Within easy reach of Cape Town - just an hour and a half's drive - is a wonderfully wild landscape of rolling hills (the Overberg) and vast, wave-washed beaches (the so-called Whale Coast), with the upscale resort town of Hermanus at its heart. From June to November southern right whales visit its waters to mate, and the area offers some of the best land-based whale watching in the world; stay at one of our coastal hideaways and you might even spot one from your lounger. But there's plenty to delight inland, too, including flowering fynbos, tranquil nature reserves and bird-filled lakes.
North of the Swartberg Mountains, the region sweeps into the semi-arid plains of the Klein Karoo, which hide cave paintings and all manner of unexpected wildlife (including elephants and the occasional rhino). And don't overlook the historic, charming town of Swellendam, too often bypassed as people whizz down the N2 on their way to the Garden Route.