Garden Route

Garden Route Holidays

Garden Route holidays offer a mix of many things, from modern golf courses to ancient forests and from mountain hideaways to fantastic beaches. The Garden Route is renowned for its stunning scenic beauty, but its side roads also offer intriguing distractions. Garden Route holidays offer a chance to visit Oudtshoorn, the ostrich capital of the world, walk in beautiful forests, enjoy the local beers and oysters in Knysna, go whale watching in Plettenberg Bay, try bungee jumping at Bloukrans River Bridge, visit Robberg Nature Reserve, sunbathe on one of the many beautiful beaches or play golf at Fancourt Golf Course. The possibilities are truly endless.

The three main seaside towns on the Garden Route are Knysa, Mossel Bay and Plettenberg Bay. Garden Route holidays start at the old-fashioned seaside resort of Mossel Bay. The Wilderness Park is the next stop. The park is a mix of mountain and coastal fynbos (thick bush), wetlands and lagoons which attract 250 species of bird including kingfishers and the colourful Knysa Lourie.

The town of Knysa is located on a lagoon and is one of the highlights of the route. There is plenty of local accommodation and for something a bit different visitors can try the Phantom Forest Eco-Lodge with its luxury tree houses built from sustainable materials, and wellness centre. There is no beach at Knysa, but the local oysters and beer are worth trying.

In contrast, Plettenberg Bay has beautiful beaches which are good for swimming and sunbathing. The town is located on a rocky peninsula with stunning views of spacious beaches, forests and tranquil lagoons. The bay is fantastic for water sports, offering deep-sea fishing, sailing or scuba diving amongst others. From July to December there are boat trips to see the humpback whales. Visitors can choose from three sandy beaches or go hiking in the Robberg Peninsular Nature Reserve or around Kuerbooms River Lagoon.

Beyond Plettenberg Bay tourists can leave the N2 to descend via a steep and twisting road to Nature’s Valley. Here the tourist will find a superb beach and unspoilt lagoon. After Nature’s Valley visitors can follow the best stretch of wild coastline to the Tsitsikamma National Park. The park has spectacular hiking trails and an underwater nature trail for snorkelers. The park features ‘oceanettes’, self-catering chalets right next to the Indian Ocean. Alternatively, visitors can try the Tsitsikamma Lodge with its garden cabins complete with TV, spa-baths and hi-fi.

Garden Route holidays offer fantastic opportunities for outdoor activities. This adventure playground offers surfing, snorkelling, canoeing, biking, hiking, hang-gliding, paragliding, scuba diving, rafting, parachuting and ballooning. Most of the tourist centres will have diving schools. The best locations for surfing are Buffalo Bay, Victoria Bay and Plettenberg, although for serious surfers Jeffrey’s Bay is the place to head with its legendary ‘supertubes’. Garden Route holidays also offer plenty of hiking, biking and riding trails. The 42-kilometre Otter Trail in Tsitsikamma National Park is South Africa’s best long distance trail.


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