Wine, beer and maybe a spot of gin: Spend 4 or 8 days craft hopping through the Garden Route

2020-01-28 11:45 - Gabi Zietsman
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If you're the kind of person that likes to taste their way through a holiday, then this Garden Route itinerary might just be what you're looking for. 

One of South Africa's most beautiful coastlines, it has an ever-growing craft beer and wine scene - with the addition of an aromatic gin stop or two. 

But remember - also drink lots of water with your tastings and buy some wares to rather enjoy in the comfort of your accommodation spot.

Also if you want to indulge in the luxury of slow travel, stay in each spot for two nights instead of one - especially if you want to really savour the delights of Western Cape's jewel. 

READ: Easter break planning? Check out these Garden Route stays to suit all budgets 

Day 1:

Stay: Start your journey in Mossel Bay - the laidback surf central of the Garden Route.

Drink: Make your way to the town's first brewery - South Cape Breweries, home of Glenhoff Lager. All brewed according to the coveted Reinheitsgebot, you can sup on pale ales, stouts and weisses. 

Do: Mossel Bay recently opened the supposed world's longest ocean zipline, sure to give you a thrill. Otherwise rent a surfboard at the beach and catch some waves. 

Day 2:

Stay: Drive up towards the Karoo to the dusty town of Oudtshoorn and opt for a classic colonial-era stayover with a classic stoep.

On the way: Make a detour to Jakkalsvlei Wine Farm - this is the only place where you can taste their limited Lord Jackal range or try out the lager and ale at the Jackal & Wold Brewing Co.

Drink: Around Oudtshoorn there are two spots to check out. First make a stop at Grundheim Wines - it's been around since 1858 and makes harder liquor like muscadel, port, liqueurs and their most famous witblits. 

Then check out Karusa Vineyard and Craft Brewery - it offers Mediterranean-style wines well-known for Cap Classique and brews beers like an espresso-infused chocolate stout.

Do: Check out one of their famous ostrich farms or dive into the bowels of the Earth at the Cango Caves. 

SEE MORE: #KarooSecrets: A long-weekend in Oudtshoorn 


Day 3:

Stay: Head to one of the cutest towns on the Garden Route - Wilderness - where you should try out a cabin high in the woods, overlooking the sea.

On the way: In the Montagu Pass of the Outeniqua Mountains, stop at the slopes of Herold Wines and try out their red blends, Riesling and natural sweet wines.

Drink: On the outskirts of George try out Houtbosch Wines and Brewery - they offer a chocolate and wine pairing as well as a chilli and beer tasting. 

Then head to Robertson Brewing Co - a microbrewery with a wide range of beers from light blonde ale to Scottish ale to Irish stout. 

Do: Either go on one of the many Wilderness trails to walk off the beer, or accept your fate and laze around on the beach.

Day 4:

Stay: The bustling town of Knysna offers a lot of things to do, and a large variety of accommodation options to suit every need.

On the way: As tiny a brewery as you'll ever find, the Sedgefield Brewery is a one-man show running next to a petrol stop - but the beers are a must-try when road tripping through the Garden Route. 

Drink: While your first thought would be to head to Knysna's oldest craft brewery - Mitchell's - it's important to note that their taproom has been closed, although there are plans to reopen one in a new location soon. If you're really craving an Old Wobbly or Milk & Honey ale, head to Bosun's Pub and Grill for a classic bar experience. 

But there are many other places to check out in Knysna. Make a stop at the Red Bridge Brewing Co for a heavier-style beer with a variety of ales. 

And when you've had your fill of beer and wine - hop into the super trendy but tiny Knysna Gin Distillery. They make cocktails that look like they come out of Cape Town's fanciest bars - but make sure you hit them up for their Happy Hour specials.

Do: Knysna can keep you busy for a week - dine on some sushi on Thesen Island, rent a bike and ride to the Knysna Heads, take an ocean safari to see some whales or browse the town's many eclectic shops.

WATCH MORE: A break in Knysna

Bonus:

If you want to expand your Garden Route itinerary even more, add on a trip through the bubbly route of Plettenberg Bay - probably the best MCC in South Africa!

Read more here. 

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