You’ve just finished planning the perfect wedding and now you have to plan the perfect honeymoon! Cape Town is full of unforgettable experiences for newlyweds on honeymoon but how do you make this once in a lifetime trip truly unforgettable? This ultimate guide to honeymoon planning will ensure you’ve selected the perfect spot for your sunset sundowners, found the most romantic, off-the-beaten-track wineries to sip on South Africa’s finest wines and choose the most epic adventure activities to experience with your loved one. At Explore Sideways, we’ve planned over 300 unbelievable tailor-made honeymoons that are sure to guarantee happily ever after.
Our Explore Sideways expert, Jolize, shares her secret recipe for the perfect honeymoon in Cape Town.
Get outside your comfort zone, together
Experiencing new things together helps you grow and learn together. Try new wines, eat new foods, engage in adventure activities you’ve never done before. There’s plenty to choose from!
Be authentic to you
Romance isn’t just long walks on the beach and fancy hotels, it’s about small and intimate moments that you can share together. For example, take a hike up lions head in time for sunrise or experience wandering the streets of Bree street for First Thursdays (a free event on the first Thursday of each month) to soak up the wide array of art and culture.
Soak in the natural beauty
If you’ve chosen Cape Town as a destination, chances are you appreciate nature. Make sure you incorporate some time to soak in the sights, whether it’s hiking or 4x4ing on Table Mountain or sipping wine in the winelands overlooking the vineyards and mountainous terrain.
Meet the locals
The “rainbow nation” is full of amazing and interesting people and travel provides the ultimate opportunity to meet people that change your perspective. Make sure your itinerary includes a local, specialist guide and meetups with local winemakers, designers, and artisans.
Let go and enjoy!
Unlike many places around the world, Cape Town is full of hidden gems and insider activities that cannot be found on the internet. For our honeymoon itineraries, we ask the couple to tell us about their tastes and preferences so we can tailor-make an itinerary that checks all the boxes. Besides, you should focus on your loved one rather than every detail of your trip!
With that in mind, we’ve made some suggestions and outlined an itinerary below that can get you kick-started on planning. We recommend at least 5 days in the Mother City but find that even that amount of time leaves our honeymooners wanting to stay longer!
Most Romantic Places to Stay in Cape Town & Winelands for Honeymooners
The newly opened Silo hotel is the perfect place to stay if you’re looking for glamour, in a perfect waterfront location. The Silo Hotel is a celebration of art, style, architecture, and design. A tribute to timeless glamour and contemporary luxury. The hotel boasts 28 beautifully designed bedrooms, including a one bedroom penthouse. The Williston Bar, Granary Cafe, and silo rooftop all offer exceptional dining options. This beautiful hotel is renowned for its romantic city views that can be viewed from the hotel rooftop, enjoyed with champagne and oysters. The hotel also offers a Romantic turndown for honeymooners on their first night. This will include a beautiful rose petal bed, candles, and champagne on ice.
The Belmond Mount is one of the chicest hotels in Cape Town. Set in the vibrant heart of Cape Town, this luxury hotel and spa offers easy access to all that’s happening in this dynamic city. The Mount Nelson has long been regarded as one of the city’s top five star hotels. It offers the perfect combination of leafy tranquility and contemporary buzz. The historic hotel is the perfect choice if you are looking for classic romance. The hotel has plenty to offer for newlyweds including; luxury accommodation, daily full breakfast at Oasis restaurant, a bottle of sparkling wine, chocolates and strawberries on arrival. They also provide a five-course set menu for two per stay in Planet Restaurant or at the Chef’s Table, a 60-minute Swedish massage for two per stay and an exclusive turn down service for your special occasion
Dramatically located above the Atlantic Ocean, flanked by the majestic Twelve Apostle and Table Mountain, the award-winning hotel offers luxurious rooms and exquisite dining experiences. Savour seafood and fine dining at Azure Restaurant, enjoy delicious cocktails and breathtaking sunsets at The Leopard Bar and luxuriate in our holistic spa with stunning outdoor gazebos. The hotel also has a full honeymoon package and includes – personalised towels, a bottle of sparkling wine, romantic turndown and couples massage and access to heated plunge pool
Ellerman House sits perched on the slopes of Lion’s Head in the prestigious Bantry Bay residential area in Cape Town and is renowned for having one of the most beautiful ocean views in South Africa, making it the perfect honeymooners destination. Ellerman House is situated just 10 minutes from the heart of Cape Town and the one-and-a-half-acre property, now privately owned, stands as an iconic showcase of South Africa’s finest hospitality, cuisine, art, wine, and leisure.
