Anyone who wishes to spend a beach holiday in the most idyllic surroundings, should come to the beautiful Garden Route where the coast of the mild Indian Ocean is one long stretch of stunning beaches, quiet, remote bays and lagoons with turquoise-blue water. A water lovers paradise surrounded by a backdrop of the majestic Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma Mountains, miles of white sandy beaches and clear, warm waters, ideal for long beach walks, swimming and soaking up the sun.
Plettenberg Bay Main Beach, or Central Beach as it is also known, is Plett's iconic family beach with public toilets, a take-out, ice-cream, 2 restaurants (licensed and also open at night), kayaking, boat-based whale-watching, beach volleyball and paddle-boats up the Piesang River. It is monitored by lifeguards year-round and is considered the safest swimming beach in Plettenberg Bay. It gets good mid-sized surf but is sheltered enough to seldom get too wild for swimming and bodyboarding.
Robberg Beach is a 4km snow white sandy beach that stretches between the Robberg Peninsula and Beacon Island. It is clean and well-kept and popular for shore based dolphin and whale watching, striking views of Robberg Peninsula as well as lengthy strolls . The beach is divided into several swimming stations which are monitored by lifeguards during the holiday periods and over weekends. The best of the swimming areas is Robberg 5 with its gentle rolling surf.
The Keurbooms Lagoon Beach fronts the lagoon mouth and you can stroll along the coastline for miles, you can swim or paddle and it's gorgeously pretty too, with row-boats and ski boats lazing up and down the boat channel on the far side, and ocean breakers just beyond. More often than not wide sandbanks with barely a foot or two of water covering them, so clear and the river bottom so close and white in the summer months that you'd be forgiven for thinking you've been transported to the Maldives.
Natures Valley Beach – if you are looking to surf, sunbathe, swim, paddle or even stargaze, this beautiful beach is for you, full of shells and surrounded by forested cliffs and magnificent scenery. There is a great lagoon for swimming and it has wonderful rock pools, partialy open to the surf with the water often a pale luminescent blue.
There are toilets at one end up a boardwalk together with the tiny hamlet's only shop and restaurant.
Arch Rock Beach with its unusual rock formations and a great walk at low tide, is down the road from Keurbooms beach. Once the rocks have been negotiated, expect to see the rare black oyster catcher when you arrive at a secluded lagoon on the edge of the Tsitsikamma.
You can swim here, but take care, the surf is often very rough and the tides can pull back quite powerfully into messy oncoming surf.
Bollard Bay Beach is a great family beach to soak up the sun. Quiet and clean, beautiful scenery and stunning views, safe for swimming, perfect for picnics, walks two-thirds across the estuary, ball games and wind surfing.
Brenton Beach is one of the most wonderful beaches on the globe, right on the other side of the Knysna Western Heads. There are rocks to clamber on, little pools to cool off in and a long bay for beach walks and shell seeking, sunbathing and paragliding. A big rock formation, Castle Rock, is a favourite fishing spot for locals. Swimming is dangerous though, because of rip currents.
Buffalo Bay Beach is an attractive holiday hideaway in a small bay with some of the highest vegetated sand dunes in the world, unspoilt coastal fynbos and coastal forest flanking the long sandy beach. Bottle nosed and common dolphins are frequently spotted and Southern Right whales visit this section of the Cape coast annually between May & November.
It is safe for swimming and there are life gaurds in season with superb surfing conditions. It's also popular for fishing off the rocks, paddle skiing, kite surfing and has a jetty.
Cola Beach is one of Sedgefield's five beautiful beaches, all running into each other starting at Swartvlei Beach in the west to Platbank in the east. It never gets crowded, even in peak season and at low tide, it's easy to walk the 6 km stretch. The rarely seen Oystercatcher have breeding grounds at Cola Beach.
Myoli Beach is one of the Garden Route's best-kept secrets. The golden sandy beach is conveniently situated near a restaurant, beach bar, parking and one can walk safely and admire the beauty and tranquillity or take kite-surfing or surfing lessons.
Sedgefield Beach is an easy stroll down the boardwalk from the parking area. This family-friendly beach offers great swimming in the lagoon mouth and has spectacular views. Also known as Kingfisher Creek, the lagoon is a fun spot for little kids to paddle in.
Swartvlei Beach is an amazing sandy beach for walking or horse riding - make sure you go all the way to Gericke's Point. The walk to the point offers great opportunities for whale and dolphin watching. Look out for pods of common, bottlenose and humpback dolphins. Swartvlei is the largest and deepest lake in the Wilderness National Park and is connected to the sea for 6 months of the years while silts closes it for the rest of the year.
Gericke's Point on Swartvlei beach is the ideal spot for snorkelling and spear fishing and you can easily spend an entire day in this stunning and fascinating place with its beautiful rock formations and pools. The impressive weathered sandstone cliffs are actually fossilised dunes and is a great vantage point for watching Southern Right whales during their calving season. You might even see the resident pod of Humpback dolphins that frequent the Swartvlei bay and you can do a guided 'Moonlight Meander' from Swartvlei Beach to Gericke's Point with local expert, Judy Dixon.
Wilderness Beach is unspoilt, safe and breathtakingly beautiful. Warm Indian Ocean waves break onto this golden sandy beach that stretches for seemingly endless kilometres. Time almost stands still as the hours slip by while you wander and enjoy the pristine white sand beach protected within the Wilderness National Park. Swimming on the Wilderness coastline, however, is not advisable because of strong currents
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