Route 62

Cape Route 62 is the tourist route in the Western Cape and Eastern Cape, South Africa that meanders between Cape Town and Oudtshoorn, the Langkloof and Port Elizabeth, offering the shorter, scenic alternative to the N2 highway.

It’s an area of magnificent landscapes and towering cliffs, crystal clear streams and an abundance of trees and indigenous flora – all contribute to make Paarl, Wellington, the Breede River Valley,Klein Karoo and Langkloof some of South Africa’s most diverse regions. The ever changing colours of the majestic mountains, scenic passes, rivers, vineyards and orchards, as well as the multitude of attractions, will offer you an unforgettable adventure – whether this is in the physical sense or simply a kaleidoscope of scenic tranquility.

The easily accessible towns, nestled along the valleys, all offer ample opportunity for discovery. From visits to wineries and game reserves, tribal art, cultural tours, museums and for the more adventurous: hiking trails and mountain climbing, 4×4 routes, canoeing, horse riding, even ostrich riding, fishing and caving …

Cape Route 62 lends itself so well to self drive holidays because of the excellent road conditions, sufficient accommodation offerings along the route and the diversity of attractions you’ll encounter along your drive.
Cape Route 62 is an exciting experience, even for the well-travelled. When you are tired after a long day’s travel, you can even unwind in one of the region’s invigorating hot-springs, revel in luxury or relax in rustic tranquility.

Cape Route 62 prompts associations with the legendary byway, Route 66, connecting the urban and rural communities between Chicago and Los Angeles. In 1926 the inter regional link, Route 66, between Chicago and Los Angeles, was established as one of America’s main east-west arteries, providing small towns access to a major national throughfare. In the same manner Cape Route 62 links Cape Town to Port Elizabeth. This scenic route passes through farming towns such as Calitzdorp, Ladismith, historic Amalienstein, Zoar and the fruit growing and wine producing towns of Barrydale, Montagu, Ashton, Bonnievale, Robertson, McGregor, Rawsonville, Worcester, Ceres, Wolseley, Tulbagh, Wellington and Paarl. It includes the Langkloof with the following towns; Misgund, Louterwater, Krakeel, Joubertina and Kareedouw.

Route 62 offers a variety of activities and attractions, visit the official Route 62 website for more exciting information www.route62.co.za

Worcester

Worcester is the most central point of the Cape Winelands District, the focal and economic hub of the Breede Valley. Tucked away at the foot of the magnificent Brandwacht and Langeberge mountains, the town’s beauty is complimented by vineyards and luscious green valleys.

Worcester forms part of the Cape Route 62, the longest wine route in the world, which offers not only award winning wines, but also jaw-dropping scenery. Worcester’s wine making tradition dates back more than 250 years and therefore serves as a well-deserved stopover to experience fantastic wines, excellent cuisine and the world famous Boland hospitality.

Worcester, with the Breede- and Hex Rivers flowing on either side of the town, falls within the transition habitat of Fynbos & Succulent Karoo – therefore having the best of both! Worcester is home to the Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden situated against a spectacular backdrop of mountain peaks.

Worcester is famous for training and teaching centre for both deaf and blind communities, and hosts many other educational facilities.
Brandy Tasting at the KWV Brandy House is an experience not to be missed, or sip your favourite drink while on a river cruise, indulge in traditional cuisine and local wines, appreciate local arts and crafts, visit the Museum or stroll down the many tree-lined streets and admire yesteryear’s architectural masterpieces… or just relax and unwind in the best kept secret of the Boland.

Worcester has so much to offer! Enjoy life as it should be lived and this gem of the Breede Valley.