La Residence (Franschhoek)
Located in the beautiful Franschhoek Valley on a private 30-acre estate, La Residence is a tranquil haven of comfort and relaxation and the perfect spot for honeymooners looking for some peaceful time. It is surrounded by breathtaking vineyards and plum orchards, with a spectacular mountain backdrop, stunning views of the undulating countryside and an atmosphere of complete tranquility. There is access to a beautiful spa, offering a wide range of treatments as well as a fully equipped gym, for those hoping to keep in shape whilst on holiday.
Babylonstoren is perfect for any couple looking for a beautifully authentic and romantic hotel. The surrounding gardens will take your breath away and is the perfect opportunity to be amongst nature. Babylonstoren is a historic Cape Dutch farm that boasts one of the best-preserved farmyards in the Cape. The hotel also boasts a beautiful tranquil spa, which is the perfect spot to relax with your partner and to soak up the natural treatments that they have on offer. The hotel will offer a bottle of champagne and flowers upon arrival, all the more reason to book.
The Perfect 5-day Honeymoon itinerary
Day 1 – 4×4 Wine Safari on Table Mountain
Begin your day by bringing your lover out of the beaten track on a 4×4 around Table Mountain. Go at the back of a 4×4 and experience the table mountain national park alone in nature as we are the only one to have the authorization to drive in the park. Your knowledgeable guide will drive you around the circumference of the table mountain with romantic and diversify landscapes as backgrounds.
After reaching the top of devil’s peak, enjoy some bubbles and snack after a short historical walk…Table Mountain and Camp’s Bay are the next steps of your day trip where you will be greeted by interrupted views of 12 apostles. Last but not least, savor a picnic style lunch with ample cheese, charcuterie and spreads perfectly paired with a wide array of local South African wines from Durbanville Hills with a unique view of Camp’s Bay. This tour will ensure that the two of you are able to enjoy an adventurous and romantic day outside your comfort zone.
Day 2 – Bucket List Trip to Cape Point
Every itinerary in Cape Town absolutely must include a trip to Cape Point. It’s a bucket list item and for good reason: the views, the beaches, the penguins, the restaurants, the history, the quaint seaside towns and more all add up to make this an absolute must when visiting the Cape.
Feel like you’re in a James Bond movie, driving to the edge of the world through one of its most scenic routes. Cruise along Chapman’s Peak Drive, where every curve is a wonderful photo opportunity and the best place to immortalize your honeymoon experience. Next, make your way down the Peninsula to the most south-western tip of Africa in the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve. You’ll reach Cape point and the famous tip of the peninsula where you get panoramic views of the ocean, the peninsula coastline and the dramatic cliff face behind you.
Pass by the iconic Boulder’s Beach to observe the comical African penguins, only visible in the south-west coast of Africa, these emblematic creatures are expected to be extinct within 15 years. Picnic at Cape Point Vineyard, the enchanting ocean view, and their well-known Sauvignon Blanc makes it the best spot to take a break before you get into Constantia, one of the most historic wine areas of the Western Cape.
Drive through the Constantia Valley, where some of the first grapes used to make wine were grown in South Africa. Finish your day at Beau Constantia, on the mountainside, enjoying wines from the highest tasting room in the Valley. Drink award winning wines while soaking in the stunning views of Constantia. This tour will ensure that the two of you are able to enjoy the natural beauty that surrounds you as well as letting go and having a fun day together.
Day 3 – Romance in the Cape Winelands
The perfect place for a romantic “out of town” day. The charm of the winelands is particularly romantic, even more so when these elegant vineyards are surrounded by dramatic mountainscapes and breathtaking views. Driving through off-the-beaten-track roads or walking between the vineyard rows offer that moment of calm that you are seeking, matching perfectly with a heady feeling that the flavors and aromas of wine evoke.
