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, will 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 it 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… You can even enjoy this train trip from Cape Town to Elgin – and back again.
- Mondays – Fridays (Ground Central Coffee Shop): 08:00 am – 17:00 pm.
- Wednesdays (Limited selection of food vendors): 16:00 – 21:00 pm
Bar (beer and wine): 16:00 – 21:00 pm.
- Fridays (Limited selection of food vendors): 17:00 – 21:00 pm.
Bar (beer and wine): 17:00 pm – 21:00 pm.
- Saturdays and Sundays (Full market experience): 09:00 am – 17:00 pm.
Contact: +27 (021) 204 1158, firstname.lastname@example.org
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
3. Enjoy Cool Climate Wines 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, beef and pork, flowers and freshly grown fruits… it 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 winetastings, accommodation and MTB, 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.
The Pool Room is only open seven days a week for wine tastings. Opening times are as follows:
- Monday – Friday, 09:00 am – 17:00 pm
- Saturday – Sunday, 10:00 am – 16:00 pm
- Public Holidays, 10: 00 am – 16: 00 pm
Contact: +27 (021) 859 2510 or email@example.com
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 enjoy time in 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 need to head back to the Mother City.
Another fun idea is to meet up with friends or 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) 077 5332, firstname.lastname@example.org.
5. Ride an Exhilarating E-bike or Segway with Elgin Adventure Centre
Elgin Adventure Centre offer a number of incredibly fun, exciting outdoor experiences. These can all be enjoyed in and around Elgin.
They are based in the area and on weekends, you can find them at the Elgin Railway Market. Here, they rent out and sell a bunch of different gear, goodies and experiences to their customers.
Two of said experiences are e-bike- (with a winetasting included) and segway-tours through the beautiful Elgin Valley.
When I joined them on the e-bike and winetasting tour, we went from the market, navigating our way through the oak trees at Oak Valley Wines.
There, we stopped at The Pool Room for a wonderful winetasting before heading back to the market. It was a great experience and heaps of fun!
The best part is that most of their experiences can be enjoyed by anyone so don’t stress if you are a novice. You are taught carefully beforehand to bring you up to speed. And their guides are excellent; they look after you during each tour experience.
If you are seeking some good fun and adventure in Elgin, then look no further than Elgin Adventure Centre and their incredible offerings.
Contact: +27 (071) 509 1747, email@example.com
These are just five of the incredible experiences that you can enjoy near Elgin.
As time goes on, I hope to add to this list – but even now, these are five unforgettable ideas for you and your friends and family to enjoy.
Note: Each of these experiences has been personally enjoyed and vetted by me.
Author: Tamlyn Ryan
Content writer by day and blogger by night, Tamlyn Ryan passionately runs her own travel blog, called Tamlyn Amber Wanderlust, from her home base of Cape Town, South Africa. And, despite a national diploma in Journalism, in her free time, 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.