Robertson

Situated in the shadow of the majestic Langeberg mountains with the Breede River as it’s life blood, Robertson is the western gateway to The Heart of Route 62. With 150 years of history, Robertson has grown into one of the most attractive Cape Wineland towns, with Victorian buildings, jacaranda-lined streets and beautiful gardens. The region may be best known for it’s wine but the variety of attractions and activities combined with spectacular scenery and the relaxed hospitality of the people ensures visitors an unforgettable stay. A variety of accommodation is available to suit all needs, from backpackers to 4 star hotels, guest houses, bed and breakfasts, farm accommodation and much more. Robertson Wine Valley forms part of the longest wine route in the world, Route 62. Boasting a large number of cellars, co-operatives and private estates, our award winning wines will be a treat for all wine lovers. There are many diverse attractions, from a lazy river cruise to a vigorous mountain hike, elegant wining and dining to outdoor picnics and exploring our rich historical sites. The local farm stalls overflow with fresh produce, dried fruit and freshly made breads, homemade jams and preserves. Robertson and its surrounds are a paradise for the nature lover and sport enthusiast. In short, Robertson is ‘food for your soul’

McGregor

The 19th century village of McGregor, dreaming away in a quiet valley at the end of a road going nowhere, is home to artists, craftsmen, and colorful characters.

Here life is slow, tranquil and gentle. Beautifully preserved white-washed cottages nestle in half wild gardens, water trickles and burbles down old stone irrigation channels and one almost expects to see the shadowy figure of a woman in the garb of yesteryear, with a basket of roses over her arm, disappearing around the next corner… Here the rush and bustle of the city seems far, far away. Wander along some of the beautiful trails in our nature reserves, watch the birds at play from the hide, have a delicious meal and a chat at one of our coffee shops or restaurant, or relax with an aromatherapy massage.

McGregor, a village lost in time, a place for reflection. You may never want to leave.

Bonnievale

Bonnievale, also known as The Valley of Cheese and Wine, is situated on the banks of the Breede River. Surrounded by the Langeberg Mountain Range in the north-east, and the Riviersonderend mountains in the south-west, it is one of the most beautifully situated towns in the Western Cape. The town is approximately 180km from Cape Town and 100km from the southernmost tip of Africa at Cape Agulhas. The Robertson Wine Route, which includes all the wine cellars in the Bonnievale area, has in recent years won great acclaim in South Africa and around the world, for the production of outstanding white and red wines. There are two cheese factories in Bonnievale: Parmalat and Mooivallei Suiwel. Parmalat processes cheese, butter, milk, and whey powder. Parmalat’s Bon Blanc (white cheddar) was crowned Dairy Product of the Year at the National Dairy Awards. Here in Bonnievale is accommodation for everyone’s needs in this beautiful valley – from luxury accommodation to camping. With the river and mountains – what more do you need for a glorious, relaxing break, away from the stresses and strains of modern living? There is great variety of activities for visitors in the area: wine tasting at the several cellars for the wine enthusiast, hiking, 4×4 trails, golfing, fishing, canoeing, a trip on The Breede River Goose, bird watching and most of all – just relaxing, breathing fresh air and enjoying the hospitality of Bonnievale and its people!

Montagu

Montagu is the gateway to the Little Karoo and also the scenic heart of Route 62. This historic link between Cape Town, Oudtshoorn, the Garden Route and the Eastern Cape, offers travellers remarkable beauty and excellent facilities. All combining to make this one of the most memorable journeys in South Africa, winding through spectacular scenery and mountain passes. This peaceful town is steeped in history and is famous for its awe inspiring rock formations, orchards, vineyards, local herbs and healing hot mineral springs. Visitors will discover our Wildflower Nature garden, Bird sanctuaries, Nature Reserve, museums, art galleries, Historic Homes, lovely hiking trails, 4X4 and Mountain Bike trails and ideal rock climbing opportunities.

