My Best Things to Do near Elgin

Elgin is one of the most beautiful valleys in all of South Africa. Hidden away in the Overberg Region, this fertile valley is famous for its fruit production, accommodation offerings, outdoor adventures and of course, its delicious cool climate wines.

In the past few years, I have had the pleasure of visiting Elgin (and its immediate surrounds) and enjoying some incredible experiences here.

So, for this post, I am sharing my best things to do near Elgin. In the hopes that you, too, discover a little slice of paradise on earth in Elgin…

1. Visit the Elgin Railway Market – It’s a Blast!


The Elgin Railway Market is arguably my favourite market in the Western Cape. I have been to my fair share – including ones like Neighbourgoods Market, Orangezicht City Farm Market, Blue Bird Garage Food and Goods Market – but this one has a special place in my heart.


If I could recommend any market, even for those who are not ‘market types’, it is Elgin Railway Market.


It is consistently good. So it has certainly done its creator, Roger Orpen, proud by being hugely popular week in, week out.



With its steam-punk decor, electric vibe, incredible food and drink offerings, fresh produce, home goods and a host of activities and attractions at hand, this market is a winner.


And did I mention it even has its own visiting train thanks to the Ceres Rail Company’s beautiful steam train?

This impressive steam train stops by the market for a few hours on weekends and sometimes, select holiday dates. You book and enjoy this train trip from Cape Town to Elgin – and back again.


Opening times: 

Please see here for the latest market opening times.

Contact: +27 (021) 204 1158, info@elginrailwaymarket.co.za


Location: Elgin Railway Market, Oak Avenue, Elgin, Western Cape, South Africa.


2. Soar Across the Sky with Cape Canopy Tour’s Ziplining


At Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve, near Elgin and Grabouw, you can enjoy incredible ziplining with Cape Canopy Tour.

The experience – well worth every penny – is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of outdoor adventure.


Safety is the highest priority – but then so too is fun! Best of all, as you learn to masterfully zip across the sky, the local guides fill you in on the region and its flora and fauna.


The zipline slides are each different and eye-opening with their natural beauty, with the longest slide spanning some 330 metres.

Throw in 4×4 rides up the mountain, some light hiking and impressive natural mountain scenery and it is hard to best this experience.


Contact: +27 (021) 3000 501, zipline@capecanopytour.co.za



3. Enjoy Cool Climate Wines, Food and MTB Trails at Oak Valley Wine Estate


Oak Valley Wine Estate, established in the 1800s by Antonie Viljoen, is not only one of the most beautiful, lush wine estates I have visited: they also offer some of the best wines too.

I have visited many wine estates across the Western Cape. Yet few have impressed me as instantly and intensely as Oak Valley.


Oak Valley Wine Estate is known and loved for its excellent wines (the coolest climate wines in SA), lovely accommodation, MTB, free-range wagyu, a stunning eatery in The Melting Pot, beef and pork, flowers and freshly grown fruits. It really is the whole package.


Add to that immense charm and breathtaking natural beauty and you have an estate born for visitors.

Their wines are impeccable – especially their whites – and the labels each tell a poetic tale, which I love.


Oak Valley can be enjoyed through wine tastings, accommodation and MTB trails, as well as through its fruit and flowers.


Elgin has many lovely wine estates (which I am eager to still visit) – but do yourself a favour: start at Oak Valley.

Contact: +27 (021) 859 2510 or mail@oak-valley.co.za

Website: oakvalley.co.za


4. Journey Aboard a Steam Train with Ceres Rail Company


Few travel experiences have impressed upon me as greatly as Ceres Rail’s endlessly fun, timeless train journey from Cape Town to Elgin.

If you save up to do one rarer than normal experience locally, you cannot go wrong with this.



The journey takes you from Cape Town bright and early to Elgin before the return trip a few hours later.




You stop at the Elgin Railway Market. This is a great base from which to loosely explore, eat or browse till you head back to the Mother City.


Another fun idea is to meet up with loved ones at the market and spend some time together before you part ways again. 🙂

To read about the train journey in full, please see my review of it here.

Contact:  +27 (079) 401 9353, bookings@ceresrail.co.za.

Website: www.ceresrail.co.za


5. Visit a Third-Generational Apple Farm, Cheverells Farm


Cheverells Farm is a stunning experience from start to finish. Less than an hour away from the Mother City, it is the perfect place for a country jaunt as a couple, family with kids or even a solo traveller.


Cheverells produces incredible apples and pears. They also cater to the public with their farm offerings, many of which (like The Shed), were hatched during lockdown.


This third-generational working farm is situated in the heart of the Elgin Valley, with lush apple- and pear-orchards as far as the eye can see.


The farm’s natural beauty is immense – with mountains, valleys and country chic farming features (like the stunning little glass greenhouse nursery, cherry red tractor, terracotta pots and kiddies’ play tractor dotted about the main area) seamlessly merging in one elegant, yet country-inspired space.



Cheverells Farm Offerings


Add to that the most delightful café- and functions-venue, The Cheverells Farm Shed (a former 1960s-dated apple shed that has been cosily refurbished and where you can now enjoy hearty meals, workshops and a wellness studio and even shopping for gifts and homeware at the farm shop), lovely farm cottage accommodation and even the occasional market- or seasonal fruit picking-experiences!



We visited in March 2023 for a unique apple picking experience and even the rainy day vibes could not dampen this incredibly fun farm experience!



During our morning visit, we also enjoyed a delicious gourmet breakfast and coffee at the café. Honestly, we loved every moment spent at Cheverells Farm.


Everything from the setting to the offerings, atmosphere and service is impeccable and memorable.

Visit this Elgin farm and experience country hospitality, food and slow living at its best, as Cath and her team welcome you with open arms!


Contact:  +27 (060) 861 1044, cheverellsfarm@gmail.com

Website: cheverellsfarm.com

Location: Cheverells Farm, 55 Highlands Road, Elgin, Western Cape, South Africa.


In Closing


These are just some of the incredible experiences that you can enjoy near Elgin.

As time goes on, I hope to add to this list – but even now, here are some unforgettable ideas for you and your loved ones to enjoy.

Note: Each of these experiences has been personally enjoyed and vetted by me.

About the author

Website | + posts

Content writer by day and blogger by night, Tamlyn Ryan passionately runs her travel blog, called Tamlyn Amber Wanderlust - Travel Writing and Photography, from her home base of Cape Town, South Africa. Despite having a national diploma in Journalism and working as a content writer by day, Tamlyn's preferred niche remains travel writing.

Tamlyn is a hopeless wanderer, equipped with an endless passion for road trips, carefully planned, holiday itineraries and, above all else, an innate love for the great outdoors.

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