Riversdale is situated on the N2 highway between Heidelberg and Albertinia which makes it the perfect pit stop on a Garden Route road trip. The town is also infamous for its speed traps (both fixed and portable) which forces you to take a slow drive through it – and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing! Like most small towns, Riversdale is all about the slow life and slowing down to smell the fresh countryside air is exactly what a city dweller needs. Here’s what we got up to on our recent visit to another beautiful Western Cape town – a little starting guide for places to see in Riversdale.
Baleia Wine Tasting
The Baleia Wines tasting room is conveniently located just off the N2 highway, a mere 2 minutes outside of Riversdale. We were invited to their Harvest Celebration dinner to commemorate their (then) soon to be released MCC. The tasting was conducted by newly appointed winemaker Gunter Schultz. Baleia is truly a special brand that started from humble beginnings and has been through three logos to prove their progress!
Wine tastings are only R35 per person and includes four of Baleia’s premium boutique wines and the crystal tasting glass. There are also six yummy platters to choose from and enjoy with your wine tasting. La Bella restaurant and Deli is right next to the tasting room and has a lovely kiddies play area to keep the little ones entertained.
Die Rooi Aalwyn Farmstall
Right across from Baleia Wines and La Bella, you’ll find Die Rooi Aalwyn. This farmstall is a treasure trove of goodies; a coffee shop, restaurant, gift shop and kids play area in full view of the outdoor seating section. Die Rooi Aalwyn is a godsend if you’re taking a Garden Route road trip with kids because it’s also next to the Hessequa Airfield and the model airplanes provide extra amusement for them on their test flights. There’s also Bali Trading that will keep the moms browsing their range of home décor and gifts for quite some time!
This is one of the lesser known mountain passes in the Western Cape. The Garcia’s Pass links the towns of Riversdale and Ladismith in the Karoo. Scenic countryside views while passing through the Langeberg Mountains and quite a few sharp curves make for an interesting drive. The pass also leads to the entrance of the popular Sleeping Beauty hiking trail just after the Old Toll House. However, you’ll have to be extra vigilant for mischievous baboons sitting in the road!
The Riversdale nursery is located on the same premises as the Dam restaurant and theatre. You can expect a variety of indigenous and exotic plants as well and roses and garden features available for purchase. The kiddies play area and lovely green lawn behind the nursery was a wonderful surprise. And a place that caters for the little guy, gets a yes from us!
Our accommodation for the weekend was Die Opstal self-catering cottages. The shabby-chic cottages have a farm style feel and are situated on a smallholding with cows grazing in the background. Our little one had lots of fun running after the tiny chicks on the lush green lawns. The chalet has picturesque mountain views and is a stone’s throw from all the notable places to see in Riversdale mentioned above. Even though the pool area is enclosed and secured with a gate, the chalets are not entirely toddler friendly due to stairs and many breakable items in it. Nevertheless, Die Opstal makes for a wonderful country escape.