, Stellenbosch or Franschhoek – all a short drive away and full of historical sites, world class restaurants and coffee shops, and other attractions.

Guests can go hiking, play golf, visit crocodile, ostrich, eagle, cheetah and butterfly farms or penguin colonies, go whale watching (in season), and enjoy wine, cheese or chocolate tasting. The spa facilities at the villa are also a great way to spend the day. Mountain bikes are also available should you wish to cycle on our farm.

Travel

One of the team will both meet you on arrival and transfer you for departure from Cape Town International Airport. Your accommodation is a 40-minute drive from the airport.

The suggested arrival time is as close to 1pm as possible.
On the last day you will depart from your accommodation at 2 pm for arrival at the airport by 2.40pm. Please book onward domestic flights from 3.30pm onwards and international flights from 4.30pm onwards. (Domestic check-in is one hour before, international check-in is two hours before).

Testimonials

Mark, Feb. 18, 2020

The holiday is tailor-made to suit the amount of riding that you require, the hotel was large and comfortable and the staff always remembered who I was and asked how my day was, (not always the case these days!). the food was good and the resturants that we went to had a good choice for everybody's tastes with the hosts making sure you are happy and having a great time. I had the option of going zip-lining which was great fun and excellent value on the rest day.


Candi (2016), June 29, 2009

We made it safely back to the USA after a wonderful trip. Stayed in the area a few days after. Things could not have gone better. It is a wonderful place to ride and explore. Horses were great. Louis and Ellen were excellent hosts as well as guides. Claire and I loved it. Yes, I would go back.
You and your staff did an excellent job in helping us from the whole stages of planning and booking. I also truly appreciated the hard copy of info you took the time to send me in the US. If and when I can do another ride, I will plan to use Far and Ride and most assuredly I shall recommend you to my friends.


Itinerary & Pricing

Day 1

Riding: 2 hours

Guests should arrive at the stables by 14:00 today (transfer from Cape Town available), coming after lunch. The day starts with a welcome ride to ensure that everybody is comfortable with their new horse and the riding procedures - you will be asked to untack your horse each lunchtime and at the end of each day, although they are generally tacked up for you (of course you can help if you like!). 

This first ride will be around two hours, traversing the wine farms and orchards surrounding the yard. You will get a taste of things to come! After the ride drinks will be served at the yard before you head to your first accommodation where you will stay for two nights. Tonight is a traditional 'braai' around the table and guests will have the chance to get to know each other, as well as receiving some information about the trail route. At the end of the evening you are transferred back to your accommodation which will be in a local historic farm-style guesthouse.

Day 2

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

Breakfast is served with departure following at around 08:30. You will be transported by car to Boschendal Farm where the trail officially starts - the horses will be tacked up and ready to go! The morning's ride will take you through the world-famous Boschendal vineyards and on to Plaisir de Merle wine estate where you will stop for a tasting and lunch. Lunch is a platter of cold meats, cheeses and preserves, served alongside the award-winning wines of this beautiful estate which dates back to 1693.

After lunch the trail heads on to Kunnenburgh Farm and offers spectacular views over the Franschhoek and Paarl Valleys which lie below. You will travel along the top contours of these vineyards, crossing more wine estates to reach the overnight rest point for the horses. 

After early evening drinks on the patio you are transferred to your accommodation where you can freshen up before dinner. Tonight you will stay in a traditional Cape manor house on one of the oldest wine farms in the Paarl region. Dinner is a meat or venison feast at one of the finest restaurants in Paarl, prepared by local chefs and served with local wines.

Day 3

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

After breakfast and with your bags packed again, you will be taken back to the horses and will ride out at around 09:30 for another day of adventure. The trail today will head onto the mountainside of Simonsberg, providing sweeping views of the Franschhoek and Paarl Valleys behind you. You'll ride more wine farms and orchards such as Babylonstoren, Backsberg and Niel Joubert. After around 2.5 hours of riding it will be time for another wine stop and a hearty lunch, prepared with local produce at Anura Vineyards. With the wine-tasting this makes for a long, lazy lunch of the sort you would enjoy from a holiday in true wine country!

