The garden route covers a large stretch of coast between the Western Cape and Port Elizabeth. For convenience, we have stretched the definition to include the nearby Outdshoorn region in the Klein Karoo. Away from the towns and the N2, vast mountains blanketed in dense virgin forest tumble down to the wild Indian Ocean coastline. Where once visitors headed without thinking for Knysna and Plettenberg Bay, it makes more sense nowadays to base yourself at one of the superior inland lodges and use it as a base to explore from.
Our favourite lodges are in the Crags area just East of Plettenberg Bay, with Hog Hollow (boutique) and Moon Shine (mid-range) both offering real character in a back to nature setting. If you really want to be in walking distance of a beach, then Anlin Beach House (Plett Bay) or Under Milkwood (if you have toddlers) are good options (these are best avoided over the peak November – January domestic season). It is worth noting that as with the Cape in general, beaches are not your regular sun-bather & cocktail variety, think beach-combing, rock pools and surf.