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A PICTURESQUE SELF-DRIVE ROUTE

A PICTURESQUE 

SELF-DRIVE ROUTE

Hermanus & Garden Route – South Africa

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THE LUSH GARDEN ROUTE IS A PICTURESQUE PLACE WHERE RIVERS, VALLEYS AND FORESTS ARE EMBRACED BY SURROUNDING MOUNTAIN RANGES AND PRISTINE COASTLINES BEGGING TO BE DISCOVERED. ALONG THE WAY, ONE CHARMING TOWN REPLACES THE NEXT, EACH WITH ITS OWN SIGNATURE LEISURE AND DINING OPTIONS.

It is a place with soft sand and a warm sea where complete relaxation is possible on numerous Blue Flag beaches, yet there are endless options for the active to pursue with no shortage of celebrated local cuisine in stunning settings. For adventurists and hobbyists there are a myriad of ways to explore the incredible wildlife and awe-inspiring landscapes: they can scuba, go shark cage diving, play in the waves, board a sunset cruise, hike, try horse riding on the beach or go bird watching. That is why a self-driving trip between Mossel Bay in the Western Cape and Storms River in the Eastern Cape along the N2 coastal highway is arguably one of the best ways to experience the route.

One will soon realise that food forms an integral part of the Garden Route. De Vette Mossel in Great Brak River just past Mossel Bay offers an informal, 9-course seafood feast prepared on open fires presented as a rolling buffet, right on the beach. It is a wonderfully unusual experience. In the same village, the Transkaroo dishes up plates full of passionately created South African cuisine in a beautiful old railway station beside a quiet lagoon, al fresco style. Here the wine racks are the wine list. Botlierskop Private Game Reserve is only 20 minutes away if you are considering a quick luxury safari.

The quiet and clean Pilot Blue Flag Wilderness Beach, a mere 60 kilometres from Mossel Bay, makes a marvellous impression right before one enters the town of Wilderness with its dense indigenous forests and bird-filled wetlands. Here nature lovers want for nothing. The sleepy town of Sedgefield and its calm coastal lagoon that is perfect for paddling is just a short drive away. On Saturdays the Wild Oats Community Farmers Market is the place to be. Here you will find everything from flowers and fresh produce to delicious, wholesome meals and treats. If you have time, visit the ‘secret’ Cola Beach or Gerickes Point.

Drive another 20 minutes to reach Knysna where wild oysters are synonymous with the town’s culinary scene and best enjoyed in the waterfront on the lagoon. In fact, their oysters are so famous that a festival is held every year. For a premier eco-experience, take a ferry west to the Featherbed Nature Reserve with its milkwood forests and sea caves. Here sandstone cliffs namely The Heads guard the entry to the Knysna Lagoon from the sea. Then again, The Heads are equally impressive from East Head Café, a landmark with the most spectacular views. The secluded Noetzie Beach is another great spot if you want to take a detour. Once you are back on the N2, the road will lead to Plettenberg Bay, one of Africa’s leading beach destinations with five Blue Flag beaches. The award-winning boutique Bramon Wine Estate and restaurant in The Crags is a hidden gem nearby. You could even stay at Gondwana Private Game Reserve if you have limited time but would like to have an authentic African Safari Experience.

You may even want to veer inland via Route 62 that will introduce you to wine estates in Robertson and Montagu, fine port at Boplaas in Calitzdorp, mountain-grown wines of rare depth at Jakkalsvlei near Herbertsdale, the Cango Caves in Oudtshoorn or other treasures in the Klein Karoo reached through the Swartberg Pass.

When it comes to accommodation options, visitors are more than spoilt for choice.

THE LUSH GARDEN ROUTE IS A PICTURESQUE PLACE WHERE RIVERS, VALLEYS AND FORESTS ARE EMBRACED BY SURROUNDING MOUNTAIN RANGES AND PRISTINE COASTLINES BEGGING TO BE DISCOVERED. ALONG THE WAY, ONE CHARMING TOWN REPLACES THE NEXT, EACH WITH ITS OWN SIGNATURE LEISURE AND DINING OPTIONS.

It is a place with soft sand and a warm sea where complete relaxation is possible on numerous Blue Flag beaches, yet there are endless options for the active to pursue with no shortage of celebrated local cuisine in stunning settings. For adventurists and hobbyists there are a myriad of ways to explore the incredible wildlife and awe-inspiring landscapes: they can scuba, go shark cage diving, play in the waves, board a sunset cruise, hike, try horse riding on the beach or go bird watching. That is why a self-driving trip between Mossel Bay in the Western Cape and Storms River in the Eastern Cape along the N2 coastal highway is arguably one of the best ways to experience the route.

One will soon realise that food forms an integral part of the Garden Route. De Vette Mossel in Great Brak River just past Mossel Bay offers an informal, 9-course seafood feast prepared on open fires presented as a rolling buffet, right on the beach. It is a wonderfully unusual experience. In the same village, the Transkaroo dishes up plates full of passionately created South African cuisine in a beautiful old railway station beside a quiet lagoon, al fresco style. Here the wine racks are the wine list. Botlierskop Private Game Reserve is only 20 minutes away if you are considering a quick luxury safari.

The quiet and clean Blue Flag Wilderness Beach, a mere 60 kilometres from Mossel Bay, makes a marvellous impression right before one enters the town of Wilderness with its dense indigenous forests and bird-filled wetlands. Here nature lovers want for nothing. The sleepy town of Sedgefield and its calm coastal lagoon that is perfect for paddling is just a short drive away. On Saturdays the Wild Oats Community Farmers Market is the place to be. Here you will find everything from flowers and fresh produce to delicious, wholesome meals and treats. If you have time, visit the ‘secret’ Cola Beach or Gerickes Point.

Drive another 20 minutes to reach Knysna where wild oysters are synonymous with the town’s culinary scene and best enjoyed in the waterfront on the lagoon. In fact, their oysters are so famous that a festival is held every year. For a premier eco-experience, take a ferry west to the Featherbed Nature Reserve with its milkwood forests and sea caves. Here sandstone cliffs namely The Heads guard the entry to the Knysna Lagoon from the sea. Then again, The Heads are equally impressive from East Head Café, a landmark with the most spectacular views. The secluded Noetzie Beach is another great spot if you want to take a detour. Once you are back on the N2, the road will lead to Plettenberg Bay, one of Africa’s leading beach destinations with five Blue Flag beaches. The award-winning boutique Bramon Wine Estate and restaurant in The Crags is a hidden gem nearby. You could even stay at Gondwana Private Game Reserve if you have limited time but would like to have an authentic African Safari Experience.

You may even want to veer inland via Route 62 that will introduce you to wine estates in Robertson and Montagu, fine port at Boplaas in Calitzdorp, mountain-grown wines of rare depth at Jakkalsvlei near Herbertsdale, the Cango Caves in Oudtshoorn or other treasures in the Klein Karoo reached through the Swartberg Pass.

When it comes to accommodation options, visitors are more than spoilt for choice.

EXPLORE HERMANUS & GARDEN ROUTE

EXPLORE HERMANUS & GARDEN ROUTE

HERMANUS & GARDEN ROUTE ACCOMMODATION

HERMANUS & GARDEN ROUTE ACCOMMODATION

DISCOVER SOUTH AFRICA

DISCOVER SOUTH AFRICA