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They say the sweetest watermelons originate from Calitzdorp and it’s hard to argue, considering that the dry climate and semi-desert conditions suit this type of fruit perfectly. Calitzdorp is a spa town located in the Little Karoo, a 15000km valley that is completed encircled by mountains with sparse rainfall and clean, fresh air.
Calitzdorp was named after the Calitz brothers who farmed here and in 1845, donated a part of their farm to establish a town. At the time, church services were held under a tree before enough funds were collected to eventually build a church in 1857. The town gradually developed around the church.
Calitzdorp is on the Route 62 wine route, the world’s longest, and many of the region’s fortified wines grace the wine lists of top restaurants and hotels. The farmland surrounding the town is bursting with grape vines, ostrich breeding centres and deciduous and vine fruit. On the route between Calitzdorp and Oudtshoorn, look out for the Redstone Hills, a contrasting geological feature amongst the pale sandstone mountains.
Top 8 reasons to visit Calitzdorp
1. The museum located in an historic stone building showcases local heritage and treasures discovered in and around Calitzdorp. The staff are volunteers and will gladly give you a brief tour of the museum.
2. Day visitors are welcome Sundays to Thursdays at the Calitzdorp Spa. Spend time in the hot pools charged with water from a nearby thermal spring that reaches temperatures of 50° Celsius at its source. The resort has buck, tortoise and other non-threatening wildlife on view.
3. Pack a picnic basket, plenty of water and fishing gear on a trip to the Calitzdorp Dam. There is a picturesque picnic site and the dam offers good fishing opportunities. Expect to catch yellowfish and carp.
4. Travel the Calitzdorp section of the Route 62 wine route to taste the award-winning reds... Show more