The beautiful coastline, mountains and valleys, tall forests, deep blue lakes and lagoons, spectacular vistas and long views of the Garden Route are a feast for the eyes but that's not the only kind of visual or sensory feast you can find in the vicinity of Aardmore Greens. Cultural tours, archaeological sites, arts and crafts, delicious food, castles, a vineyard and a farm with a difference will all leave you with wonderful memories as well as mementoes to take home with you.

Cloud 9 Lookout
Pack a picnic basket and head for Cloud 9 Lookout near Sedgefield. This high vantage point offers spectacular views of the confluence of the Sedgefield Lagoon and Swartvlei Lake, Myoli Beach and in the far distance the Lion's Head' of Gericke's Point. From here there is a lovely circular drive that leads down to the Karatara River and follows the shoreline of Swartvlei. Cloud 9's main attraction is the paragliding and hang gliding site, jointly administered by four local paragliding clubs &ndas Skywings, Skybound, Head for Heights and Wild 2 Fly. No head for heights? Take to the forest walking trails. It's also a good place for landscape photography.

Woodville Big Tree
This 31-m-high Outeniqua yellowwood [Podocarpus falcatus], 10 km from Hoekwil, is one of several yellowwoods in the Knysna and Tsitsikamma forests that qualifies for the title of Big Tree. With a circumference of 9 m, it is estimated to be more than 800 years old. The area shaded by its massive branched is a great picnic spot with a braai area and toilets. You can take a stroll along the wheelchair friendly boardwalk which is part of the Pied Kingfisher trail and home to a wide variety of birds or do the Woodville Big Tree Circular Walk, an easy going, hour long trail that takes you through thick indidenous forest.

Agulhas lookout platform
Agulhas lookout platform is near the Bloukrans Bridge, a fantastic spot to stop and revel in the rugged, spectacular scenery that the Garden Route is so famous for. The viewpoint on the plateau has wonderful views of the dramatic and majestic green valley of the Bloukrans River gorge, surrounded by dense forests and fynbos, tranquility and birdsong, the trees marked with their national tree list numbers.
Map of Africa in Wilderness near Hoekwil is another extraordinary lookout point. The setting of the river flowing around the hill makes the view look like the map of Africa and it has spectacular views of the Wilderness beaches. A great outing for a beautiful day.

Bramon Wine Estate
Now that you've got a whole lot of cheese from the Trumilk Dairy in your fridge you need some wine to enjoy it with. So the perfect place to visit is the Bramon Wine Estate. This boutique vineyard is the only estate this far east of the Western Cape and is set on 5ha in a mountainous area called The Crags, 20km east of Plett. It is a family estate and has produced an award winning Methode Cap Classique as well as a gorgeous still wine. The first vines, Sauvignon Blanc, were planted in 2000 and this kickstarted wine growth in Plettenberg Bay and the area has now been classified as a wine of origin region.

Noetzie Castle
There is nothing more fascinating than seeing a beach surrounded by castles, and that is exactly what this charming and secluded beach near Knysna looks like. The magnificent castles are private homes that cannot be toured but they add greatly to the ethereal ambiance of the beach and Noetzie is still a wonderful place to visit for its natural beauty and calm.
The first castle, at the western end of the main beach, was built in 1932 with the natural stone found here as a holiday house by Herbert Stephen Henderson, and in 1999 Noetzie was declared a conservancy in order to preserve it's natural riches.

Strandloper Cave
The recently discovered Strandloper Cave in the Knysna Heads, where Strandlopers frequented the caves many thousands of years ago, the only archeological site in Knysna that has been recognised by the South African Museum is on the Western Head in Featherbed Nature Reserve. There is also evidence of a strandloper burial site in the area and these sites would probably have been used by wandering bands or families of Khoi or San people.
The ancient midden on the cave floor reached 10-m deep over a period of some 12000 years and at least 50 human skeletons and more than 10000 stone artefacts have been found and confirms the relatively elaborate technology of bone-working practised by the coastal dwellers.

Prince Alfred Pass
Prince Alfred's pass starts at the top of the Langkloof Mountains at Avontuur, cuts through the Paardekop Mountains and ends at Knysna, 80 km away.
Back in the mid-1800s, the main Garden Route settlements were Knysna and Plettenberg Bay and they needed to be connected to the Langkloof and the interior towns of Uniondale and Graaff-Reinet. There was a wagon route over the Paardekop Mountains, but it was treacherous in the extreme. In 1857 Andrew Geddes Bain and his son Thomas mapped out a whole new route that would go through dense forests and cost more than 15 000 pounds, a fortune at the time. The authorities accepted their proposal and young Thomas took up the project and as with most of his mountain pass work, Thomas Bain surpassed himself and built a mountain road that is safe and scenic.

