The most beautiful village in the Cape … Greyton in the Overberg is a magical place. Nestled at the foot of the majestic Sonderend Mountain range, it is situated at the end of the R406, a scenic hour and a half drive from Cape Town.
Founded in 1854, the village is steeped in history. Visitors enjoy being able to step back in time as they stroll oak-lined lanes with quaint cottages, soaking up the peace and beauty of their surroundings.
Greyton offers a truly exceptional experience. Families love that it gives them time to reconnect, couples love the romantic setting and oldies love strolling the tree-lined streets.
Mountain biking is hugely popular and the village boasts 65 km of excellent, clearly-marked biking trails, all entirely off-road. Some of the trails on the edge of the village are flat, fast, fun and safe and have been built with children and novices in mind, making Greyton the perfect environment in which to enjoy mountain biking as a family.
Those who prefer their method of transport to have four legs and the ability to trot on command will have their needs met at the Greyton Riding Club.
There are not too many places able to boast as nature reserve on their doorstep. The Greyton Nature Reserve offers numerous walking and hiking trails, including the famous Boesmanskloof trail between Greyton and McGregor. Bubbling streams, waterfalls, prolific birdlife and magnificent fynbos and wildflowers are just some of the attractions hikers can expect to encounter.
If a gentle stroll is more to your liking, the interesting and charming historic village walk will transport you back in time … but not too far from being able to sit on a cool stoep and order a refreshing drink before continuing on your journey.
Greyton lies between two rivers, the Gobos and the Riviersonderend. The Gobos has a delightful picnic spot along its banks and visitors are encouraged to do what Greytonians do … pack a basket, tuck a picnic rug under their arm and enjoy a relaxing day outdoors with family and friends.
The Saturday Morning Market, open between 10.00 am and 12 noon each week, is renowned for its fresh, wholesome and delicious fare, its buzzing book stall, and its eclectic range of arts and crafts. All the food on sale is sourced within or close to Greyton, so it’s low on carbon-footprint, but big on freshness and taste.
The annual Greyton Rose Fair takes place at the end of October each year when the village is at its prettiest. This most gorgeous month of the Cape year offers visitors the chance to view displays of magnificent locally-grown roses and visit lovingly-tended gardens bursting with blooms.
The Greyton Genadendal Classics for All Music Festival is an annual fixture on Greyton’s mid-winter calendar. Beautiful churches with excellent acoustics provide ideal venues for music aficionados to enjoy the best classical music on offer from South African artists.
Adore chocolate? A visit to the Von Geusau shop in town will satisfy your craving. Iconic Von Geusau Chocolates are hand-made in Greyton in the Belgian tradition from the best quality couverture. You can also sip a delicious chocolate drink or tuck into a meltingly decadent dessert – all made from Greyton’s own Von Geusau Chocolate – at several of its fabulous restaurants.
Greyton loves brides … and weddings are popular in the village because of the quaint churches, excellent catering facilities, beautiful surroundings, and delightful venues in and around the village, such as the exclusive and historic The Oaks Estate set at the foot of the Sonderend Mountains.
Delicious meals, imaginatively prepared, are always on the menu in Greyton and you will be spoiled for choice when it comes to eating out. There are a surprising number of excellent restaurants, all competing to serve the best meals (and coffee!) in the Overberg. From fine dining at The Post House and Peccadillos, to fresh and fabulous at The Oak & Vigne Café and Via’s, villagers and visitors alike have many opportunities to indulge in fabulous food. Abbey Rose fans love its home-from-home country cooking, while Searle’s Trading Store serves traditional fare with a sophisticated twist. The Hungry Monk and Pure Café are the latest additions to our wonderful restaurant offerings.
Children visiting Greyton love the freedom and novelty of cycling past cows and donkeys, splashing in the leiwater channels and spending family time with their relaxed moms and dads. Eating out with children is not a problem in Greyton as both Searle’s Trading Store and Vanilla Café have specially created areas for children to play in while the adults enjoy their meal.
Greyton is South Africa’s first Transition Town. A civic minded group of people are working together to build a resilient, self-sustainable community which benefits everyone by providing security from rising costs in fuel, food and other essentials. There is an Incredible Edible Greyton table in the main road of the village each Wednesday morning where local home-grown organic produce is swapped or sold.
Staying over? With more than 400 beds on offer, including accommodation in two historic buildings, The Post House and the recently-renovated Greyton Lodge, Greyton is able to provide accommodation for every visitor – and bookings are easily made through the Greyton Tourism office.
Although the village is quaint and natural, with mostly dirt roads, the infrastructure is sophisticated with excellent food shops, a pharmacy and a doctor. Visitors can buy everything they need, from quality meat and free-range poultry to freshly grown organic produce and bread straight from the oven. There are also several interesting specialist shops, as well as a number of art galleries.
Entrepreneurs abound in Greyton and between them produce a whole range of interesting and original products, from body soaps and creams made of natural products, to exquisitely hand-crafted candles, each a work of art. Fabulous cheese straws and attractive woven cotton mats and baskets are also produced locally.
Greyton has three boutique wine producers on its doorstep. Andy Mitchell Wines produces lovely garagiste-style wines, while Lismore Estate Vineyards, with Californian winemaker Samantha O’Keefe at the helm, turns out classic cool climate wines which are rich, complex and lovingly hand-crafted. The wines produced at Oewerzicht reflect the unique Greyton terroir in the berry-flavoured, easy drinking Cabernet Sauvignon. Owner Kootjie Viljoen has a passion for good wine and regards winemaking as a hobby.
The interesting and historic village of Genadendal, the oldest Moravian mission village in Africa with church buildings and a school dating back to 1738, is a mere 6 km from Greyton. On a visit to Genadendal’s church square, Die Werf, you will find a watermill in working condition and a fascinating museum that gives visitors insight into life in Genadendal centuries ago.
Caring for the environment is an important undertaking and the members of The Greyton Conservation Society work tirelessly to ensure that development does not lead to destruction. A monthly ‘hack’ is held to keep alien invasion at bay.
You truly get to experience the full magic of the changing seasons in Greyton. Spring bursts forth in colour and fragrance, summer means long, light evenings to enjoy outdoors, autumn turns the leaves from verdant green to wine red and russet, and winter – with its snow-capped mountains and generous rainfall (think roaring fireplaces and books by the dozen) – dresses Greyton in myriad shades of green.
So, is Greyton worth a visit? Most definitely. Contact Greyton Tourism by email on firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone 028 254 9564 / 9414, www.greytontourism.com.