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The Best Beaches around George

2/3/2021 8:08:36 AM

We have an abundance of beaches in and around George; whether you want smooth waves for ‘cooking’ surf sessions or a social beach for strutting, suntanning and snapping selfies. We have sandy strands for buckets and spades, calm estuaries for chilling with kids and windswept shores for romantic strolls.

The best time to visit the Garden Route’s beaches is between November and March, when the days are long and warm. Water temperatures remain in the balmy 16-to-21-degree range throughout the year, so you can avoid the Cape Town ice-cream headaches here! Pods of dolphins are regularly spotted in our surf. The Common, Dusky and Bottlenose Dolphin are all well-known locals. Southern Right Whales visit our shores between June and November.

Image Featured: Victoria Bay

Best for Surfing, Suntanning and Selfies

Victoria Bay is the region’s most famous and funky beach. ‘Vic’ is well known for its consistent right-hand point break, making it one of the most popular surf spots on the Garden Route.

The narrow sandy cove is surrounded by rocky, forested cliffs and usually lined with bikini clad sunworshippers. A paved promenade extends past the local holiday homes to the headland, aptly called ‘Land’s End’. Here, a circular stone portal called a ‘Moon Gate’ was built from local slate and offers a fantastic opportunity for selfie snaps, against the backdrop of crashing surf. The point is strewn with huge boulders that offer fascinating rock-pooling opportunities for small children. A small tidal pool is the safest place for weak swimmers. The pier offers a spot to cast a line from, however, most find they are more likely to snag a surfer than a fish!

Lifeguards are on duty in the holiday season, please pay close attention to their direction, as the riptides in the bay can be strong. Vikkie’s Beach Bar offers chips, milkshakes, burgers and breakfasts with spectacular views. Toilets, showers, and disabled parking and wheelchair access are available. Dogs are not allowed on the beach.

Location: Traveling along the N2 National Road between George and Wilderness, Victoria Bay is 3km off the N2.

Image Featured: Herold's Bay

Best for Chip Vans, Tidal Pools and Surf Lessons

Herold’s Bay is a clean, safe beach and is ideal for busy families. This beach has been trending in the holiday guide books since the 1900’s. Photos in the George Museum show Voortrekkers camping out on the beach next to their fully laden ox wagons.

Surfers and bodyboarders enjoy the left-hand reef break, which picks up plenty of groundswell. It’s a popular spot for lunch, with a few snack vans, including a Chip N’ Dip, in the car park. The bay is protected from the dreaded south easterly wind by a rocky headland and is a wonderful swimming beach with plenty of space to stretch out, play bat and ball, and bask in the sun. Herold’s main attraction for families is the deliciously warm and calm tidal pool on the western side of the cove. It’s warmer than the open ocean and large enough to do laps in. The salt-water pool hosts tiny shoals of fish, sea anemones and even the odd octopus - so make sure to bring your snorkel and mask. Check out local company ‘Vibe Surf School’ for lessons and board rentals. Lifeguards are on duty in season. Parking and ablutions are available.

Location: Take exit 425 off the N2 National Road (between George and Mossel Bay), follow the R404 for about 5,5 km to Herold’s Bay.

Image Featured: Kaaimans

Best for family fun, floaties and fishing/ Kids, canoes and floaties

Kaaiman’s River Mouth is a jealously guarded local secret and a phenomenal spot for families. A tiny car park is located directly off the N2, and the beach is accessed via a 200-metre hike alongside the whizzing main road. The lack of sufficient parking and difficult access deters most visitors, but the blissful river mouth is well worth a visit.

Hikers descend onto a massive and secluded sandbar at the mouth of the Kaaiman’s River, with breath-taking views of the forested cliffs on either side. A dark cola-coloured river meets the blue Indian Ocean under a towering train bridge. The tidal estuary is a great place for kids to cast a line, swim, float or paddle a canoe. Small children love the shallow warm water and are unlikely to be bowled over by a wave or swept away by breakers.

Please note that there are no ablutions on the beach, no lifeguards and no rubbish bins. Pack everything that you need and take every scrap of litter with you when you leave.

Location: Kaaiman’s River is located between Wilderness and George. The car park is located on the south side of the N2. Follow the walking trail east to the beach.

Image Featured: Wilderness Beach by Drone Girl Wilderness Photography

Best for Paragliding and Paddling

The little village of Wilderness is locally renowned for having one of the longest, cleanest beaches in South Africa, with pristine white sand and crystal water. The first section of the beach (at the western most corner) is called Leentjiesklip. Visitors will find limited parking, clean ablutions, a cold-water shower and a braai area. Leentjiesklip is popular for sunbathing, fishing, volleyball and whale watching. Fishermen come to this beach for the wide variety of fish species found in the area, including Kabeljou, Blacktail and Steenbrass. ‘Leentjies’ is an ideal place to watch the local hand gliders and paragliders who take off from the Map of Africa above Dolphin’s Point. Lifeguards man the beach in-season, beware of dangerous currents around the rocks.

Location: Turn off the N2 onto Station Road, turn right into Sands Road. Leentjiesklip carpark is at the western end of the road.

Image Featured: Wilderness Beach by Drone Girl Wilderness Photography

Best for Blue Flags, Lifeguards and Seafood Spoils

Further along Wilderness Beach, the local NSRI Station is situated next to Salina’s Beach Restaurant. This section of beach has Blue Flag status, lifeguards and is out-of-bounds for dogs. Parking and ablutions are available and there is access to a large sandy beach at the mouth of the Touw River. Small children enjoy the calm and shallow water in the mouth. Check out the local surf and wind conditions on Salina’s Beach Restaurant webcam (salinas.co.za). Stop into the restaurant for a chilled glass of wine or a fish supper after some swimming.

Location: Directly off the N2 on the Knysna side of Wilderness.

Image Featured: Wilderness Beach by Drone Girl Wilderness Photography

Best for long walks and dog-Lovers

Klein Kranz is ideal for escaping the crowds. Tall sand dunes slope down onto a seemingly endless expanse of sand. Walking east, hikers can enjoy 20 km stroll all the way to Swartvlei. The westward direction takes walkers back to Wilderness. Dogs are allowed off-leash on this beach and further information on dog-friendly beaches can be obtained from SANPARKS

San Parks dog friendly beaches and parks

Due to the lack of ablutions and the steep profile of the beach, fewer people use this section of the coast. Beware of strong currents and riptides. Lifeguards are not on duty here and swimming is dangerous.

Location: East of Wilderness turn off the N2 onto Protea Lane. Take a right and follow the road to the car park.

Please note that the south-easterly wind can occasionally blow stinging bluebottle jellyfish onto our shores in the summer months. Beware their ferocious sting. Although all our beaches look inviting, currents and riptides at some locations can be very dangerous, please swim at lifeguard monitored beaches!

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