See and do
This area is big news for golfing enthusiasts, with courses at Simola, Fancourt and Pezula at the top of the list. Adventure enthusiasts also flock here as the area boasts animal experiences at the Crags (Plettenberg Bay), not to mention the world’s highest commercial bridge bungee jump (Plettenberg Bay, +27 42 281 1458). At 216m high, this is definitely for the brave (or mad).
Heading further east, you’ll find the magical Tsitsikamma National Park and Nature’s Valley – perfect for hippies and those really wanting to get away from it all. Due to the region’s popularity as a holiday spot, there are luckily loads of good eateries around. A must-stop for great brunches and stocking up on more bread than you’ll know what to do with is Île de Païn (The Boatshed, Thesen Islands, Knysna. +27 44 302 5707) while the Wild Oats Community Farmers’ Market (Cnr N2 & Jan van Riebeeck St, Sedgefield, +27 33 883 1177) is the perfect place to fill your basket with the area’s bounty.
The whole Garden Route also boasts a myriad of roadside farm stalls, so it’s worth getting out of your car to explore (and taste!). The top dining spot in the area is Zachary’s at Pezula Resort Hotel & Spa (Lagoon View Dr, Eastern Head, Knysna, +27 44 302 3333) where organic fare is top on the list. The accommodation here is ultra-luxurious with suites dotted about overlooking the ocean from the cliff top.
Equally spectacular, but in a completely different way, is the eco-retreat Phantom Forest (Phantom Pass Rd, Knysna, +27 44 386 0046) where you stay in the tree suites. There’s nothing quite like lying in a massive bath overlooking the forest. For stylish self-catering, the Rex Hotel (8 Gray St, Knysna, +27 44 302 5900) hits all the right notes with modern comfort. But if you’re after something altogether more dramatic, there’s nothing quite like the Moroccan Gothic rooms of the Grand Café & Rooms (27 Main Rd, Plettenberg Bay, +27 44 533 3301): think open cement showers for two; four-poster beds and twin baths in the Bath House room.