As we enter the festive season and 2018 draws to a close, plans are being made for how the glorious South African summer months will be spent. This is a time to have quality experiences with loved ones, to unwind and to be reminded, yet again, of how much splendour surrounds us.

While the allure of relaxing at home or embarking on a trip to a foreign destination is all too real, we often forget that paradise is right on our doorstep.

Enter the charming Karoo village of Prince Albert. This quaint little destination is brimming with a myriad of activities and attractions to keep you busy and boasts some of the most charming accommodation options on our shores to make your stay extra special. There is so much to choose from, one really is spoiled for choice! The town boasts beautiful old architectural buildings in the town centre within walking distance from its shops, galleries and restaurants.

To get the full experience of a true country lifestyle, one should look into the vast offering of farm-based dwellings. Places like Abrahamskraal, Damhuis, Vêrgenoeg, Bergwater Farm House, Wolvekraal, Angeliersbosch, Weltevrede Fig Farm, Boplaas and Vrisch Gewagt – to name but a few – are in close enough proximity of the village, yet offer the peaceful laid-back Karoo lifestyle that one yearns for to unwind after a hard year. 

As for keeping busy… there is so, so much to do! 

The village lies at the foot of the historic Swartberg Pass, one of the oldest mountain passes in South Africa, covering 27 kilometres. Pack a picnic basket, pack the camera and take a drive up the winding route to experience some of the most glorious views the Karoo has to offer. Teeberg is the one stop you do not want to miss. You might even be lucky enough to see the resident pair of Verreaux’s eagles drift up from the gorge on the thermals and fly right next to you! Talking about birds, the area is a beloved paradise for bird lovers, so be sure to pack your binoculars.

For the adventurous-at-heart, the village and surrounds offers a cornucopia of mountain biking and hiking trails, all ready to be explored.

Of course, the festive season is also a time to indulge. Be sure to go for wine tasting at Bergwater Wines and Soet Karoo Wine Estate to sample some of the unique local wines on offer. The area is also world-renowned for its olives, so you can’t afford to skip O for Olive at Swartrivier and Prince Albert Olives. 

If you are looking to get a bit romantic, spoil someone or yourself with a spa treatment at Abrahamskraal or the Swartberg Hotel. A stargazing experience with Astro Tours is also sure to open your eyes up to a few new possibilities.