Take a mid-year break

This mid-year holiday, unwind and rejuvenate in George’s great outdoors. Surrounded by ocean, mountain, forest and farmlands in the Garden Route of the Western Cape, George is your passport to paradise.


By train, boat, car, foot or helicopter – you are spoilt for choice.  The Power Van, which departs from the Transnet Transport Museum, chugs up the mountain along the railway track. It offers lovely views from atop the mountain, passes through tunnels and fynbos. Riders climb out for an enjoyable picnic before returning down the mountain.

Featured: Wilderness River Safaris

River cruises are available in the Garden Route National Park. This is a relaxing way to enjoy the Touw River or Island Lake and spot the birdlife.

Featured: Seven Passes Road

There are plenty of scenic drives in the area – after all, the Garden Route is not known as the “Garden of Eden” for nothing. The most noteworthy are the 7 Passes from George to Knysna, the Outeniqua Pass from George to Oudtshoorn with majestic mountain views – blue rock contrasted against green hills, and the Baviaanskloof in Uniondale, starting at Patensie in the East and ending at Willowmore in the West.

Another way to enjoy the landscape is from the air with Savanah Helicopters, based at the George airport. Enjoy scenic heli-flights of the topography.

Visit viewpoints in Wilderness like the Map of Africa, a natural wonder, or Dolphin’s Point for a better look at the Kaaimans Bridge. 210m long and 36m high, the railway bridge is engineering genius, beautifully positioned at the mouth of the Kaaimans River. The point is also a great place to spot dolphins and whales in the ocean below.


Known as a golfing mecca, George is home to the Links, the number one course in South Africa, and several high ranking courses. Fancourt offers two premier courses, Montagu and Outeniqua. Oubaai’s 18-hole Ernie Els signature championship golf course is set in a truly exceptional position, on a cliff top with the Indian Ocean below. The George Golf Course is also highly rated. Kingswood is inspired by the Home of Golf, St Andrews (The Old Course) in Scotland and is a popular choice.


There are over 1,000km of trails in the George area alone, frequented by hikers, trail runners and mountain bikers. Enjoy forested pathways, hidden natural pools and the blue water of the George dam. Get a bird’s eye view of the city from the mountain peaks or trek your way to a waterfall. Walk along the beach. There are plenty of routes to pick from, depending on your fitness and preferred duration. Guided tours are also available.

If you are an avid 4x4er, Uniondale cannot be missed. The M’kama route offers a unique Klein Karoo experience, and Uniondale is also the gateway to 4x4ing the magnificent Prince Alfred’s Pass.


George and Wilderness have plenty of spas to choose from. Check in to Fancourt and the Views for international award-winning luxury. Besides for offering various treatments, the Fancourt spa offers a Roman Bath and jacuzzi, sauna, steam room and tepidarium. There are also great views over the golf course while you sip a beverage in your towelled gown. At the Views, facilities include a hydrotherapy bath, heated indoor pool, hydro pool, steam room, sauna and Moroccan rasul steam cleanse. There are also some other great mid-range spa experiences, like Sanguine Spa in George.


George has two museums. The Transnet Transport Museum is an amazing ode to locomotives and vintage cars and is truly an enjoyable experience for all ages. Enormous life-size retired trains of different models and eras stand proud. The George Museum is worth a quick visit to discover George’s history, with wagons and carts, the first local newspaper, Apartheid historical items and every-day life objects from another world.

Uniondale is filled with raw history. Book an interesting tuk-tuk tour where you will visit a watermill dating back to the 1800s, restored by Afrikaans author Dalene Mathee, visit an original fort from the Anglo Boer War, and go past heritage buildings like Uniondale’s very own police station – likely the most attractive police station in South Africa. Rock art can be found in Uniondale, as well as in Herold.

Go on a historical and culturally significant walking tour in the community of Pacaltsdorp. A local guide will take you to 12 unique sites where you can learn more about this community that was originally inhabited by the Khoi people and later became a Mission station. 200 years of rich history will unfold as you visit the sites.

If you enjoy South African art, make a round trip of it by visiting the various galleries in George, Wilderness and Uniondale. Sheena Ridley’s sculpture garden is not to be missed.


Stop in at Herold Wines to enjoy wines cultivated from grapes grown in the Outeniqua region. Pick fresh strawberries from the fields at Redberry Farm. Savour a delicious treat from Prince of Tarts, a local baker and magic maker whose humble beginnings at the Sedgefield market turned into the fashionable bakery of today. Pick up a packet of wors, biltong and steak from Van Rensburg’s butchery – a local favourite. Enjoy pairing experiences at Pause Coffee at Timberlake Village or pop in at Caroline’s Chocolate Haven. Totally unpretentious, it will be worth the stop when you taste the handmade Belgian chocolate.

The main road as you enter Wilderness is lined with restaurants, and there are also eateries overlooking the sea. For a dining experience to remember, make a reservation at Serendipity, where chef Lizelle Scholtz will serve you a South African 5-course fine dining meal on the Touw River bank. In George, enjoy one of the many coffee shops sporting a relaxing garden and plenty of stellar dinner options. Uniondale is most famously known for its ghost so a visit will not be complete without a meal and photo op at the Hungry Ghost restaurant.