Outdoor style for winter breaks

Beat cabin fever as the cold closes in.

Braving the outdoors in Winter yields high rewards when done right. We’ve got the tips to help you explore our beautiful country during the colder months.

Written by Jennifer Worthington-Smith

There’s nothing quite like closing all your tabs, shaking off your week, and getting the heck out of town. But in Winter, the desire to curl up and hibernate tends to overwhelm the thirst for adventure. Our corner of the world, however, is not one with a uniform climate of cold misery cross-country. We have coastlines that are seldom without sun, mountains peaked with icing-sugar snow, and the classic soothing rainfall essential for Winter-lovers. Let’s get exploring.


Snow-capped Splendour

There’s no need to travel across seas and continents just to get a taste of a magical Winter wonderland. Our snowy mountain peaks demand to be skied on, snow-angelled, and populated with oddly-shaped snowmen. Layering up lends itself to some dashing outfit options, and we’re yet to meet someone who doesn’t look cute in a beanie. Pack your cosiest socks, scarves, and boots – you’re about to be the gorgeous love interest in a Hallmark film.

It can be tricky to predict where and when we’ll get snow-capped peaks in SA, but the Drakensberg is a reliable option with breathtaking views that make it a bucket list destination. Book into Premier Resort Sani Pass and make it your ultra-comfortable base for exploring the iconic Sani Pass region, the Ezemvelo Nature Reserve, and favourite local attractions with serious old-school charm. 

Basking in Winter Sunlight

A little-known, potentially controversial fact: South African beaches are better in Winter. Look past your incredulity and read on, my friend, because when the colder months roll around, the wind drops, and the crisp sunlight feels like the kiss of angels – a warmth unparalleled. The fish and chip experience after a morning surf hits the spot so forcefully you’ll feel like Poseidon himself. Grab your sunnies and a snug hoodie for after the wetsuit, and you’re set. Seaside not an option? Enjoy the crisp winter chill with a side of sunlight in a country locale that lets you.


Take it back to the beach with an ultra-relaxed small-town getaway – Arniston Spa Hotel by Cape Country Routes checks all the boxes with ocean-fresh oysters and seafood, locally inspired dining, and spa treatments right alongside a nature reserve and picturesque, 120-year-old fishing village. For a sun-drenched country break as inspiring as it is Instagrammable, you’ll want to check into one of the unique accommodation options at Rosemary Hill and check out experiences like hiking, Segway tours and picnics. 


Falling for The Rain

Yes, rainfall can bewitch drivers to lose all memory of anything ever written in a K53 or sabotage all plans for laundry, but there is a benevolent magic in it as well. The rainy season in the Western Cape is something to behold, with its deep greenery and cosy getaways. Cottage-core is a niche trend, but why not connect your inner oupa, bedecked in jerseys and wellington boots on a splashy walk? When you get home, pour a glass of red or whip up some hot chocolate to keep the chills at bay and snuggle up with loved ones. This weather calls for decks of cards and board games, soups, naps, some baking, and generally all things happy and wholesome.

Make the post of wet weather with whales, wine, and the warmest accommodation complete with fireplaces at De Hoop Collection. As part of Cape Country Routes, the property offers plenty of opportunities for exploring the outdoors, but staying warm indoors is an option that’s just as well catered-to.


If you’d prefer a chic city minibreak with the rain beating down outside, check into Cape Town’s new Old Bank Hotel to enjoy plushly warm interiors, or escape to country charm close to town at Steenberg – complete with spa treatments and the type of dining that satisfies every comfort food craving.

You deserve a getaway, but just because it’s a little chilly outside, it doesn’t mean you can’t take one. If anything, it’s all the more reason to indulge in crispy, cold, fresh air, early sunsets and warming yourself in front of the fire after a cold-day activity. Go boil the kettle, we’ve got some Winter holiday planning to do.