The 7 Passes Scenic Drive
This 75 km historic road was completed in 1883, the seven passes crossing the seven deep gorges through which the rivers flow from the mountains to the sea and has now been proclaimed a National Monument. The passes cross the Swart, Kaaimans, Silver, Touws, Hoogekraal, Karatara, Goukamma rivers and the Homtini gorge starting with the Knysna Phantom pass and ending at Saasveld George, a breathtaking journey. The indigenous forests are hidden in the depths of ravines. The open plateau provides you with beautiful views. You have the Indian Ocean on the one side and the Outeniqua Mountain peaks on the other.
You can take the odd detour for a visit to the old Millwood Gold Fields mining town or a swim in Jubilee Creek and there are many small towns such as Karatara and Rheenendal that you can visit en route to get a bite to eat.

Knysna Township Tours
Emzini Tours is owned by Ella Mahlulo and Penny Mainwaring and will give you a glimpse of the Knysna township, a place of great strength, courage, song and dance, survival, love and happiness. Over a period of three hours you will be picked up from Knysna and transported to the Knysna Township, where you will meet many local shop owners – including hairdressers, where you can have your hair cut or try on some new styles! Ella will entertain you with facts about traditional Xhosa life while Penny is your driver.
You will see the brightly illustrated Nigerian Restaurant, you can visit the Shebeen and play a bit of snooker or listen to the juke box music. You'll visit the Paula Whitney Pre School, teeming with exuberant, laughing children, where you will be given the most amazing welcome and they will sing their joyous songs for you. Then a visit with the "Women of Vision", who have a sewing group and put together some beautiful articles that make great gifts to take home. The next stop is at Ella's house in the township for refreshments while Ella and Thandi will sing the famous Xhosa Click song and others for you and teach you some Xhosa phrases. You can have a go yourself on those drums, and see just how difficult it is to get that rhythm!

Nelson Bay Cave
The pretty Nelson's Bay Cave archaeological site on Robberg Peninsula in Plettenberg Bay, where there is an informative field museum, is intriguing as it was far inland when it was occupied but now commands a fabulous sea view and is rich in artefacts from the Early Upper Pleistocene Age. Receding sea levels some 80 000 years ago exposed the cave now prized as an important archaeological site, revealing a remarkable story of successive periods of habitation by early man. Take a short 20min walk to Nelson Bay Cave with its detail interpretation facility on the important Middle and Later Stone Age Archaeological evidence.
The Matjies River Cave at nearby Keurboomstrand, now proclaimed a national monument, was also inhabited for over 100 000 years by Middle Stone Age man and later by ancestors of the Khoisan, who were possibly the same people who traded with the Portuguese survivors of the San Gonzales shipwreck. Their tools, ornaments and food debris can be viewed in these caves, which are still being excavated and archaeologists and historians have gathered plenty of evidence about how man lived throughout this time, for example that they learnt how to make fire, and how to make tools with the fire. From the research and excavations, we know that the Khoikhoi came here in the winter, when the high coastal rainfall meant that their cattle had more food here than inland. The San lived here throughout the year, and lived on fish and shellfish like mussels and limpets.

Gouna Farm
Gouna farm on the Platrand is by far the best kept secret in the Knysna treasure chest and driving up there must be one of the most scenic routes in the Knysna indigenous forest. Gouna Forest Restaurant offers a variety of meals made from fresh produce in a truly rustic and peaceful setting.
The historic cornerstone of the Gouna Farm is the San Ambroso Roman Catholic Church which has recently been restored to its former glory and is now an historical church, with the first wedding service having recently been held. For that ultimate, special wedding day it is proving to be an exceptional venue. Inside the church is a museum where the history of the Italian settlers in Knysna is displayed.
Also situated at Gouna, close to the church is the King's Nursery where a wide selection of indigenous plants is available at very reasonable prices.
An animal touch farm is open daily as well as pony and horse carriage rides, horse trails through the beautiful Gouna Forest and the farm is an ideal setting for children's birthday parties.