After lunch your ride continues on through more wine farms such as Marianne, Natte Vallij, Le Bonheur and Mitre's Edge. Your day ends at The Purple Windmill where the horses spend the night. After sundowners you head to your accommodation for the night before having dinner at Mitre's Edge where the owner will entertain you with a hearty home-cooked meal and specially selected wines from the cellar.

Day 4

Riding: 5 - 7 hours

Today is probably the longest riding day of the week with lots of ascents and descents. The horses are sure-footed and know their jobs well so will keep you safe, but you may have to dismount and lead them for short periods. You will ride over Klapmuts Koppie to enjoy sweeping views over the flatlands stretching towards Table Mountain in the distance. Ride through the vineyards of Warwick Wine Estate before crossing to Kanonkop wine estate - here you will be treated to a private wine tasting in a classic historical cellar before lunching on a traditional platter.

After lunch you ride to Knorhoek where both horses and riders overnight. After unsaddling the horses there is ample time to enjoy a coffee or glass of wine on the patio overlooking the paddock as the sun sets. Tonight will be a traditional South African feast with excellent wines.

Day 5

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

Today is your last riding day of the week and you will start out with your horses for the final time! The trail heads up the mountainside behind Knorhoek offering views of the famous Stellenbosch, South Africa's oldest town, after Cape Town itself of course. On a clear day you will be able to see as far as False Bay and Cape Point when you look towards the Atlantic Ocean. After some more technical riding you will reach Morgenhof wine estate to enjoy a tasting of their delicious wines which will accompany your lunch. 

The route after lunch leads you along the southern side of Simonsberg, passing through Remhoogte wine estate. Almost at the end of your trip - they are keeping the best for last! Lovely views and photo opportunities are the order of the day with champagne or MCC, as it is known locally, to help you to celebrate the end of the trail. 

After leaving the horses at the yard you head to your accommodation to freshen up before the final dinner. There is a pool to be enjoyed tonight, weather permitting, and the dinner will be an experience to remember.

Day 6

Riding: No riding.

After a hearty breakfast you are free to depart for home or to continue your stay in the Cape Winelands. Additional nights can be arranged. 

Wine farms traversed during the trail: Boschendal, Plaisir De Merle, Donkerhoek, Uitkomst, Keunenburg, Bloemendal, Le Bonheur, Babylonstoren, Backsberg, Neil Joubert, Anura, Natte Vallij, Mont Destin, Mt Vernon, Marianne, Mitre’s Edge, Warwick, Leibach, Kanonkop, Uitkyk, Remhoogte, Morgenhof, Knorhoek, L’ Avenir and many more.

Accommodation

The accommodation is offered at the following venues, subject to availability: Station House Historic Guest House, Laborie, Uitkyk guest cottages and Knorhoek Farm. It is unlikely that venues will change, but final venues will only be confirmed on final confirmation of the number of guests booked for the trail (the organisers have an extensive list of alternatives to the same standard).

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

Riders should be capable of riding at walk, trot and canter and fit to ride long hours. The pace is relaxed overall but does include many opportunities to trot and enjoy long, loping canters.

Minimum group size 4
Maximum group size 8
Departure windows

Jan. 1, 2021 - Dec. 31, 2021  (Dates can be scheduled for groups of 4+ riders, subject to availability.)

Pricing

2021
Sharing twin/double room
£2215 $3130 €2580
Included 5 nights accommodation in mid-range venues, all meals from dinner on arrival to breakfast on departure, drinks with meals*, wine tastings and riding as per itinerary *Dinners are three courses from a set menu and include house wine, water, soft drinks, beer, cider, tea and coffee.
Not included Flights, airport transfers, premium drinks and dessert wines/spirits, insurance, tips & other personal expenses.

