Things to do in Grabouw
The Elgin Valley caters to all types of holiday seekers, 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, Elgin/Grabouw offers everything from walking trails to leisurely wine farm lunches, and 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, Elgin/Grabouw also has a range of restaurants to suit any preference.
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 surrounds.
Grabouw has a number of historical buildings, some of which have been renovated and now operate as local businesses. These include the restaurant in the Elgin train station building that houses a collection of Victorian memorabilia, as well as the refurbished Harris Bros. building which now operates as a coffee shop. The local Apple Museum also displays the history of the area but is not currently open for viewing. The town is also popular for its annual summer music concerts and other cultural events. Grabouw is also home to artists and musicians, who offer classes to the public, and local sculptors and other artists who have studios in the town. Art exhibitions regularly take place at local galleries, sometimes located on upmarket wine estates.
Grabouw is not particularly known for its nightlife, but there are bars in the town and local community events 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 a growth in tourism in the area, the Elgin Valley currently hosts a 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 is also home to a number of clubs, including country clubs and sporting clubs.
Elgin/Grabouw has a number of accommodation options available, from cottage rentals and other self-catering options, to cosy B&B’s and luxurious estates. Visitors can choose to stay in town to be closer to all the amenities, or further away where there is an assortment of accommodation options available. These include unique hotel concepts in the pine plantations to welcoming guest houses overlooking the surrounding mountains and rolling farmlands.
A visit to Elgin/Grabouw 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. Elgin/Grabouw is a great place to visit for a number of reasons, but mostly because it is a town where you will be welcomed with genuine warmth and hospitality.