Riebeek West is a small town that, together with Riebeek Kasteel forms part of the Riebeek Valley in the Western Cape. This quaint little town is only an hours’ drive from Cape Town and a popular destination for those seeking a peaceful weekend get-away.

The Valley has become the focus of artists and youngsters living alternative, self-sufficient lifestyles. Most locals work from home and commute to Cape Town only when necessary. The scene is set with rolling hills, vineyards, olive groves and wheat fields, all inspiring relaxation and tranquility and the slightly bohemian atmosphere only adds to the town's appeal.

The town and the surrounding area offers relaxing walks and hikes as well as mountain bike trails and even 4x4 trails. If you are not into too much fitness, Riebeek West is all about wine, bread, olives and unhurried days. During olive harvesting season guided tours of the olive presses can be arranged and the wine farms - well they welcome guests all year round!

Riebeek West accommodation establishments include Guest Houses, B&B’s, Self-catering and Country Cottages.

Places to Visit

Things to do and see

  • Bothmaskloof Pass
  • Allesverloren Wine Estate
  • Swartland Wine Estate
  • Pulpit Rock Winery
  • Kasteelberg Mountain Bike Route
  • Carl Thunberg Hiking Route
  • Short Street Market
  • The Village Market
  • Jan Smuts Museum
  • Riebeek Valley Museum (De Oude Kerk)
  • Bartholomeus Klip Renosterveld Reserve

Climate

Riebeeck West receives approximately 479 mm of rain annually with the majority of its rainfall occurring during the winter months. Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 15˚C and 30˚C. Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 5˚C and 17˚C. Transport There are daily flights into Cape Town International Airport. Riebeeck West is approximately 80 km away along the N7. Car hire facilities are available at the Airport.

Festivals

May – Riebeek Valley Olive Festival: A must for olive and wine lovers! For one weekend only, a number of farms in the area will open their doors to tours and tastings allowing visitors to learn, taste and buy olive-related produce. The Olive Emporium, a grand marquee set up in the centre of Riebeek Kasteel town, offers numerous sampling and buying opportunities for all sorts of deli type treats.

History

Riebeek West, like Riebeek Kasteel, used to be a district of the Swartland congregation of the Dutch Reformed Church at Malmesburg, but both later became independent. In fact the reason two towns developed so close together was because of a disagreement on where to build their Church. In the end two separate places of worship were built and two distinct towns grew around them.

Both towns were named after Jan van Riebeek, the Dutch explorer of the Cape who first laid eyes on the area in the late 17th Century and the first settlers arrived in the area in the early 18th Century.

Riebeek West is noted for the fact that two of South Africa’s major political figures were born here, General Jan Smuts, born in 1870 on the farm Bovenplaas, and Dr. D.F. Malan born in 1874 on the Allesverloren farm.

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