In an ideal world, the holidays do not involve battling it out with droves of frantic shoppers and wading through insurmountable traffic. To relieve the worst of the season’s stress, The Edition has put together a list of great escapes that will take you from the fjords of Iceland to the markets or Marrakesh. We travel to the ends of the African continent, to a country where the culture is as rich as its natural beauty:

South Africa

Something about the way the sun hits South Africa that makes the sky so blindingly blue.

Like many parts of Africa, South Africa is known as a safari destination — after all, Kruger National Park is one of the largest game reserves in Africa. But South Africa is more than its fantastic wildlife; Cape Town, for one, is an underrated beauty. With its mix of black, white, and mulatto influences, Cape Town is a beautiful seaside haunt. The winter holidays is perhaps the perfect time to visit: temperatures rise in December, but the temperate climate of Cape Town (perhaps due to its proximity to the Antarctic) keeps the weather consistently mild.

A stunning view awaits on top of Table Mountain, which can easily be visited via cable car (or a quick hike for the more adventurous.) Right by Simon’s Town, where chowing on seafood is the perfect break to shopping for homeware in kitschy shops, the Cape of Good Hope can be found. One can sample the best of South African tipple at Stellenbosch, where some of the country’s best vineyards are situated. What makes Cape Town such a fantastic holiday destination is its unassuming beauty: even in its most luxe lodgings, the amenities are kept simple. After all, you’d want to stay outside for the duration of the entire trip. —Marga Buenaventura

Art by Maine Manalansan

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