Unwind in the charming resort of Plettenberg Bay while enjoying a honeymoon or romantic getaway holiday on South Africa's famed Garden Route.
Commonly known as Plett by the locals, the resort sits high on a rocky peninsula overlooking wide golden-sand beaches, tranquil lagoons, unspoiled native forests and a sweeping half-moon bay.
Framed by the Robberg Peninsular Nature Reserve to the west and by the Tsitsikamma National Park to the east, Plettenberg Bay is an ideal stopover point or base for exploring the Garden Route.
Plettenberg Bay offers a choice of great beaches that offer good swimming in the temperate Indian Ocean, including …
Sunbathe on the golden sands of this 3km-long beach that sits between the calm waters of Keurbooms Lagoon and the gentle waves of Plettenberg Bay.
Join local surfers and body boarders to catch breaks off the point at Lookout Rocks. Stroll trails through the bush-clad sand dunes or along the beach. Facilities include toilets, showers and lifeguards.
Enjoy a cold drink and tasty food at the Lookout Rocks restaurant overlooking the beach or stay longer at The Plettenberg, a stylish hilltop hotel that offers panoramic vistas of the beach and Keurboom Mountains.
Lookout Beach is located just to the east of Central Beach.
Join the locals on Plettenberg’s most popular beach – a 600m-long stretch of golden sand framed by a rocky headland and Beacon Island.
The beach shelves into calm waters that are perfect for families with small children. The beach is part of the Milkwood Trail, a nature walk that winds around the town.
Facilities include toilets, showers and lifeguards. Water sports include marine safaris into the bay, dive charters and ocean kayaking tours. A choice of restaurants and bars lie nearby.
Come for the day or stay at the Beacon Island Hotel or the Plettenberg Hotel, both of which overlook the beach and bay.
Sunbathe on the soft golden sands of this wide beach fringed by high bush-covered sand dunes and curving around Plettenberg Bay from Beacon Island to the rugged Robberg Peninsula.
Beachcomb the 4.2km length of Robberg in search of a pansy shell, the delicate flower-shaped seashell that is endemic to this part of the coast.
Facilities on this pristine beach include toilets, showers and lifeguards at the eastern end of the beach.
Robberg Beach is just 800m southeast of Central Beach.
Unwind on the golden sands of this wide beach that nestles beneath bush-covered sand dunes and the rugged wave-lashed cliffs of the Robberg Peninsula.
Sunbathe, go swimming and explore walking tracks through the Robberg Nature Reserve. The 200m-long beach lies just over a grassy headland from Robberg Beach.
Escape the ‘crowds’ of Central Beach for the golden sands of this unspoiled beach that lies adjacent to Lookout Beach at the northern end of the bay.
Explore picturesque rocky arches and rock pools framed by vegetation-clad sand dunes. Beachcomb for pansy shells then relax with a cold drink at one of the beachside bars and restaurants. Facilities include toilets.
Keurbooms Beach is around 10km from the Plett town centre.
Choose from Plettenberg Bay's three wide golden-sand beaches and go sunbathing, swimming, sailing and scuba diving.
Or enjoy some deep-sea fishing in the languid Bahia Formosa (or beautiful bay, so named by early Portuguese explorers).
Spot Bryde whales, friendly bottlenose dolphins and seals mixing it with local surfers year round. And watch southern right, humpback and killer whales during their annual migration between July and October.
Follow several trails with ocean views through the rugged Robberg Peninsular Nature Reserve or explore the town’s scenic environs along the 5km-long Milkwood Trail.
Spy birdlife from a kayak or on foot in the Keurbooms River Nature Reserve then get an adrenalin rush by soaring from the top of the Bloukrans River Bridge – the highest bungee jump in the world at 216m. For a less intense challenge, swoop across the Bloukrans Gorge aboard the 200m-long flying fox.
Enjoy the waterslides, playground, mini-golf, trampolines and sand pit at Wild Waters Adventure Park then see and touch elephants at Knysna Elephant Sanctuary.
Spot around 13 different species of primates on a foot safari at Monkeyland and then spy around 100 species of free-flying native birds at the neighbouring Birds of Eden, the largest free-flight bird aviary in the world.
Polo fans may like to diarise the Kurland International Polo Match, where local and international socialites compete on nimble ponies every December.
Major attractions in Plettenberg Bay, include…
Follow a choice of marked trails into one of the most beautiful sections of the southern Cape coastline – a narrow 68km (42mi) stretch of craggy shoreline carpeted with fynbos and ancient hardwood forests, cut with spectacular deep river gorges and framed by high coastal cliffs.
The park has two sections: De Vasselot (commonly known as Nature’s Valley), located to the west near Plett, and Storms River Mouth located to the east. Additionally, a marine park extends more than 5km (3mi) out to sea.
