Welcome to Grabouw / Elgin
Grabouw is about an hour’s drive on the N2 highway from Cape Town. You will find it in the Elgin Valley just over Sir Lowry’s Pass, which connects the town of Somerset West to the interior of the Overberg region.
Grabouw is a predominantly agricultural town known for its apple and pear orchards. It is also the birthplace of the well-known fizzy apple drink, Appletiser. Although Grabouw is most famous for its apples, the Elgin Valley’s specific geographical features and cooler climate have ensured this part of the world has also gained notoriety as an ideal wine-growing region.
Since so many places around Grabouw fall into the Elgin Valley, the area encompassing the town of Grabouw and the Elgin Valley is often referred to as Elgin. Even towns as far East as Botrivier and the surrounding farming areas fall under the Elgin Valley tourism banner. This fruitful stretch of the N2 offers a wide selection of restaurants, wine farms, outdoor activities and accommodations. The Elgin Valley is also a popular mountain biking destination.
Visitors to the Elgin Valley are immediately welcomed into the area by more than one roadside farm stall, which is a testament to the farming community and the variety of fresh produce available in the area. When driving over Sir Lowry’s Pass, the Steenbras Dam on your right and the nearby Theewaterskloof Dam are key reservoirs and water suppliers to the Western Cape region.
Until recently, it was difficult to buy a farm in the Elgin Valley because, as was tradition, farms were passed along from generation to generation. However, due to the apple farming crisis in early 1990, many apple farmers sold their farms to wine farmers who established boutique wineries.
Over the years, business owners have relocated to the Elgin Valley from other parts of the country to set up restaurants, guest houses and wine farms. This boom in new businesses has influenced the area’s character, helping it develop into a tourist hotspot. The growing popularity of outdoor activities such as mountain biking and hiking, coupled with the growth of the wine industry, has also been a drawcard.
The Hottentots Holland mountain range, which extends to Botrivier in the East, frames Grabouw beautifully. Nature reserves such as the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO-recognised reserve, can also be found nearby. The biosphere contains many fine examples of endemic vegetation in the area, particularly certain species of mountain fynbos. Other nature reserves in the area include the Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve.
Grabouw / Elgin is an ideal escape due to its proximity to Cape Town and Cape Town International Airport. The area also caters to a wide selection of accommodation needs, that range from informal weekends away with the family and active sporty getaways to romantic breakaways and luxury holidays. For those looking to wine and dine, the Elgin Valley has several restaurants and a variety of wine farms where you can taste a selection of local wines while enjoying wholesome meals. Outdoor enthusiasts also have a range of mountain biking and hiking trails to explore. For those looking to relax, there are enough activities to suit the whole family, from fishing at local dams to taking a tour of the area with one of the many local tour operators.