“Where to stay”; a question that often arises when planning a holiday.
With so many accommodation choices available, the question of where to stay can become quite a daunting one, let alone choosing where to go in the first place.
First, one should ask the “million dollar” question; what makes for a successful holiday? Many may agree that location is pretty high on the list of key factors. We’d say climate may be next and activities or things to do, a close third. We’ve found three specific places along the garden route that tick all these proverbial boxes: Plett, Knysna and Noetzie. Here’s why…
1. Location – Plett, Knysna and Noetzie are renowned for their sublime natural beauty along the most pristine and naturally diverse stretches of the South African coast.
2. Climate – This whole region is renowned for its temperate climate; so they’re never too cold, nor swelteringly hot.
3. Activities – All three regions offer their own unique qualities and a huge diversity of things to do suiting all ages, interests and hobby’s.
Let’s take a look at three main activities that these magical holiday destinations offer so that you can decide where to stay, based on your personal holiday preferences.
Where to stay based on your holiday needs
1. Are you looking for relaxing days spent lazing on the beach? Plettenberg Bay has many…
Plettenberg Bay Main Beach; an iconic ‘family beach’, considered one of the safest beaches in Plett. Lifeguard monitoring is year-round and it’s a seemingly endless pristine beach with a array of activities including volleyball, surfing, sponsored events, kayaking and whale watching (by boat).
The Robberg; a 4 kilometre stretch of wide golden sand that runs along the ‘Millionaire’s Row’ of beachfront properties. ‘Robberg 5’ is the best demarcated swimming area. The Robberg offers breathtaking walks and hiking opportunities, wait until you see the view from the top amid the fynbos (local wild flowers)!
Keurbooms Lagoon Beach; the beach that fronts the lagoon mouth. The river level may determine the water colour. The water can be a deep brownish colour from tannins (still very clean to swim) or ice-crystal clear. The lagoon offers appropriate waters for toddlers and children too.
Nature’s Valley Beach; an absolute piece of heaven accessed from the beautiful and unspoilt Nature’s Valley. The lagoon has a pale blue hue, rock pools and variety of shells; fun for the kids to collect. There is a strong current so avoid swimming alone as the waves can be daunting.
Arch Rock Beach; located in Keurbooms at the end of the parking lot board-walk at Enrico’s restaurant. At low tide, unusual sculptural rock formations reveal themselves. Whilst beautiful to walk along, this may not be the best beach for swimming – so watch out for powerful oncoming surf and back-pulling tides.
2. Are you more interested in scenery, sporting activities and nature? Here are just some of the popular outdoor attractions in Knysna …
Here are just some of the outdoor attractions in Knysna …
The Knysna Lagoon & The Knysna Heads
The Lagoon is more accurately defined as an estuary. An estuary is ‘a partly enclosed coastal body of brackish water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea’. The lagoon has five fresh water rivers flowing in from the surrounding Outeniqua Mountains meeting with the Indian Ocean through the mighty ‘Knysna Heads’. These huge sandstone cliffs are hard to miss – guarding the entrance to the Knysna Lagoon. The Eastern Head has a lookout with spectacular views and the Western Head hosts a privately-owned nature reserve (Featherbed Nature Reserve). The reserve can be reached via chartered tours departing every 4 hours from the Knysna Waterfront.
The Knysna Forest & the Knysna elephants
The forests of this region offer breathtaking flora and fauna. Many tours are available as well as hikes and trail walking. The Knysna forest extends along the coast, with trees of tropical and afromontane origin offering an opportunity to see extensive vegetation and wildlfe. The forests are home to the African Elephant, African leopard, Bushbuck, Blue duiker, Bushpig and other mammals. Keep a lookout for the Knysna lourie (a bird with a distinctive call and deep red underwing), Knysna warbler and Knysna woodpecker. The beautiful Knysna elephants can be visited with at the Knysna Elephant Sanctuary (a once-in-a-lifetime experience).
The Knysna Festivals
For wildlife of the culinary kind, the Knysna Oyster Festival each July is world renowned. Although it takes place in the Winter season, it is billed as ‘South Africa’s premium lifestyle festival’ and ‘the best 10 days of your Winter’. More than 100 lifestyle and sporting events spread over 10 days, with scenic multi-disciplinary competitions that include cycling, running, trail running, swimming and paddling. In addition, multiple stands featuring oysters, wine and good food make this one of the best options for your midyear break.
3. Are you looking for something more remote and private? We recommend Noetzie as it not only offers privacy and seclusion but a little medieval romance, thrown in too.
If you’ve ever dreamed of being king of your domain, surrounded by nature, a Castle right on the beach of Noetzie can make this dream a reality. A short drive from Knysna, lies Noetzie (Knysna’s lesser known ‘sibling’). Gorgeous expanses of unspoilt beach play host to magnificent and towering castles built into the natural landscape overlooking the beach. Castles at Noetzie offer spectacular scenery, elegant comfort, lush forest landscapes and ultimate seclusion to make for a truly unforgettable and peaceful stay.
Choosing where to stay is really about finding a place that speaks to your soul.
Our properties; where to stay
We’ve highlighted some self-catering villas especially suitable for certain interest groups:
– Need to be close to a Golf course? Have a look at No.1 The Meadows in Plett which boarders Goose Valley, Gary Player designed, 72 par, 18-hole signature golf course.
– Looking for a villa that offers prime whale watching vistas? Spotting wales from your own bathtub at Villa Seaview perched on the edge of the Heads in Knysna could not be more rewarding.
– Want to open your castle doors onto unspoilt, unpopulated natural beauty? Lindsay Castle in Noetzie may be just right for you.
Please view our full list of exclusive holiday rentals here and contact us should you have further queries on where to stay during your visit to the garden route. Happy holidaying!