Everyone who has visited Greyton will tell you they’re in love with this charming Overberg town. One of the locals I met on a walk around the town asked me “So, have you bought a house yet?” Tempting yes, thank goodness I was wearing my head that day and not my heart.
Just recently we spent a family weekend in Greyton and I have now joined the long line of fans. These are my reasons for loving Greyton
Drive from Cape Town to Greyton
Greyton is less than 2 hours from Cape Town. Just before you reach Caledon you turn onto the R406 and the fun starts. The road winds itself through beautiful farmlands filled with wheat, canola and flocks of sheep grazing.
(note to self – visit in August and September to see Canola fields in full bloom).
Being a birder, I was thrilled to see a number of pairs of cranes grazing in the fields, a jackal buzzard and flocks of Ant-Eating Chats to name a few.
Unfortunately, I was in the car with non-birders so had to behave myself and not come to a screeching halt while hauling out my bins.
One of the most beautiful towns in South Africa
Greyton fans will most definitely vote this town as the most beautiful in South Africa. I’m inclined to agree with them.
No one can drive straight through Greyton without stopping. The Riviersonderend Mountain Range serves as a roadblock. As a result, no trucks or taxis come hurtling through the town and there are no passersby – just people who want to be there.
As we arrived in this captivating little town the first thing that struck me was the huge mountains surrounding us, avenues of oak trees, gravel country roads branching off the main road and pure peace and tranquillity.
I just knew this was a good choice for our family getaway.
Greyton has a fabulous choice of accommodation.
We chose to stay in a beautiful cottage called Klein Vrede, almost on the border of Greyton Nature Reserve. With its four bedrooms to cater for our family, large comfy lounge, easy to work in kitchen it comes highly recommended.
The very best was the fabulous huge swimming pool and verandah.
In Greyton we quickly learnt dogs, horses and donkeys have the right of way. People and donkey carts come next and then vehicles.
So, it’s best to walk wherever you go.
Shopping, Restaurants, Markets and Friendly Locals
Greyton has some interesting shops selling gifts, vintage clothing, antiques and bric-a-brac. If you want to rub shoulders with the friendly locals, spend Saturday morning at their weekly market. We couldn’t resist the milk tarts and lemon meringue tarts and my sister arrived home laden with one of each for all of us. Decadent but delicious.
For such a small town, there is a surprising number of restaurants and coffee shops to choose from. It’s a tough call to choose. I personally don’t think you can go wrong with any of them.
We did enjoy a glass of craft beer at Old Potter’s Inn and Brewhouse. For a nominal cost, you can taste their beers each with crazy names – City Slicker, Rooinek, Plaasjapie and Flower Child. I chose City Slicker, a pale ale.
A Wee Bit of History thrown in
I eat, sleep, drink and dream of birds. However, a little bit of history thrown in is an acceptable diversion.
When you visit the Tourist Bureau (in Main Street so you can’t miss it) ask them for their map of the town and the historic village walk pamphlet. Greyton’s history goes back to 1854 and with the help of the pamphlet, you’ll discover some interesting historical facts about some of the buildings.
If I had the time, I would most definitely spend more time discovery these little gems.
Greyton Nature Reserve
I’ve saved the best for last.
If you love the outdoors, hiking, nature, fynbos or birds then you will love Greyton. The nature reserve has a number of hikes, from 3 to 7 km long. They also have walks where dogs are welcomed – how cool is that?
Every morning before the family woke up, I sneaked out the house in search of birds and anything else nature was prepared to share with me.
A relatively easy walk was 3km Platkloof Walk. A little steep in some parts but oh, so worth it. The view looking down on Greyton was spectacular. As most nature lovers know, there is nothing like standing on top of the world.
I found some interesting birds, including a Black Harrier and a flock of very busy Cape Sugarbirds, Malachite Sunbird, Stone Chat, Cape Rock Thrush, Orange-breasted Sunbird and Yellow Bishops to name a few. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera and have no proof of my sightings. You’re going to just have to believe me!!
On the third day just as I was about to go back into the Reserve, I met a local named Sue. She lives 6 months in Greyton and 6 months in her home country, the UK.
She was going on a walk and I just couldn’t resist inviting myself to join her. After all, locals are the best people to hang around with.
Sue took me on a two-hour walk she does almost every day along the border of the reserve. I still got to see my birds, along with colourful locusts and beetles. Listening to Sue, I decided Greyton is an annual “must visit” town.
Have you visited Greyton? If so, are you also in love? Please share with us why.
If you haven’t yet visited this charming town, put it on your agenda without delay.