Watersports this Plett Summer

Sea kayaking Plett

If you’re anything like us, you can’t get enough of the beach during the summer months. For us, Plett Summer is about salt water, sunshine and sandy feet. The beaches of Plettenberg Bay are some of the most beloved in South Africa; Robberg, Keurbooms, Nature’s Valley, The Lookout and The Dunes are our five International Blue Flag beaches but it goes beyond those too. The Island’s beach on Robberg is magnificent, Central Beach is so action packed and the waters and waterways of Plett are a hive of summer fun every day. Here’s a quick round-up of our favourite summer watersports:

Plett Stand-Up Paddling

Whether you choose to paddle the lagoon and rivers of Plett or hit the surf, you’ll love the freedom of SUPing around the waterways of Plettenberg Bay. Find out more: www.learntosurfplett.co.za

Scuba Diving

You may surprised to learn that scuba diving along the Southern Cape coastline is both interesting and varied. The mixture of warm Mozambican and cold Atlantic currents make for an array of colourful soft corals decorating reefs that are teeming with marine life including shysharks, nudibranchs, reef fish and more. Find out more: www.prodive.co.za

scuba diving Plett

Swim with the Seals

The clear, shallow waters around Robberg Peninsula lend themselves perfectly to this adventure excursion. Swim and snorkel with the enormously playful Cape Fur Seals – Plettenberg Bay is one of the few places in the world to enjoy this exciting ocean adventure. Find out more: www.offshoreadventures.co.za


Learn to Surf

 

As Plett is a bay and largely sheltered from the batterings of the open ocean, it’s a great place to learn to surf and surfing lessons are a popular holiday activity for the kids. More experienced surfers will enjoy the waves off Lookout Beach and Robberg. Find out more: www.learntosurfplett.co.za

Ocean Kayaking

Take a paddle across the bay – you’ll find the silence behind the waves to be refreshing, you’ll love the views across to the mountains and Robberg – this is one unforgettable way to see Plettenberg Bay. You may encounter a pod of dolphins, lots of sea birds and the playful Cape Fur Seals on Robberg Peninsula. Find out more: www.dolphinadventures.co.za

Sea kayaking Plett

5 Plett Summer Must-Do’s

Ocean Sailing Plett

Summer in Plettenberg Bay is a wonderful and frantic time. The sun is shining, the ocean is calling and Plett is full of interesting things to see and do. In addition to our year-round activities, adventures and tours, summer brings a slew of musicians, pop-ups and events to our little seaside town – making it the absolute must-visit destination of the South African summer season. Here are our five things you simply must do this Plett summer:

Ocean Sailing Charters

You’ll struggle to find a more relaxing summer adventure than taking a cruise with Ocean Sailing Charters around the bay. Anchor in the sheltered waters of the bay for a swim, sip cocktails to the sound of snapping sails and the smell of the ocean…this is what summer is all about!

Ocean Sailing Plett

Get Lucky Summer

Plett is fortunate to play host to South African band, GoodLuck’s summer residency: Get Lucky Summer. Every week, the lawns of the Beacon Isle, overlooking the ocean and Robberg, come alive as music lovers get down to the funky sounds of GoodLuck and their musical friends.

Get Lucky Summer

Africanyon

Swim, paddle, zipline, abseil, climb, jump…traverse the canyons and pools of the Crags every which way with Africanyon. If you’re looking for adventure in nature, coupled with the cooling waterways of the canyon, then this is the adventure for you!

africanyon

Take a trip through the winelands

There isn’t really a bad time of year to visit the wine estates of the Plett Winelands, but there’s something “very Plett” about sipping an icy MCC bubbly at a shady table in the vineyards. You’ll also find that there are a number of interesting ways to explore the winelands: take a wine tour, on horseback, in a horse-drawn carriage, a hiking tour or on a bicycle – just sip and relax.

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Sabrina Love Ocean Challenge

There’s something for everyone at the Sabrina Love Ocean Challenge: paddle, swim, walk, run or bike – it’s a family favourite – and all for a very good cause: the support of families with disabled children. This annual sporting event is a Plett Summer favourite.

Sabrina Love

September Specials at Cornerway House

Stay-Cornerway

Spring is in the air and we’re offering some fresh specials for the month of September:

September Special:

Saafin-Plett-Wine

Less 20% off on all direct bookings for the month of September. Normal price: R670pp sharing. Contact us for availability and bookings: cornerwayhouse@mweb.co.za

And especially for our MTB friends…if you are attending the Dr Evil Classic 3 day stage MTB race from 14th – 17th September 2016

IMG_7537 Dr Evil 2015

R1000 per room per night (sleeping two). Contact us for availability and bookings: cornerwayhouse@mweb.co.za

Happy holidays!

