The Cape’s breathtakingly beautiful Garden Route is frequented during the Festive Season, rated as a top holiday destination that wins over the hearts of domestic and international travellers year round. This year has been particularly taxing on many of us and a break-away to recover, spend quality times with loved ones and appreciate the extensive beauty of the Indian Ocean and this captivating coastline presents the perfect getaway.
During summer, an array of attractions and activities ensure that those on vacation are kept busy and can fully appreciate the best of the Garden Route. If you’re still adding to your itinerary for the season, consider Garden Route Township Tours for truly unforgettable cultural experiences, try out the new Mossel Bay Zipline and Knysna Ziplines if you’re after an adrenaline rush with a view or go out to sea to spot dolphins play with Ocean Blue Adventures. The Flying Club offers microlight flying excursions over Wilderness, Sedgefield and the scenic splendour of surrounding areas which will take your breath away, whilst an array of other Garden Route family friendly options await, including Acrobranch Garden Route and the incredible Cango Caves.
Our team at Hello Garden Route offer an array of accommodation options from Garden Route romantic retreats to Garden Route pet-friendly properties. For those that allow you to bring your pet along for your stay – our Garden Route Pet-Friendly Guide makes your family holiday that much simpler to plan! There are also a variety of events taking place across the Garden Route during December – be sure to check them out… (subject to Government regulations re: Covid)
12 December: A Night At The Opera, Plettenberg Bay
In aid of Hospice Plett, two South African opera talents will be performing classic masterpieces of renowned opera artists such as Mozart, Puccini, Donizetti and Verdi at Plettenberg Bay’s Ouland Royale Baroque Barn. Dr Lisa Engelbrecht and Makudupanyane Senaoana will be showcasing their musical versatility and range whilst captivating audiences at this upcoming concert this December. A selection of delicious canapes and a complimentary welcome gin cocktail will be served. On the night of this not-to-be-missed event, a cash bar will also be available and those attending should arrive a little earlier for the concert to begin at 19h00. Be transported by the depth and glamour of a night at the opera in the Garden Route this festive season – for more information on this event, email email@example.com
17 – 20 December: Robberg Fine Foods Classic Beach Regatta, Plettenberg Bay
Whether you’re taking in the action from the side-lines or are participating in this year’s epic sailing class competition, the annual Hobie 16 Nationals Regatta will once again be held at Hobie Beach in Plettenberg Bay and is one of our country’s stand-out sailing competitions. Last hosted in Plettenberg Bay 25 years ago, sailors will be coming from all over the country to race and uphold their line honours over 4 days of races. Local legends and members of the regatta organizing committee, Blaine Dodds and William Edwards, are the two to beat and will certainly pose a challenge for other entrants. Come enjoy days out with the family between 10h00 – 15h00, meet the sailors in person and get into the competitive spirit and excitement. It’s free for spectators to join.
19 December: The Barrington’s Wine Festival, Plettenberg Bay
The Garden Route is well known for producing exceptional wines and Plettenberg Bay delights visitors from around the world as a Wine of Origin region. Wine tasting in the Garden Route is enjoyed all year around, with the summer season being no exception. Experience some of South Africa’s finest wines at this event and choose to enjoy the afternoon session (from 12h00 – 15h00) or the evening session (17h00 to- 20h00) with family or friends at this year’s Barrington Wine Festival. More than 20 wine estates will be on show this year and event attendees will have the opportunity to meet passionate wine makers on the day. Live entertainment adds to the excitement of this wine inspired festival, Barrington’s Bar will be selling mouth-watering tapas and the restaurant area will be open for the duration of the event. For more information, call 044 050 3767 or visit Instantly Confirmed Reservations (dineplan.com) to purchase tickets online.
20 December: The Kontrei Family Festival, George
Taking place at the Sasol George Highway and Kontrei Padstal, the Kontrei Family Festival offers a wonderful day of entertainment and fun for all ages, starting bright and early at 09h00. If you’re looking for an engaging and festive event that the kids will enjoy, this is one you won’t want to miss! Attractions on the day include a live performance by Lollos and Friends (this will get your kids dancing) and talented local artists, as well as face painting, inflatables and a Family Fun Walk/Run in aid of the George Child and Family Welfare. Support creative George and other Garden Route locals who will be showcasing arts, crafts and gifts at various stalls on the day. There will also be plenty of options for food and drink to keep you fully energized for a memorable outing. One of the event highlights include the Crowning of Miss Kontrei and Miss Petite Kontrei 2020.
