Tips for Montagu in South Africa: beautiful hotspot on Route 62

Surrounded by mountains and deep gorges, lies the beautiful town of Montagu. This small town is very idyllic and this is the ultimate place to relax when traveling along Route 62 or the Garden Route. Be sure to add this location to your Garden Route itinerary! In this blog we tell you all about the highlights of Montagu.South Africa Montagu 7


Montagu in South Africa

Montagu is located on the famous Route 62, a beautiful road from Montagu to Oudtshoorn. It’s a charming town with lots of Victorian and Cape Dutch houses. These are pretty white thatched cottages with classic, lace-like decorations. Here you will find hundreds of Ibis birds, which gather at a tree in the center of the city. It doesn’t smell very fresh, but it’s funny to see. South Africa Montagu 1Montagu is the perfect place to relax when you are touring South Africa. There is a wonderfully peaceful atmosphere and you are between the mountains, so there is an abundance of nature. In the area you will find many vineyards and fruit and nut farms. Below we describe the five highlights and best things to do in Montagu.

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The 5 best activities and highlights in Montagu

1. Hiking around Montagu

In the vicinity of Montagu you can enjoy beautiful hikes. If you just want to take a short walk, do the Loverswalk, along a cute river at Kanonkop. This small idyllic trail isn’t longer than 500 meters but perfect for a small detour.South Africa Montagu Hiking trips 4We also hiked the Badskloof Trail. A longer trail through a beautiful gorge. This hike is indicated with yellow markings on the rock walls. This trail takes 2 hours to complete back and forth. You will walk between the bamboo and along the rocks all the way to the Avelon Springs. In February it was a bit wet since some parts of the river overflowed its banks so make sure to wear old shoes that can get muddy.

South Africa Montagu Hiking trips

Other, longer hikes are the Cogmanskloof Hiking trail (12 km long and can be done in 4-6 hours) and the Bloupunt Hiking Trail (15.5 km long and can be done in 6-8 hours). We did not do both hikes, but we understood that the Cogmanskloof trail is easy to do and only quite steep in the beginning. The Bloupunt trail is harder because you rise more than 1000 meters.

The various hikes are indicated on this map. All trails start from Joubert Park. You need a permit for the last three walks, which you can buy at the beginning of the route.

Montagu hike


Read our blog with useful tips for South Africa!

2. Horseback riding in the Montagu area

The raw landscape around Montagu made us long for something we hadn’t done in years. This is the perfect place for horseback riding. And now it’s good to know, we can’t ride horses at all. In our whole lives we have been on a horse maybe 5 times. But this area with great mountains everywhere you look, is ideal to explore by horse.

There are many riding stables in the area. On luck we called the Nerina Guest Farm and they could take us the same day for a nice ride. This farm is run entirely by women, mother and daughters. They have beautiful horses and a real passion for animals and the environment. Riding with tourists is a hobby they have, so it doesn’t feel commercial at all. We went out with the owner’s daughter who showed us more of the area in two hours. For example, we walked near the Breede River and went a bit into the mountains.

The galloping (or even just trotting) wasn’t really my thing and the days after I had some muscle pain but it was really so much fun to do!

3. Relax and unwind in Montagu

Montagu itself is just big enough for a short walk. Admire the beautiful houses, browse the vintage shops or art gallery and visit the farmers market on Saturdays. Then go back to your hotel to relax at the pool. Normally not really our thing, but because of the beautiful surroundings that you look out on from most hotels, this is perfect. This way you can really relax.South Africa Montagu 2You are also close to natural hot springs. Like the Avalon Springs. However, we do not recommend this. An entire resort has been built around the hot springs and it feels a bit like faded glory.

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4. Visit vineyards in Robortson, near Montagu

Montagu is at the start of the R62, a route with many vineyards nearby. Perfect for good wine tasting, especially since many wineries are very beautiful.Van Loveren wijn

We found Van Loveren to be one of the most beautiful vineyards. The driveway surrounded by red flowers alone is impressive. Here they not only have a nice tasting room, but also a beautiful garden and restaurant where the food looked very good. A wine tasting costs 55 Rand (3 euros). Other wineries that seem to be nice are Springfield Estate and Graham Beck Estate.

Picnic & wine tasting on the river

If you want to do something different than a normal wine tasting, consider doing the River Trip at Viljoensdrift. This is a river cruise where you will have a picnic on the river. First you do a small wine tasting to determine which wine you like best. You then take this on the boat. The picnic lasts approximately one hour and departs every day at 1:00 PM from the Viljoensdrift winery.


Planning to taste wine in the Cape Winelands? We wrote several blogs about this: the nicest wineries in Paarl, the 9 best wineries in Stellenbosch and the 9 most beautiful wineries in Franschhoek!

Viljoen

5. Rock climbing in Montagu

We didn’t do this ourselves (because we can’t do this at all), but Montagu is seen as one of the best locations in South Africa to go rock climbing. There are many steep walls here on which more than 400 routes have been mapped out. If rock climbing is your thing, then you can’t stop having fun in Montagu!Montagu hike 2


Are you traveling from Montagu to Cape Town? Then be sure to read our Cape Town blog. Full of tips and the best things to do in this vibrant city in South Africa! Also the nearby Hout Bay is a must visit!


Where to eat in Montagu

There are nice restaurants in Montagu and most hotels and guesthouses also offer a dinner service. Keep in mind that dinner here often starts early (6 pm) and most restaurants close around 9 pm. Also good to know: it is safe to walk around Montagu in the dark at night.

Here are our tips for good food in Montagu:

The Barn on 62

This restaurant on route 62 is perfect for breakfast or a nice lunch. They serve good coffee. In the evening it is closed. This restaurant is also a hotel, click here for more information!

22 Church Street Restaurant

The more upmarket 22 Church Street Restaurant is perfect for dinner. They serve all kinds of different types of meat, but also as a vegetarian, I could find enough lovely dishes here. This restaurant is popular so make sure you book in time. Click here for the location of this restaurant in Montagu!

Piccolo Tesoro

Fancy a simple but tasty pizza? You eat it at Piccolo Tesoro. No reservations needed and you can also order a pizza to go here. Tip: they have good and affordable wines! Click here for the location of this restaurant in Montagu.

MonTQ

Seems to be a good restaurant belonging to the hotel of the same name. We did not eat here ourselves but got this as a tip from the accommodation where we stayed. Click here for the location of this restaurant in Montagu.


Other nice places on the Garden Route that you should not miss are Wilderness and Knysna. Read more in our blog about these cities!


The nicest hotels in Montagu

Ooo there are soooo many wonderful hotels in Montagu. Most are in elegant colonial-style houses. And almost always there is a nice garden with a swimming pool that overlooks the mountains. We ourselves stayed in The Vineyard Country House, which we were very happy with. Here are two other good hotels in Montagu.

J’s Audacious Living Montagu €

Js Audacious Living

This cozy homestay is the perfect budget solution. You are right in the center of Montagu and you stay in a nice room. There is a small swimming pool and a charming living room where you can have a drink with other guests. From €60.

Book now

The Vineyard Country House €€

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This delightful hotel is run by two lovely ladies. There is a small vineyard that several rooms overlook and a swimming pool with a view of the mountains. We were a big fan of the outdoor shower and the great breakfast. From €80 euros incl. breakfast.

Book now

In Abundance Guest House €€€

In Abundance Guest House

This luxurious guesthouse is located in the city center. Yet you can completely relax here in the beautiful spacious rooms and lovely garden. The breakfast seems to be really great and the beds are really amazing. From €110 including breakfast.

Book now

 

Click here for all hotels in Montagu.


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