Lying in the centre of a flourishing apple-growing region, which also happens to produce grapes, onions, peaches and apricots, it’s not hard to imagine Villiersdorp’s prettiness and its attraction to visitors. The Villiersdorp Co-Op is also the only place in South Africa that processes and dries persimmons.
Another major attraction is the Theewaterskloof Dam, the largest dam in the region and main source of water to Cape Town, which offers some excellent fishing and water sports.
Between Villiersdorp and Grabouw, the town due south of the Theewaterskloof Dam famous for its apples, lies the Hottentots-Holland Nature Reserve, which has small populations of rhebok, klipspringer, duiker and grysbok, and plays an important role in the protection of mountain fynbos.
It is the collection of old Victorian houses, cottages and smallholdings, enhanced by its thriving artists’ community, who have been drawn here largely by the peace and beauty of the surrounds, that give Villiersdorp its character. Autumn is a particularly beautiful time of year in Villiersdorp as the many tree-lined avenues are heavy with leaves of every colour, and in October, at the end of the winter fruit season, Villiersdorp celebrates its annual harvest festival.
Villiersdorp was founded in 1843 when Pieter De Villiers, a farmer and Veldkornet, (similar to a deputy magistrate) was granted permission by the Governor of the Cape, to lay out a town on a section of his farm, Radyn.