For visitors to Africa Travel Week, which took place in Cape Town from 11 to 13 April, a trip up the Garden Route was a tempting prospect. With no need to catch a flight, visitors could simply wind their way through George, Wilderness, Sedgefield, Knysna, Plettenberg Bay and up to the magical Tsitsikamma Forest.
And it is a very special time of year. If you’re looking for an Autumn/Winter break, we’ve put together a few ideas to add to your Garden Route itinerary:
De Doornkraal Vinotel
Handcrafted country hospitality
De Doornkraal Vinotel in Riversdale, the first Garden Route town when travelling from Cape Town, is a collection of restored buildings – built circa 1746 and offers luxury rooms each unique with their own history and heritage. Lovely en-suite rooms come with private entrances, as well as two cottages with their own lounges located on the wine estate. All rooms are eco-friendly with a bath and separate shower.
At Aan’t Vette Country Kitchen you can enjoy fresh local fare, as well as more exotic dishes inspired by flavours from Europe, the Mediterranean, Asia and South Africa. Enjoy a drink in in the comfortable lounges, by the pool or in the wine garden, where a 150-year-old vine is still bearing grapes.
Visit the Julius Gordon Africana Centre, built in 1880 which houses the largest collection of Thomas Bowler paintings in South Africa. Explore Riversdale, nestled at the foot of the Sleeping Beauty Mountain peak. The hiking trail takes you to the crest of the mountain for spectacular views. Make sure to visit Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve, encompassing 250 hectares of indigenous forest and scenic hiking trails.
- Enjoy a wine tasting at the De Doornkraal’s Aan’t Vette Wine Estate.
- An experience not to be missed – the ‘Ou Tronk’ holds a weekly farmer’s market with delicious food and interesting little shops. Try the delicious carrot cake!
- Relax at the pool and take a refreshing dip to cool off.
Beach Villa Wilderness
A charming haven
Beach Villa Wilderness is a luxury guesthouse along the Garden Route coast, nestled between George and Sedgefield. Offering fully serviced suites with top quality comfortable beds, each suite is elegantly furnished, has a private lounge, and includes all modern conveniences. In summer, you can enjoy a refreshing swim in the ocean or relax with a sundowner alongside the swimming pool.
- Sip drinks on the terrace as you watch the fiery sunset dip into the ocean.
- Ideally located to scenic nature trails, winding through beautiful cool forests.
- Immerse yourself in the abundance of fauna and flora, watch the whales and dolphins, go bird watching or just relax on sun-kissed beaches – bliss.
Brenton Haven Beachfront Resort
Where nature and luxury meet
Imagine a place, surrounded by the most beautiful beaches in the world, and an endless expanse of turquoise blue ocean framed against a backdrop of lush fynbos dunes. Brenton Haven offers well-appointed beachfront Beach Homes and Luxury Suites with exquisite views of the Indian Ocean, a spacious open plan living area, and a braai on the beautiful stone finished deck.
Dine at Butterfly Blu, perched on a dune top with beautiful panoramic sea views making it one of the most idyllic restaurants in Knysna with beautiful food, an outdoor/indoor deck, lounge areas, cocktail bar, and a contemporary interior. Directly below the restaurant is a beautiful stretch of sandy beach. The setting is perfect to enjoy sundowners after a stroll on the beach.
- Butterfly Blu Restaurant and deck with sea views.
- Swim in the sparkling pool and work up a sweat in the Brenton Active Gymnasium.
- Relish sweet pastries and light meals at Indigo Deli.
The Milkwood Collection
Perfectly situated, gorgeous accommodation
About 500 km from Cape Town, Knysna is one of South Africa’s most beloved holiday destinations. Nestled amidst leafy Milkwood trees on the edge of the Knysna Lagoon, The Milkwood Collection offers a variety of self-catering accommodation to suit everyone’s taste. Waterfront Villas, Milkwood Bay and Number Eleven, offer five-star luxury with private swimming pools. For more affordable options, choose between Paquita – a villa perfectly situated on the water’s edge – or one of Under Milkwood’s 16 cosy timber chalets.
The properties are close to the famous Knysna Heads – the two impressive sandstone peaks guarding the Knysna Lagoon entrance which opens onto the Indian Ocean. With direct access to the beach, the lagoon’s calm and shallow shores allow safe swimming for kids and endless opportunities for water sports.
A host of exciting adventures awaits you on both the lagoon and in the surrounding area, which boasts several world class golf courses, cycling and hiking trails, bird watching, fishing, myriad family activities and annual events such as the Knysna Oyster Festival.
- A variety of self-catering accommodation to suit everyone’s taste.
- Complimentary kayaks and paddle boards on the beach.
- Pre-order groceries at Woolworths or Pick n Pay before arrival and it will be delivered and placed in your accommodation prior to your arrival.
Heavenly seaside living
The Plettenberg, situated on a rocky headland in Plettenberg Bay is an awesome seaside escape. Whether you choose from entry-level Double Rooms, spacious Premier Suites or exclusive Villas, you are assured stylish and comfortable accommodation with views of the ocean, mountains and endless stretches of golden sand.
Dine on innovative, sustainable seafood dishes at Seafood at the Plettenberg, drawing inspiration from rich marine life. The indoor dining section offers beautiful views of the pool and ocean, while the outdoor terrace is perfect for alfresco dinners, with mesmerising ocean vistas – especially at sunset. The relaxed Café Menu offers hearty dishes such as ‘Proper Fish & Chips’, Charcuterie Platters and the ‘PlettenBurger’, and guests may also book ahead to enjoy High Tea at the restaurant.
Sip from a wide selection of local and international spirits and expertly mixed cocktails at The Sandbar, The Plettenberg’s stylish bar and lounge.
Explore the natural beauty of numerous National Parks, enjoy a picnic, visit a market, spot the Big Five, relax on the beach, hit the waves, or explore the surrounding mountains on foot or bike. Not to mention shark cage diving, golfing, whale and bird watching, the options are seemingly endless.
- Enjoy a High Tea with savoury bites such as smoked salmon trout and cream cheese sandwiches, classic cucumber finger sandwiches and seasonal berry pavlova and chocolate lamingtons as sweet treats – not to forget freshly baked scones.
- Sink into a range of indulgent signature treatments and spa packages at the Fresh Wellness Spa.
- Book ‘A Table for Two’ set in the wine cellar, for a romantic and exclusive private dining experience.