Barrydale

Barrydale is situated between two extremes. On the one side is the beautiful and fertile Tradouw Valley and on the other side you are faced with the stark and semi-arid Klein Karoo. These striking contrasts are experienced in a distance of 10km. Two scenic drives will bring you to Barrydale. The N2 through Caledon and bypassing Swellendam, turning off onto the R324 after Buffelsjags via the Tradouws Pass. Barrydale is nestled at the foot of the Majestic Langeberge, in the Tradouw Valley, where the northern exit of the Tradouws Pass meets the R62 from Worcester, Robertson and Montagu. For the lovers of nature Barrydale offers unsurpassed vistas of mountains. Hills and valleys are covered in flowers during spring and summer. Pleasant walks along footpaths in the semi-arid Klein Karoo to more adventurous climbs in the foothills of the Langeberg Mountain will take the hiker to places of beauty and tranquility. With an annual rainfall of 300mm it seems as if the sun is always shining and temperatures of 35C or even higher is very common in the middle of summer. During the afternoons, cool coastal breezes temper the heat and make the evenings pleasant. The Tradouw Pass the unusual word “tradau” means the way of the women” and is believed to be derived from the Khoi words tra, signifying “women” and dau, denoting “way through”. This is but one of thirteen passes that master road engineer Sir Thomas Bain built in the Southern Cape during the 1800’s and to fully appreciate the character of the Tradouw pass you have to delve into its vibrant days of yesteryear.

Ladismith

The Lady of the Klein Karoo, Ladismith, is situated in the Klein Karoo and lies along the Route 62 at the foot of the Klein Swartberg mountain range. The majestic Towerkop, with its split peak, looms above the town. Ask even the youngest Ladismithian to draw a mountain, and nine times out of ten it will be Towerkop the rare exception who draws something else must be the tenth child of a family newly settled in the town because Towerberg is charged with all the magic its name suggests. Local legend has it that an angry witch, flying overhead, struck the peak with her wand, causing the split which today is seen from afar. No one needs to go any further to know that the peak changes marvelously, so that it looks bewitchingly different from every angle. Anyone who still doubt can climb it to fall under its spell. The town was established in 1852. Named after Lady Juana Smith, wife of the Governor of the Cape, Sir Harry Smith. If one travels east through the beautiful Hoeko Valley, breathtaking views of the orchards in the spring and autumn can be experienced. Traveling west of Ladismith, one can visit the picturesque valleys, with the orchards, vineyards and old farmhouses of Dwarsrivier, Voorbaat and Van Zylsdamme. Ladismith also have two cheese factories, Ladismith Cheese Factory and Parmalat. The local Winery offers the wine lover a great selection of Towerkop wines. Architectural heritage A variety of architectural styles can still be seen in the old building of the town: from neo-Gothic to Victorian to the typical Ladismith style, square with round vents at the front. The town has a variety of churches, among which the exquisite Lutheran church and parsonage and the Dutch Reformed church designed by Otto Hager are the most prominent. The  There are still many attractive houses dating from the Victorian era. Activities For the hiking, mountainbiking and 4 x 4 enthusiast Seweweekspoort / Seven Weeks Poort One of Ladismiths most popular attractions is definitely Seweweekspoort / Seven Weeks Poort and is a definite must for hiking, moutainbiking and 4 x 4 enthusiasts! It is one of the most awe-inspiring and spectacular of all the mountain ravines in the country. Author and poet, Louis Leipoldt, called it one of the seven wonders of the old Cape Province. Seweweekspoort was opened in 1862 and was one of the first links through the Swartberg range. It is a spectacular drive: towering cliffs, jagged rock formations, which was formed by the forces of volcanic eruptions with interesting river crossings. The pass winds for 17km through the mountains at a level of 600 1000m above sea level. It crosses the stream 23 times, whilst the mountain slopes on both sides reach 1500 2000m.

Amalienstein & Zoar

Amalienstein, near Zoar and situated close to Ladismith (approximately 350km from Cape Town), offers a feast for the tourist interested in the rich mission station history of the Western Cape.

The town and Lutheran mission station forms part of an area that is known as the Little Karoo. This area is semi-arid with jagged cliffs and gorges forming the landscape.

Amalienstein is a mission station with a strong link to its past. It derives its name from Frau Amalie Von Stein, who provided the funds to Berlin missionaries who bought it in 1850 to accommodate the people who were involved with the Zoar Mission community.

A church was completed in Amalienstein in 1853 and was recently restored to its full glory. The historic graveyard was also restored.

