5 Reasons to Visit Knysna in Winter

Winter along the Garden Route brings with it beautifully temperate days, vibrant green landscapes and low accommodation rates. The summer holiday crowds are gone, the weather is perfect for outdoor activities and the whales arrive. Keep reading to find out why your should visit Knysna in winter. 

knysna in winter

The Whales are here

The remarkable stretch of coastline around Knysna is considered one of the most spectacular along the South African coast. It boasts a show-stopping abundance of marine life – including whales, dolphins, seals, sharks and a host of pelagic bird species.

Southern Right and Humpback whales grace the Knysna coastline between June to November annually, showing off their acrobatic skills and nurturing their young. Whale watching tours can be booked to get up close to these magnificent creatures in the winter months.

whale watching knysna

Winter is festival time in Knysna

The winter months between May and September are jam-packed with exciting festivals and events. May kicks off with the annual Knysna Speed Festival, followed by the Pink Loerie Mardi Gras and the Knysna Oyster Festival in June or July.

The town comes alive in the winter month with events including the Knysna Forest Marathon and the Knysna Cycle Tour. The Rastafari Earth Festival and the Knysna Timber Festival are growing events not to be missed.

2018 Knysna cycle tour

Garden Route Gastronomy

Even though Knysna is small in size, it certainly packs a punch in terms of great food. Its most famous food festival – the Knysna Oyster Festival –  invites visitors to indulge on locally grown oysters while taking part in myriad activities including running and biking races, oyster shucking and sampling the wares of local eateries, where oysters are never in short supply.

If you visit outside of Oyster Festival, you can join us for Half Price Thursdays at Turbine Hotel & Spa or our weekly Sunday Lunch Buffet at The Island Cafe. You can find all our current specials on our website.

knysna restaurant specials

Cooler weather for hiking and walking

The cooler winter weather provides the perfect conditions to explore the hiking and walking trails around Knysna. Some of the most popular include the Three Elephants Trail and the Millwood Mine Walk.

The Outeniqua Hiking Trail is a 108km, 7-day hiking trail. A certain level of fitness is required in order to complete the hike. Each day you’ll hike an average of 15km separated by evening rest stops. Should you not want to hike for the full 7 days, there are 2 and 3-day hikes available as well.

Knysna Forest Marathon 2018

Fantastic Golfing

There are several incredible courses just putting distance from the Turbine Hotel & Spa. The Pezula Championship Course is award-winning and also one of the scenic courses in the world. Simola Hotel Country Club and the Knysna Golf Club are also nearby and provide great challenges to players of all levels. Have a look at our Garden Route Golfing Blog for more information.

Pezula Golf Course Knysna

Some of these activities can be arranged through the Turbine Water Club which can be contacted by email on waterclub@turbinehotel.co.za or phone +27 72 259 7927. If you have yet to sort your Knysna accommodation, have a look at the latest rates and specials on our website or email book@turbinehotel.co.za to enquire.

Image credits: 
Knysna Forest Marathon
Knysna Cycle Tour
Pezula Golf Club

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