A holiday, already? Wow, Anja. It’s February. Calm down.
But you guys, March and April are coming. And with all those public holidays – it’s basically like a second December. And if you’re like me and you had to be online over the Festive Season, now’s the time to take a proper break!
J-P and I absolutely love the East Coast, and last year we went to Jeffrey’s Bay for Easter and in December we went to Port Elizabeth for a week. I find everything about the trip up charming, from stopping at little farm stalls in Robertson to finding a Wimpy in the most obscure little towns. (I love Wimpy. Don’t judge me.)
But what I love the most, is the Garden Route. I used to go to George every holiday to visit my great grandmother, and I have the fondest memories of driving there with my mom in her old Honda – listening to Neil Diamond while the towns rolled past my window.
I really wanted to visit the Garden Route again this year, so we’re going to Herold’s Bay at the end of March and I am super excited.
If you’re planning on taking a Garden Route holiday this year, this one is for you. Some of these depend on your route and if you don’t like driving (*cough* Capetonians *cough*).
1. Stop at Ou Meul Bakkery at Riversonderend
I know that they have a few branches around the Cape, but the bakery stems from Riviersonderend – making this one especially charming. While you’re there, be sure to grab one of their delicious pies! It’s also the perfect place to grab a cup of coffee to drink on your roadtrip to the Garden Route. Friendly staff, delicious food and a very cute gift shop – it’s not to be missed.
2. Visit the CP Nel Museum in Oudtshoorn
I love visiting museums, so when we went to Graaff-Reinet a few years ago, I forced my parents to stop at this one on the way there. To date, CP Nel is still one of the best museums I’ve ever visited. It’s MASSIVE, and there’s so much to take in. My favourite part of the museum is obviously the ostrich feather fashion section, but there’s something for everyone – so take your family and go check it out.
3. Stroll around the Outeniqua Farmer’s Market
With more than 150 food and craft stalls, live entertainment, a train ride for the kids and all kinds of delicious treats – this is George’s version of the Cape Town Oranjezicht market, and it sounds lovely.
The market is open every Saturday from 8am until 2pm, and located opposite the Garden Route Mall in George.
4. Surf at Victoria Bay
Vic Bay boasts a legendary righthand pointbreak with consistent swell. You’re in for a good surf when there’s a NNW wind or a light onshore breeze, and not only is the surf great – but the beach is also lovely for relaxing days in the sun.
If this sounds like a vibe to you, you should definitely check out the full surf report.
5. Go to the Knysna Forest
You can’t go to Knysna without visiting the forest. I was fortunate enough to go there on a school camp in high school, and the density and serenity of the forest left me speechless. It is an incredible sight to behold, and the perfect place to go for a hike and forget about all your worries. Read more about this majestic place on SA Venues.
6. Visit the Featherbed Nature Reserve in Knysna
Take a boat to the beautiful Knysna Featherbed Nature Reserve. The boatride itself is an awesome experience, and once you get to the Reserve you can have lunch and go for a breathtaking hike. To find out more, visit the Featherbed Co. here.
7. Mountain Bike at Wiftontein
Situated 10km from George in the Outeniqua Nature Reserve is the Witfontein plantation, which has a network of single track and jeep track through beautiful indigenous forest and fynbos. The trails are suited for most levels of riders. There’s a Jeep track for the more cadence-orientated rider and for the more adventurous rider; fast loamy single track littered with roots and rocks. This is guaranteed to put a smile on the face of any mountain biker.
Read more here.
8. Challenge your friends and family at the Plett Puzzle Park
If you’re into puzzles, this is just the place for you. I mean, just look at this epic 3D maze.
There’s also a 350m puzzle walk, which has word, number and shape games designed to challenge you. Sound like fun? Then check out their website here!
9. Stand next to the Big Tree in the Tsitsikamma
It’s 36m tall and has a circumference of 9m. Believe me, you want to see it in real life.
10. Walk on the suspension bridge at Storms River Mouth
I’ve mentioned this in one of my previous articles, but one of my favourite places on this planet is Storms River Mouth. With its lush forest, crystal clear waters and epic suspension bridge – it’s one of the most magical places you’ll ever visit in South Africa. If you go there, go stand on the suspension bridge and just soak up the wonder of this beauteous place.
Read more about Storms River on Retreat To Move Forward.
11. Or jump off the Bloukrans Bridge
If standing on bridges isn’t your thing, you can bungee off one at Bloukrans Bridge.
12. Stay at some of the most beautiful places in South Africa
There are so many beautiful places to stay in the Garden Route that it can actually be a little bit overwhelming. But a site like Accomodirect makes it a lot easier for you to find places within your budget, and to see what is available for the time period you’d like to go away. I found a lot of awesome spots, like this guest house in Knysna called The Bamboo.
And the Shangrila Manor in Wilderness, which looks like a scene from 90210.
View more places on Accommodirect here.
The great thing about The Garden Route is that you can go back every year of your life, and you’ll never have exhausted all the activities and attractions it has to offer. It truly is the gift that keeps on giving.
Would you like to add anything to this list? Then comment below and let me know what else I should check out!
This article was done in collaboration with Accommodation Direct.