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Your guide to Ceres
All About Ceres
Surrounded by a towering wall of mountains, Ceres is a small town in the winelands of South Africa, just outside of Cape Town. Named after the Roman goddess of agriculture, Ceres lives up to its namesake with sprawling, verdant valleys, lush wetlands, and neat rows of vineyards. The Ceres district is one of South Africa’s top producers of deciduous fruits, including apples, apricots, and cherries. The region is revered worldwide for its fresh juices, which you can try at one of the many fruit farms and orchards.
Ceres is also a haven for adventurers who want to boost their adrenaline by ziplining, abseiling, and mountain climbing. Nature reserves in the area are full of trails that offer a thrilling way to traverse the town’s diverse terrain and take in Ceres’ magnificent landscapes.
Trout lurk in the waters of the Dwars River that runs through Ceres, attracting fishers to its rapids and pools.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Ceres
Bear in mind that South Africa is in the southern hemisphere, so the seasons are opposite. During the winter months, from June to August, fresh snowfall blankets the mountain tops, beckoning skiers and snowboarders to the slopes. The picturesque winter scenery is often compared to the Swiss Alps. In the spring, melted snow feeds the nearby freshwater rivers, which are brimming with trout. During the summer months, between mid-November and the end of December, temperatures warm up and there is very little rain. Cherry-picking is an especially popular activity during this time, as the orchards are heavy with ripe fruit. In December, Ceres hosts an Apricot Festival and Cherry Festival, which celebrate the region’s bounty. February and March mark harvest season for the local vineyards, making this the best time for sampling local wines.
Top things to do in Ceres
The Paarl Wine Route
Drive an hour southwest of Ceres and you’ll reach Paarl, one of the oldest settlements in South Africa and home to the second oldest wine road in the country. This region’s signature varieties include the full-bodied, spicy shiraz and crisp chenin blanc, as well as chardonnay, pinotage, viognier, and mourvedre. If you’re looking for some cheese to nibble along with your wine, there are a handful of noteworthy cheesemongers along this route as well.
The Ceres Togryers Museum
The Ceres Togryers Museum, or Transport Riders Museum, traces the history of Ceres and offers insight into its cultural heritage through a variety of informative displays, including original wagons and carriages used during the 1800s. Juice tastings are also available at the museum, providing an opportunity to sample the region’s delicious bounty.
Michelle’s Pass is a mountain pass that provides a scenic drive offering views of impressive rock formations, ravines, gorges, and the spectacular waterfall at the head of the Dwarsriver.