Calitzdorp

In the Klein Karoo, the land of ostriches, wild flowers and birds, the land of majestic sandstone mountains cleft by spectacular ravines, of vineyards and orchards, lies elegant Calitzdorp. During the pioneering days hunting was good in the Klein Karoo and soon homesteads were built and by 1845 a community centre was established. The town enjoys a mild climate, especially in winter, and its mineral rich spring waters are a great attraction. Take a walk down Queen Street, the oldest street in town, with its fine examples of Edwardian and Victorian architecture and don’t miss the lovely stone church. In the adjoing church hall a team of local seamstresses has given Calitzdorp unique legacy in the form of 27 wall-hangings illustrating the gospel according to St Matthew. There is a small museum and two art galleries. The Hennie Cloete Nature Garden offers a lovely view of the town and a one-hour walk to view many of the succulents for which Calitzdorp is famous. Further afield is the Gamkasberg Nature reserve, where the new protea Golden Mimetese was discovered. You can visit the five wine cellars on the wine route: Boplaas, Die Krans, Calitzdorp Winery , Axe Hill and Withoek, which produce a variety of red, white and dessert wines as well as the famous port for which Calitzdorp is world-renowned. Take a drive to the spectacular Swartberg Pass, the Huisriver Pass or the Rooiberg Pass with its stunning flora and views and cairn of stones deposited by travellers to bring them a safe journey and good fortune. 27 km for Calitzdorp, a gravel road leads northwards through the Swartberg to the famous Seweweekspoort with its unique rock formation.

Oudtshoorn

Oudtshoorn is the ostrich capital of the world. Here ostriches are found in great numbers and the region produces the best feathers, leather products and ostrich meat world wide. But the world’s biggest bird is just one of the many attractions in this area of interesting contrasts. This unique position (being surrounded by mountains) means that every road into Oudtshoorn follows a dramatically picturesque pass or “poort” (portal) and all these present travellers“whether they’re entering the region from Port Elizabeth, the Garden Route, Cape Town or the hinterland with magnificent scenic drives through unspoilt areas of great natural beauty. The Cango Caves are the oldest and one of the most popular attractions in our region. It is also one of the great natural wonders of the world. The Klein Karoo is a fine wine-producing region, with a variety of cultivars growing abundantly in the area. Oudtshoorn and the Klein Karoo Wine Route form part of Route 62 (the unique alternative entrance route to the region) and the worlds longest wine route. For the brave the locally distilled “witblits” is just what is needed.

Prince Albert

Just 2 kms from the foot of the awesome Swartberg Pass, the pretty, historic village of Prince Albert is the perfect base for exploring all the wonders of the Swartberg mountains including Gamkaskloof (The Hell) and Meiringspoort. Hiking, mountain biking, birding and botanical excursions are major attractions. Aside from a superb climate and spectacular night skies, the village itself is a small gem, with beautifully preserved Cape Dutch, Karoo and Victorian buildings. Prince Albert is known for its sun-ripened fresh and dried fruit, especially figs and apricots. Karoo lamb, olives, olive oil and homemade cheeses are local delicacies. Bushmen were the earliest inhabitants of the area and remains of their culture are still to be found in the district. In 1842 a Dutch Reformed Church parish was established in the town which was then known as Albertsberg, and in 1845 the little village was officially named Prince Albert in honour of Queen Victorias husband.  There are 12 buildings in Prince Albert which have been declared National Monuments, among which are the Dutch Reformed Church and its Hall, Alberts Mill and the Swartberg Hotel building.

De Rust

De Rust, situated on the N12 en route to the Garden Route and the R62 to Cape Town, is a Victorian Village flanked by the Swartberg Mountains. Home to blueblood ostriches, golden vineyards, sundrenched orchards and spectacular displays of the rare pelargoniums from which geraniums emanated. De Rust’s most renowned attraction is Meiringspoort, an incredible passageway of towering red cliffs that pierce through the heart of the Swartberg Mountains. Some of the most primitive beetle species (Colophon spp.) in the world can be found on the peaks of Meiringspoort. De Rust produces excellent dessert wines and has much to offer the outdoor enthusiast.