Road tripping on Route 62
The beauty in a road trip lies with the old chestnut of a saying: It’s not the destination but the journey that matters. Once the car’s packed to the brim with bodies and bags, down go the windows, on goes the music, away go the thoughts of yesterday’s business, and off we go on the great open roads, unravelling with the vast and glorious landscape that’s ahead. We might have an idea of where we are going, but it’s the extraordinary little spots along the journey that kindle the thrills of travel and crown us custodians of the discovery.
Dubbed the longest wine route and top road trip destination in the world, Route 62 meanders a whopping 850km stretch of stunning scenery and whimsical towns that settle along both the beaten and not so beaten tracks between Cape Town and Oudtshoorn, and onwards to Port Elizabeth. A bounty of quirky attractions pop up along the roadside as the landscape shifts from picturesque wine country to lush valleys with healing springs and flowing rivers, stark cliff faces and arid, red-soiled terrain. It becomes necessary to stop and soothe the senses that’ve been emotionally stirred by nature’s backdrop. That’s when the wacky padstals, wine estates and wildlife sanctuaries open up their gravel roads, and offer insight into the culture, the farming, and the conservation that’s been carved with the contours of this route over the years.
For the love of road trips, and all of the wonderful adventures that come with it, we’ve compiled an array of activities that are all en route to our blissful hideaways that scatter themselves along the country’s revered Route 62. Regardless of where your journey begins or ends, there are ample attractions along the way. Here are our Route 62 hideaways and unique places to go seek and discover…
Wind through the winelands
If the journey begins heading north from Cape Town trawling the wine regions of Paarl, Worcester and Montagu then it’s worth stopping off at Graham Beck and Springfield Estate in Robertson for some of the country’s best Methode Cap Classique and a Whole Berry experience.
Where to stay
Cushioned in the Nuy Valley between Worcester and Roberston, Penhill Farm lends itself to large groups of families and friends travelling in convoy for a great, action-packed getaway on the farm.
Travel through the Klein Karoo
As you travel east through the scenic Cape Route towards Montagu, majestic rock formations painted with ancient tribal art line the roads that curve their way into the western Klein Karoo town. Dating back to 1851, Montagu is home to hot natural springs, rows of quirky cafes and antique stores, and an agricultural haven of orchards and vineyards.
Where to stay
An artist’s Eden, a cook’s top table and a gardener’s oasis, Jonkmanshof is swaddled in nostalgia. Neatly set within the old town of Montagu, this gorgeous hideaway opens its heart to the discerning discoverer of old and beautiful things.
In the rugged mountains just outside of Montagu, the dog-friendly Karoo Hideaway nestles itself in remote wilderness, just 20 minutes off Route 62. A luxury tented experience that lures romance to boiling point.
Get fruity in beautiful Barrydale
Onwards to the heart of the Tradouw Valley where apple, pear, orange, fig, peach and apricot orchards are aplenty, and into the beautiful town of Barrydale. The infamous roadside diner Diesel & Crème, with its rusty American cars, notorious burgers and shakes, and whimsical Karoo Moon Motel decor is definitely worth a visit. For a more holistic experience, walk the labyrinth and settle in the peace pagoda at the Manger in nearby Lemoenshoek. The Warmwaterberg hot springs and mountain hikes are also within the area.
Where to stay
Looking out towards the Langeberg mountains, over the rugged terrain of the Klein Karoo, De Hoek is a rustic retreat that’s perfect for long walks, hours spent in the pool, and reading and relaxing on the long verandah.
Life in the Klein Karoo doesn’t get more perfect than at Bobbejaansberg. With breathtaking views across the valley and up to the mountains, it’s hard to believe the turn off to Route 62 is a short drive away from this heavenly hideaway.
Discover a diamond in the rough
Beyond Barrydale and onto the gliding pass where motorists and bikers rise and fall with the road that’s beginning to fuzz from the heat. Perfectly positioned between Barrydale and Calitzdorp, a Karoo treasure known as Ronnies Sex Shop offers respite with ice-cold drinks and curious conversations. Originally intended to be a fresh fruit and vegetable farm stall, Ronnies changed its path overnight to a pub. All thanks to Ronnie’s friends who pranked him with a paint-job next to its former name – Ronnies Shop. It’s been a pub ever since.
Where to stay
Where refined and understated safari-style meets the wilderness in the Touwsberg Nature Reserve, Stoney Cottage is the perfect notion of the property that awaits the aftermath of the road trip. A place to completely unwind and give in to the call of nature and nothing else.
An original farmhouse dating back to 1836, Danielskraal Farm sits just beyond Calitzdorp, occupying 2300 hectares of pristine wilderness. The perks of the padstals and antique stores travel with you from the roadside and all the way to the walls and floors of this charismatic hideaway.
Klipspringer sits on top of the Redhill mountains, overlooking the astonishing Swartberg, bordering the Groenfontein Valley. A remote hideaway ensconced in the wild, yet also an adventurous 4×4 ramble down the hill for some arty hearty daily outings.
Meet meerkats at sunrise!
Continue the drive through the beautiful Groenfontein Valley and along the renowned Swartberg pass – with its awe-inspiring views of mountains and valleys. Visit the Cango caves and their magnificent mineral formations, or take the lesser-known (but geologically dramatic) route via the Meiringspoort, that takes you over 22 bridges as you cross its meandering river. Or head for the Gamkaberg Nature Reserve to the South and the ostrich farms definitely call for a day’s outing. Or, visit the meerkats near Oudtshoorn at dawn. The plethora of places to go and things to see just keep popping up at every turn, as Route 62 just keeps on giving and giving.
Where to stay
What you least expect to discover, just outside the little Karoo town of Prince Albert, is the architectural brilliance of Swartberg House that sits amongst the olive groves, vineyards, acacias and veld plants. Cleverly designed to allow each breeze to permeate, with sun traps aplenty and outdoor spaces for infinite star-gazing.
A historic farmhouse situated just outside of Prince Albert, dating back to 1810, Olive Farm is set on 1600 hectares of olive groves where resident farm animals roam freely amongst Karoo fynbos shrub and scattered watering holes.
Planted in the low slung valley between De Rust, Klaarstroom and Meiringspoort, 22 degrees East is old farmhouse perfection, reincarnated. The journey in getting there might have been exhilarating and action-packed, but the minute you arrive, you are reminded of simplistic serenity amongst the property’s 2 200 hectares of unrivalled beauty.
Perfect Hideaways has over 300 curated properties across South Africa. If you’d like to stay in one of these hidden gems, contact us on email@example.com or +27 21 790 0972 so that we can help you find your perfect hideaway.