Greyton's Heavenly Trails
Words & pics Ines Stoll & Mark Dikkte
Greyton is known as a magnificent piece of peace, tucked away from the N2 but still close enough to Cape Town with its oak tree lined streets surrounded by the majestic Riviersonderend Mountains.
You can just relax there or put on your shoes and run in the Nature Reserve along the Gobos River with an easily accessible waterfall or from the top of the Mountain whilst following the Loerkop Trail with a marvellous 360-degree view with the whole chain of the Riviersonderend mountains spread from east to west, with Greyton and Genadendal in sheltered positions. While on this path, scanning the surrounding hills with eyes wide open may also reward you with the sight of some antelopes, probably the Grey Rhebok/Reebok, and with some luck also blue cranes, indigenous to this area. So keep your cellphone camera ready to shoot.
Another run I can recommend is the Knietjieshoogte Walk. Take a moment at the bench at the highest point of the climb, affording not only wonderful views of the surrounding mountains and area, with glimpses of Boschmanskloof in the west and a glimpse of Genadendal in the distance, but also from beautiful colourful flowers in all sizes encountering along this path like proteas, ericas and several spring flowers.
There are sheer endless possibilities to run, hike or ride on your mountain bike on the numerous trails of all difficulties Greyton has to offer. Many of the Cape Epic riders consider Greyton as one of the best MTB territory in South Africa (in 2014 Greyton was included as one of the stages). The trails range from family friendly to more strenuous.
You won’t be able to resist the beauty of the surroundings no matter the weather and time of the year. Although November is special because the spring display of colouring flowers is quite spectacular and the weather is mild and clear, anytime in the summer is perfect for an early activity and a late braai. The winter is filled with cold but sunny days. Sometimes there is even snow on the mountains which calls for a long run and cosy log fires and an abundance of Von Geusau chocolates thereafter.
Our favourite breakfast spot after a strenuous ride is Via’s Deli as they offer good healthy wholesome breakfasts with the best cup of hot chocolate, a meal in itself. It is also a WiFi Spot.
For lunch we suggest Searle’s Trading Post with its fancy Décor/gifts/antiques/bric-a-brac/deli and something unusual from the past. Good food in a varied atmosphere (cosy fire place inside for cold evenings and big outside area for sunny days) where most furniture and other accessories are for sale. Our favourite: mouth-watering beef fillet medium rare and great pizza for the kids!
Not the healthiest, but still worth to go is The Hungry Monk for dinner as they serve a nice selection of tapas in a comfy artistic atmosphere.
And last but not least for a night out on the town try The Post House pub … it’s so tiny and quaint and you’ll be sure to make new friends. It is home to the famous Bells whiskey advert – ‘give that man a Bells’!
If you want to meet locals go to the Saturday morning market or if you are an early bird and of the active kind join the local MTB enthusiasts on a Saturday morning.
Be aware of Greyton’s best kept secret which is that you get addicted to it. Maybe the secret lies in the fact that it always feels like being away for weeks even after a quick weekend as the village, nestled in a kind of cul-de-sac road at the foot of majestic mountains just has its own arty character. It doesn’t come without a reason that many visitors wish to buy a house here after their first visit (like we did and rent it out ever since to share this treasure).
Once you are hooked it does not matter if the weather plays along and provides perfect conditions or not at the annual Greyton Classic which is a popular annual top event mid June for mountain bike riders (47km) and runners (21km and 10km) alike. Alternatively take part in the Greyton Tour which is a non-competitive 2 day MTB stage event at the end of August.
Even the kids are catered for if you want to go for a doddle on your bicycles. Check out the Rockhopper Forest for real fun riding without the hills! Also a fun outing is a picnic on the banks of the Gobos River and build sand castles. Or taking the “donkey-taxi” to meander through the village on a Saturday morning.
We love Greyton because there is something for everyone, at any time. There is fun for all, no matter if young, old, active or not so energetic . Greyton caters for culinary bon vivants, fauna and flora lovers (Greyton Rose Fair in October) and for the outdoor enthusiasts who may enjoy many kilometres of hiking and cycling tracks through stunning scenery.
We just love it for its pristine environment, surrounded by magnificent natural beauty, the amazing community spirit and the peace and tranquillity, sitting on the stoep, enjoying the surroundings and feeling so privileged having the opportunity to escape hectic Cape Town on some weekends.
Article first published in Full Sus.