The Oyster Festival, known also as the ‘best 10 days of your winter’, is spread over two weekends and revolves around the consumption of fresh oysters served naked, cooked or garnished.
The popular festival, which attracts thousands to the Garden Route, hosts two major sporting events – a marathon and a cycle race – but includes so many other mid-week events that many stick around for the full 10 days.
Those who can’t be there for the full Knysna Oyster Festival head into town on either weekend, and the place generally hums.
Don’t worry, you still have time to book your Knysna accommodation, but to make it easier for you, we’ve selected some of the best places to stay in Knysna, and in those towns closest to Knysna on the Garden Route – Enjoy!
Best places to stay on the Garden Route for the Knysna Oyster Festival…
You’re going to fall in-love not only with the fact that these cottages lie far enough outside of town that you can choose when to join the throngs or not, but also – oh, the views! Set on the Rheenendal Road you’re perched on the edge of a forested valley, the Outeniqua Mountains in the near distance as if just for you…
These two self catering cottages on the edge of the Knysna forest give new meaning to the term ‘charming’. They’re the epitome of modern country with screed floors, open-plan living, wood burning stoves, scatter rugs, clever use of colour, and gardens that creep up to your veranda. Easy living with access to nature trails, picnics and cycling.
There’s enough character in this guest house to necessitate a tour to check out the other rooms, even if it’s just to see what scatter rug rests in which bathroom, because if the tiles in the communal kitchen, or the wallpaper in the communal lounge, are anything to go by the owners have embraced unconventional and adventurous combinations. Plus the rates aren’t half bad either.
The Rex lies right in the heart of Knysna and manages to exude elegance and sophistication together with a dash of modern and eclectic. The hotel rooms offer comfort without losing their unique flavour. The Rex has 30 en-suite rooms that vary from standard to luxury apartments with kitchenettes. And the Rose Café is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Aesthetic simplicity overlooking the canal from a wooden deck makes this house simply one of the best finds in Knysna, and you’ll be lucky if you manage to nab a booking before anyone else (it was still available for the Knysna Oyster Festival at time of writing!)
Leeward Island is as cute as a button. This little garden cottage with its eye on simple living and beautiful furnishings lies right on the water. Plus, you get to use the main house’s swimming pool and deck. You won’t want to leave (it’s still available for the festival).
OMG the views! This guest house could sell mattresses on the floor its position on the edge of the Knysna Heads is so incredible. Instead there are eight spacious rooms to choose from, each with its own private balcony and sea view. Quick, before it’s fully booked!
High on the Welbedacht Cliffs overlooking the Knysna lagoon and the Outeniqua Mountains, the emphasis here is on stone and wood, and indigenous fynbos surrounds. The four suites each have their own views over the water, whilst two convert into family rooms.
Set on a 24 acre estate in a beautiful Cape Dutch homestead the combination of verandas, courtyards, koi ponds and distant mountains alone is worth a stay here. And that’s before you’ve wandered through high-ceilinged en-suite rooms or ensconced yourself before the wood burning fireplace with a cognac in your hand.
Open-plan living in a modern three-bedroom house in a quiet cul-de-sac (we especially love the kitchen and living area) with views out over the ocean. Sigh.
Choose from a handful of country cottages, a Cape Dutch house, and an apartment/studio on the house’s first floor in a fynbos reserve with views of the mountains, minutes’ from Plett’s beaches. There’s also an organic herb and vegetable garden that supplies the kitchen (you can pick your own if you’re self-catering).
An earthy, country-style three-bedroom house (think books, toys, teddies and a dress-up box) with forest and pasture views, a rich bird life and, if you’re lucky, elephants. We don’t think it comes much better than this when self-catering.
Five B&B bedrooms, and a further three self-catering available in this Cape colonial-style house set deep within the lawns and flower beds of a country garden that, given the right time of year, will smell of flowering citrus or jasmine. And if that’s not enough of an invitation Robberg beach is 8 minutes’ walk away.
This working dairy farm in the lakes area offers a gorgeous renovated farmhouse (sleeps 10-12 people) and an equally delightful Dairy house (sleeps 5). The natural beauty of the area will get you if the original yellowwood beams, hot art fireplace, swings in the old blue gum trees, or stoep don’t work their magic on you.
You’re going to find this accommodation difficult to refuse – think modern architecture, lots of glass, sand dunes, the sound of the sea and beautifully, yet simply, decorated suites many of which have sea views. There’s direct beach access too.
The gorgeous, spacious one and two bedroom suites overlook the lake and landscaped garden. The open-plan living areas and en-suite bedrooms lead to private patios and balconies which are just perfect for post-festival relaxation.
One of our favourite places to stay on the Garden Route (and they are reasonably priced too) is this gem! The treehouse provide a lovely holiday hideout and the resort is geared for hosting kids. The treehouses are also quite private and far from one, another making it an ideal romantic destination too.
Please Note: The above recommended Garden Route properties are still available at time of writing. You can search for other places that DO still have availability via this link. If you are interested in booking with any of the above, PLEASE hurry as accommodation in the Garden Route is at a premium and will get booked up quickly especially as these are some of the Best Places to Stay on the Garden Route for the Knysna Oyster Festival!