Things to Do in Grabouw / Elgin
The Elgin Valley caters to all types of visitors, from those looking for an adventurous outdoor getaway to those looking to enjoy the countryside at a more relaxed pace. In a valley surrounded by mountains, Grabouw and Elgin offer everything from walking trails to leisurely wine farm lunches. Various events are regularly hosted for those looking to engage with the local community.
The Elgin Valley has become known for its “cool climate” wines and most wine farms in the area offer tastings, although some might need to be arranged by appointment. For those looking to learn more about how wine is grown and the unique geological makeup of the area, some wine farms also offer vineyard walks. In an area known for its produce, there are also various restaurant options available. From sustainably sourced meals around a communal table to fine dining and family-friendly eateries, Grabouw and Elgin also have a range of restaurants to suit any and all tastebuds.
For outdoor enthusiasts, there are several mountain biking trails in the area, some of which are rated as some of the best in the Western Cape. There are also walking and hiking trails in the surrounding nature reserves, which conserve rare species of endemic mountain fynbos. Bird watching can be arranged by appointment at a local hide, and certain resorts offer a range of outdoor activities, including kayaking, quad biking and horse riding. Ziplining is also a new and popular activity on offer in the area and is a fun way for the whole family to appreciate the natural surroundings.
Grabouw and Elgin have several historical buildings, some of which have been renovated and now house businesses. These include the restaurant in the Elgin train station building that displays a collection of Victorian memorabilia, as well as the refurbished Harris Bros. building which now operates as a coffee shop. The area is also popular for its annual summer music concerts and other cultural events. Grabouw and Elgin also have a talented community of artists and musicians, who offer classes to the public while sculptors and other artists open their studios by arrangement. Art exhibitions regularly take place at local galleries, sometimes located on upmarket wine estates.
Grabouw and Elgin are not particularly known for their nightlife, but there are bars and local community events that are often hosted on the weekends. These include weekly pizza evenings held at local function venues or dances held at the local hall. Many hotels and guesthouses may also offer bar facilities but this depends on the establishment. Larger venues may be fully booked for private functions on weekends, and although very busy during summer, some venues do quieten down during the off-season winter months. With the growth of tourism in the area, the Elgin Valley currently hosts a growing number of annual events. These include local wine and country festivals, a horticultural festival and a summer concert season held at a local wine farm venue. With an established local community, Grabouw and the Elgin Valley are also home to a few clubs, including country clubs and sporting clubs.
Grabouw and Elgin have an array of places to stay, that range from cottage rentals and other self-catering accommodation to cosy B&B’s and luxurious estates. Unique hotel concepts in the pine plantations to welcoming guest houses overlooking the surrounding mountains and rolling farmlands are also an option for those visitors who really enjoy getting away from it all.
A visit to Grabouw and Elgin might not be very far away from the city, but it is a true escape from the stress of urban life. Outdoor enthusiasts and those looking to relax will be satisfied by the abundance of natural scenery, and the variety of local produce and wines will please any palate.
There are many reasons to visit Grabouw and Elgin, but most importantly, the valley and its community will welcome you with genuine warmth and hospitality.