West Coast welcomes festive season with new N7 exploration route

2016-12-08 10:34 - Louzel Lombard Steyn
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Cape Town - If you're travelling between Namibia and Cape Town on the seemingly endless N7 this holiday season, you'd be happy to know the road to your holiday destination can now officially be part of the vacation. 

With the launch of West Coast Way's new Wild Route on the N7, seven towns on the N7 are now part of the new 7 Stops of the N7 campaign. 

Piketberg, Citrusdal, Clanwilliam, Wupperthal, Van Rhynsdorp, Nieuwoudtville and Garies feature on the Berg Route and brand new Wild Route – the ultimate 'off the beaten track' experience!

It route takes visitors through one of the most iconic, unspoilt regions fo the West Coast interior, with the long-standing Kardoesie N7 Countrystop as central point on the Piekenierskloof Pass. 

Kardoesie N7 is a popular and well-known farm stall and restaurant which is situated at the top of the Piekenierskloof Pass near Citrusdal.  The 'country stop' offers self-catering accommodation and camping, a restaurant, gift shop and a clothing store as well as a playground for children and gob-smackingly beautiful views...

NOTE: Kardoesie will be closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

The West Coast Way Wild Route will offer two passage options – the 'Sustainable Seafood Track', which travels along the coast and includes Elands Bay, Lambert’s Bay and Doringbaai. And the 'People Rocking Nature Track', which covers the inland towns along the N7, starting at Piekenierskloof Mountain Resort and Citrusdal.  

The Wild Route will also incorporate exciting activities such as bouldering, mountain biking, ziplining, cave explorations and trips into the Cederberg mountains amongst many other things. 

Either way, the trek down (or up) from Namibia need no longer be a burden, but rather an opportunity to explore this beautiful part of the West Coast.  
This is the fifth West Coast Way route launched in the area. 

The first route was the Culture Route, starting 25 minutes from Cape Town’s CBD, followed by the Scenic Route, Berg Route and Foodie Route. These can be enjoyed on an adventure-filled self-drive trip or as part of an itinerary in a West Coast organised group tour. 

By using the free West Coast Way app, travellers can self-navigate their way through the West Coast's various routes - with an expert tour guide right in the palm of their hand. 

The West Coast Way is a private West Coast marketing initiative for the Cape West Coast Biodiversity Corridor. Since its inception in October 2014, the project has grown exponentially and has generated millions worth of exposure for smaller West Coast businesses, entrepreneurs and local people. 

At the end of November this year, the privately owned, privately funded initiative won an award in the Premier’s Entrepreneurship Recognition Awards (PERA) – one of the Western Cape’s most prestigious entrepreneurship competitions, scooping third place in the Best Emerging Tourism Business category. 

Heading to the West Coast this holiday season? Here's a few holiday ideas for the family...  

For those fancying a day out at the beach, Melkbosstrand has been declared a Blue Flag Beach due to its international standards of cleanliness. Definitely the place to take your towel and beach umbrella!

ALSO SEE: Beaches 101: The ultimate summer guide to Cape Town and surrounds

Slightly further afield but still only an hours drive from Cape Town, !Khwa ttu, the San Culture and Education Centre, has launched their special kids holiday programme which offers daily fun activities for kids up to the age of 12 – with things such as mountain biking, animal tracking, building a bow and arrow and more on offer.

From here one can head to the Ormonde Private Wine Cellar in Darling for some wine tasting and a supplied artisanal food platter (packed full of delicious locally sourced produce) to be enjoyed on this picturesque wine farm. If picnics aren’t your thing then head to the Flying Pig restaurant in Darling’s Station Road – this renowned charcuterie delicatessen has just launched their exciting new summer menu and pop-up restaurant concept – one of which will be located at Darling Brew.

For those with a sweet tooth, Darling Sweet is a must for your road trip route. Situated in new premises in Darling’s Long Street, Darling Sweet produces hand-made gourmet toffees and also offers a unique new range of toffee spreads in three flavours; Tannie Evita’s Classic, Bird’s Eye Chili, and Honey & Salt toffee spread. Visitors can also watch toffees being made in the factory.

While in the town of Darling be sure to pop in at the award winning craft brewery, Darling Brew, to sample their beers. Darling Brew is offering a Travel Tuesday special of a unique beer and food pairing experience, followed by a cellar tour.

A photo posted by Darling Brew (@darlingbrew) on

The Tori Oso Restaurant in Mamre is offering donation based (no set fee but donations appreciated) guided Heritage Walks on Tuesdays from 11:00 to 12:30. Donations for the walk go back into developing more tourism experiences at Mamre Werf. After building up an appetite on the walk stay for lunch or some cake and coffee at Tori Oso.

Moving back and up the coastline, the Thali Thali Game Reserve near Langebaan has launched three new self-guided nature trails which offers the opportunity for guests to get close to nature and focus on the fynbos, flowers and grasses as well as the smaller creatures like birds and insects. 

Just after Thali Thali is the West Coast Fossil Park, which is a national heritage site. Situated on Langebaan Weg the Fossil Park offers a holiday programme as well as a mock dig-site for children. Guided tours to the dig site, which exposes fossils from 5 million years ago, is a must-do for all ages.

For lovers of good food be sure to try the newly opened Russells on the Port restaurant in Port Owen. Launched and owned by a restaurateur with global reach, and located on the Marina, Russells on the Port has amazing views of the sunset from the verandah and an interesting and varied menu which is prepared by a top chef who has worked for world-renowned wine estates.

Heading further out on your road trip, visit the award winning Piekenierskloof Mountain Resort, which recently reopened all 7 zip-lining platforms, after they were destroyed in a fire earlier in the year. In addition to the zip-lining, the Piekenierskloof Mountain Resort also offers target shooting, a health and beauty Spa, a mountain biking route through the picturesque setting, Carmien tea and Darling Brew beer tasting, and the top-class Kloof Restaurant.

The west coast is perfect for last minute holiday bookings, with many options available at Club Mykonos, The Lodge at Atlantic Beach and Herons Rest in Velddrif. For lovers of farm stalls be sure to pull over at the farm stalls of Vygevallei on the R27, the Moose Farmstall on the R45 and Kardoesie Countrystop on the N7. 

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