Located just 80 minutes from Cape Town, Villiersdorp lies at the heart of the Overberg region. Situated between the Waterval and Baviaans mountains, this pretty town is lined with oak trees and surrounded by fruit and wine farms.
Known as the “Pearl of the Overberg”, it is closest to the Theewaterskloof Dam. This means Villiersdorp is perfectly positioned as a convenient base for water sport enthusiasts and nature lovers. But that’s not all: Outdoor adventure sports, art, great wines and tasty farm-style food – all against the backdrop of breathtaking views – make this a perfect getaway.
Now for a bit of history: Villiersdorp was founded in 1843 when Pieter de Villiers, a farmer and veldkornet (military, administrative and judicial officer in South Africa in the 19th century) was granted permission by the Governor of the Cape to lay out a town on a section of his farm, Radyn.
Anna, his daughter, caused a scandal when she married one of her father’s farm labourers, Petrus Novebertus Graaff. A condition of the marriage was that the name De Villiers would continue. The marriage produced two sons who were to become cabinet ministers and a third, David, who became a senator.
Sir David de Villiers Graaf (knighted in 19011) became Mayor of Cape Town, a member of Parliament, and later Minister of Public Works, Posts & Telegraphs in the government of Louis Botha. A major benefactor in Villiersdorp, he donated money for the De Villiers Graaf Institute that opened in 1907.
THINGS TO DO:
- Stroll around the Dagbreek Museum, originally a homestead dating back to 1830.
- Book a guided tour of the Villiersdorp Cellar, the oldest in the Overberg.
- See the historical building of Oude Radyn (1844) situated in Church Street – arguably the only building in the Cape with original wooden Batavian gutters and downpipes.
- Visit the underground burial vault in the stone-built St Augustine’s Anglican Church.
- Browse local art galleries and artist studios.
- Visit the local market that runs every weekend.
- Stroke a woolly-haired alpaca at Helderstroom Alpacas.
- Go black bass and trout fishing.
- In quieter periods, go birdwatching at the Theewaterskloof Dam.
- Grab a few bags of persimmon – Villiersdorp is the only place in South Africa that processes and dries this sweet orange fruit that resembles a tomato.