Impressive Views of The Garden Route ~ The Garden Route is one of the most scenic stretches in South Africa (and the world, in the humble opinion of almost everyone that’s been there). It’s not hard to get breath-taking photos of gorgeous vistas at just about every turn.
Still, there are some places that are that much more beautiful. They promise exquisite views – whether they are from high mountains, across vast lakes, or from the secluded vantage point of a cave. So, to make sure that you get the absolute best of the Garden Route beauty, we recommend a few spots that promise particularly incredible views…
The Knysna Heads
The Heads, as they’re more commonly known, are two rugged cliffs that jut into the ocean and stand guard on either side of the wild passage into the Knysna Lagoon (a massive estuary). And, it’s from their dizzying heights that absolutely breath-taking views of The Garden Route can be savoured.
The East Head has a number of viewing decks right on the edges of the cliff, with sweeping views of The Garden Route, the ocean and the West Head, as well as of the beautiful little beach below, called Coney Glen. The West head is home to the famous Featherbed Nature Reserve, which offers equally magnificent views from a trail that winds down the mountainside to the caves and beaches below. Look out for fish eagles soaring above you; or the seals, dolphins and sometimes even whales swimming in the waters below.
At the tip of the scenic Sedgefield beach of Swartvlei, there is an impressive rocky outcrop. It is surrounded by absolutely gorgeous rock pools and the impressive crashing waves of the sea. But, it’s the views from the top that make this lookout spot even more memorable.
The point is easy enough for most to climb (with a few spots that might get a little slippery as the sand dries and loosens). From the top, look down into the greens and turquoises of the ocean, the rugged “moonscape” of the rock pools, and the sprawling beaches in both directions.
Robberg Nature Reserve
The Robberg Peninsula in Plett is famous for its breath-taking vistas. There are three trails on Robberg – two, four and 11 kilometres long. The longest trail isn’t for children, the elderly, or anyone that is unfit. But, from the entire length of any of the trails, the Views of The Garden Route from here are absolutely exquisite.
The local seal colony below the trail is always entertaining and, at certain times of the year, the great white sharks can be seen clearly as they explore the edges of the peninsula.
Storms River Suspension Bridge
After about one kilometre of walking through the verdant forests of Tsitsikamma, you’ll reach this 77-metre suspension bridge. It sways gently, almost imperceptibly, over the Storms River as it opens into the sea.
And, as you stand just above the swirling waters of river and ocean and look around to the mountains and forests around you, there will be no more doubt in your mind about calling the Garden Route a jewel.
Acclaimed as one of the most scenic passes on the planet, Swartberg has to be featured on our list of places with stunning views. It is 27 kilometres long and reaches up to 2 326 metres at its highest point. The road winds right up the Swartberg Range, which forms a border between the Klein Karoo and the Groot Karoo, and extends from Oudtshoorn to Prince Albert.
The stunning views of the landscape are best enjoyed from several lookout points along the route. Stop along the way to savour the picturesque scene laid out below, drink in the fresh mountain air, and listen to the peaceful soundtrack of the wind in the indigenous vegetation.
Its name is a dead giveaway – this is literally a vast lake with an island jutting out from its waters. But, what makes it even more special is the serenely still waters, the enticing mountains all around, and the irresistible lure of the forests. Island Lake is situated just outside Sedgefield, about 25 minutes from Knysna and 20 minutes from George.
It is popular for water sports and its banks are ideal for picnics or barbecues. However you choose to enjoy your time around Island Lake, be assured of breathtaking vistas of some of the loveliest flora along the Garden Route.
The Lookout View Site in Plett
Plettenberg Bay has absolutely gorgeous beaches, where the white sands stretch on endlessly and are lapped by the Indian Ocean. The Lookout View Site is perched on a hill above the magnificent Lookout Beach. There is a bench too, from where the views of the ocean, beach, coastal greenery, and the mountains in the distance are best enjoyed.
Every year, southern right, Bryde’s and humpback whales come to Plettenberg Bay. In fact, Plett is one of the best whale-watching destinations in South Africa, and this elevated viewing site promises absolutely unrivalled views of the whales and their calves as they play, splash and blast air fountains. The viewing site is in the suburbs, though. So, there are plenty of places to park; and the shops and restaurants of Plett are nearby.
Pinnacle Point Caves
At the edge of Mossel Bay, where the Indian Ocean crashes into the rugged sea mountains, there are spectacular caves. Not only are they historical treasures (thanks to the bones and other remnants of ancient lives found inside them), but they also promise spectacular views of the sea below, stretching all the way to the horizon far beyond.
The caves are large enough to explore and tours can be booked in advance. This is a place where tranquillity and drama converge; where the untainted beauty of Africa lies in wait to be witnessed from the quiet little retreat in the mountain face.
Let SA-Venues.com Take You There
To experience some of this unrivalled beauty, book your accommodation along the Garden Route with SA-Venues.com. There are hundreds of venues listed on our site; ranging from luxury Garden Route hotels and boutique B&B’s to African lodges and forest bungalows.