Citrusdal, the land of citrus trees and rooibos.
I’ve only been to Citrusdal once, many years ago, and even during that visit we didn’t explore the town. On all our other N7 road trips, we’d merely bypassed the town or used it as a refuelling stop. But a few months ago we decided to spend the weekend in the Olifants River town and I must declare there are quite a few things to do in Citrusdal.
If you’re heading to Citrusdal from Cape Town, you’re more than likely taking the N7 highway and will have to cross the Piekenierskloof Mountain Pass. The pass is just before the town of Citrusdal and its views provide a stunning Cederberg welcome to travellers. The Piekenierskloof summit offers spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and farmlands and I’d say it’s almost compulsory to pull over and take it all in before continuing on your journey.
Carmien Rooibos Farm Tour
Carmien Tea on the Bergendal farm is ideal if you’re looking for things to do in and around Citrusdal. The Paleisheuwel road turn-off to Carmien Tea is a welcome escape from the busy N7 highway. A 7km drive takes you to the entrance of the farm. Rooibos tea exclusively grows in this part of the world due to the warm and dry climate being the ideal conditions for it.
The farm and factory tour enables you to see first-hand how rooibos tea gets from farm to store shelve and ultimately our cups at home. You’ll also sip on green rooibos, fennel and aniseed; red mocha and blackcurrant flavoured rooibos during the tasting afterwards which is very refreshing!
www.carmientea.co.za | +27 22 921 8900
De Toll Farmstall and Restaurant
This little farmstall is conveniently situated at the top of the Piekenierskloof Pass on the N7 towards Namibia. At the shop you can find fresh in-season fruits, homemade jams and delicious sweet treats. The restaurant has a lovely garden and outdoor seating where you can enjoy a hearty breakfast or lunch. On Sundays they also serve a potjiekos lunch so if you happen to be in the area, be sure to stop by!
The Baths Natural Hot Springs
The Citrusdal weather can be unforgiving to visiting Capetonians but only if you don’t choose the right accommodation! The Baths is popular for a very good reason. They’ve recently renovated their chalets and it is a sight for sore eyes. We stayed in the Melkhout cottage during our October visit and enjoyed air-conditioned bedrooms, an outdoor Jacuzzi and bath and a large veranda with a built-in braai. Trust me when I say, it was an absolute pleasure to stay in this cottage, so much so that we were very bleak when the time came to leave!
There are also a number of things to do at The Baths in Citrusdal; hiking trails leading to the rock pools, an on-site restaurant and bar, 2 swimming pools (one heated) and even a spa. There’s nothing better than escaping to a tranquil environment and being surrounded by the beauty of nature; this Citrusdal accommodation provides all that and more.
www.thebaths.co.za | firstname.lastname@example.org
View this post on Instagram
The Lovely Grapevine
Situated in the main road, you’ll find the quaintest of Citrusdal restaurants. The Lovely Grapevine is a breath of fresh air in the Cederberg town with its beautiful interior and outdoor setting which is also available for weddings. During our visit, I savoured every bite of their honey glazed chicken and avocado served on toasted ciabatta and I’d definitely recommend ordering it if you spot it on the menu. The adjacent gift shop has something for everyone and you’re bound to walk out with a few little somethings.
“But are there any fun things to do in Citrusdal”, I hear you ask. Well, the Middelberg Mountain Pass is a partial gravel road pass linking Citrusdal to the Koue Bokkeveld. I distinctly remember the day we first drove the pass with our little Citi Golf several years ago. My stomach was in knots the majority of time due to quite a few hairpin bends and a very narrow pass. But hey, that just added to the excitement! Not to worry though, the pass can be driven by a normal sedan and some sections are (thankfully) tarred. Also, the view at the end is well worth it.
This market is such a hidden gem that I still don’t know the name of it! It was purely by chance that we found a flyer of it at a farmstall and decided to pop in on the morning. The market is situated off the Paleisheuwal road and has lots of homemade goods on sale as well as a jumping castle to entertain the kids. Unfortunately, I don’t have any further info for this event and I’d suggest asking the local Citrusdal shops for details of the next market.
Update: I’ve been informed by Citrusdal Tourism that this was a once off market. An alternative one to visit would be the Farmer’s Market which is held every first Saturday of the month from 09:00 – 14:00 at Hebron.
Many more things to do in Citrusdal
As with most towns, one will never get around to experiencing everything it has to offer. I’m sure there are many more things to do in Citrusdal but the above are just some of the places we’ve visited in the Cederberg town over the years. Feel free to suggest more places we can visit on our next trip!