Plettenberg Bay is often referred to as 'The Jewel of the Garden Route' and it only takes one visit to our special part of the world to understand why. We are incredibly privileged to call it home to three of our beautiful Rare Earth Retreats properties – our Country HouseKay and Monty and The Old Rectory Hotel & Spa. From sundowner spots, hiking trails and wine farms to beaches and spa treatments, there's so much to see and do in the area so here is a quick Plettenberg Bay holiday checklist.

1. EXPLORE THE PLETT WINELANDS

With over 16 wine farms stretching from Harkerville to the Crags, the Plett Winelands area is certainly worth exploring. The area is recognised both nationally and internationally as South Africa’s newest Wine of Origin region and boasts award-winning Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Méthode Cap Classique wines.

You will find our Kay and Monty boutique wine farm on Redford Road where you can enjoy a wine tasting overlooking the dam, surrounded by the Tsitsikamma mountains and polo ponies. It's also a superb spot for a long lunch and a great place to start your Plett Winelands journey with five other wonderful wine farms all within five kilometres of each other.

Keen to find out more? Read our article on the Plett Winelands and its history.

2. ENJOY A SPA DAY

In need of some rest and relaxation? Unwind and indulge in a luxury treatment at our Sanctuary Spa at The Old Rectory. The spa portfolio consists of unique treatments that promote restoration on every level – from massages and facials to manicures and full body treatments. With three treatment rooms, an outdoor pool where you can relax in between or after treatments, and a delicious spa menu that boasts wholesome and healthy meals... a  leisurely spa day awaits.

3. DISCOVER PLETT'S PRISTINE BEACHES

Plettenberg Bay is famous for its pristine beaches and we are lucky that many are just a short stroll away from The Old Rectory Hotel & Spa. The area boasts up to 11 stunning beaches, which stretch for more that 14 kilometres along the coastline and six of these have received Blue Flag status during the 2017/18 season, which means they are amongst the best beaches in the world. To help you explore this glorious stretch of coastline, from the safest places to swim to spots the kids will love, check out our guide to the beaches of Plett.

4. SIP ON A SUNDOWNER

Golden hour in Plettenberg Bay is a sight to see, lending itself beautifully to a sundowner as the sun sinks behind the horizon. Some of the best places to grab a drink at the end of a wonderful day of exploring are: The Old Rectory's bar and pool deck – the ideal spot for an evening dip in the pool and an expertly-made cocktail; Enrico Ristorante – for unobstructed ocean views and prime sunset viewing and Emily Moon River Lodge – where guests can enjoy a cocktail on the large deck overlooking the river. Other great spots for drinks or dinner include Nguni Restaurant and The Fat Fish. You can also simply pack yourself a cool box and head to one of Plett's many remarkable beaches for a relaxed evening with your toes in the sand.

5. HIKE THE ROBBERG PENINSULA

On the outskirts of Plettenberg Bay, you'll find the Robberg Peninsula. A remote, rocky shoreline that is well-known as being one of the most popular and scenic hiking destinations along the Garden Route. Hikers can enjoy the full 11 kilometre circuit, which offers exquisite views, prime whale and dolphin watching, wide stretches of beautiful beach and even the chance to encounter a few Cape Fur Seals. If you are looking for something a little less strenuous, there are also two shorter hikes ranging from easy to moderate.

6. SPOT WHALES AND DOLPHINS IN THE BAY

Whale-watching is at its prime from mid-May to February with the southern right whales around from June to November and the migratory humpback whales arriving with their calves in early November and staying until the end of February, visiting us again during May and June. Bryde’s whales, pods of bottlenose and the shy indo-pacific humpback dolphins can be spotted all year around. Some of the best land-based viewing points for whale-watching are: The Lookout View Site, Beachy Head Drive, Keurbooms Beach and Robberg Nature Reserve. Grab your binoculars and see what you can spot!

7. EXPERIENCE FINE DINING AT ITS BEST

With delicious food, impeccable service and a historic setting to match, The Old Rectory Hotel & Spa's restaurant offers an unforgettable dining experience. Enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner served in the restaurant or on the deck on a summer's day against the backdrop of our majestic milkwood tree.

8. HIT THE TOWN

Plettenberg Bay is one of South Africa’s most picturesque and naturally beautiful seaside towns and there is plenty of exploring to be done; including art galleries, weekly markets, boutique shopping, quaint coffee shops, artisan bakeries and more. Old Nick Village is a must-visit and a fun adventure for the whole family, as well as the weekly Harkerville Market.

9. SOAK UP THE SUN ABOARD A CATAMARAN

Ocean Sailing Charters provides the ultimate in luxury catamaran sailing and one of the best ways to spend a summer’s day in Plettenberg Bay. You will meet at Central Beach, just a short stroll from The Old Rectory, where you will be taken by tender to meet the 44ft yacht, Ocean Rhythm and her crew. Soak up the sun in style, while sipping on some bubbly and taking in the surrounding beauty or try something more adventurous like fishing, snorkeling, and swimming. There is something for everyone to enjoy.

10. STAY IN ABSOLUTE LUXURY

Two of our luxury Rare Earth Retreats properties – The Old Rectory Hotel & Spa and Country House – are situated in and around Plettenberg Bay. We are surrounded by rolling mountains, pristine beaches and magnificent indigenous forests. Plettenberg Bay is truly a wonderful and incredibly central place to base yourself for a few days whilst exploring the Garden Route.

Keen to visit Plettenberg Bay later this year or next? Stay with us at our Country House in the Crags or at our coastal hotel, The Old Rectory Hotel & Spa, whilst you discover all the wonders of the area. Get in touch to book your stay.