Explore the Cape’s Route 62 with a fascinating road trip
While many tourists flock to Cape Town every summer, Capetonians themselves might need a break from the city.
From the well-trodden track to the ultimate scenic route, from Karoo to beach, there is a wide variety of destinations within reach.
Whatever you decide, why not take the slow route (and steer clear of crowded airports) and hit the wide-open road? So where to? Why not try the scenic and laidback Route 62?
Where to find unparalleled scenery
With the completion of the N2 highway in 1958, this route became somewhat sleepy and, as the official Route 62 website states, the villages went into hibernation – but “have been beautifully preserved”. In recent years, the route has had an awakening and sees many tourists loping through in search of the scenic route up country.
Linking Cape Town to Port Elizabeth, the Cape Route 62 tourist route takes a slow meander through Paarl, Wellington, Tulbagh, Ceres, Worcester, Robertson, McGregor, Bonnievale, Montagu, Barrydale, Ladismith, and Oudtshoorn, with many more towns and scenic detours along the way.
This route is more about the journey than the destination, and it’s encouraged to stop and take in the scenery.
Where to eat:
1. Diesel and Crème Vintage Diner
Situated in Barrydale, it offers the perfect space to slurp up some unusual milkshakes or wolf down some delicious desserts before exploring the restaurant’s quirky décor for some cool Instagram shots.
2. Ronnie’s Sex Shop
This is not a sex shop at all, but a pub where you can party as loud as you like because there are no neighbours to disturb. It’s also one of the most-photographed places in South Africa for the humorous signage. They offer pub lunches as well as braai facilities, with braai packs and salads available.
3. Cafe on Weltevrede
Cafe on Weltevrede in Bonnievale offers breathtaking views over vineyards and serves up platters of local cheeses, breads, olives, and cured meats, paired with Weltevrede wines.
4. Brandewyntuin Restaurant
Pop into Brandewyntuin Restaurant at the Klipdrift Brandy Distillery in Robertson for a variety of foods featuring…you guessed it…brandy. The “star of the show” is the Klipdrift burger. While there, go for a tour and/or tasting and pop into the Klipdrift gift shop.
Where to find the fun and adventure:
1. Barrydale Heritage Garden
The peaceful Barrydale Heritage Garden showcases the “floral wealth” of the winter rainfall area between Barrydale and Ladismith. You can also take a small detour to the Barrydale Wine Cellar to taste local wines “as unique to the region as the plants in the garden”.
2. Parmalat Cheese Factory
Visit the Parmalat Cheese Factory in “the Valley of Cheese and Wine” Bonnievale. It is the largest single cheese factory in southern Africa and renowned for being the first dairy production facility to comply to all requirements to produce cheese for exports to EU countries (among other achievements).
Meerkatmagic in Oudtshoorn is a unique research and conservation project using ethical techniques to gain the trust of wild animals. Here you can walk with meerkats, without disturbing them, while learning about their language and behavioral patterns.
4. Montagu Museum
Montagu Museum is located in a beautiful church and national monument, built in 1907 and housing the museum since 1975, in the heart of this charming town. The museum showcases a collection of works by South African artist Francois Krige, who lived and worked in Montagu.