Horse riding in the Plett Winelands

Hog-Hollow-Farmlands

This has got to be one of absolute favourite Plett activities, especially for a sunny winter’s day; meander on horseback through the indigenous forest and vineyards of the Plett Winelands.

Plett-Horse-Riding

Now, we can say that we’ve had the pleasure of  experiencing most of Plett’s activities and adventures and the versatility of Hog Hollow Horse Trails offers so many options, that we’re sure you will be back for more than one excursion.  Visitors can choose between a one hour farm trail that is perfect for families, a two hour trail through a private game reserve or a three hour Cruise-the-Crags trail that can be tailor-made to include The Plett Winelands, Monkeyland, Birds of Eden, The Millwood Craft Centre and other nearby animal attractions – they choices are endless.

Hog-Hollow-Farmlands

We chose the Plett Winelands tour and a short farm ride to the most beautiful of hilltops overlooking the sea. It was a perfect combination for a group of largely inexperienced riders. Thankfully, the team at Hog Hollow Horse Trails were friendly, patient and experienced enough to make the trip an absolute delight.

Imagine this: you’re strolling, or the horse is, along a green hilltop with the ocean just peeking out in the distance, around you cows mill restfully and the exotic fallow deer scatter a short distance away. You stop for a brief chat to the farmer who stands languidly on the hillside, peeling an orange in his gumboots. As you move into the coolness of the forest, the trail narrows to single track and you’re walking through a mystical landscape towards the smallest of ponds – straight out of Arthurian legend – overhung by trees, sunlight cutting the early morning mist that has been left behind in this tiny vale. It’s perfection.

Autumn-Plett-Winelands

As you get into the Plett Winelands, the winter sun is warm and pleasant, you’re surrounded by vines and the Tsitsikamma Mountains are blue and imposing before you. This is a moment full of sunshine and bubbles.  The bubbles in the form of Bramon’s award-winning MCC Bubbly and paired with any number of delicious tapas from the menu. Eat a selection of cheeses, salads and pates served with fresh bread amongst the vines – we’re pretty sure you won’t want to go home after this.

Lunch-at-Bramon

To us, this Plettenberg Bay activity is the perfect combination of action and relaxation. So choose a slower (horse-power) pace and take in the beauty of The Crags. We can’t think of many better ways to spend an autumn or winter’s day in Plett.

Winter Special: Stay for 2 nights and receive 10% discount on direct bookings

Plett Hiking Kranshoek Coastal Walk

Harkerville-Ocean3

Harkerville-Ocean3

“Every mountain top is within reach if you just keep climbing.” Barry Finlay

Today we’re going to share one of our favourite Plett secrets – the Harkerville Coastal Hike. If you’re a walker, birder, photographer, nature-lover, hiker or trail runner, then you will want to make time to explore the coastal area around Kranshoek.

Picturesque Kranshoek is an exceptionally lovely suburb of Plettenberg Bay, located along the coastline between Plettenberg Bay and Knysna. Kranshoek is home to one of the largest Griqua populations in South Africa and is home to both the Griqua National Heritage Monument and the Griqua National Conference, offering visitors a fascinating look into the rich Griqua culture.

Kranshoek-Coastal

With some of the most dramatic coastal views to be found on the Garden Route, you’ll stroll through indigenous Fynbos and forest, hike down the cliff and meander along untouched shorelines – the Kranshoek Coastal Walk is an amazing hiking adventure in Plettenberg Bay.

There are two walks – a 3km and 9km option (which should take about 2 hours or 5 hours respectively) with the 9km being significantly tougher than the 3km – so choose whichever suits your fitness level. There is also a two-day hike and a number of MTB routes to enjoy in the area.

The “wildside” coastline between Plettenberg Bay and Knysna is characterised by seaside cliffs overlooking rocky shores and coves. The clifftop meander takes hikers through coastal Fynbos, endemic to the Southern Cape region; this flora plays home to some beautiful local birds including Orange-breasted Sunbirds, Southern Double-collared Sunbirds and the  Knysna Loerie.