Judah Square Jump
The Judah Square Rastafarian village in the suburb of Khayalethu was founded in 1993, and is the largest Rastafarian community in South Africa. They are registered as a co-operative, the One Love Rastafari Tourism & Projects, and is managed by The House of Judah council while the Sister's Council works on projects and fundraising. The community fund has resulted in an office, a creche, a tabernacle and they have a resident band called The Reggae Ambassadors. You can do a walking tour of the community and a forest walk with a Rastafarian tourist guide.
Experience the Rastafarian vibe, and learn more about their unique life philosophy. The community hosts the annual Rasfarian Earth Festival in July, rated by Coopers Travel Guide as one of the 100 greatest events in the world. This is a celebration which gathers Rastafarians from all over the country and the globe. The festival includes music events, as well as a week long program workshops and churchical events.

Knysna Timber Route
The Knysna Timber Route visits various woodworkers, timber yards and crafters, bearing witness to the importance of the timber industry in Knysna's economy, and giving visitors an insight into the wealth and beauty of this precious raw material. The route offers a perfect excuse to explore the town's forest and timber trade, which played such an integral part in the Knysna's history and continue to be an enormous part of the town's character and introduces you to the wood suppliers, furniture manufacturers and other enterprises that still rely on the wealth of the Knysna Forest.
Apart from wood suppliers, furniture and craft manufacturers, the route also includes an indigenous tree nursery and several places of interest, such as the Dalene Matthee Memorial, big trees and the Millwood House museum. For a truly sensory experience of the Knysna Forest, there are several hiking and mountain biking trails.
Geo Parkes & Sons sell indigenous logs and sawn timber as well as moulded products, such as flooring and the Parkes family has created the Knysna Timber Route as a marketing and awareness drive. A wide variety of the most exquisite, indigenous Knysna timber such as Stinkwood, Yellowwood, Ironwood , Hard Pear, White Els and Cape Holly, as well as non–indigenous Blackwood, are available for sale.
Only dying trees are harvested in accordance to strict responsible forest management principles.

Arts & Crafts
Plettenberg Bay is a creative haven with art festivals, an abundance of arts and crafts galleries and shops, village markets and artists studios. One of the most visited must the Old Nick's Village – galleries, studios and a restaurant surrounded by lush indigenous gardens, provide a truly sensory experience. Fine artists and master crafters demonstrate and showcase an eclectic combination of locally inspired design.
A community arts and crafts program also worth a visit is the Simunye Community Centre in KwaNokuthula with its vibrancy and wide range of artistic offerings. It is a hive of local activity and artists produce hand painted textiles, traditional and ethnic styled designer ware, paintings, weaving, bead-work, metal and wood work and a number of dance and kwaito groups have mushroomed through the centre.There are also excellent painters, goldsmiths, potters and antique merchants in the area.
The Crags, 20 km's from Plettenberg Bay, and its Cruise the Crags route has become one of the must do experiences. This unique day trip will take you to some of the most creative artists workshops in the area for hand crafted basins, fabric, curios, beadwork and basket ware as well as farm stalls for the freshest and tastiest home fare.
Community craft initiative and workshop, Women on the Move, is a group of entrepreneurial women offering a unique range of painted fabrics, basket ware, woven mats and carpets and various other textile crafts.

Art Galleries
Looking for a beautiful piece of South African art? Then stop off at the Lookout Art Gallery where you will find a collection of original artworks representative of the Southern Cape and some of the best contemporary South African art which include a variety of media - ceramics, sculpture, glasswork and paintings. Feel free to browse and if one or more of the paintings take your fancy you the gallery is able to pack and ship the works all over the world. Some of the artists housed at the gallery are Sue Kemp, Sam Nhlengethwa, Roelof Rossow, Ruth Squibb, Myfanwy Bekker and Paddy Starling to name but a few.
At Feathers you will find a range of over 380 products on display, interspersed with a selection of bronze sculptures, and select pieces of fine African art.Throughout the years, Feathers has enjoyed the privilege of providing commissioned gifts to dignitaries and royalty the world over.
The Keyhole Gallery for fshion and sculptures.
The Knysna Old Gaol Art Gallery was founded and is run by the Knysna Arts & Crafts Society, a non profit organization. The aim is to provide local artists an opportunity to display their work and a new exhibition shows every 2-4 weeks.
The Art Gallery in Great Brak River has a very nice and fresh collection of works by upcoming and established artists.
Crouse Art at Garden Route Mall next to Mugg & Bean deasl exclusively in original South African Art, specifically investment art. They offer works by a variety of renowned artists, but will also enquire after any artists' work of interest to you.