Hike the famed Otter Trail, which runs the full length of the coastline and connects the two sections of the park. Or choose from several less challenging trails around Nature’s Valley, a rugged hilly region framed by a 3km-long pristine golden-sand beach.
At Storms River Mouth, discover steep hikes up forested cliffs covered by 800-year-old yellowwood trees and offering stunning ocean views. From here it’s easy to hike just 3km (1.8mi) of the Otter Trail to a 50m-high waterfall that plunges into a rock pool where you can cool off with a refreshing swim.
Or stroll the less demanding kilometre-long boardwalk from the restaurant at Storms River Mouth to the suspension bridge at the river mouth.
Along the way, visit the dank strandloper (beachcomber) cave to see an excavated midden with a display of bones and shells – evidence of hunter-gatherers who frequented this area more than 2000 years ago.
Then visit Mooi (pretty) Beach, a tiny cove with safe swimming. The adjacent marine park offers a snorkelling and scuba diving trail to follow.
Tsitsikamma National Park starts just beyond Keurboomstrand (around 14km (8mi) from Plettenberg Bay) and ends at Storms River Mouth (around 65km (40mi) from Plettenberg Bay).
At Storms River Mouth, you can explore otherwise inaccessible gorges on the river boat Spirit of the Tsitsikamma, and go kayaking, black-water tubbing and abseiling.
Choose from several marked trails that wind around a rocky 4km-long peninsula jutting out into the Indian Ocean.
The longest is a 9km-long trail that offers a great cliff-top vantage point for observing dolphins and the resident seal colony year round, as well as whales during the migrating season.
Alternatively, try a guided kayak tour from Central Beach. The reserve is located 8km (5mi) southeast of town.
Paddle a kayak upstream by day or overnight from the tidal river mouth past a dense forest of stinkwood, yellowwood, ironwood and western Keurboom, looking out for birdlife such as Knysna louries, giant kingfishers, woodpeckers, fish eagles and an array of sunbirds.
The 2500ha marine reserve, which is bisected by the Keurbooms River and estuary, is also home to wild pigs, blue duiker, monkeys, mongoose, antelope and the Cape clawless otter.
Alternatively, explore the riverbank on foot or ride the Keurbooms River Ferry on its 2.5-hour trip. Keurbooms River Nature Reserve lays roughly 8km east of the town.
Explore the world’s first free roaming, multi-species primate sanctuary, featuring several species of primate that move freely through a pristine natural high canopy forest.
Spot lemurs, monkeys and apes, among other primates, or pay a small fee to take a guided foot safari to learn more about the fascinating creatures within.
Plett offers a range of accommodation options to suit all budgets, including the luxurious Plettenberg Park, set in a private nature reserve overlooking a private beach and the Indian Ocean and The Plettenberg, a stylish hotel positioned on a hill overlooking Lookout Beach
Or try The Grand Rooms, a classy and intimate establishment located in the town centre just a short walk from Central Beach.
Location: 40 Church Street, Plettenberg Bay
Prices: from AUD273 per room
Description: The Plettenberg sits on a rocky headland with breathtaking vistas of the sea, mountains and miles of golden sand. A choice of well-appointed luxury rooms and suites are all air-conditioned. Bathrooms include bathrobes, slippers, makeup/shaving mirrors, and hair dryers. Amenities include premium cable/satellite channels and wireless Internet access. Facilities incl.: restaurant, bar, 2 outdoor pools, health club, spa and room service.
Famous for its indigenous forests, freshwater lakes, wetlands, hidden coves and long and sweeping white- and golden-sand beaches.
The narrow coastal strip stretches for 185km (115mi) from Mossel Bay via Plettenberg Bay to Storms River (near Port Elizabeth) and inland to the mountain peaks of the Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma.
Highlights of this scenic route include Knysna's lagoon, Plettenberg Bay and the Tsitsikamma National Park, where you can wander through dense indigenous forests past bubbling streams and stunning cascades to dramatic shoreline vistas.
The best time to visit Plettenberg Bay is from November to March when the average high temperature is 25°C (77°F).
Plettenberg Bay is pleasant year-round, although there are rain showers throughout the year.
February is the hottest month in Plettenberg Bay, with an average temperature of 22°C (72°F). July is the coldest at 15°C (60°F) and August the wettest month, with an average of 100mm of rainfall distrubted across 10 days.
More information about Plettenberg weather…
Plettenberg Bay lies on South Africa's south coast, around 210km (130mi) west of Port Elizabeth and around 520km (323mi) east of Cape Town. To the north lie the Tsitsikamma and Langkloof mountains.
The closest airport, George, lies 125km (77mi) to the west – a 40-minute drive. It's a 1-hour flight from Cape Town to Plettenberg Bay.
By road, Plettenberg Bay is a six hour drive from Cape Town.
Latest update: Plettenberg Bay Honeymoon Guide: 25 January, 2023