Plettenberg Bay is just a short 30-minute drive from the lagoon town of Knysna, making it an ideal day-trip for those staying in Plett and wanting to explore the surrounding towns of the Garden Route.
Despite their close proximity, Plett and Knysna couldn’t be more different: where Plettenberg Bay offers sandy beaches, ocean views and is dominated by the Fynbos covered Robberg Peninsula, Knynsa is sheltered from the ocean by two dramatic headlands – the Knysna Heads – steeped in indigenous forest and dominated by the large and sheltered lagoon. We could wax lyrical about how much we love Plett, but this blog is about Knysna, so we’re going to give you a little slice of what to expect when you visit this fun, friendly little town…
When we drive into Knynsa, it always reminds us of set from the “Pirates of Caribbean” – windswept headlands sheltering a beautiful lagoon, dramatic cliffs overlooking the Paquita shipwreck and ships (well, yachts actually) moored in the sheltered waters. There’s something mysterious about Knynsa, the forests, the lagoon and the history. You can do a scuba dive on the Paquita wreck, but only on the turn of the tide, due to extremely strong currents in the mouth of the estuary. There is also a lovely little restaurant, East Head Café, which is great for lunch or tea on your day trip.
The second largest brewery in South Africa, was founded in 1983 by Rex Mitchell and has grown to be a most popular stop for tourists. Find out more.
Hikes in the Knysna Forest
Knysna has forest walks and hikes for every fitness level, and, again, you’re swept away into a fantasy worthy of JR Tolkien complete with giant Yellowwood trees, forest ferns and bubbling streams. Popular walks include Krisjan-se-nek, Jubilee Creek, Milkwood Museum and tea garden and Drupkelders. You can find out more about these hikes here.
Eating out in Knysna
If you’ve heard of the Knysna Oyster Festival, you’ll know that Knysna is synonymous with these scrumptious little shellfish. But you don’t need a festival to enjoy Knysna Oysters; many of the local, lagoon-side restaurants serve both wild and cultivated oysters so you can sit back, order a bottle of wine and slurp oysters with a bit of lemon, black pepper and Tabasco to your heart’s content.
Sailing in Knysna
This is possibly the best view of Knysna that you’re likely to get. On calm days, you can charter a yacht out to sea and get a look at those dramatic heads and coastal cliffs and on rougher days, you can enjoy a relaxed sail around the lagoon, sneaking up on the privately owned West Head for a closer look – either way, it’s a day very well spent. Find out more.
Do you have a favourite Knysna pastime? We’d love to hear about it in our comments below.