Barnyard Theatre
The picnic style venue of the Barnyard Theatre in Plettenberg Bay is entertainment at its best, offering fantastic South African and international artists. Arrive well before curtain up, bring your own picnic basket supper or order pizza from the theatre and enjoy your meal around heavy wooden tables in the warm atmosphere of this unique barnyard theatre. Sip some wine, kick back and be entertained. Teas, coffees and scrumptious cakes are available.
The Barnyard started as a homely, rustic farm theatre right in Plettenberg Bay where friends and family could be entertained and eat, drink and talk into the small hours of the morning. The Möller family built a beautiful, rustic American-style wooden barn on the farm, which was then converted into a theatre with an old-world atmosphere, heavy wooden beams, a horseshoe gallery, big tables with welcoming lanterns and wood chips on the floor.
The in–house production company employs a wide variety of musicians and performers and has at least 8 different shows running at any given time. The music shows transcend boundaries and they're vibrant, uplifting and highly entertaining. The Barnyard Production team identifies talent, hones their skills and gives performers the opportunity to earn a living doing what they love and do best. The theatre believes in growing and supporting local talent and one of their shows, Under African Skies, has performed at over 80 theatres in Belgium, Holland, France and Denmark.

Flea Markets
On the N2, between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay, the Harkerville Market is a market with a difference, not a flea market, not a craft market, not completely a farmers market but perhaps a bit of the best of all three. A wonderful way to spend a Saturday morning whether browsing for books and flowers or perhaps purchasing a bag full of delicious locally produced cheeses, fresh mushrooms, delicious pies, organic veggies and homemade bread. Breakfast is also served under the trees, so arrange to meet friends and family under the oaks for a Saturday morning catch up!
The Kurland Food Market, at The Mill in The Crags, offers farm-fresh wholesome foods, crafts and a wonderful day out for the whole family with plenty of healthy food and fantastic offerings for vegetarians, delights as indulgent cakes and pastries; truffles; raw chocolate; creamy cheeses; Gluwein; artisanal breads and every preserve variety you could possibly desire. There are also gift, craft, alternative therapy and clothing stalls.

Flea Markets
The Scarab Craft Market is Sedgefield's one-stop arts and craft market on the scenic Garden Route where the visitor can browse through the permanent Scarab Paper and Craft Centre, visit the Saturday Craft Market or enjoy a French-Moroccan bistro-style meal at Café François.
Jade's Café is open for breakfast, lunch and tea and offers tasty, homestyle meals and the store offers an array of preserves, jams and other sweet treats. Also on the list are fresh organic veggies and free-range eggs.
The Knysna Friday Market takes place from 4pm to 8pm every Friday night, a perfect way to end the week. A wide array of food is available, from pizza and pancakes to Thai dishes. A bar is available so you won't go thirsty! Gather up your friends and enjoy Friday night at the Market.

Flea Markets
The Milkwood evening market, Milkwood Village, Wilderness, is a wonderful gathering of handmade wares, cheeses, artisanal breads, cured meats and delicious food. Enjoy an authentic South African braai between browsing around the arts and crafts, tapping your feet to live music. Pop in at one of the restaurants or pubs and enjoy a craft beer. Try on unique clothing and shop around for interesting keepsakes.
The Heath is more than a farm-stall, its a bohemian store that has a craft shop, food store, kitchen, various forest based activities, a lavender labyrinth and last but not least, many child-orientated activities. The craft shop offers a mix of mostly locally produced crafts ranging from toys to kitchenware and décor and gifts or you can wander through the lavender labyrinth, grab a hammock and take a nap or try your hand at a game of boules. Children are entertained with a foofie-slide, jungle-gym, swings and merry-go-round.

Flea Markets
Home to 80 food and craft stalls, the Outeniqua Farmer's Market in George offers a variety of farm fresh produce, artisan products, handmade goods, fruit, vegetables, dairy and cheese, biltong, speciality foods, gourmet meals and a plethora of food goods to pack into your basket.
The Plett Market on Main is a great way to meet locals and enjoy the vibe that makes Plettenberg Bay so special. The market is open daily and has 7 food stalls which offer a huge variety of food to please any hungry tummy but food is not the only thing you will find here, browse through the traders stalls which include leather and skins, antiques, good second hand clothing, jewellery, African art, gifts, books and hats. On Wednesday and Fridays there is live music which begins at 18h00 and runs until 21h00 and you are welcome to bring your own beverages, your friends and make a night of it.
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