We recommend packing a picnic lunch to enjoy along the way or at the picnic spot that serves as the start and end of the hike.

autumn-special

MAP:

KRANSHOEK-COASTAL-WALK-370x250

Find our more on the SanParks website

Kranshoek-Fynbosjpg

Scuba Diving and Snorkeling in Plett

OffshoreAdventures

“There is nothing wrong with enjoying looking at the surface of the ocean itself, except that when you finally see what goes on underwater, you realise that you’ve been missing the whole point of the ocean.” Dave Barry

Plettenberg Bay is probably best known for kilometres of pristine beaches, whale and dolphin watching and sublime summery days. We are fortunate to host 4 International Blue Flag beaches, hold the title of International Hope Spot and border the magnificent Tsitsikamma Marine Protected Area, the oldest MPA in Africa.

If you are a scuba diving enthusiast, then this stretch of coastline is not to be missed as it offers a unique look at the South African coastline and the vast differences between the Cape South Coast and the Northern, more tropical, coastline. While Cape Town has kelp forests and Durban has tropical fish – the Southern Cape coast is a dramatic mix of vibrant soft corals, anemones and sponges and offers divers, and in particular macro photographers, an endless canvas of colourful reef to explore.

Photo: Pro Dive Plett

Photo: Pro Dive Plett

While the fish generally aren’t tropical and the water temperatures may be on the colder side of 20°C, the positives far outweigh the negatives with common sightings of Ragged-Tooth sharks, endemic shysharks, large schools of fish and nudibranchs covering reefs with delightfully dramatic topography.

The shallower reefs off the Beacon Island can be reached by shore entry and they, especially in summer, act as a nursery to all sorts of juveniles including Red Roman, Blacktail and Butterfly fish. Rays are common sightings on the sandy patches between reefs and lucky divers may even encounter a school of passing dolphins.

Photo: Pro Dive Plett

Photo: Pro Dive Plett

The deeper reefs are accessed by boat and feature the more interesting topography of the area including walls, pinnacles and drop-offs. Sharks and pelagic fish are common and the reefs offer a fireworks display of colour in sponges, fans and anemones – a treasure trove of soft coral waiting to be discovered.

If you aren’t a scuba diver, you can still enjoy the underwater world of Plettenberg Bay including a snorkeling excursion off the Beacon Island to the shallower Red Bait Reef. For an unforgettable marine experience, hop on a seal swimming boat to the Robberg Peninsula where you can snorkel surrounded by hundreds of playful Cape Fur Seals in the shallows off the peninsula.

autumn-special

Seals Plett

Photo: Offshore Adventures

TIPS:

  • While the water is generally warmer in the summer months, scuba divers will be delighted to know that the winter conditions are highly recommended with calm, clear conditions.
  • 5mm wetsuits and booties are recommended throughout the year
  • Scuba Diving and Snorkeling visit: www.prodive.co.za
  • Swim with Seals visit: www.offshoreadventures.co.za

See the Fynbos in Plett

Plett-Proteas

“Earth laughs in flowers.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Plett-Proteas

A huge floral attraction of South Africa’s Southern Cape coast is our endemic Fynbos. Fynbos, from the Dutch fynbosch, directly translated as “fine bush” is actually a shrubland found only along a small coastal belt of the Southern Cape coast from the Cape to Port Elizabeth.

This puts Plettenberg Bay in the heart of Fynbos country. Known for its exceptional biodioversity – some 8500 species, nearly 6000 of which are endemic – the Cape Floral Kingdom is the smallest and most diverse of the world’s six floral kingdoms.

Hikers, birdwatchers and walkers along the many trails around Plettenberg Bay will be amazed to find the majestic King Protea growing wild next to the trail. The King Protea might be the largest in the family, but it is by no means the only Protea on this coastline, blooming at different times of the year and adorning the Fynbos region with a beautiful and unusual flower.

Another very popular export of the Fynbos region is Rooibos, also known as “bush tea”.  Brewed as a tea in South Africa for centuries, Rooibos is now available internationally, but efforts to grow Rooibos outside of our Cape coastal region have reportedly failed.

Photo: Plett Tourism

Photo: Plett Tourism

We’re most excited to tell you about a product, grown in Plett and closely related to Rooibos, that is gaining popularity – Honeybush Tea.  Plettenberg Bay has a Honeybush Tea industry that is just 15 years old (much the same as the Plett Winelands) and it is widely accepted that the area from Tsitsikamma to Riversdale is the ideal place to cultivate honeybush – again putting Plettenberg Bay right in the middle of this area. Honeybush is quite similar to Rooibos, although it is sweeter and the plant gets its name from the honey-scented flowers.

