Muscadel and potjiekos in Montagu
The small town of Montagu is located on the famous Route 62 within the Klein Karoo region of the Cape. With less than 10 000 permanent inhabitants it nonetheless has much to offer the visitor. Famed for its hot springs, the town in fact offers an abundance of other activities and experiences from adrenaline filled sports such as rock climbing to more cultured activities such as wine tasting, and just about everything in between.
The Montagu Market held every Saturday morning in the park opposite the tourism bureau offers a sampling of local arts, crafts and cuisine, and an opportunity to meet and mingle with the friendly locals.
Another local legend in the making is the tractor trip and potjiekos lunch, in operation since 1985, where visitors are taken by tractor and trailer to the summit of a local mountain, and, after admiring the view of the town and surrounding farmlands, are able to sample two local specialties: Muscadel and potjiekos …
For the adventurous, there are numerous rock climbing options in the area, for climbers of every ability, from complete novices, to the more accomplished, including those located on the De Bos guest farm, which also offers guided climbs, equipment rental and abseiling.
Another option for the adventurous is quad biking, or 4 x 4 trails. Take in the scenery, view the wildlife and enjoy the unspoilt beauty of the Langeberg mountains from the back of an all terrain bike, or the more comfortable interior of a 4 x 4 vehicle. (See Things to Do in Montagu). For the golfing enthusiast, there’s no need to leave your clubs at home. Montague boasts a nine hole course, with another located in nearby Bonnievale.
With a Wild Flower reserve, and several nature reserves, farms and game farms to explore in the area, the nature lover is spoilt for choice, and knowledgeable staff on hand at the local tourism bureau will help you find just where to go to see the most spectacular scenery, or to find the rarer and more elusive bird and animal species.
Aside from the unspoilt nature reserves however, Montagu is a farming community with orchards and vineyards abounding. This agricultural and viticultural heritage has led to the creation of the dried fruit tour, as well as several wineries that open their cellar doors to the visitor.
For the history buff, Montagu offers many attractions, despite it’s relatively short history, having been founded only in the 1700’s. In Long Street, there are no less than 14 historical monuments, now private residences, which can be viewed when taking a stroll or perhaps a visit to the Parsonage in Rose Street, or the old English Fort just outside town.
Also on offer are tours of Joubert house, the oldest local dwelling, or the Montagu Museum, which chronicles local history.
When it comes to cuisine, there seems to be just as much variety, from traditional, to pub lunches, a la carte to bistro style, the dozen of so eateries within the town are assured to have something to suit every taste and budget, as does the accommodation in Montagu, ranging from camping to guesthouses, and everything in between.