Extras

2021 - Airport Transfer (1-3 pax) £144 $200 €167
Paid to Far and Ride
Cape Town Airport transfers return, per vehicle (1-3 pax)
2021 - Airport Transfer (4-8 pax) £210 $300 €245
Paid to Far and Ride
Cape Town Airport transfers return, per vehicle (4-8 pax)
2021 - Single Supplement £1040 $1470 €1210
Paid to Far and Ride
A limited number of single rooms are available for a supplement, for those who prefer not to share.
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.

Day 1

Riding: 1 - 2 hours

You will be met on arrival at the airport and then it is a 40 minute drive to your chosen accommodation at the foot of the Simonsberg Mountain in the Cape Winelands. Once settled in you will enjoy a short gentle ride to familiarise yourself with the horse and the terrain. You will enjoy your first sundowners before eating a delicious sea food dinner together with some delicious local wines.

Day 2

Riding: 4 - 5 hours

After breakfast you will saddle up and head into the local vineyards and orchards stopping at a lookout point with the magnificent Paarl Valley stretching out before you. You will head along the foot of the Simonsberg Mountain towards Anura Wine Estate, a route on which you can give your horse its head and enjoy a canter between the vines and along charming old farm roads.  At Anura, you will enjoy a wine and cheese tasting before strolling over to the charming restaurant for an a la carte lunch with your preferred wine. You will head home through the mountains with an afternoon stop at the award winning estate Neil Joubert, a vineyard not normally open to the public but with whom they have secured  exclusive wine tasting for their riders. You will arrive back at the yard at around 4 pm - it is time to relax before dinner which will be a culinary showcase of traditional Cape cuisine prepared by local chefs.

Day 3

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

You should now be feeling relaxed and comfortable with your horse so today you will start with a long morning of exhilarating riding through peach, pear and plum orchards and onto a wine tasting at Backsberg, another internationally acclaimed vineyard, the first wholly organic wine estate in the region. From there you will head for the western face of Simonsberg Mountain, enjoying more spectacular views across the Paarl and Franschhoek Valley and over to the dramatic Great Drakenstein mountain range.  The mountain trail takes you through refreshing eucalyptus and pine forests ending back at the stables.  You will enjoy a later lunch hosted by another local wine farm. There is no afternoon ride today so you can relax at the accommodation or amble through the historical towns of Stellenbosch, Franschhoek or Paarl, a ten to twenty minute drive away.  Dinner is at a local restaurant in whichever of these towns you prefer giving you another taste of local fine dining and wines - an experience on par with the best international restaurants.

Day 4

Riding: No riding.

Today is a rest day for the horses, so you can choose to simply relax at your accommodation or venture further afield. Some of the most popular one day excursions are a beach ride and lunch in the nearby coastal town of Hermanus, to the Cape of Good Hope with a full day sightseeing, following the peninsula coastline with a visit to a protected African penguin colony. For the true adrenalin junkie you can book a Great White Shark Cage Diving experience.  Please note that these optional activities are charged extra.

The day will end back at your accommodation and then it is another relaxed evening sampling fine local food and wines.

Day 5

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

Today you may choose to play some Western games in the large sand arena before lunch,  or take another trail through unspoilt terrain, new orchards, vineyards and along estate dams. Lunch at a another winery is followed by a faster afternoon ride through Glen Carlou. Spend the late afternoon strolling through picturesque Franschhoek, a small town famous for it gastronomy and with a historical Bastille influence evident in the charming culture, shops and eateries. Dinner is a relaxed affair back  at the accommodation.

Day 6

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

Today will be full day's ride out along the Simonsberg Mountain with a picnic lunch in the forest.  This is a fantastic route for riders keen on a faster, more invigorating ride through the wood mill forests. A delicious dinner is either cooked by Louis or one of the locals who will do their best to ensure you have an authentic African dinner treating you as one of the family.

