You might be thinking why the heck you’d want to drive all the way to Riebeek Kasteel to spend a mere two hours there. Well, when you’ve got a baby on board (human or fur baby for that matter) things can change very quickly.
We took an hour’s drive to the town of Riebeek Kasteel a few days after the masses who’d attended the annual Riebeek Valley Olive Festival had left. The intention was to spend the day in the quaint little town and possibly discover a few hidden gems. As you can see from the title of this post, it didn’t quite work out that way. So should you find yourself with only a few hours to spend in Riebeek Kasteel, here’s what to do.
20min – Start by taking a stroll down the Main road
As with most small towns in the Western Cape, there’s mainly only one street where all the action is and this one is no different. So you’d be forgiven for thinking there’s a lack of things to do in Riebeek Kasteel but you’d also be wrong. The main road has a wide variety of shops, art galleries and places to eat so you might very well end up spending quite some time there. I have a thing for old churches so we purposefully parked opposite the Dutch Reformed Church so we that we could start our walk up the Main road from this architectural beauty.
15min – Take a slight left into Short street
Just as we passed the Royal Hotel the quirky Short street just off the main road caught our eye and we couldn’t resist taking a peep inside it. This little street designed to look like a village, is packed with hidden gems. You’ll find a market, restaurant, bar, ice-cream parlour, vintage shop and even a microbrewery. There’s literally something for all ages so don’t bypass it!
45min – Have a bite to eat at the child-friendly Café Olive
For a seemingly sleepy little town, Riebeek Kasteel has quite a few restaurants and cafés and we found ourselves spoilt for choice but we eventually settled on Café Olive. I absolutely adore pretty cafés and this one ticked all the right boxes – shabby chic decor coupled with a tea garden and a children’s play area. We chose their massive burgers and our little one just gave us enough time to finish it off before he signaled that it was time to get moving!
10min – Make your way back to the car
When your baby gets restless, you get moving. We made our way back up the Main road to the car and this time we focused on the colourful shops lining the opposite site of the Main road. A La Maison and 27 On Main particulary caught my eye because they had a variety of things on offer, most of which was easily viewable from the outside of the shop. If you take the time to step inside, you’ll find everything from gifts to olives and deliciously baked goods to buy and enjoy at home.
10min – Dream of owning one of the beautiful old houses
As you drive down the Main road out of the town, make a right at one of the streets off it. This will lead you to some of Riebeek Kasteel’s beautiful old houses. We marvelled at their old world charm and quite honestly, their massive erfs too! If you’re a city slicker, these houses might just have the ability to change your mind. We were instantly in love with them – so much so that we started Google’ing prices!
20min – Stock up on wine at Het Vlock Casteel before leaving
Once we’d finished dreaming, we made our way back onto the main road. It seemed the walk and drive back down the main road calmed our little man down so we made a quick stop at Het Vlock Casteel before completely exiting the town.
Riebeek Kasteel is abundant is fantastic wine farms and no matter of much of a hurry you’re in, you absolutely have to stop at one of them. Het Vlock sells a wonderful selection of olives, preserves and wines at their farm shop and offers tastings as well so you can try before you buy and don’t have to worry about making the wrong choice. As we’re not olive lovers we left with a bottle of Riebeek Cellars Cape Ruby and Het Vlock Chenin Blanc. The view from the farm is amazing so be sure to take it all in before you leave.
And that is how you spend two hours in Riebeek Kasteel
This is one charmer of a little town and there’s certainly no shortage of things to do and places to see in Riebeek Kasteel. So whether you’re heading there for the day, weekend or a few hours (which wasn’t the plan) like us, put this town on your list of places to see. And if you’ve been there before, go back again because contrary to what you might think, there’s so much to love about it.