Congratulations to Deidre and Lara Strydom, Xplorio Gansbaai’s first ever competition winners.
Having a look at a map and choosing an off-the-beaten-track destination is always fun and often leads to the best adventures and stories to tell. There is unfortunately always the burning question of ‘What is there to do?’ Luckily for you we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 things to do in this quaint village:
1. Bird Watching
Stanford is definitely known for its tranquillity and countryside beauty as this is where you trade the city hustle and bustle for the early morning chatter of birds. The combination of the abundant waters of the Klein River and the surrounding hills of Fynbos make Stanford a perfect niche for the birds in the area. The rich diversity of bird species has led to the origin of various birding events and has made the small village a bird lover’s paradise. Have a chance to spot a kaleidoscope of sunbirds, coots, woodpeckers, swallows, moorhens and even South Africa’s national bird, the Blue Crane.
2. Wine Tasting
Known as the perfect activity for a Saturday afternoon, Sunday morning, late Friday afternoon... Well, any day of the week really. Wine tasting has become a popular past-time for South Africans and with our selection of award-winning wines it’s not hard to see why. Stanford holds its own selection of locally grown wines complemented with sumptuous meals and panoramic views. For a taste sensation like no other, visit one of the di-vine wine farms in Stanford.
Going on a kayaking adventure in Stanford means making your way along the curves and corners of the shortest river in the world; the Klein River. From the kayak you can immerse yourself in nature and enjoy this exciting outdoor activity that combines adventure and beautiful scenery. Allow your eyes to follow the curve of the river banks and take a minute to view the variety of birds that have made their homes amongst the swaying reeds. Mapping out the bends of the river by paddle can be a fast-paced adventure or a fun excursion taken by the whole family.
4. The Local Markets
Where is the one place you can buy your weekly supply of fresh vegetables, catch up on some gossip and find hidden treasures? The weekly local markets of course! Stanford puts its best foot forward every Saturday and every last Friday of the month to showcase the best fresh farm products, curios, delectable foods and famous treats. A colourful combination of laughter, trinkets, baked goods and countryside culture; the local markets are not to be missed!
5. Boat Cruises
Looking for the perfect way to end off the day, what about a lazy river cruise along the Klein River? The boast cruises take you along the easy flowing waters of the river while you enjoy the sights and sounds of water birds that call it their home. Let time slip away as you enjoy the warmth of the last embers of sunset with a chilled beverage and the company of friends and family.
6. Quad Biking / 4x4 Trails
Experience the rugged landscape with an exhilarating quad bike adventure. Or better yet take on the scenic 4x4 trails leading through the valleys of the Stanford area. The guided quad bike excursions take you along the beach or up into the Fynbos-clad hills while you learn about the endemic flora and fauna. Enjoy the views over the Hermanus lagoon and vineyards or catch a glimpse of the frolicking Southern Right Whales in season. Are you ready for an adventure?
7. Beer Tasting
Stanford not only has exceptional wines but its very own micro-brewery as well. Enjoy the perfected combination of barley and hops at the first estate to brew beer and produce wine in the Southern Hemisphere. Savour the refreshing taste of locally brewed beer while visiting the vineyards, brewery, water bottling plant, pub and restaurant on the estate. This might just be the best tasting experience of your visit.
A sinfully delicious culinary experience awaits you in the tranquil village of Stanford. From artfully decorated café’s to family friendly restaurants, the eateries in Stanford offer up a wide selection of internationally loved and locally inspired dishes. Sumptuous meals are lovingly prepared by the owner-chefs and complemented by award-winning and locally produced wines from the village’s wine farms. The award-winning eateries will steal your heart and entice your taste buds, so be sure to book your table in advance.
9. Good old fashioned Shopping
The streets of the charismatic village are scattered with little boutiques and trinket shops, so we do literally mean old fashioned shopping. But don’t let this deter you; the cosy antique shops and décor boutiques often have the best hidden treasures to be uncovered. Most of the trendy little coffee shops also have curio shops filled to the brim with cute souvenirs for you to take home with you.
10. Hiking & Walking Trails
There is no better way to immerse yourself in the beauty of the surrounding landscapes of Stanford than on foot. Follow the meandering walking and hiking trails of Stanford and experience nature at its best. Stanford also offers an Art Stroll to appreciate the arts and crafts of the local artists or perhaps you’d prefer to dive into the rich history of the hamlet with a Heritage Walk. It promises to be a one of a kind experience with which you can immerse yourself in the natural landscapes and culture of the town voted South Africa’s favourite village.
There you have it, a whole list of fun activities to keep you, your friends and your family entertained during your stay in Stanford. So now the question changes from “What is there to do?” to “How are we going to fit it all into our itinerary?”