> > Caledon, Genadendal, Greyton Day Trip

Caledon, Genadendal, Greyton

(About 160km return) - Leave Stanford by driving up Queen Victoria road towards the R43. Go straight across the R43 and continue along the road until you reach the R316 to Bredasdorp.

En route you will pass the Birkenhead Brewery; the Kleinrivier Cheese factory; Raka and Boschrivier wineries. Turn left along the R316 to Caledon. This is also a beautiful drive especially when the wheat fields are green and the ears a forming (July, August). Avid bird watchers should be on the lookout for blue crane, Egyptian and spur wing geese, francolins, guinea fowl, raptors etc. The neat Overberg farmsteads are scattered to the right and left of the road as you travel along.

Coming round a bend in the road you are suddenly confronted by rather large silos – and Caledon. The silos are part of SA Brewery's manufacturing plants, and malt is produced here.

Caledon is a large town and the capital of the Overberg district. The town was originally settled because of the seven springs found here. One is cold and the remaining six have a temperature of more than 50 degrees Celsius. They were used for healing purposes and a modern hot water Spa, hotel and casino now occupy the site. Caledon also has a small botanical garden founded in 1927 which contains many fynbos species.

Now join the N2 direction Cape Town. A few kilometres down the road take the R406 right to Genadendal and Greyton. Some 30 km down the road turn left into Genadendal.

This Moravian Mission station was founded in 1738 but only obtained official permission in 1792 to resume mission work after an objection from the Cape Dutch Reform clergy was overruled. At one stage Genadendal was the largest settlement in the Colony after Cape Town and the Cape's first teachers training college was established here in 1838. The Communal Reserve Act of 1909 for Mission Stations, which prevented the inhabitants from obtaining property rights, started a decline in the fortunes of Genadendal. The many sights to visit include the large Moravian church (which boast a choir and brass band), the church square with 24 tourist attractions, the printing works containing the oldest operational printing press in South Africa, an arts and craft centre etc.

After soaking up such a lot of history you can either look up the local restaurant or go off down the road to Greyton for some more sightseeing and lunch.

Greyton is a charming little village founded in 1854 with many of the original homesteads now being used as accommodation establishments, restaurants and shops. The oak-lined streets, water furrows and quaint cottages lie at the foot of the Riversonderend Mountains. In the winter the mountains could be covered with snow. The village is a popular weekend destination for city dwellers from Cape Town and environs. As with many small villages Greyton has its fair share of artists and writers and their efforts are to be found in the little shop in the village. There are also some very fine restaurants in Greyton, and there is a village market on the square every Saturday morning.

If you come back via Hermanus and the R43, visit the micro-brewery at Honingklip, on the right just before the R44 turn-off to Kleinmond.