The Crags, Plettenberg Bay: Things to Do & See, Places to Eat & Sleep
One of the most sought after destinations in the Garden Route is The Crags, an enticing and otherworldly area that captures the magic of a holiday escape away from life’s stresses, ready to take you from one adventure to the next, from entertainment one moment to blissful relaxation the next. This is just one of its appeals that defines The Crags.
Though this countryside, a mere 20 minutes from Plettenberg Bay, can appear quiet and unassuming, there are plenty of attractions that await visitors, not to mention amazing accommodation options surrounded by nature. The Crags should most definitely form part of anyone’s discovery of one of South Africa’s best holiday destinations, the Garden Route!
Interestingly, The Crags was named by early British Settlers, for the reason we can now assume refers to the trademark rugged mountains overlooking the area. A crag is defined as a rugged cliff, rock face or overhang.
There are various attractions in The Crags that you won’t want to miss out on. In the center is the polo sports, with 2 estates and 6 international standard fields. For fans of polo, the season runs from December to April. The Crags is home to some of the best Garden Route Safari’s & Tours, home to the below.
THINGS TO DO & SEE
Monkeyland, Birds of Eden & Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary
If animal encounters appeal, then The Crags is just the place for you! These three incredible animal and wildlife sanctuaries are focused on conservation and education, while offering family-friendly fun to all. Monkeyland is a free roaming, multi-species and award winning sanctuary home to over 700 primates, creating awareness of the very real challenges that they face. Birds of Eden, the world’s largest free-flight aviary, houses more than 3000 birds across 200 various species. Visitors can enjoy the sanctuary at their own pace and encounter species that include parrots, flamingos, robins, swans, weavers and more. Rescued predators and large cats like lions, tigers, leopards and pumas reside at the Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary, allowing visitors to see these beautiful predators up close in a well-run sanctuary. Monkeyland, Birds of Eden and Jukani Wildlife Sanctuaries are Garden Route attractions that are truly unique and memorable.
Enjoy intimate and interactive experiences with African elephants in a lovely forest area of The Crags and make a memory in the Garden Route that you will never forget, by enjoying an elephant back ride tour at this remarkable elephant sanctuary, where only positive reinforcement elephant training methods are used to ensure that the elephants are relaxed and happy. Some of the other elephant interactions offered here include the Walk Trunk in Hand with Elephant Tour, which includes feeding the elephants, the Elephant Brush Down Experience Tour and the Full Elephant Experience. During your time here, enjoy a delicious pizza cooked in a wood-burning pizza oven, either before or after your elephant adventure.
Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre
Raising awareness about South Africa’s indigenous wildlife and rehabilitating wild animals, Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre is home to a variety of injured or abandoned animals that include marine mammals, terrestrial mammals and birds who will, in time, be well enough to be released back into the wild. When visiting, you can choose from a selection of educational and meaningful tours and experiences that include the child friendly EcoKids Family Challenge that ends with kids pledging their commitment to conservation values and receiving a certificate. This centre is beautifully located to showcase the beauty of the Tsitsikamma Forest and Cape Floral Kingdom and adventures include the popular Tenikwa Cheetah Walk where you can join on a daily outing and feel at one with the surroundings alongside these beautiful wild cats. A Private Photography Tour is a slow paced excursion allowing time to capture various species in their natural habitats.
Lawnwood Snake Sanctuary
Continuing on with the animal interaction trend that sets The Crags apart as a must visit location in the Garden Route, Lawnwood Snake Sanctuary is an outdoor adventure that will allow you to interact and observe snakes and other reptiles whilst learning more about these cold-blooded creatures from the experts. Hourly tours catered to all ages can be enjoyed. Over 100 exotic or common snakes and an array of other reptiles call this snake sanctuary home. Other attractions here include relaxing forest walks and plenty of lovely settings for a picnic with the family. There is also a curio shop and a delightful tea room on-site.
Hog Hollow Horse Trails
As far as Horse Riding in the Garden Route goes, this one is for the books! Embrace the stunning natural surroundings of The Crags by horseback, with Hog Hollow Horse Trails. All the horses have gentle tempers and are well composed, well loved and groomed. During your time there, you can choose to enjoy the magical experience of Horse Drawn Carriage Trails that are drawn by two gorgeous Percheron horses and led by a guide who shares interesting facts about the area and local wine industry. With wine being a big part of the lifestyle and culture of The Crags, Horse Drawn Carriage Trails include a one hour Carriage Wine Tasting Trail and a half day Wine Tasting and Lunch Trail. The more rustic Horseback trails depart every day and are varied in length, meandering through forests, fields, tea plantations and vineyards and following unique paths at the foot of the Tsitsikamma Mountains.
Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve
Expanding over 2000 ha, Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve is the biggest game reserve in the Southern Cape. Enjoyed as an all year around attraction by families residing in or visiting the Garden Route, this exceptional game reserve is a great setting from which to spot Africa’s Big 5 (elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard) as well as over 35 other species of game that roam free in this natural habitat. This beautiful game reserve is also the largest sanctuary in the area for the endangered white rhino. A large and enclosed play area is available for kids to enjoy, while a range of safari experiences, including guided horse safaris and guided game drives, allow visitors to embark on African adventures that will be truly unforgettable. Book your stay at the Baroness Safari Lodge in the Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve to extend your stay and spoil your loved ones.
Plett Puzzle Park
If you’re searching for the ultimate way to keep the whole family entertained, visit Plett Puzzle Park and enjoy a choice of adventures in nature and the outdoors. Kids and adults alike can enjoy unique oversize games in the garden area, a great way to reconnect without electronic distraction. One of the park’s main attractions is the Amazing 3D Maze, a 40x40m timber planked and unconventional maze that presents a life-size puzzle and tons of fun – the challenge takes about 45 minutes to complete. The forest puzzle walk enchants with beautiful natural assets and a variety of bird species, with 9 fun games along the path that entice creative thinking and interactive experiences. Relax at the Coffee and Puzzle Gift shop afterwards, as the kids play close by.
Ingwe Forest Adventures and The Green Ticket
Do you ever want to get more involved in creating a better natural environment? The Green Ticket is all about caring for the planet and reforestation, inviting holiday guests and Garden Route locals to get involved. The Ingwe venue is outdoors and hosts environmental projects, workshops and camps. Get involved by sponsoring a tree or find out what your impact is by using Green Ticket’s carbon emissions calculator. The Green Ticket works closely with Ingwe Forest Adventures to ensure outdoor adventures programmes that are educational and fun, as well as community upliftment projects that contribute towards the surrounding natural environment. These experiences are available to groups of all ages.
The Barnyard Theatre
Located in one of the most magnificent settings in the Garden Route, The Barnyard Theatre in The Crags attracts visitors from all over the world and is a true testament to the Artistic character of this area. This venue has been in operation for 20 years and has hosted many top South African artists and performers, equipped with world class sound technologies to ensure amazing live entertainment. A myriad of shows and plays are held at the Barnyard Theatre, with tickets to be booked through Computicket, while visitors are welcome to bring their own snacks, picnic baskets and food along to enjoy with the live entertainment. A wine bar and fully stocked drinks bar are available, as well as a kiosk of snacks. Find out what shows are on during your vacation and book your table or seats today!
Arts, Crafts & Drama in The Crags
The Crags attracts artists and performers and has so much to offer to the creative soul. Langa Lapu Fabrics apply eco-friendly sun dying processes to create beautiful and exotic fabrics, which are the perfect take home gift to remember your time by. Woman on the Move Craft Centre is as a wonderful group started by unemployed local woman who combined their talents and strengths to create hand crafted products – these products include hand bags, placemats and fabric painted tablecloths, while the friendly group of ladies welcome visitors to their workshop to view and purchase at their leisure. Another not-to-miss stop in the Crags is The Mill Mohair & Decor Centre located at the Old Cape Mohair Factory – a family-friendly setting that is home to good-natured Angora Goats. Angora Goats Mohair is used to create an amazing selection of scarves, accessories, socks and throws.
Get ready for an adventure activity with Africanyon that will blow you away and get your blood pumping. Africanyon River Adventures are led by professional guides who put your safety first while showing you a fantastic time. This is the perfect climbing and kloofing activity where you can cool down in the river waters after exploring indigenous terrain that is not otherwise accessible. These adventures showcase the best of The Crags natural elements and include zip-lining, diving into the river as well as abseiling – tick these three activities off your bucket list in just one day! Book your Africanyon adventure when visiting The Crags, to ‘feel the rush’.
