We may be approaching the end of Plett’s summer high season where the Jet Set have moved on to their next glamorous location and families are preparing to send their children back to school for a new year, but Plett Summer is far from over.
As our international guests start to arrive, Plettenberg Bay has been showing off with beautiful summer days and crystal-clear ocean waves. This is one of our favourite times of the year, town is still nice and busy, but not crazy, the weather is magnificent and the whole atmosphere is one of laid-back enjoyment.
Here are some of our favourite spots, a bit far from the madding crowds, to make the most of these January days.
Nature’s Valley more than lives up to its name: a beautiful stretch of coastline and forest, nestled between two national parks. Nature’s is the last stop on the famous Otter Trail with a beautiful, wild beach, lovely lagoon and lots of hiking and birding opportunities. If you’re up for a bit of a hike, head off on the Salt River hike for a truly memorable adventure at one of Plett’s hidden gems: Salt River Mouth.
The Keurbooms River and Lagoon offer many watersports opportunities including SUP, paddling, ski-ing and boating but if you keep going past the ski zone to the wake-free zone, you’ll encounter towering cliffs, magnificent forest and lovely little riverside beaches, perfect for a picnic and a bit of swimming. There’s also the famous “Jumping Rock” for those brave souls. A lovely day out boating on Keurbooms.
Once your head disappears below the waves, you can be forgiven for thinking that you’ve been transported to a tropical island. Snorkeling off the Beacon Island beach on a clear day is a revelation. The reef (Redbait Reef) is a known nursery for many juvenile species including Red Roman, Cape Knifejaw, and Coachman; and is a colourful illustration of the beautiful soft corals that characterise the Southern Cape coastline. Take a snorkelling tour with Pro Dive Plett or, if you’re an experienced snorkeler, take a swim out to the reef – you won’t be disappointed.
PACKWOOD COUNTRY ESTATE
The sometimes-overlooked Packwood Country Estate is located halfway between Plettenberg Bay and Knysna and is both wine estate and working dairy farm. The restaurant and tasting room with the most sublime views across the farm to the ocean serves up fresh cheeses paired with their sublime bubblies and still wines. It’s a bit of a trip through the forest to reach them, but well worth the trip.
PLETT GAME RESERVE
Just 15 minutes outside Plettenberg Bay lies a real gem of the Garden Route: Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve. Home to the African Big Five, this small game reserve (just 2000 hectares) offers guests the opportunity to either game drive or horse ride through the reserve (don’t worry, the predators are in a separate camp) watching rhino, giraffe, zebra, buck, hippos and more. Two-hour safaris are offered daily.
BEACON ISLAND SEA LOUNGE
Step back into a more genteel time, with a gin & tonic naturally, in the Sea Lounge of the Beacon Island Hotel. The lounge is suspended over the rocks with uninterrupted ocean views across to Robberg and the Tsitsikamma Mountains. A late-afternoon cocktail on a comfortable couch will often be rewarded by a pod of Bottlenose dolphins cruising past – this is a Plett institution!
If you’re travelling with your best canine buddy, here’s a list of pet-friendly beaches and restaurants:
PET FRIENDLY BEACHES (dogs must be on leashes to protect the delicate birding ecosystem)
- Southwards of Robberg 5 to Robberg Beach End
- Poortjies lagoon area
- North of Enricos restaurant to Matjiesfontein Natures Valley
- Westward of The Waves Beach
- Lookout Beach and Peninsula
Poo bags will be distributed free of charge at the above dog beaches.
PET FRIENDLY RESTAURANTS
- Thyme & Again
- Bramon Wine Estate
- Grand Cafe & Rooms (drinks only)
- Market on Main
Missing Plettenberg Bay already? Have a look at our fantastic Easter Special.