If you’re looking for a great winter holiday break, the breath-taking George, Wilderness and Uniondale slice of the Garden Route is your answer. This diverse paradise is dynamite – the proverbial whole package. In fact, it’s a spirit-stirring destination which will make you want to return repeatedly and speedily.
Getting there is easy. All three towns can be accessed via national routes N2 and N9, with the first-mentioned running right along George and Wilderness. But if current fuel prices make you hesitate, the award-winning George Airport is your access point to adventure land.
Travelling over the Outeniqua Pass on your way from Oudtshoorn, it’s head-turning scenery all around – vivid green ferns, heart-stopping fynbos and wrinkled mountains culminating in mysterious valleys. Going the other way to Uniondale, a quaint country village with a rich history, visitors get the chance to experience the rare beauty of the Karoo. There is something magical about the raw landscape with its quirkily named features and it’s tangible. The Karoo people are known for their hospitality and guests will get to experience it first-hand.
With stunning mountain or forest scapes always somewhere in the background, visitors can clear their city-blocked sinuses with fresh salty sea air and marvel in the ever-changing ocean views. The warmish Indian Ocean (though not as warm as further up east) makes for wonderful relaxing beach days in the sun, inviting you to take a refreshing dip every so often to keep things comfortable. The endless Wilderness beach is great for romantic strolls and fishing and is renowned for its spectacular sunsets. Nearby Victoria Bay is popular for its point-break set-up, giving surfers consistent waves to frolic in. It’s the regular site of high-level surfing competitions and produced homegrown Olympic-medal winner, Bianca Buitendag – her hand print immortalised in cement among those of other famous surfers on a wall along the little promenade.
Adventurers and outdoor lovers are spoilt for choice. Trails of all sorts criss-cross the region and form, in fact, South Africa’s largest and most diverse trail running, mountain biking and hiking route network covering more than 2 300 kilometres. For those not scared of heights, there are paragliding and abseiling opportunities. Birdwatchers get to tick of several coveted species on their lists and for paddlers there are lots of canoeing prospects.
George is known as the country’s golfing capital, and golfers can pick and choose among great and illustrious courses, many of them designed by big names such as Gary Player and Ernie Els. Each one is unique with its own character and challenges, and players won’t be disappointed.
Great restaurants catering for every taste and preference are around every corner and ensure no-one goes hungry. There are food experiences to enjoy such as lovely picnics in all sorts of places, cooking classes, and ever-popular tasting-and-pairings.
Arts and culture abound, with especially Wilderness known as an artist’s hub. Traverse the village’s art meander for some serious soul food and follow it up with a visit to the Langkloof Gallery and Sculpture Garden on your way to Uniondale. The various museums in the area enrich and enlighten, giving travellers a glimpse of a bygone world and lifestyle.
The region is a family-friendly destination and there is something to delight virtually every member. The Redberry Farm is a massive hit among all with their amazing maze, strawberry-picking opportunities, and artisan food outlets. It also accommodates the tasting room of Houtbosch Wines and Craft Beers, George’s own local winery.
And for those who just want to get away from it all and rejuvenate with spa treatments, art classes, yoga and Pilates, or a cosy snuggle next to a nice fireplace, we’ve got you covered. Visit us to make some magical memories.
Find inspiration at www.visitgeorge.co.za