Stellenbosch is a beautiful town. Nestled in the valley where the Eerste Rivier ( First River ) flows from it source in the majestic mountains to the east, Stellenbosch has it all when it comes to natural beauty.
Not only does Stellenbosch have natural beauty, but also manmade beauty in the shape of many delightful and venerable old buildings scattered about the town and the surrounding Winelands of Stellenbosch.
The well preserved antiquity of its historic homes and buildings make the Town of Stellenbosch a real pleasure to visit. Huge Shady oaks dotted in between complete the picture. Take a stroll down one of its many lanes where you’ll find history and beauty in amongst its street cafes and arty and interesting little shops.
A mere 50km from Cape Town, Stellenbosch is an idyllic destination for visitors, both international and domestic.
Stellenbosch has a huge selection of accommodation options for visitors featuring hotels, guest houses, B&B's, self catering cottages and the like.
As a base for exploring the Greater Cape Town region and with such a wide range of excellent accommodation available in Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch is a good choice for the discerning visitor looking for accommodation for their holiday.
Visit our accommodation section where we will be adding loads of accommodation establishments.
Concerning restaurants, Stellenbosch has many a delectable restaurant within its environs where a wide assortment of mouth watering culinary delights, international cuisine, curries, fresh line fish, or traditional South African dishes, may be found.
Many of the restaurants in Stellenbosch are relaxed dining affairs, well suited to its student environment. These laid back bistros are very popular so it would be wise to make a booking. Stellenbosch also has a good portion of fine dining restaurants for those who prefer a formal dining experience.
Stellenbosch also has many coffee shops and cafes serving breakfast and lunches or a needed cup of coffee, as well as the usual complement of fast food establishments for a quick fix.
The Wine, the excellent wines of Stellenbosch are produced in some of the grandest wine estates to be found in South Africa.
As one of the oldest wine producing areas in South Africa, Stellenbosch is rich in wines of all cultivars.Within the environment of Stellenbosch are some of the most prestigious wine estates in the country where visitors can go wine tasting.
Many also have vineyard restaurants where you can enjoy the fabulous wines and food in the ambience of a producing wine farm.
The town of Stellenbosch is surrounded by vines which add greatly to its profound beauty.
business & services
Business is booming in Stellenbosch. This bustling town is bursting at the seams with businesses and industries. The amount of traffic in the town bears testimony to the level of business activities in Stellenbosch.
The town has many speciality shops, art and craft shops and businesses, fashion stores, small businesses, big businesses, small malls and of course the Technopark on the south side of Stellenbosch.
Technopark features many high tech companies which are spin offs from the research and development which takes place at the University of Stellenbosch.
Stellenbosch is the second oldest European settlement in South Africa and is therefore the younger sister of the Mother City of Cape Town. Although Cape Town is renowned worldwide for her great and majestic beauty, Stellenbosch, to many who live and visit the town is indeed the fairest due to Stellenbosch's country ambience and lack of multi-story skyscrapers and modern architecture.
Founded in 1679 by the then Governor of the Cape Colony Simon van der Stel, Stellenbosch, also fondly named Eikestad - City of Oaks after the many oak trees that were planted by Simon when he established the town, is aptly named - Stellenbosch means Stel's Forest.
Stellenbosch is still graced with many trees throughout the town, which only add to her great beauty and appeal.
In the first three years of her existence, Stellenbosch flourished as many flocked to settle there, and quickly became the first independent local authority within the Cape Colony. Many Dutch folk skilled in engineering settled in the town and built channels to divert the waters of the Eerste River into the town, and Stellenbosch became a veritable garden.
With the arrival of Huguenot settlers, grapes were planted in the Stellenbosch area and so staked her name as a centre of the Cape Winelands.
Stellenbosch has become a busy thriving town with a population that exceeds a quarter of a million, although no one seems to know the exact amount of residents.
There is no doubt that the beautiful town of Stellenbosch seems synonymous with beautiful young ladies who grace her portals and university campuses. It would seem that there are more pretty girls per square kilometer in Stellenbosch than anywhere else in the country.
As for the young men in Stellenbosch, well it’s a toss-up between girls and sport or sport and girls.
Stellenbosch is renowned for its sporting giants, and among the sporting codes its rugby that takes the cake. Stellenbosch is home to one of the oldest and biggest rugby clubs, not only of South Africa, but indeed the world.
Other popular sports are Cricket, tennis, swimming, athletics and water polo and The Maties sports clubs of the University of Stellenbosch are among the best in the country.
universities & schools
Stellenbosch seemed destined as an educational centre since its founding. Because of its initial flourish when many young families settled in Stellenbosch a school was quickly established to teach the coming generations. It was in 1859 that education began in earnest in Stellenbosch when the the Dutch Reformed Church opened a seminary in the town to prepare its up and coming ministers and a year later the first school for girls opened its' doors to the young ladies the region.
A school for boys opened its doors in 1866 and was named the Stellenbosch Gymnasium. Six years later, due to the need for advanced education, a part of the school became a professional division called the Arts Department and was later named the Stellenbosch College, and later still in 1887, the jubilee of Queen Victoria, it was renamed Victoria College.
Eventually in April 1918 The Stellenbosch College became the University of Stellenbosch as a result of the University Act passed in Union Parliament in 1916. Today the University of Stellenbosch gives the highest quality tertiary education to over 25 000 students from all over South Africa.
Today the Stellenbosch Gymnasium is named the Paul Roos Gymnasium, after it's sixth rector, Paul Roos, an old boy of the school as well as the first captain of the first national rugby team to be called the Springboks. Paul Roos was rector at the school for 30 years, from 1910 to 1940. Paul Roos Gym is decidedly among the best sporting schools in South Africa.