20 – 27 December: Live Music Shows with Shomon
Be serenaded by gifted local musician Shomon Daniel who will be performing live across the Garden Route throughout the month of December. Shomon’s originally composed music is captivating and moving, with a depth that will mesmerize you. Her music is a combination of styles that go from chilled and mellow to edgy rock with ease, making her live performances something truly spectacular. Her line-up includes shows in Wilderness starting 20 December at Fairy Knowe Backpackers from 09h00 – 22h00 and 27 December at The Wild Farm from 15h00 – 19h00. Experience stunning music and plan a fun outing with friends and family. Keep up with Shomon’s live performances this December via her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Shomon-36538582311/
Experience the exceptional beauty of Knysna along the Garden Route’s coastal stretch. The Knysna Blues Festival is a popular annual event that features many of the best South African Blues artists, while also introducing audiences to upcoming talents. This music event will start at 14h00 – 22h00. Every year, the rhythmic and soulful sounds of blues music enchants locals, as well as visitors, enjoying this destination while on vacation. This year’s Knysna Blues Festival will be no exception, taking place at the Blend Country Restaurant and open to anyone over the age of 13 years old for ticket purchases. A line-up of 6 highly anticipated blues acts comprise of Michael Canfield, The Blue Broers, Basson Laubscher and the Violent Fee Peace, Andra, BlackWater SA and Georgetown. To book your ticket for this year’s Knysna Blues Festival, visit: Book tickets for Knysna Blues Festival 2020 (quicket.co.za)
21 December: Matthew Mole live at ReedValley, Mossel Bay
This local legend and talented artist has received international acclaim as an amazing singer-songwriter and he’s debut album ‘The Home We Built’ helped him to make history as the first South African artist to enter the iTunes album chart at number one. While enjoying the exquisite Garden Route this summer, don’t miss Matthew Mole performing live at ReedValley in Mossel Bay. Be prepared for an epic evening of incredible live music, good food and delicious locally produced wines. This December, ReedValley will be welcoming various renowned musicians to perform on their stage. Some of the live music shows at ReedValley that we are excited about include performances by the Carpe Musicam Quintet (11 December), popular Afrikaans band Spoegwolf (16 December), PJ Powers (17 December) and the Parlotones,(26 December). For the full line-up of live performances at Reed Valley, follow this link: Live Shows at ReedValley – ReedValley Wines. Book your holiday accommodation in Mossel Bay so that don’t miss any of your favourite shows!
The perfect chance for loved ones to come together and get into the spirit of Christmas, Carols by Candlelight is being hosted on Plettenberg Bay’s Central Beach by all the Plett Churches. Welcoming locals and holiday visitors, everyone can attend and at no charge, it’s as simple as bringing your own beach chairs or picnic blanket, packing some snacks and appreciating the wonderful festive atmosphere with the Indian Ocean as the backdrop. Candles and candle holders will be available for purchase on the evening (which starts at 19h30). Those attending can look forward to a bible reading, some all-time favourite Christmas carols and music inspired by the Christmas message. Please note that the event is alcohol and glass free.
See the New Year in under the stars in the lovely Garden Route town of Sedgefield. Watershed, a multi-talented rock band originally from South Africa, are celebrating their 20th Anniversary this year and will be performing hits from award winning albums from 10 pm on New Year’s Eve. Some of the original Watershed classics that always win over a crowd include ‘Indigo Girl’, ‘Shine on Me’ and ‘Letters’. The opening act of the evening is husband and wife musical and comedy duo The Romantix, whose time on stage starts at 20h00. Pack a picnic basket, bring your own chairs, dress for dancing and make lifelong memories at this family-friendly New Year’s Eve event taking place at the Octopus Garden in Scarab Village. You can also support local vendors on the evening as there will be wine, gin, a coffee bar and Liola Vegan Foods on sale. For more information or to purchase tickets online, visit: Book tickets for Watershed and The Romantix (quicket.co.za)
More attractions to experience this December…
A range of specials and discounted offers will be available to visitors and locals across the Garden Route during this festive season. Tsitsikamma Treetop Canopy Tours is offering 50% off for each child accompanying an adult until 10 December. Take in the surroundings of vast indigenous rainforest forest from 30 metres above the floor of the forest, before whizzing from one platform to the next on this canopy tour adventure. There are so many adventure activities in the Garden Route to appease your need for excitement. Take time out to discover the natural beauty of the Tsitsikamma Marine Protected Area or simply Cruise the Crags near Plettenberg Bay. Monkeyland, Birds of Eden and Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary are always a must see!
Fancourt will be hosting Jesse Clegg live in the Ballroom on 20 December, starting 19h00. Space is limited so don’t miss out – contact firstname.lastname@example.org to book.
Victoria Bay is home to Vibe Surf School where surfing lessons offer visitors the chance to embrace the spirit of surfing in the Garden Route. This activity can be enjoyed by young and old and surfing lessons can be booked according to your holiday schedule, simply check out the Vibe Surf School website for more information or to request a quote. Awesome surfing instructors who are also qualified lifeguards will make this experience unforgettable, while the team also operate from Wilderness and Herold’s Bay.
Support local artists, creators and businesses from the Garden Route this festive season. The annual Boerevintage Gift Market will again be hosted in George at the welcoming Redberry Farm, from 10 – 19 December. Entry to this market is free, while this attraction has bought many families and friends together over the years for relaxing and fun days. Redberry Farm is perfect for strawberry picking and a selection of outdoor activities engage little ones.
The Garden Route Botanical Gardens in George is hosting their annual Carols by Candlelight on 21 December. It’s open to the public – pack your picnic basket and loved ones and come share in the Christmas spirit in this beautiful setting.