December is almost here, but here are some long weekend escapes to recharge your battery
The year's been long, December is just out of reach and your steam is running out - why not reboot with an easy-to-organise long weekend you don't have to overthink?
Sipping on sun-kissed wine in the heart of the Swartland, listening to the crash of waves while melting into your beach towel or watching giants stroll past your car to remind you that there's still some good in the world.
Here are a few easy-to-plan long weekend escapes - or even for just a night - to break out of your routine just long enough to do the last bit of the year's work with vigour before your extra-long December holiday.
Just under an hour-and-a-half from Cape Town, this is one of the most underrated wine towns in the Western Cape, with a variety of old-school hotels and bed-and-breakfasts, amazing wine at a great price tag and one of the best Italian restaurants you will ever experience - a perfect couple's weekend. Read more here.
Not a lot of people will think there's much to do in Wellington, but the town has a few surprising secrets that make for a unique weekend. Wine, wild boar sausage and a cool little leather workshop, you can even pop into Paarl for more winelands fun. Read more here.
One of the whale meccas on South Africa's coastline, De Hoop Nature Reserve offers pristine coastlines, stays in heritage thatch-roofed houses and Overberg landscapes that will set your heart on pause. Read more here.
Many people think that the Wild Coast can be a difficult destination to access, requiring a 4x4, but Morgan's Bay is one spot you could get to with even a Chevie Spark - and the best time to visit is before the December season crowds! Read more here.
Addo Elephant National Park
If Mother Nature's beauty is what you need to soothe your weary soul, take a slow drive through our premier elephant destination near Port Elizabeth, where they also now have spa treatments to work out those tension-filled muscles. For a more luxurious weekend, read more here.
This might be SA' new capital of keDezemba, but before the busy season starts hit up the Eastern Cape city for the vibes, architecture and natural beauty perfect for lazy days. Read more here.
Head to the foot of one of our most iconic 'bergs' that's great for your wallet, pink sunsets to pleasure your eyes and a little extra thrill to dust out the cobwebs. Read more here.
The town where hippos roam, this is the place to go where you don't have to do anything - there's a tour for everything that can be easily arranged on the day. Read more here.
Tap into our history with a quick break to the Cradle of Humankind with variety of accommodation options, but for more recent history take a selfie with former struggle icons at the Maropeng Visitor Centre's newest attraction. Read more here.
On the edge of the province is an easy Joburg-escape to Magaliesburg, but for peak relaxation why not check into a country hotel where zebras roam? Read more here.
It may be viewed as the 'gateway to Kruger', the quiet Mpumalanga town has a knack for drawing in weekend crowds with whisky, waffles and traditional local pubs. Read more here.
Makhonjwa Barberton Mountains
This mountain range is SA's newest World Heritage Site, inscribed last year. The geological marvel is one of the oldest natural structures in the world, its volcanic and sedimentary rock dating back 3.6 to 3.25 billion years. Read more here.
The heart of marula land and right on the border with Kruger, Ba-Phalaborwa has a little more to offer than just as a throughway - taste whiskey from SA's first woman distiller, take a river cruise down the Olifants and stay in a bush hotel and spa. Read more here.
Welgevonden Game Reserve
A lovely luxury game reserve where you don't have to fight scores of cars to see some wildlife, this is the place to get pampered and watch elephants drink from a pool right on your doorstep. Read more here.
*Compiled by Gabi Zietsman