Accommodation in Weekend Getaways - Cape


McGregor is 180 km from Cape Town (almost two hours drive). Take the N1 to Worcester and then route 60 to Robertson. Just after entering Robertson take the turnoff to the right and 19km later you will reach McGregor.

About the destination

McGregor is at the end of a road going nowhere and is the home to artists, potters, garagistes, good food, wine and olives. This 19th century village is full of cottages with broekie lace in colourful gardens and separated by irrigation channels. Don’t be surprised to see horses or cows grazing on grass verges.

What to see and do

A highlight was cycling in the early morning, watching the mist rise from vineyards, olive groves and the village. There is much to see and do, from art galleries, olive tour, wine tasting and a wellness retreat. In the middle of Voortrekker Street is Temenos Retreat where, passing through Tebaldi’s Restaurant, with its eye-catching décor, we entered the grounds. The place is so tranquil with meditation spaces and healing gardens and a swimming pool.

We wanted to wander around the Krans Nature Reserve which was part of the meent, or commonage of McGregor, and used to be available to all villagers and for grazing livestock. Before this it was used as a dump and now old bottles, blue glass and other treasures are found. There’s the easy two-hour Kleinberg Trail, which leads to Badge Hill, which carries McGregor’s crest.

There is also the Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve, which lies between McGregor and Robertson and has a number of hiking and cycle routes. These include the 19km trail passing through the Elandsberg Mountains with its succulent Karoo vegetation, or the Heron Trail at 3km, taking you to dams with a bird hide in the reedy surrounds.

For the fit hiker there is the Boesmanskloof Trail, an unforgettable 4½-hour walk to Greyton, passing Oakes pools and waterfalls on the way.

The McGregor wine route encompasses 11 estates and eight private producers. Go wine-tasting at Wolfdoring Wines and meet musician and garagiste John Hargreaves. This micro-winery is the result of a long-held dream, producing high quality red wines using natural and simple vinification methods. Due to limited cellar space, production is restricted to between 2 000 and 3 000 bottles per annum.

Alternatively take a drive through McGregor and continue to Lords Winery where you can taste wine direct from the barrel. The farm is cradled on the Protea-strewn slopes of the RiviersonderendMountains.

Another highlight was visiting the McGregor Alternative Technology Centre (MAT), situated on the outskirts of town. It’s a communication network of like-minded people who care about living lightly on the planet. The challenge is to build sustainably using local materials and alternative energy, such as used doors and furniture, car windows, solar power, wind and water to pump water. Many of the buildings in McGregor have been built in this way.

At Rhebokskraal Estate we wandered through the olive groves and learnt the history of cultivars and their uses. The tour includes a visit to the factory where we learnt various methods of curing, what to do with the ordinary olive, not just in salad, and the medicinal value of olive oil and olive leaf extract.

The tour is open Mondays to Saturday by appointment.

One day we visited the Groot Toren Nature Reserve on the 4x4 trail, rated one of the top 10 of South Africa by Drive Out magazine.

Mulberry Studio is the home of McGregor’s artists and is filled with pottery, paintings, ceramic sculptures and mirrors. It is run by Anne Binos who has been a painter all her life, and has exhibited throughout South Africa. She organises ‘paint outs,’ going to various places in the area teaching others to paint.

Where to stay

There is no shortage of accommodation in McGregor, from camping at Groot Toren to luxuriating in the four-star Trossachs Lodge.

The Trossachs Guest Lodge is not too far from town. Each room is dedicated to a Scottish clan, with genuine tartan cloth used for curtains, pillows and chairs. The rich material contrasts with the stone walls and thatch roofs. Perched on the hill above the lodge is an 80-seater stone Gothic chapel, which feels as if it’s been standing for centuries, and indeed the windows and doors, were restored from an original chapel, built in 1849, and an ideal wedding venue. Rates start from R450 per person per night, including breakfast, a self-catering option is also available.

In the village is Oblivion B&B, run by Vic Vermaak and Siegfried Pretsch whose exquisite taste is reflected in every corner of the rooms. At only R350 per person including breakfast it’s a great place to stay.


Climate: Summer days are pleasantly warm with little wind, although February can be extremely hot. McGregor is the ideal place to visit in winter because it enjoys a mere 245mm rainfall per annum, although it seems to arrive in three consecutive days.

This Sneaky Weekender was recommended by: Karen Watkins from Cape Town

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the Sneaky Weekender articles on this website, do not necessarily reflect the views of Finding Africa.

Enjoy olive tours and wine tasting in McGregor
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