Garden Route Travel Guide

Description

Dramatic river cut gorges, beautiful beaches, rocky headlands and deep tangled forests are the quintessential Garden Route images. Stretching from anywhere between Stilbaai and Mossel Bay in the west, to Stormsriver or Port Elizabeth (PE) in the east, it's a gorgeous stretch of coastal paradise strung out along the N2. Purists will squash it up between Mossel Bay and Stormsriver but, as the popularity of the Garden Route grew and small towns at its edge realised the marketing potential, it just seemed to spread. No problem - it spread to some cool places.

The towns generally accepted to be part of the Garden Route are Mossel Bay, George, Wilderness, Sedgefield, Knysna, Plettenberg Bay and Stormsriver. Stilbaai and Albertinia have snuck in on the West and Humansdorp and even Port Elizabeth are muscling in from the east. Inland, the Little Karoo and Route 62, which have no pretensions to being the Garden Route, are often treated as the same destination, as it's pretty easy zigzag between them by driving the many scenic passes over the Outeniqua Mountains. Initially the Garden Route was seen as very much a beach and/or family holiday destination, which it is, but there is also so much to do. There's great hiking, with rambles ranging from an hour to a few days covering rocky coasts, deep forests, pretty fynbos and long sandy beaches. The diving is good, as is the surfing, and there are some fun sea kayaking and flat water paddling trips. Some of the country's best mountain bike trails snake through the forests, and there are horse trails for every taste and level of ability. Tandem skydiving, paragliding, and a range of scenic flights all offer different birds eye views.

The Garden Route offers some of the best boat based whale watching in the world, flower lovers and birders will also have a field day traipsing off through the forest or the fynbos, and there are numerous national parks and nature reserves. Steam buffs will love the narrow gauge Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe. For the more culturally inclined, there are township tours, museums, lovely old buildings, funky craft shops, markets, art galleries and loads of live music venues. And, of course, a flotilla of great restaurants - many of which specialise in seafood - in each town. The Garden Route is a golfer's dream destination - you could play a different course every day for a week and still have a few left over.

Of course, this is not all good news as golf courses use an exorbitant amount of water and take up vast amounts of space but, as long as the golf-estate-building spree fizzles out soon, there should be sufficient space remaining between the fairways for a bit of forest, perhaps some shops and even a house or two. But that's not your problem, is it? If you fancy a round in paradise, get in now before it closes down. And if golf is too slow for you - there are more international standard polo fields in Plett alone than there are in the rest of the country put together. You could spend anything from a weekend to a month at a tailor-made polo clinic.

But what the Garden Route is most suitable for is relaxation - and even that's been somewhat institutionalised with almost every second hotel housing a wellness centre or spa. Not that that's a problem, mind. After a hard day on the beach you'll probably need a chocolate mud bath, colour therapy or hot stone massage.

In and Around

Popular Attractions
Nearby Locations
Nearest Airport
Featured Destinations
Bars and Nightclubs
 

Accommodation near Garden Route

*Distances are shown as the crow flies and not necessarily the actual travelling distance.

from R800
1 night, 2 adults

Madon Studio

Sleeps 4 Piesang Valley Self-catering in Piesang Valley

If you’re looking for accommodation in a peaceful and tranquil setting look no further! This sunny N...

from R700
1 night, 2 adults

Panorama Lodge

Sleeps 10 Hunters Home Self-catering in Hunters Home

Panorama Lodge is perfectly situated for you to explore the Garden Route, also to take advantage of ...

from R700
1 night, 2 adults

Weldon House

Sleeps 15 Piesang Valley Guest House in Piesang Valley

Weldon House is a beautiful old historical manor house offering accommodation where old world charm ...

from R700
1 night, 2 adults

Inn2wilderness

Sleeps 13 Wilderness Self-catering in Wilderness

If homely and friendly accommodation located close to the beach is what you are looking for, then th...

from R850
1 night, 2 adults

Bishops Cove

Sleeps 13 Stormsriver Village Self-catering in Stormsriver Village

Bishops Cove is situated on one of the most remarkable sites in the Tsitsikamma area.

from R2400
1 night, 2 adults

SeeHuis

Sleeps 13 Witsand Self-catering in Witsand

SeeHuis is an incredible holiday home situated on a prime beachfront plot. You cannot get closer to ...

from R850
1 night, 2 adults

Rinkink Beach House

Sleeps 7 Wilderness Self-catering in Wilderness

Rinkink Beach House is located on the Golden Mile of the Wilderness and the Garden Route, along a 7 ...

from R600
1 night, 2 adults

Berghof Guest House

Sleeps 5 Plettenberg Bay Self-catering in Plettenberg Bay

Situated in a quiet cul-de-sac in Plettenberg Bay, Berghof Guest House is a simple 2km from the long...

from R900
1 night, 2 adults

Abundant Life Guest House

Sleeps 6 Sedgefield Self-catering in Sedgefield

Abundant Life Guest House offers comfortable accommodation in two spacious units that are ideal for ...

from R660
1 night, 2 adults

Farmhouse Lodge B&B

Sleeps 14 Blanco Bed and Breakfast in Blanco

Farmhouse Lodge B&B is a tastefully restored Cape Dutch home, situated at Fancourt Hotel & Country C...

Knysna Loerie
Whale In Plettenberg Bay
Fynbos - Outeniqua Heather