Not the Garden Route

The Garden Route used to be the Grand Tour of South Africa for discerning travellers but its popularity has come at a price. South Africa is a well-populated country and when that population is on holiday the roads are filled with a constant flow of traffic.

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What were once scenic villages have sprawled into large towns; there are theme parks and tourist shops. So if not the Garden Route, then what?

The alternative is not a garden route as such but a range of options to be built into a bespoke itinerary. International travellers may wish to cherry pick the best bits of the Garden Route – the winelands and the Hermanus coast – and these are easily accessible on privately guided day trips from Cape Town – while staying in the old world luxury of a grand colonial hotel with wonderful gardens, swimming pools, tennis courts and first class white glove service.

Cape Town itself offers so much to delight visitors that it provides an excellent base for a Not the Garden Route trip. Cape Town is steeped in a wine and foodie culture with gourmet markets, world class restaurants, vibrant life style design and fascinating history as well as beaches, surfing, sailing, walking, biking, watersports and whale-watching in season.

Add to this a trip up to Western Cape for quirky coastal villages, fabulous seafood, tea plantations, rugged mountains, wildlife and rock paintings – and particularly breath-taking during the spring flower season (August/September).

When asked to produce a bespoke itinerary for guests, I usually start by booking tables at the very best restaurants, where waiting lists are up to six months. Creating this kind of itinerary requires a lot of local knowledge but thankfully booking via a specialist agent like ourselves costs no more than booking direct, our recommendations are unbiased and our private guides are the very best.

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