Would you like to try Honeybush and visit a Honeybush Tea farm in Plett? In 2000, local community owned, government sponsored Honeybush farm was opened at the Griqua settlement in Kranshoek. The farm is named Ericaville and 84 families from this community benefit from sale of the crops 95% of which are exported to Europe and Asia.

Ericaville farm tours include a brief history and plant classification including medicinal properties and harvesting. Visitors can harvest by hand, chop the tea by hand and drying and flavouring the tea.

As you can see – Fynbos including Proteas, Rooibos and Honeybush is an essential part of the Plett experience.

Plett Food and Film festival

Reza

It is that time of the year again when Plett goes a little MAD. Plett Tourism and Ikasi Media will be hosting the Plett Food Film Festival from the 9th – 11th July.

This festival takes place during our annual Mad Festival. This year we will see celebs like Reza Mahammad, the “Spice Prince“, who will be our host along with SA’s hot new upcoming actress Lika Berning, the festivals ambassador. Reza the spice prince will be cooking all things spicy for us. Reza will delight us on the final night with an Indian dinner and the movie “The Lunch Box” And of course my very favourite lady, Karen Dudley, from The Kitchen in Cape Town will be back this year. Karen who is so passionate about food and life will entertain us in a BIG Italian way on the opening night with delicious food accompanied by the screening of “Big Night.” Expect a lot more than the “Love Sandwich.”

Meeting Karen Dudley

Meeting Karen Dudley last year

So prepare for a 3 day extravaganza of food and wine prepared by world class chefs. There will be local artisanal cheeses accompanied by award winning wine from Plett Winelands All of this will be accompanied by fine music and awesome drama. All of this takes place during The Plett MAD – the Music, Arts and Drama Festival, which runs from the 25th June to the 18th July and is an event not to be missed. Here we see music, arts and drama – all things MAD!

Come and stay with us at Cornerway House and enjoy the festival and all the other activities that Plett has to offer.

winterspecial

 

Bramon

Bramon

Plett’s very first and most famous wine farm, Bramon, is situated in the Crags. Making it the perfect afternoon treat for any day of the week as it is only a few kilometres from the heart of Plettenberg Bay. The estate began in 2000 and  is run by the Thorpe family and named after Peter and Caroline’s children, Bram and Manon.

With tables nestled among the vineyards and views of the Tsitsikamma Mountain Range, you’ll immediately get a picnic feel.  A menu made up of delectable cheeses, cold meats, patés, delicious organic salads all served with a hearty loaf of fresh homemade bread, and accompanied by the local wines.

Bramon Wine Estate is famous for their exceptional sparkling Sauvignon Blanc “cap classique,” the first to be produced in our country, making our beautiful Plettenberg Bay a Wine of Origin Region. The Methode Cap Classique was initially vinified by Graham Beck Wine’s very own Pieter Ferreira and is now under the care of Anton Smal from Villiera. Bramon is continuously striving at pushing the boundaries in the wine industry. The unique local climate and soil conditions makes this all possible.

Bramon is one of my favourite places to chill and enjoy good food and wine. It is ideally located and the best place to enjoy a relaxed laid back lunch after all the great activities the Crags has on offer.

Spring has Sprung in Plett

wild freesia 5

From the time of our earliest forefathers, we have gazed in awe and wonder at the magic that is conjured by flowers and foliage – the colour and beauty of their shapes, their markings and the intricacies of their form. Plants are miracles of nature providing sustenance for the body and the soul. It is little wonder that we continue to celebrate their existence.”

wild freesia 5

Taking a stroll along Plett’s beaches, it was with great excitement that we stumbled upon the wild freesia growing in the crevices of the Lookout Rocks on Wedge side of Central Beach. How they get to be there is truly a miracle. There is hardly enough space to contain their bulbs. They are mostly pollinated by bees. An excellent sign that spring has sprung in Plett!

Freesia alba are endemic to Southern Africa with over 16 species, they are found growing in sandy or stony soils, alongside dunes or on the edges of forests. They seem to like damp places and grow mainly along the coast from Hermanus to Plettenberg Bay. They are deciduous, so we have beautiful blooms now in spring and then they lie dormant in summer.

Colourful freesia growing in flower box

Colourful freesia growing in flower box

 

Cornerway House Garden

Cornerway House Garden

Spring Special at Cornerway House