Plettenberg Bay, Garden Route
One of South Africa’s most beloved beach holiday destinations, Plett evokes nostalgic memories of beach time with family as kids, fun times relaxing, surfing and partying with friends as students or returning here as parents with their own kids. There’s definitely a laid-back glamour to Plettenberg Bay with its beautiful beaches, the warm waters of the Indian ocean, the unspoiled nature of the Robberg Peninsula and the magical tidal lagoons providing the laid-back lifestyle that you seek on holiday, with sand between the toes and the sound of the ocean as the constant backdrop.
The town itself offers plenty in the way of trendy cafes, chic restaurants, boutiques and surf shops when you’re in the mood for cosmopolitan pleasures. Or escape inland to cruise in the Keurboom River Nature reserve and discover the awe-inspiring peace of the ancient indigenous forest that is such a feature of this part of the Garden Route. True adventurers can hike in the Tsitsikamma National Park through forest, ravines and wild streams. If that sounds a little too wild, visit The Crags outside Plett where you can get a mini taste of the forest at Birds of Eden, a massive free flight aviary covering 3.2 acres of indigenous trees filled with bird life. Next door are Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary to get up close with charming monkeys, and the Elephant Sanctuary to meet and interact with African elephants. The Bloukrans Bridge is the ultimate in bungee jumps for adrenaline junkies and there’s a long list of other adventures, from abseiling to canoeing and watersports.
But make sure you allocate plenty of time to just lazing on the beach, where even in the busy summer season you can find a quiet spot, catch a wave or two, and enjoy that blissful seaside feeling of undiluted summer, salt and sunshine.