The Switzerland of South Africa
Ceres is one of the country’s most scenic areas which can only be reached via breathtaking mountain passes, in particular the Theronsberg Pass driving from Cape Town. The drive from Cape Town to Ceres will take approximately an hour and a half.
The name Ceres is synonymous with “fruit juice” and for obvious reasons. The area is one of the country’s largest deciduous fruit-growing regions and home to the Ceres Group that produces a fruit juice of the same name. The district has its own “Fruit Route” where, much like a Wine Route, visitors to the area can tour fruit orchards and fruit packing houses. The orchards of peaches, nectarines, pears, apples, apricots and cherries add to the beauty of the valley and a scenic self-drive through the valley and passes is highly recommended.
Fondly referred to as “Valley of the Fruits”, Ceres is also known as the “Switzerland of South Africa” due to the snow covered mountains during the winter time, offering a beauty all of its own as well. At this time there is generally also enough snow for skiing on the higher mountains.
Trout fishing, bird watching, hiking, mountain biking and other outdoor activities, makes Ceres a popular destination with outdoor enthusiasts. The valley is also home to museums and plenty of quaint art, crafts and gift shops to ensure holiday makers take a bit of their holiday home with them.
Ceres has several types of accommodation from hotels and guest farms to self-catering units and camp sites for campers under the shade of a pine plantation, which also offers bungalows and picnic spots.
The area receives most of its’ rainfall during winter, with June seeing the highest levels.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 13˚C and 29˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 3˚C and 14˚C.
There are daily domestic and international flights into Cape Town International Airport . Car rental companies are located at the Airport. To reach Ceres, travel along the N1 from Cape Town for approximately 150 km.
September – Mitchells’ Pass half Marathron: A major annual sporting event sponsored by Ceres Athletic Club.
November – Christmas Market at Ceresvallei Church: A variety of stalls are available for the Christmas shopping season.
December – Cherry Fair: Held at the Klondyke Cherry farm this festivals offers cherry picking with plenty of stalls, mountain biking, kids entertainment, live music and excellent local food and wine.
The valley of Ceres was first inhabited by the San and Khoi people thousands of years ago. The first European settlers arrived in 1729, crossing over the Witzenberg Mountains from the Tulbagh Valley to established stock farms.
Mitchells Pass was completed in 1848 and a year later the first plots in Ceres were sold. The road through Ceres was the main route to the North and Kimberley where the diamond rush was taking place in the late 1800’s.
Today the route has been termed the “Forgotten Highway”, but it has developed as a tourist attraction.
Created: ; Last updated: