Welcome to Villiersdorp
Situated in the heart of the apple-growing region of the Overberg, the quaint town of Villiersdorp offers visitors a refreshing combination of beauty, heritage and abundance embedded in quintessential country living.
Set in a valley between the Waterval and Baviaans Mountains, Villiersdorp is renowned for its lush produce of apples, apricots and pears. The town forms part of the Cape Country Meander Route, making its picturesque environment and proximity to major centers one of its crowning features. You needn’t drive much more than an hour from Cape Town International airport to be immersed in orchards, vineyards and breathtaking mountains in every direction you look. With neighbours like Franschhoek and Grabouw, visitors can get away for the weekend with ease and in awe, by one of four spectacular mountain passes.
On entering the town from the R43 turnoff, a sign written in Afrikaans reads, ‘What is your dream for Villiersdorp? ‘ This message is reflected in the character of its local inhabitants, an industrious community of farmers, craftsmen and small business owners who enthusiastically come together to host regular events and activities that have helped put this little piece of country on the map. A stroll through the well-kept streets and gardens is a testament to local pride.
The Theewaterskloof Dam is a defining feature of Villiersdorp and the 7th largest dam in South Africa. Besides being a major water supplier to Cape Town, the dam plays host to an exciting number of water sports including sailing, waterskiing, jet skiing and fishing. For those who prefer to be on land, you can nurture your inner artist with a painting class, connect with nature on one of many hiking trails in the area, or simply relax over some great wine and tasty farm style food set within a historical village that boasts the only moskonfyt (grape preserve) factory in the word.
Quite surprisingly, the events calendar of Villiersdorp seems to flourish all year round, with an impressive cross-section of festivities to suit any age and taste. From hosting major sailing competitions and one of the country’s biggest music festivals, Synergy Live, to annual arts, agriculture, and harvest celebrations, the town is buzzing with energy. As of this year, Villiersdorp has become the revival site of witblits, a South African equivalent to distilling moonshine, and set to become an annual feature in April’s calendar.
The main road is lined with galleries and coffee shops and the thriving community of artists speaks to the picturesque environment and small-town charm, where creatives from all disciplines are drawn to get a healthy dose of inspiration. A few kilometers outside of town, a smokehouse set on the banks of the water specialises in smoked delicacies while the surrounding valleys are dotted with wine farms that form the larger Worcester Wine Route.
Despite everything on offer, the town has managed to retain its country charm by remaining an exporter rather than becoming an industry manufacturer. It has developed just enough to provide its inhabitants with everything they need, but for locals, it is having the best of both worlds that makes Villiersdorp their choice of home.
It’s the friendly folk, preserved heritage, and an impressive list of things to do that gives Villiersdorp its unique and enduring character. Make sure to include it on your list of places to experience on your journey through the spectacular Cape.