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The mountains, the views...the peacefulness in Citrusdal.
Unfortunately, we were there on a Sunday, which means almost everything is closed. We did luckily find a wonderful restaurant called Smul and had the most amazing burgers and service there. I would definitely recommend it to anyone visiting Citrusdal.
We did the Tip Trans Mountain Bike race and it was awesome. Very scenic with lots of flowers along the route.
The warm baths.
Citrusdal is reached from Cape Town via the ultra-scenic Piekenierskloof Pass. On the approach to Citrusdal heading down the pass, the magnificent Cederberg Mountains is seen in the background, the 2km high snow-capped Sneeuberg Peak the standout feature, with the town in a sunken valley below.
The town was first established in 1916 as a parish to farmers in the area. Prior to this, farmers would have to travel many miles by ox wagon to attend formal church gatherings.
Citrusdal is a major citrus producing area, the climate and location ideal for this fruit genus. However, the town is probably better known for its hot springs and is included in both the rooibos and wildflower routes. The town is also a final destination for visitors wanting to experience the Cederberg Mountains.
While the entrance to the town is unremarkable, dig a little deeper exploring the town and surrounding area and you will find it’s a worthwhile stop for any traveller to the region.
Top 8 reasons to visit Citrusdal
1. Visit the Citrusdal museum to see the many interesting Khoi tools and Trekboer (travelling farmer) exhibits on display. The museum is housed in an old stone church and alongside is the Tourism Bureau, also in an historic house, offering advice and bookings to the Cederberg.
2. Travel to the Cederberg Wilderness Area to attempt rock climbing and hiking through the Cederberg Mountains. Beautiful landscapes, unusual rock formations, rock pools and scarce flora are some of the highlights of the area.
3. Take a self-guided hike along the Sevilla Rock Art Trail to view the many fascinating and diverse San ochre-coloured paintings, some thousands of years old. Stop in for a refreshing drink at Traveller's Rest after the hike.
4. Mountain bikers enjoy the 26km Boschkloof MTB Trail, graded as difficult due to the hectic single-track downhill to test even the most competent of riders.
5. Day visitors are welcome at The Baths where pools of 43° Celsius hot spring water are available for bathers to enjoy the water, naturally loaded with various chemicals and believed to have healing properties.
6. Stopping off at one of the brightly coloured farm stalls along the road between Citrusdal and Clanwilliam is a must. Here you can purchase citrus directly off the farm as well as local crafts and home bakes for padkos (food for the road).
7. During early spring, the fields around Citrusdal are ablaze with colourful wild flowers. Visitors from all corners of the world visit year on year to enjoy the wildflower spectacle.
8. Rooibos tea is an endemic plant found in this region and there is an entire route celebrating the product that stretches 90km northward from Citrusdal. The Rooibos Route covers all aspects of the tea, from its history to cultivation and finally, sipping the end product. The Citrusdal Tourism Bureau will help you to plan a route.
Cape Town International Airport is 185km from Citrusdal. There are many rental agencies in Cape Town city centre and at the airport to hire a vehicle, or you could order a rental online. Several shuttle service companies operate out of Cape Town, however, you would need a hired vehicle to best enjoy your visit to Citrusdal.
Did you know?
Renowned road builder, Thomas Bain, was responsible for the construction of the original Piekenierskloof Pass in 1858. The pass has since undergone major improvements, however, the cottage that he and his family occupied during the construction is still standing and is available for hire.
The Olifants (elephants) River valley in which Citrusdal lies, was so named because the first Dutch explorer to reach the area in 1660 claimed he saw over 3000 elephants in the valley below.