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Delightful things to do in Knysna and on the Garden Route

Updated on February 11, 2015

Welcome to the Magic

Knysna and the surrounding Garden Route is a little slice of heaven that will take your breath away. If you have never been there, what could you possibly be waiting for?! As a soon to be local, here are some of my favourite things to see and do whenever I am in the area.

The only problem is once you're there, you never want to leave...

Cruise Café at The Featherbed Company

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Sipping cocktails and watching the ferries at Cruise CaféWatching the sun sinking over the beautiful Knysna Lagoon, while enjoying sundowners
Sipping cocktails and watching the ferries at Cruise Café
Sipping cocktails and watching the ferries at Cruise Café | Source
Watching the sun sinking over the beautiful Knysna Lagoon, while enjoying sundowners
Watching the sun sinking over the beautiful Knysna Lagoon, while enjoying sundowners | Source

One of the secret gems of Knysna is this little café on the Knysna Lagoon. Even during season time, I've never had to wait for a table. It is essential to book for supper, however, as this is their busiest time.

As part of The Featherbed Company, some of the ferries leave from a jetty in front of the café. There is nothing nicer than enjoying a cappuccino in the morning or a cocktail in the evening and watching the ferries.

Some delightful things to look out for?

  • The Tapas menu is superb! The blue cheese spring rolls are a must!
  • Their pork belly is out-of-this-world delicious!
  • The puddings all blow my mind! It's any wonder that they don't have to roll me out the door after supper there because, honestly, I could just eat and eat and eat...

The Featherbed Company Ferries

Waiting for the ferry to leave
Waiting for the ferry to leave | Source

One of the most amazing things to do when you are in Knysna, is to take a ferry into The Heads. The Featherbed Company has a few options for you to choose from. You can take a ferry into the Heads and also onto The Featherbed reserve (where you take a 4x4 tractor on the trail and a guide tells you all about the area - it's beautiful!). You can also hire out their Catamaran "The Heads Explorer" for a more romantic trip.

  • Some of the Ferries have bar facilities and meal arrangements can be made. It's an absolute winner!

34 Degrees South

The view from 34 Degrees South
The view from 34 Degrees South | Source

This place will not let you down. Set in the Quays of The Knysna Waterfront, they describe themselves as "not exactly a restaurant... not exactly a bar... definitely not a deli... well, not exactly a deli... it's an eating place... a drinking place... definitely a meeting place" and I could not agree more!

The food there has always made me smile and the view while you indulge in a delicious "Mezze of the World" or some fresh Knysna Oysters, will just blow you away.

You can also visit their "deli" and take some delicious treats home with you!

The Knysna Waterfront

The boats moored at Knysna Waterfront
The boats moored at Knysna Waterfront | Source

This is one of the best places to just chill and relax. There are numerous restaurants to choose from (my favourite being 34 degrees South, see above) and shops galore to waste away thousands of rands. Everything screams inspiration and I always find myself bouncing along with a spring in my step (even during peak season times).

The waterfront is part of the Knysna Quays and there are boats moored there. When bigger boats or yachts need to come into the Quays, a bell will sound and the drawbridge will lift (much to everyone's delight).

I could honestly spend all day at the Waterfront.

The Knysna Heads

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Looking down at the Knysna Lagoon from the viewpoint at The HeadsLooking into the clearest water outside The East Heads Café
Looking down at the Knysna Lagoon from the viewpoint at The Heads
Looking down at the Knysna Lagoon from the viewpoint at The Heads | Source
Looking into the clearest water outside The East Heads Café
Looking into the clearest water outside The East Heads Café | Source

The Knysna Heads (from above at the view spot or from the bottom) needs no introductions. The classic, unspoiled beauty of this area always makes my breath catch in my throat.

From the Viewpoint, the Knysna Lagoon sprawls out in front of you in a never ending display of vibrant, clear water. I have been coming to this spot every year of my life and I still never get tired of the view.

At the bottom of the Heads is the most delightful cafe called East Heads Cafe. Their meals are gorgeous and their view unparalleled.

  • A MUST HAVE from this restaurant is their homemade Biscotti! Oh my gosh! That's all I can say...

Noetzie Castles

Looking up at a castle at Noetzie from the beach
Looking up at a castle at Noetzie from the beach | Source

I have, admittedly, never stayed at one of these castles (but give me half a chance and I would be there in a shot!), but I have visited the beach that they all overlook. It's beautiful. It may take you some head scratching to get there, as the turn for the road is somewhere amongst the township, but once you do find it, you will not be sorry!

The sights are beautiful and you can swim in the sea, among the rocks, or in the lagoon which is lovely! Take a picnic and have a relaxed day out.

  • The only trouble? It is a steep walk down and an even steeper walk back up again.

The Wild Oats Market in Sedgefield

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Where to next?Lovely, festive music is always being played at The Wild Oats market
Where to next?
Where to next? | Source
Lovely, festive music is always being played at The Wild Oats market
Lovely, festive music is always being played at The Wild Oats market | Source

As having traveled to Sedgefield all of my life, I feel like quite an expert on this sweet little town. One of the main attractions of Sedgefield (there are loads!), is their Wild Oats Market that runs on a Saturday.

All sorts of fresh treats are sold at the market and you can get anything from fresh fruit and veggies to smooth, creamy cheese (from Ganzvlei farm) to yummy breakfasts (try the German Sausage Rolls - winner!).

During season time (December), this market gets crazy as visitors flock to it. So if you are lucky enough to get there out of season, don't give this a miss! Otherwise, get there early!

The Views Restaurant in Wilderness

Watching a paraglider take off in front of The Views
Watching a paraglider take off in front of The Views | Source

The Views lives up to it's name in every way. Perched on a little cliff on the beaches of Wilderness (between Sedgefield and George), you can see for miles along this prestine coastline.

Paragliders are often taking off from this spot and are so entertaining to watch. The Views is also a hotel and spa, but I can only imagine how amazing that must be as I have only ever eaten here.

Oh yes, and of course, the food is superb!

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