Apple orchards, trail running and Ceres-ly good cider

Posted by Anita Froneman on 7 December 2021

What do fruit orchards, trail running and a tall glass of cider have in common? You’ll find them all, and more, in the Western Cape’s extraordinary Ceres Valley.

I’m not an excessively active person, but I enjoy the outdoors and have been known to sign up for the odd trail run in moments of bravado, or when a whole bunch of great perks are thrown in to sweeten the deal. Such was the case with a recent trail run at Loxtonia Cider, embedded in the Ceres mountains and home to spectacular scenery. Of course, it was the promise of a free apple cider after the run that really won me over.

And envisioning that cold, sparkly cider was almost the only thing that kept me running through the terrain I was so ill-prepared for. That and my poor partner who literally pushed me up the last hill. Thanks to the bountiful rain the night before washing away the chalk markers, we got a bit lost (adding an extra three kilometres to the arduous journey), so I thoroughly deserved that cider when I finally reached it.

The farm is enchanting and well worth the drive into the valley, even from Cape Town.

Loxtonia uses natural fermentation from freshly pressed, handpicked apples as opposed to using apple concentrate, and it’s easy to taste the difference in quality. I dare say it’s the perfect summer drink if you’re looking for something light, refreshing and tasty.

In fact, the cidery has recently taken top honours as overall champion at the International Cider Challenge in the United Kingdom, the world’s most authoritative and respected apple cider competition.

Loxtonia ciders are gluten-free, vegan-friendly and free of preservatives and artificial additives. The best part? Their Swiss-made pressing system runs entirely on solar power, so water usage is kept to a minimum and the apple pomace is composted back into the soil for the next harvest, leaving zero waste.

You can look out for flavours like the Crispy Apple Cider, Stone Fruit Apple Cider, Blush Apple Cider and the African Sundowner Cider, among others.

For more information or to shop, visit their website here.

The Western Cape’s climate is especially favourable for apple farming. Apple trees flower in mid-to late spring.

Stay here

When heading into the upper Breede River Valley, there are some exciting and pretty unique places to stay at.


Forgotten Highway Guest Farm 

Situated 30km outside Ceres on the edge of the Tankwa Karoo, this beautiful farm stay is the perfect escape. Here, it’s easy to while away the hours walking in the open fields, or soaking in the hot tub overlooking rolling hills. The Interior is basic, but clean and neat.


Rates: From R330 per person per night

For more information, visit their website here.


Vindoux Tree House Guest Farm & Spa 

If you’ve travelled within South Africa, you know that some places are just different. They’re so special, it feels like you’re in a different country. Sipping your morning coffee on the tree house’s wooden deck overlooking fruit orchards and mountains at Vindoux, it’s easy to feel like you woke up in a remote Canadian forest. But it’s the picturesque Saronsberg mountains greeting you in all their glory, and this side of Tulbagh looks even better than Canada.

To add to the already luxurious experience, plush robes await you when you step out of the spa bath. You can continue the pampering indulgence at the on-site spa, set out for an adventure by renting a bicycle, do a gin tasting (gin made on the farm) or relax by the enormous swimming pool.


You can also enquire about their organically-farmed fresh produce for sale.

Rates: From R1,950 per night including breakfast

For more information, visit their website here.

Loxtonia pictures: Courtesy Loxtonia Cider Gallery

Forgotten Highway pictures: Courtesy of the property

Vindoux pictures: Courtesy of the property


Need a break? Stay in a pear orchard in the Breede River Valley


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