The Cape’s rugged topography, scalloped coastline, and Atlantic-embraced peninsula are the outdoor enthusiast’s dream. With walking trails of every grade and challenge—through forest, vineyard, and fynbos or alongside roaring open ocean, sheer gorges, and mountain summits—it’s little wonder that hiking is as revered a local pastime as it is a tourist attraction.
Now toss a little glamour, historical narrative, and delicious Cape wine and food into the mix and you’ve got a walk on the refined side you’ll always remember with the fondest of hearts…welcome to “the glamtrail!”
Step aside glamping: glamtrails are the new vogue!
Glamtrails are an exciting new tourism offering based in one of the Cape’s picturesque, vineyard-carpeted corners: the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. The name translates most beguilingly into “heaven and earth” valley, a nod towards the area’s endless and beautiful landscapes and yawning skies.
On offer is a bouquet of trails lead by experienced hiker, accredited mountain guide, and qualified first aider, Tim Lundy. Tim has been hiking the mountains of Cape Town for more than 30 years so he is fluent in the flora, fauna, history, geography and other jigsaw puzzle pieces that comprise its epic landscapes.
The glamtrail routes
At this time, there are five walking tours on offer and all promise to stimulate your senses, kick-start your blood circulation, and entertain and inform you of the area’s cornucopia of blessings:
Fernkloof to Bouchard Finlayson
This glamtrail is a 7 km, 4.5-hour walk through the Fernkloof Nature Reserve, known for its incredible wealth of fynbos vegetation, to Hamilton Russell, where you’ll stop for a wine tasting. From here, it’s a hop and a skip to the tasting rooms of Bouchard Finlayson and a much-deserved wine-and-food pairing.
Old Harbour to New Harbour
This breezy 4.7 km, 2-hour stroll in the historic fishing and whale-watching town of Hermanus, kicks off at the town’s old harbour. Following the coastline, guests will pass several historical points of interest, ending at the new harbour with a fascinating tour of a working abalone farm and a tasting of its fruits!
Creation Wine Farm to Ataraxia
This circular route begins on Creation and leads guests through bucolic landscapes of vineyards, apple orchards, country roads, and dams to the winery at Ataraxia, where you’ll stop for a quick wine tasting. Then, it’s a short route back to Creation for a treat of a wine-and-food pairing.
Bouchard Finlayson to Newton Johnson
Embarking from Bouchard Finlayson in the stunning Hemel-en-Aarde valley, this glamtrail guides explorers through countryside and a bit of a steep kloof to the winery at Newton Johnson. Here, guests are treated to lunch at The Restaurant, an award-winning eatery with a well-deserved reputation for high-calibre food and stunning views.
De Bos Estate in Hemel-en-Aarde
Last but certainly not least, is the 2.3 km, 1.5-hour trail in De Bos wine estate in the Hemel-en-Aarde valley. This glamtrail, designed by legendary local botanist, Frank Woodvine, is centred around the rich diversity of fauna and flora found on the estate and offers sweeping views of the coast, ending with a picnic and wine at the Framehouse, a permanent glamping tent on the estate.
A rich, tapestried experience
Each glamtrail is a rich tapestry of historical narrative, spectacular views, invigorating nature, delicious food, and award-winning wines, for which the region carries a resounding reputation. Glamtrails are for groups of 6 to 16 people (booking essential) and can also be tailored to your particular desires.