Day 7

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

Today you will enjoy another morning ride venturing into unchartered trail routes if you are feeling adventurous. After some fun on horseback you will head to lunch at a popular cheese farm in the area. After lunch you will let the horses cool off in the dam while, if whether permits, you can swim with the horses. Your last evening will be spent at a local family owned restaurant, the perfect finish to your Winelands riding experience.

Day 8

Riding: 2 - 4 hours

It is your last morning and they have saved the best for last. One final ride takes you up to one of the most spectacular view points in the Winelands where they will crack open some champagne and reflect on the week's highlights. After checking out of your accommodation  you will be transferred to the airport. If you are on an evening flight out of Cape Town it may be possible to take you to the  V & A Waterfront for some last minute shopping and sightseeing.

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

Intermediate to experienced riders are welcomed. You should be happy and confident riding outdoors on a well mannered horse in all paces.

Minimum group size 2
Maximum group size 8
Departure windows

At any time during: Jan. 15, 2021 - Dec. 15, 2021  (Dates to suit - you can arrive on any day and stay for as long as you like (min 3 nights).)

Pricing

2021
7 Night Programme; Farm Accommodation; Sharing
£2235 $3160 €2605
6 days of riding and one non-riding day; not available 15 Dec-15 Jan
2021
7 Night Programme; Mid-Range Guest House Accommodation; Sharing
£3015 $4260 €3510
6 days of riding and one non-riding day; not available 15 Dec-15 Jan
2021
7 Night Programme; Luxury Accommodation; Sharing
£3525 $4980 €4105
6 days of riding and one non-riding day; not available 15 Dec-15 Jan
2021
Nightly rate (stays of 4 nights or less); Farm Accommodation; Sharing
£340 $485 €400 per night
2021
Nightly rate (5+ night stays); Farm Accommodation; Sharing
£290 $415 €340 per night
2021
Nightly rate; Mid-Range Guest House Accommodation; Sharing
£445 $635 €520 per night
2021
Nightly rate; Luxury Accommodation; Sharing
£565 $805 €660 per night
Included Your choice of accommodation, all riding, wine tastings, all meals and drinks (including house wines at the table), drinks during and after rides.
Not included Flights, airport transfers, premium wines and spirits, spa treatments, tips, laundry service

Extras

2021 - Airport Transfer (1-3 pax) £144 $200 €167
Paid to Far and Ride
Return Transfer Cape Town, per vehicle (1-3 pax)
2021 - Airport Transfer (4-8 pax) £210 $300 €245
Paid to Far and Ride
Return Transfer Cape Town, per vehicle (4-8 pax)
2021 - Extra ride £93 $132 €109
Paid to Far and Ride
If you wish to arrive early/depart late then there is a supplement for a full day of riding on these days.
2021 - Single Supplement; Nightly; Farm accommodation £27 $38 €32 per night
Paid to Far and Ride
Farm Accommodation - No single supplement if willing to share, but payable to guarantee a single room.
2021 - Single Supplement; Nightly; Luxury accommodation £142 $200 €165 per night
Paid to Far and Ride
Luxury Accommodation - payable by anyone in a single room.
2021 - Single Supplement; Nightly; Mid-range accommodation £94 $133 €109 per night
Paid to Far and Ride
Mid-Range Guest House Accommodation - payable by anyone in a single room.
2021 - Single Supplement; Weekly; Farm accommodation £191 $265 €220
Paid to Far and Ride
Special seven night programme - Farm accommodation. No single supplement if willing to share, but payable to guarantee a single room.
2021 - Single Supplement; Weekly; Luxury accommodation £955 $1350 €1110
Paid to Far and Ride
Special seven night programme - Luxury Accommodation Payable by everyone in a single room.
2021 - Single Supplement; Weekly; Mid-range accommodation £605 $860 €705
Paid to Far and Ride
Special seven night programme - Mid-Range Guest House Accommodation Payable by everyone in a single room.
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.