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CapeTown Tour
Although the founder of the Cape Colony, Jan van Riebeeck, planted vines and made wine himself, it was not until the arrival of Governor Simon van der Stel in 1679 that wine-making began in earnest. Van der Stel created Groot Constantia, the superb estate on the flanks of Table Mountain, and passed on his wine-making skills to the burghers who settled around Stellenbosch.

Between 1688 and 1690, some 200 Huguenots arrived in the country. They were granted land in the region, particularly around Franschhoek (which translates as 'French Corner'), and, although only a few had wine-making experience, they gave the infant industry fresh impetus.

For a long time, Cape wines other than those produced at Groot Constantia were not in great demand and most grapes ended up in brandy. The industry received a boost in the early 19th century as war between Britain and France meant more South African wine was imported to the UK.

Apartheid-era sanctions and the power of the Kooperatieve Wijnbouwers Vereeniging (KWV; the cooperative formed in 1918 to control minimum prices, production areas and quota limits) didn't exactly encourage innovation and instead hampered the industry. Since 1992 the KWV, now a private company, has lost much of its former influence.

Many new and progressive wine makers are leading South Africa's reemergence onto the world market. New wine-producing areas are being established away from the hotter inland areas, in particular in the cooler coastal areas east of Cape Town around Mossel Bay, Walker Bay and Elgin, and to the north around Durbanville and Darling.

Weather & Climate
If you've spent time in the Mediterranean then you've experienced Cape Town's climate. The summers are generally warm and dry, while winters tend to be wet and cool, the rains brought on by fierce northwesterly gales. Neither season experiences extremes of temperature, thanks to prevailing winds.

Be prepared though for 'four seasons in one day'. The peninsula's shape creates microclimates, so you can be basking in the sun on one side of the mountain and sheltering from chilly rain and winds on the other. It's no accident that Newlands is so lush in comparison to Cape Point - the former receives four times as much rain annually as the latter.

Places to Visit
There is plenty to see and do while in Cape Town and even if your aim is to merely relax and stay away from the so called 'tourist' activities, there are many attractions that are definitely well worth a visit. Here are some of the major attractions in and around Cape Town. Be sure to leave some time for a relaxed scenic drive around the peninsula too - you'll see beautiful scenery from oceans to mountains and vineyards and, can stop off at various view points for a picnic or just to take it all in.

Atlantic Seaboard, Cape Town
The Atlantic Seaboard, also known as Cape Town’s ‘Riviera’, stretches from the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront on the north shore of Table Mountain all the way down the west side of the cape peninsula to Hout Bay.

This incredibly beautiful stretch of coast is connected by the most picturesque, scenic drive along Victoria Road and properties on this stretch of South Africa’s Cote d’Azur fetch unprecedented prices, now that this truly beautiful part of the coast is so sought after.

The Atlantic Seaboard never fails to buoy one’s spirits, with the glistening Atlantic Ocean on one side and the magnificent slopes of Lion’s Head and the Twelve Apostles on the other; one is easily transported by the sheer splendour of the setting.

Bakoven
Bakoven’s beach is often overlooked in favour of the more trendy Camps Bay just minutes away, but make no mistake, Bakoven is one of the most sought after suburbs in Cape Town and the views from here are simply spectacular.

Bakoven has been called Camps Bay’s baby sister, but its exclusivity and charming village-like feel that the neighbourhood has managed to maintain has been deliberately kept this way to avoid the constant hustle and bustle of its popular counterpart. On the other hand, if it’s a hub of energy and activity you’re after, then Bakoven’s location, just as you leave Camps Bay en route to Llandudno, is perfect. You’re close to the action but away from the noise when you so choose.

The beach at Bakoven is small and zealously protected by locals, but its natural beauty and the combination of big boulders and white sands make it a superb haven for sundowners, and its little coves protect it from the wind.

Cape Town Beaches
The Mother City has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and something to offer everyone. It is no surprise that South Africa was one of the first countries outside of Europe to earn blue flag status for some of her beaches - there are three on offer in and around Cape Town.

The blend of 2 oceans (the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean) and hence 2 different styles of beach, divided by a 1000m high peninsula, leaves Cape Town an unrivalled holiday destination.

The west side of the Cape Peninsula, on the Atlantic Ocean, has a very definite style of beach. This is where the more fashionable set go to see and be seen, particularly along the Atlantic Seaboard, also known as Cape Town’s "Riviera", which stretches from the V&A Waterfront on the north shore of Table Mountain up as far as Hout Bay and is connected by one of the most picturesque, scenic drives along Victoria Road.

Beaches here enjoy longer sunshine hours, incomparable sunsets and more protection from the "Cape Doctor" (Cape Town’s infamous south easterly) than the False Bay side of the Cape peninsula. There is a spectacular selection of unspoilt beaches with seas that are usually 3 to 4 degrees colder than the Indian Ocean but this doesn’t seem to worry anyone soaking up the sun against the backdrop of blue skies and white sands.

North of the Atlantic Seaboard are the beaches of Table Bay. These sport the picture-postcard views of Cape Town over Table Mountain and Robben Island and tend to be more popular with locals, particularly kitesurfers. Beyond Hout Bay, beaches such as Noordhoek and Scarborough are less frequented but no less beautiful, rather they’re where the locals can get away from the crowds.

Table Bay Beaches
The fact that these beaches are great for windsurfing and kitesurfing should alert one to the wind factor. Table Bay’s beaches can be unpleasant when the wind blows but nothing beats these beaches for their view of Table Mountain and Robben Island and the miles of sand on which to stretch your legs. The acrobatics of kitesurfers will keep you entertained if you’re not working on your tan or taking a quick dip.

Big Bay has two rocky outcrops that jutt out into the sea, creating a bay.

Bloubergstrand has some lovely rock pools and the viewpoint from here of the bay and Table Mountain has graced many a postcard.

Table View has a number of restaurants and venues for sundowners and Dolphin beach is the first of this series of beaches reached from the M14 and is synonymous with kitesurfing. See the link for photographs and video of kite surfing in this area.

Milnerton is well known for its lighthouse, which sits virtually on the beach and is great for swimming as, unlike Dolphin beach, it is manned by lifeguards. There are also a number of beach cafes and restaurants here.