Riebeek Valley

 
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Provençal style... African style

Aeroplanes approaching Cape Town from the North often fly over Wellington.  If you happen to be sitting in a window seat on the right hand side of the aircraft look down.  You will see a mountain which stands like a lonely sentinel amongst rolling wheat fields.  On the side nearest you there are two villages on the lower slopes of the mountain.  A little further away there is a small settlement built round a railway junction.  These are the villages of Riebeek Kasteel, Riebeek West and Hermon which make up the Riebeek Valley

The Valley is a magical place and has reminded many commentators of either the south of France or Tuscany.  While this is undoubtedly true - being near the southern tip of Africa - the area has a character all of its own.  The stunning scenery, the climate, the laid back atmosphere and interesting mix of friendly people together with a diverse selection of locally produced wine and port, olives, fresh fruit, meat and excellent restaurants create a heady mix which it is hard to resist.  Indeed a number of visitors have stopped and gone no further.  A few nights in one of the many places offering accommodation is all that it has taken to convince them that this is the place that they want to spend the rest of their lives. 

So, if you are not already in the Valley, may be now is the time to make preparations to set out...  But do remember that South Africa is good at many things but public transport is not one of them!  The Riebeek Valley is no exception.  Public transport in the area is not good - although the main railway line from Johannesburg to Cape Town runs through Wellington and Hermon and there are coach services from Cape Town to the north via Malmesbury.

The community, (historically mostly involved in agriculture and associated activities) has been boosted by increasing numbers of Cape Town commuters, computer based businesses, artists, those working in the hospitality industry and older folk who appreciate the stunning scenery, wonderful climate and great country living.

There is nowhere that you can get right away from life's trials and tribulations but staying in the Valley certainly helps to soften any blows!  It is country living without the disadvantages that can result from the remoteness of many rural locations.  Most services are available locally and those that are not, are available within an hour or so's drive.

It is a mixed unpretentious community. People tend to be accepted for what they are.  Folk of all ages and backgrounds regularly mix on a social basis and there is ready acceptance of both newcomers and visitors.

All this - and only about an hour's drive from Cape Town!


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