If you are travelling from Cape Town to Knysna this year, and if time is far from an issue, then we would suggest taking the more scenic route via the R62 rather than via the rather-dull N2. While the R62 route is likely to take about an hour and a half longer, we would suggest the longer drive, which offers magnificent landscapes, the tranquility of open space, and an abundance of indigenous trees and plant life.
The detour meanders between Cape Town and Oudtshoorn, passing through towns such as De Doorns, Touws River, Laingsburg, and Calitzdorp. To break-up the long drive to Knysna, we have put together a list of interesting stops along the way:
Olivae Olive Estate (Worcester)
Located in the well-known Breede Valley, just outside of Worcester, Olivae offers a taste of Italy. The estate has been in the Burnett family since 1987, however, the first olive plantations sprung up in 1990, and has since grown to be one of the largest olive farms in the Western Cape. Enjoy a lengthy tasting of all the top quality olive-based products on the farm in their stylish tasting room, or snack on an extravagant picnic basket in the lush grounds. Elsewise, visit The Olive Bar on the estate – a sophisticated restaurant offering up sumptuous sushi and classic wood-fired pizzas. Situated amongst the gorgeous olive trees, with a picturesque mountain backdrop, the location is out-of-this-world.
De Krans Wine Cellar (Calitzdorp)
Situated amongst the upper reaches of the stunning Gamka River Valley, De Krans Wine Cellar is one of the country’s leading port producers, and innovators in the South African world of wine. The history of the farm dates back to 1890, when it was bought by the Nel family. Viticulturist, Stroebel Nel, and his brother Boets are the current owners, and cellar masters to this creative farm – which recently won the Most Innovative Wine award at the Michelangelo International Wine Awards.
Stop off at this famed cellar for a touch of wine tasting (between 10h00 and 16h00 daily, or embark upon their 30 minute vineyard walking trail through the gorgeous vineyards. What’s more, over weekends and school holidays, visitors to the farm can frequent the Vygie Restaurant for a host of delectable lunchtime meals. All profits made at the restaurant are donated to Vygieshof, Home for the Elderly, in Calitzdorp.Nostalgie Restaurant (Oudtshoorn)
In the centre of Oudtshoorn lies the wistful Nostalgie restaurant, a charming reminder of a years gone by. With décor such as LP record place mats, sepia print family photographs, and Victorian frocks – this eatery has a unique, old fashioned feel. The menu is extensive, with a notable selection of Ostrich and Karoo dishes, for which the region is known, as well as classic European dishes. While lunches are served all day, and the restaurant offers heart breakfast, the dinner menu is a stand out with meal options such as Smoked Ostrich Salad, Home Baked Ostrich Pie, Moroccan Style Lamb Shank and Chicken a la King.
Experience the warm summer evening whilst dining on the verandah, or cosy up in front of the fire inside, during the cooler months. What’s more, there are also comfortable, fully-equipped guest rooms on site, if you need a place to rest your head.
Redberry Farm (George)
Stop off at Redberry Farm for a fun-filled outing, especially for travelling families. A commercial strawberry, raspberry, and blackberry grower, and popular functions venue, the farm offers activities such as strawberry picking, treats in the tea garden, mini train rides of the kids, and the opportunity to attempt to conquer the largest hedge maze in the Southern hemisphere. In addition, there is a well-stocked farm stall, selling strawberries, jams, liqueur and other exclusive berry products. Wooden tables and chairs are situated all around, overlooking the majestic Outeniqua Mountains, providing you with the perfect place to rest in the midst of the long drive.
Whether you choose to stop off at one, all, or none of these stops, the staff at Turbine Hotel wish you a safe, exciting journey. Consider staying at the Turbine Boutique Hotel and Spa once you arrive in Knysna, a 5 star Knysna hotel situated on Thesen Island, complete with two restaurants, a luxurious spa, a pool deck and an accompanying water club.