Top Winter Breaks For 2014

Last updated: Jul 06, 2015

My favourite season has to be winter. Sure you can do more in summer - fun things like going to the beach and playing sport. But what winter brings with is woollen jerseys, gl├╝hwein, glowing fireplaces and hearty soups. There is a sense of cosiness and homeliness to winter that makes it such a wonderful time. Perhaps it's because our idea of Christmas is too influenced by our neighbours in the Northern Hemisphere, but I sometimes can't help feeling a holiday cheer when I wrap a scarf around my neck, or stay at home enjoying vin chaud.

So in honour of the changing of the seasons, we've got together a list of some great establishments in which to enjoy a cosy weekend away.

Eagles' Rock Mountain Retreat - Drakensberg

R275 to R300 per person sharing

This welcoming establishment is located on a magnificent mountain plateau overlooking the Umzimkulu River. In winter the area gets a good covering of snow and is a great self-catering option in the Drakensberg.

This pristine farming area is one of South Africa's premier trout fishing destinations. Other activities to enjoy here include canoeing, horse-riding, river tubing, tennis, squash and golf.

Blue Horizon / Beach House / Uitkyk - Tsitsikamma

R1,200 to R3,850 per unit

If you're looking for a coastal winter break, then there can't be a more spectacular option than one of these three self catering options. Wake up to see the waves crashing on the rocks below, enjoy a hot cup of coffee as you relax and unwind with family and friends.

The three houses consist of: the Blue Horizon which is perched on the rocks overlooking the ocean, the Beach House with spectacular views of the beach and rock pools, and Uitkyk which is a French Provencal house with beautiful vistas of the ocean.

Maliba Mountain Lodge - Lesotho

R1,599 to R1,759 per person sharing

Located in the heart of the Lesotho mountains, Maliba Mountain Lodge is a five-star retreat surrounded by 5600 hectares of rugged wilderness. The Lodge has six private and luxurious Basotho huts that each have their own open fireplace and are tastefully decorated with warm and natural tones. A sunken bath allows you to soak in the beautiful, natural surroundings.

Mkomazana Mountain Cottages - Sani Pass

R600 to R1,600 per unit

At the foot of the Sani Pass are the Mkomazana Mountain Cottages. This is a true nature lover's paradise with the Mkomazana River, four dams and the magnificent Drakenberg as a backdrop.

Two of the cottages are recently restored farmhouses which formed part of a trading station built in the 1800's. There are also 3 new cottages which are just as homely and welcoming as the restored farmhouses.

The Royal Hotel, Pilgrims Rest - Mpumalanga

R470 to R650 per person sharing

Regarded as one of South Africa's favourite historical village, nothing speaks to the beauty of a bygone era more than Pilgrim's Rest. This old gold mining town offers a quaint getaway for winter.

The Royal Hotel, which was made a National Monument in 1986, has 50 richly decorated Victorian-style bedrooms with antique furnishings including brass beds and Victorian ball and claw baths.

Matroosberg Reserve - Ceres

R135 to R300 per person sharing

The Matroosberg is well known for its snow in winter. The Reserve is situated over 1000 hectares of mountain area and encompasses the highest point in the Boland at the altitude of 2249 metres. The reserve believes in conservation through utilization and encourages its visitors to get out and enjoy the beautiful reserve.