Begin with a two hours game drive, spot springbok, kudu, zebra and giraffe in the Villiera nature sanctuary. Celebrate this scenic game drive with the famous local bubbles, a Méthode Cape Classic will make you discover the South African sparkling wine, as romantic as a traditional champagne.
Next, you’ll head to one of the most charming wine farms of Stellenbosch. Stark-Condé, tucked away in the picturesque Jonkershoek Valley. Here you can sip on superb wines, eat lunch at the classic Postcard Cafe and take a romantic meander around the beautiful lake that forms the centerpiece of this breathtaking estate.
Finish your lovely winelands tour with a sweet taste, the majestic Waterford Wine estate will offer you a wine & chocolate pairing series of dark and milk chocolates that, when paired with their Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Natural Sweet wines, gives you a totally unique taste sensation. This spot is both cozy in winter and stunning in summer so you’re guaranteed to feel loved no matter the time of year.
Day 4 – Ultimate Foodie Tour in Franschhoek
Your foodie adventure begins at the famous gardens of Babylonstoren – a stunning winery and farm with magnificent gardens and beautifully preserved Cape Dutch architecture. Go for a stroll through the well-maintained gardens and learn about the fruit, herbs, nuts, spices, and vegetables that are grown on the estate. Every one of the 300 varieties of plants in the garden is edible or has medicinal value. Additionally, all produce is grown as organically as possible and in a biologically sustainable manner. The fruit and vegetables from the garden are harvested all year round for use in two farm-to-fork restaurants.
After working up an appetite, head over to Moreson wine estate, a tranquil garden paradise located on the outskirts of Franschhoek. Sit on the shaded patio while you indulge in locally sourced and 3 handcrafted charcuteries paired with award-winning Moreson wines. Each pairing strives to showcase characteristics of both the charcuterie and wine and how they can enhance each other.
Your third stop takes you to a heritage estate in Franschhoek where you will learn about the art and science of food and wine pairing as you enjoy 4 canapés perfectly paired with local wines. Discover how flavors and texture in food and wine interact with each other to create a totally new tasting experience. Your specialist guide will explain how components like sugar, acid, alcohol and tannins of the wine can be accentuated or minimized when paired with certain foods.
Day 5 – Great Whites and Great Wines
Your private driver will take you along the 2.5hr scenic drive from Cape Town to Gansbaai, the great white shark capital of the world. Hop aboard our shark-chaser for an exhilarating 20-minute boat ride to the famous Dyer Island where you’ll be introduced to the Marine Big 5 (whales, great white sharks, dolphins, seals, and penguins). Gansbaai is one of the few places in the world that great white sharks can be seen year round but during the summer months the sharks keep close to shore and during winter they move to Shark Alley. The experienced crew will share their vast knowledge of the water world where they operate when they take you to view great white sharks from the surface or underwater from a cage. This marine wonderland is the closest place in the world where you can safely see these apex predators in their natural environment. Not only will you come back with incredible memories but you will also come away knowing a lot more about sharks and what is being done to aid their conservation.
Upon return, hop in a warm shower before departing to Bot River wine valley where you’ll visit one of South Africa’s heritage wine estates. Enjoy a 2-course lazy picnic lunch under the old oak trees or inside the rustic cellar (weather dependent) while sipping on regional Bot River wines.
Additional Experiences for Foodies, Adventurers, Culture Lovers, and Winos:
Cape Town has become an international hotspot for foodies. With unique local flavors and a focus on locally sourced meats and produce, foodie couples will love the incredible culinary culture of the Cape.
- Cheese Lovers’ Experience in the Winelands
- Gourmet Food & Wine Tour in Stellenbosch
- Gin Connoisseur Tour
There is nothing short of incredible adventure activities in Cape Town. Everything from mountains to water sports are popular with adrenaline-seeking honeymooners from around the world.
