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Tucked away at the bottom of the Soetmuisberg and surrounded by flowering fields of bright canola in winter, Napier could almost be missed as you marvel at the area’s beauty. But this vibrant little village should definitely be marked on your map and you should give yourself ample time to explore the history and attractions of the quaint village.
Located on the border of the Overberg and Cape Agulhas regions, Napier does however fall within the Cape Agulhas district and welcomes you to her domain. The most northern-situated town of the district holds the tranquil beauty of open fields but also the promise of the big blue beyond it.
Travelling towards Napier holds a handful of different routes depending on the direction from which you are coming. Heading in from Cape Town there are two routes which you could follow. Firstly, the coastal route that leads you through Betty’s Bay following the untouched coastline and off towards Hermanus. The drive along the coast is winding and breath-taking and after Hermanus it veers off onto the R43, tucked in between the splendour of Walker Bay and the characteristic mountains of the Overberg. Turning off at Stanford, instead of heading straight towards Gansbaai, onto the R326 you head over the slight mountain pass and take the final turn-off at the four-way crossing.
Alternatively, take the route leading over Sir Lowry’s pass and be rewarded with a 180 degree view of the Strand, Stellenbosch and the winding ocean behind you as you ascend. Now on the N2, continue over Sir Lowry’s and Houwhoek Pass and at Botriver turn onto the R316. This fairly straight road will lead you through the charismatic town of Caledon. Continuing on the R316, it is a straight drive all the way to Napier – you can’t miss it. This route is also the quickest way to reach Napier from the mother city and will take you just short of 2 hours.
Coming in from the Garden Route and travelling along the N2 there is also two different routes to follow depending on how hasty you are. Turning off at Swellendam and getting onto the R319, it’s a straight drive all the way to Bredasdorp and then a short, half an hour drive towards Napier. Preferring to continue west and not turning off at Swellendam, you can also turn off just after Riversonderend onto the R326. Follow this road until you meet the R326 again and from there it is a short, straight drive until you hit Napier.
Deciding on which route to take will undoubtedly be the hardest part of the trip. All the routes leading to Napier, whether coastal or inland, offers up an array of natural landscapes and beautiful flora unique to the area. So, which way are you heading.
Find directions for Napier.