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Wine and so much more along South Africa’s Route 62

23 Feb Posted by in Road Trip, South Africa | Comments
Wine and so much more along South Africa’s Route 62
 

South Africa and the word “WINE” is synonymous with each other. No wonder then that the longest Wine Route in the World is found in this scenic country. Route 62 creeps up country from Cape Town, through the Breede River Valley, criss crosses through the Karoo towns of Calitzdorp and Oudtshoorn, meandering through the lazy Langkloof and comes to its end in Port Elizabeth, capital city of the Eastern Cape. Many of the small towns and villages were hidden in obscurity for many years, nestled by burgeoning farming communities.

Yes, a tour along Route 62 can mean having to slow the pace due to all the wine tasting you will be doing. Many of South Africa’s award winning wine estates, wine farms and wineries are situated along this stretch of road. It comes with no surprise then that Route 62’s motto is “FOOD, WINE & PEOPLE- what are you waiting for?”


There is so much more on offer along the way.


Historical Franschoek offers Chocolate Tour, Bike Riding through either the Village or vineyards, Fly Fishing, Horseback Riding and Wine Estate, pre- booked picnics.

In Paarl you can enjoy some of the top restaurants in South Africa, tractor rides on a wine estate, wine tasting, historical walks and of course, play Golf in some of the most breathtaking surroundings.

Du Toit's Kloof, South Africa

Du Toit’s Kloof, South Africa
Image Credits:Danie van der Merwe

Meandering through the Hex River and over the spectacular Du Toit’s Kloof pass, you will reach Worchester, South Africa’s Brandy Capital. The welcoming billboard to the town proudly reads “Worchester Sauce” above a bottle of the locally produced Brandy. There are numerous wine farms in the area as well which all offers wine tasting and cellar tours during specific times of the year. You can visit Klein Plasie, where you can learn anything from how the early Settlers made candles, to how to spin wool.

Via Robertson and Ashton, you will reach the picturesque town of Matagu. A good idea would be to plan your arrival in Montagu to be on a Friday and then to stay for the Village Market which is every Saturday morning. There is beautiful natural Hot Water Springs near the town. The town itself boasts some f the best preserved Cape Dutch architecture in the Western Cape. Over 45 wine cellars surround the town, so once again, you might want to slow the pace!

Barrydale will be your next stop along Route 62. A visit or even a drive through is not complete without a meal at the Country Pumpkin Restaurant. A stay at the Barrydale Hotel is a unique transportation into another era and there are many craft and art shops waiting to be enjoyed. In the close surroundings you can visit the farm Manger to walk a peaceful labyrinth. Alternatively, there is more Hot Water Springs to enjoy.

Ronnie's Sex Shop, Route 62, South Africa

Ronnie’s Sex Shop, Route 62, South Africa
Image Credits:Danie van der Merwe

The road between Barrydale and Ladismith is long, dusty and very hot. Make sure to stop off at Ronnie’s Sex Shop. No, this article is not going pear-shaped. Ronnie’s is actually a pub. Ronnie’s mates thought one night, that to get him more business from the national road which passes by, they should paint “Sex Shop” on the wall. It worked, and Ronnie’s Shop became Ronnie’s Sex Shop. You can even take a dip in the pool outside, or just stay for a while under the shade of the huge trees outside.

Just past Ladismith, you will make your way over another spectacular mountain pass, the Huisrivier Pass, to Calitzdorp. Calitzdorp is home to a great many award winning Wine Estates and is known as the Port Capital of South Africa. The town becomes a beehive of activity each year in June when they host the Annual Calitzdorp Port Festival. Well worth a taste…uhm, a try.

Ladismith (Little Karoo)

Ladismith (Little Karoo)
Image Credits:Martin Heigan

Oudtshoorn is the largest town in the Little Karoo and has many well known Wine Estates and Ostrich Farms. A stop at the Cango Caves, 30 kilometers from the town, is well worth the beautiful drive. You can also do Crocodile Cage Diving and have close encounters with various endangered species bred at world renown Wildlife Conservation Center. Each April, Oudtshoorn hosts an Afrikaans Arts Festival.

The next stop along Route 62 is Uniondale. Beware of driving the road to Uniondale after dark over Easter weekend. Along this stretch of road, a woman died while asleep in the backseat of her fiancés car in 1968 and it has since then been reported by many a traveler that a woman fitting her description have “hitched a ride” with them and then at the spot of the accident, the car doors will open, they would hear a spine chilling laugh, and the woman would simply disappear from the car. Uniondale is a quaint little town with incredible hospitality and the town has a tranquil mountain setting.

Your scenic drive past Misgund, Joubertina and Kareedouw will afford you plenty of time and opportunity to explore and to do some wine tasting in incredible settings. Humansdorp provides you the opportunity to enjoy a Gary Player designed Golf Course and hiking trails fit for any level of adventure.

Route 62 Map from the Official Website of Route 62

Route 62 Map from the Official Website of Route 62

Port Elizabeth is where you come to the end of Route 62. With plenty of Wine Estates surrounding this Eastern Cape city, you can combine your tasting with a game drive at one of the many Game and Nature Reserves. Pristine beaches, entertainment, and an airport which connects you with all other major South African cities, this city is locally known as both the Windy City and the Friendly City. Be prepared to stay and enjoy a while.

Now at journeys end, you will be well wine saturated, contently sun basked and really not in the mood for going home. Route 62 will entice you to have many return travels, and on each return, the promise of new discoveries beacon.


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