- Jet ski around Table’s Bay: Offer to your beloved one a moment of high-speed sensations on a Jetski. A perfect fit for an adventurous couple, enjoy uninterrupted views of Table Mountain from the water as you frolic over the waves. Enjoy the privilege of being the only jet ski authorised to access the Bay.
- Scenic sailing experience: It’s time to sail away from the Waterfront to see the bigger canvas of Cape Town. Go on a 40-foot yacht off the cost, enjoy the sun on your face and wind in your hair while you sail along the rugged South African coastline, sipping on delicious local wines and Methode Cap Classique (MCC).
- Private sunset cruise with sundowners: End up your first day of love in the mother city with a sunset private cruise. Enjoy the comfort of a 12.8m yacht. Sip on a quintessential sundowner and snack on delectable canapés as you speed through the Atlantic sea.
- Winelands Equestrian Adventure – Horse Riding & Wine
- Zipping & Sipping – Elgin Adrenaline Adventure
- Winelands Sip & Cycle Safari
Arts and Culture Aficionados:
Cape Town has become an epicenter for art within the continent of Africa. The launch of the Zeitz MOCCA museum has highlighted the incredible local artisans and designers that are creating unique pieces from paintings and clothing to decor.
- Immersive Art Experience in Cape Town
- Insider Shopping Safari – Cape Town Shopping Expedition
- Township Tour & Street Art Walking Tour
No honeymoon to the Cape is complete without a romantic trip to the winelands. The laid-back South African wine culture will have you hooked with its incredible wines and unbelievable views. Try to visit all of the wine routes if you can!
- Best of the Cape Winelands (Stellenbosch & Franschhoek)
- Best of Hemel-en-Aarde Cool Climate Wine Valley
- Best of Historic Constantia Wine Valley
- Explore the Secretive Swartland
- Marvelous MCC Bubbly Tour
Additional Experiences for True Romantics
South Africa’s storied history of diamond mining is one of the most famous in the world, producing both the crown jewels and 5 of the 10 largest diamonds in history. Enjoy a private, hands-on shopping experience at the premiere diamond and tanzanite wholesaler in South Africa. This exclusive destination is only open to select guests and allows them to try on some of the rarest gems in the world. There’s no woman in this world that wouldn’t like to slip on sparkles while sipping sparkling. The best way to make your honeymoon unforgettable is to bring back something with you.
Cape Town by Helicopter
What’s better than to be at 2000m from the ground to get the most beautiful view of Cape Town, Cape Peninsula, and the vineyards. Here is the place where only you and your wife can enjoy one last time the magnificent sceneries of Cape Town and surroundings. This once-in-a-lifetime aerial tour is the final point of 5 unique days around Cape Town where love and wonderful discoveries were the directive lines of the trip.
Most Romantic Restaurants in Cape Town:
- Test Kitchen (Woodstock) – Voted the best restaurant in Africa and it is well deserved. This is a foodie’s bucket list. Make sure to book in advance.
- Potluck Club (Woodstock) – Fantastic tapas style dining. A real showcase of the SA food scene. Owned by the same people as Test Kitchen. Some people argue that it’s even better.
- Shortmarket Club, CBD – Same owners as Test Kitchen and Potluck. Really cozy vibe with a sophisticated yet casual menu. They also serve brunch.
- Black Sheep (Gardens) – Really great local spot with simple, fantastic food and a warm, casual environment.
- Savoy Cabbage (CBD) – Enjoy creative contemporary cooking in a visually exciting venue. Cabbage motif chandeliers and salt dishes, fine table appointments and impeccable service reflect outstanding attention to detail.
- Outrage of Modesty (CBD) – More of a pre-dinner drinks spot. Perfect if you are going to the Shortmarket Club.
- La Colombe (Constantia) – This is one of South Africas most established restaurants, making it the ultimate romantic spot for your loved one. It focuses on local ingredients with a French modern twist. With impeccable service and an award-winning wine list, this is a foodie must.
- High Tea at historic Mount Nelson Hotel (Gardens) – A bucket list item for those seeking to experience the grandeur of colonial times. They offer both brunch and lunch bookings.
- Foliage (Franschhoek) – You can forage with the chef in the morning and have your findings cooked into your lunch or dinner at the restaurant.