The school holidays are upon us and many kids have been nagging their parents for a getaway that lets them destress after the first term.
Many holiday homes would already be booked out, but we’ve found a few on accommodation websites like Airbnb that are perfect for both you and the minions to unwind. It helps also that some are places where the kids can run off and have fun while you kick back and relax.
We realise that kids can also get irritable on long drives so we’ve kept the venues relatively close.
Where to stay: The Warburg farm cottage is a five-sleeper home that’s just 40 minutes from Cape Town. If the nights are a bit chilly there’s an indoor fireplace and a huge garden for all sorts of fun in the day.
Just a 10-minute drive from the Stellenbosch vineyards and five minutes from the beach is the gorgeous Sunset Delight villa. This home sleeps 10 people, has a pool, WiFi, hot tub and indoor fireplace among many other things.
What to do: Stellenbosch has an endless list of fun, family-friendly things to do. Many of the wine farms are child-friendly and have parks where they can keep busy while you sample some of the wines on offer.
Why not try Middelvlei Estate where you and the children can do a tasting (they get the non-alcoholic variety!). Or, while you sit back with a glass of Merlot, they can play in the sandpit, feed farm animals, or braai their own marshmallows.
On Sundays, head to the famous Route 44 market for some fantastic food and after visiting nearby Butterfly World.
With incredible views of the mountains and beaches to laze away the day, Gordon’s Bay is perfect for the family.
Where to stay: About a 10-minute drive from Gordon’s Bay, you will find Hannah and Raymond’s 7th-floor apartment with its breath-taking views. The apartment is located on Beach Road, just a stone’s throw from restaurants and bars.
What to do: You can either tan on the beach while the kids splash about in the water or go for a hike at Crystal Springs. Then end your day with, either a braai at Ismael’s home, or try one of the local restaurants such as Antonio’s Pizza Place.
An hour’s drive from Gordon’s Bay takes you to the gorgeous seaside town of Hermanus.
Where to stay: And in the town’s centre you will find a home run by Paula. There’s a pool, braai area and is a few minutes’ walk from a few tennis and squash courts. The house is split so guests get their privacy but Paula is still nearby should you need her.
A five-minute walk from the beach is where you’ll find Louw’s six-sleeper Sandbaai Cottage. There’s wi-fi and DStv but if you step outside, there are some lovely walking trails just minutes away.
What to do: Hermanus is one of the most famous spots in the world for whale watching. In fact, head to one of the many seaside restaurants and enjoy a hearty meal while listening to soothing ocean sounds.
Breede River Valley
An hour and a half from Cape Town is the Breede River Valley region with its beautiful mountains and fruit farms.
Where to stay: Just 20 minutes outside Ceres’s town proper is Leonore’s farm house. It sleeps six people, has a huge yard for playing around and braaiing and is near a dam should you wish to go for a dip.
Then in the town of Tulbagh you will find Fisaasbos se Huis perched on a cul de sac in the valley. There are hiking trails for days and you’ll wake up to the sweet chirping of birds. Your host, Mari, is also happy to help with any suggestions on what to do in the region.
What to do: There’s hiking, fishing, swimming (in either a dam or Mari’s swimming pool). Or if you’re up for a little adventure, try the Ceres Zipline Tour. Go flying between the Breede River Valley mountains while strapped safely in a harness. You can even strap the little ones in with you.
There is plenty to do and see this holiday and you can still find the perfect place to do it. For more places to stay, head to Airbnb Western Cape. Simply select the family-friendly option and state how many people will be going and then you can get booking!
This article was first published by IOL on 7 April 2017.