PLACES TO EAT & SLEEP
Nature’s Valley Restaurant & Trading Store
Easily considered a nature seekers paradise, this rustic and alluring little restaurant and shop is the perfect resting spot after a hike or before an exciting outing to one of the best activities available in The Crags. Unwind with a cold beer and choose from a simply but tasty menu of lunches (kitchen closes between 16h30 and 17h00). While you enjoy some down time, keep a lookout for the Cape clawless otter, buck or bush pigs foraging in the gardens. With a backyard of indigenous forests and the nearby Groot Pass River, the Nature’s Valley experience in unlike anything else and the trading store is a great spot for picking up some souvenirs and essentials such as picnic equipment, snacks or basic groceries.
The Old Nick Village
For coming together with friends and taking in all that The Crags has to offer, The Old Nick Village is a quirky and historical Cape Farm with lovely indigenous gardens and something for everyone. A myriad of stores, chosen for their complementary assets, offer excitement and inspire relaxation, allowing visitors a glimpse at the creativity of Garden Route locals. Enjoy guided tours of the Mungo Mill for first person insight of an age-old and intricate weaving production. Given the idyllic surroundings of The Old Nick Village, a lovely ‘Tree Walk’ is a fun way to identify the exotic trees above. Some of the merchants of this rustic and inspiring village include Indalo Clothing, sellers of modern African designer clothes and accessories, a lovely gift shop by the name of Penny Gum and a mineral and crystal gallery named Moonstone.
Wine in the Crags
The Crags is certainly well suited to the Garden Route as another wine destination of choice, just a short 20 minute drive from the Plettenberg Bay wine of origin region. Bramon Wine Estate boasts a delicious selection of wines and bubblies. This Boutique Wine estate is family and dog friendly, surrounded by incredible vineyards and mountain views and also offering picnic options. The setting will pull at your heartstrings and take your breath away, while the Bramon wine range leaves little to the imagination. Kay & Monty Vineyards will delight wine connoisseurs, as a picture perfect boutique wine farm that produces a range of divine, hand crafted white wines. Enjoy wine tastings at Kay & Monty’s Old Orchid Greenhouse tasting room, kept warm by roaring fireplaces.
Your wine adventures in The Crags don’t have to stop there! Redford Lane Wines is an intimate estate that produces refreshing wines and invites guests to enjoy tastings from Thursday to Sunday, perfect for a private date or catch up with friends, while Lodestone Wine & Olives are all about the finer tasting things in life, of course including sensational wine and olive tastings, in a serene setting that overlooks calm waters and serves a complimentary menu of light dishes and desserts. Other wine estates to visit and wine to savour is Newstead: Lund Family Vineyard, Anderson Wine & That Wine Demesne at That Place (this is one of our personal favorites!). Cheers to your time spent indulging in the best Garden Route Wine Tasting!
This alluring seaside restaurant, showcasing the full extent of The Crags natural beauty, has earned its place among the best Garden Route attractions. Enjoy fresh seafood, their famous tiramisu dessert or a delicious pizza as sweeping views tell the tale of beachfront adventures, Indian Ocean secrets and unique coastal splendour. Enrico Ristorante’s logo is “Any closer and you will get wet”, which is perfectly fitting as the terrace overlooks the rocky coastline, resulting in incredible photographs and an exquisite backdrop for a special outing or relaxing sundowner. It is featured in our Best Sundowners in the Garden Route blog. This Italian theme restaurant uses the best raw natural products and fresh produce to create inspiring dishes, while the waiters and management team are friendly and enjoy connecting with diners. Enjoy a walk down to the beach or along the wrap around wooden walkway.
Berlin Pub & Restaurant
A local favourite and family-friendly restaurant, the Berlin Pub and Restaurant in The Crags is casual and welcoming; with an outdoor kids play area close enough for parents to keep an eye out while indulging in mouth watering meals. The classic pub like ambiance attracts diners who are looking for a chilled experience, while the menu boasts a great seafood selection, yummy pizzas and traditional German cuisine such as schnitzels and eisbein. Flat screen TV’s make this the perfect restaurant for watching a live sports game with a group of friends. Indoor and outdoor seating options mean that Berlin Pub & Restaurant is ideal for any weather, with a Sports Bar and Dance Bar adding space. Friendly staff, a variety of drinks and a great location all add to the appeal of Berlin Pub & Restaurant.
Hello Garden Route Accommodation in The Crags
Get in touch with Hello Garden Route – Your Friendly Experts in Garden Route Getaways to book your holiday accommodation close to all the excitement and beauty of The Crags, also to book your activities!