Worcester, Western Cape
Did you know?
Worcester is the birthplace of Nobel Prize for Literature laureate, J.M. Coetzee.
Worcester is part of the beautiful Cape Winelands, surrounded by the majestic mountains and lush green valleys of the Western Cape. This is the biggest wine producing town in South Africa, home to many popular brands.
Just over an hour's drive from Cape Town, Worcester is well worth the trip up the N1. If you are traveling south from the Karoo, you wil travel along some spectacular mountain passes just before you reach Worcester.
Worcester was declared an official town by the local Magistrate's Court (known as a Drostdy in Afrikaans) in 1820, although it only really started to develop once the railway line to Cape Town was completed 1876.
There is a strong German influence in Worcester, following an influx of railway workers in the 1860s. The town's Kleinplasie Living Open Air Museum provides a glimpse of this past and offers loads of information for travellers.
The town is also home to some famous South African residents such as musician and playwright David Kramer and artist Hugo Naude.
Worcester experiences a wide range of weather during the year, with summer days that can reach temperatures in excess of 40 degrees Centigrade, while often experiencing snow during the winter months between June and September.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Worcester Tourism Office
Tel: +27(0) 23 348 2795
How to get here
Worcester is situated in the Breede River Valley in the Western Cape, about one hour drive from Cape Town. It is easily accessible by car or bus on the national N1 highway and the town is off Route 62, which is well sign-posted.
Best time to visit
Any time of year is good but winters can be very wet.
Around the area
You can visit interesting historical towns like Tulbagh, Ceres or Robertson, which are close to Worcester.
Tours to do
Take a tour around the KWV Brandy Cellar. A guided walk through the Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden is a must for nature lovers.
Self-drive is best if you want to delve in to the area's many attractions.
Length of stay
At least a weekend or longer if you want to explore the area in-depth.
What to pack
In summer a hat and sunscreen are musts. In winter don't forget the raincoat or umbrella.
Where to stay
Worcester has a number of accommodation options to suit every taste and pocket, from luxury hotels and guesthouses to budget B&Bs.
KWV's fine brandies and cognacs. And wine of course.