As you might expect, the Breede River Valley is named after the river which formed it. The Breede River is indeed the lifeblood for this valley and is responsible for the valley's title as the largest fruit and wine producing region in the Western Cape, it is also incidentally South Africa's leading race-horse breeding area.
Although the area, known as the Boland, is large, generally speaking it has a Mediterranean climate with winter rainfall and hot summers. The valley is encircled by Cape Fold Mountains, giving the region a striking appearance - rolling orchards and vineyards surrounded by powerful mountain vistas.
Great towns for a relaxing break in the valley include Robertson, Montagu, and McGregor. Robertson is a well-known wine region and has some excellent wineries which open for tastings. The town has also developed a bit a foodie scene with numerous boutique restaurants dotted around town.
Nearby Montagu is close competition, with 22 buildings declared national monuments (many have been around since the days of ox-wagons), a number of excellent wine cellars and a variety of small farm stall-style shops selling charcuterie, jams, pickles and breads.
McGregor is known as the Breede River Valley's spiritual heart, with various inhabitants offering alternative healing therapies like tarot readings and iridology. It also seems to attract a number of creative souls, which is evidenced in the copious art galleries and studios dispersed throughout the town. Some have argued the reason for the creative and spiritual energy here is due to McGregor's position on converging ley lines, giving it status as one of Southern Africa's sacred sites, as evidenced in the San rock art in the area.
The Breede River Valley also offers a variety of outdoor pursuits. Montagu for example has some of the best-developed sport-climbing routes in South Africa. Furthermore, the Cape Fold Mountains and gorgeous scenery have many hiking and walking trails for all levels. There are also trails for cycling enthusiasts and the Breede River itself provides a place to swim in the hot summer months or take a leisurely cruise.
The area also plays host to a number of exciting events throughout the year, including the Wacky Wine Weekend and the Montagu National Youth Arts Festival.
The Breede River Valley is a great place to escape for those needing a break from city life or a change of scenery.
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