Our Garden Route Itinerary – Part 2 – Knysna

Next up on our route – Knysna

Knysna is a quaint, coastal town with the lagoon to one side and a forest on the other. Can you picture anything like it? It is famous for the Knysna Heads; two ‘cliffs’ which envelop the entrance to the lagoon.

My friend who is a travel enthusiast and happens to live in Knysna gave me all the insider tips on the Garden Route. Who better to ask than an local? Thanks Jackie! 🙂

Tourist attractions

Explore the West Head of Knysna. Take a ferry or boat to the foot of the West Head. Then hop on a tractor and take in the magnificient views as your ride up to the peak. On the walk down, stop at the cove for pics and then head back to the meeting spot at the restaurant. You can either book the trip with lunch or without. The tour runs on selected dates and times in the week. Lunch is neither here nor there, but it is a very generous buffet if you into that. I’d prefer to check out a well-known restaurant instead. Check out Featherbed Tours. The tour cost is steep but it’s one of those things that you go to do. They have loads of other tours, if your budget allows.

Discover all the nooks and cranny’s of the East Head. Best of all it is free. Stop at Coney Beach during low tide. Drive up to the East Head and walk along the viewing deck for incredible views of the West Head and the lagoon.

Visit Thesen Island. With it’s art galleries, boutique stores, luxury hotels and restaurants, you will love it. Whilst you there, hop on a barge for a sunset cruise.

Visit the SanParks Museum on Thesen Island to see the famous Knysna seahorse.

The Knysna Waterfront. The waterfront overlooks the picturesque marina with luxury yachts and boats that venture into the lagoon. Here you can buy souveniors as well as find popular South African family restaurants.

Do a Knysna Forest Walk. We didn’t get to this on our trip but apparently there are toot and scoot tours which are loads of fun. We didn’t have the best weather so if you scooting through the forest, try go for a sunny day and not when it is muddy and unpleasant.

Take a drive through Leisure Island. Lovely, little retirement village and holiday homes.

Recommended restaurants

  1. East Head Cafe – for when you exploring the East Head of Knysna. The food is spectacular and there is a beautiful deck which looks out onto the lagoon. It gets very busy especially during peak times so either go early or try for a booking (not sure that they take any). Great spot for lunch.
  2. Il de Pain – another cool spot for brunch situated on Thesen Island. It’s one of those instagrammable places. We had pastries only, but we heard the food is amazing.

Where we stayed in Knysna

  • Knysna Hollow Country Estate
  • Turbine Hotel & Spa on Thesen Island

In Knysna we stayed at Turbine Hotel and Spa situated on the picturesque Thesen Island. Centrally located for sightseeing, with easy access to the Waterfront, SanParks museum, shops, and restaurants. We would definately recommend at least a night’s stay here.

The hotel is part of the heritage of Knysna and one can still see remnants of the old power station. It’s a quirky, creative and fun space. The best part of this hotel is that it overlooks the canal, and during low tide you may be able to see the famous Knysna seahorse. Sunset cruise tours leave from just outside the hotel in a comfortable and luxurious barge.

Next up – Knysna to Plett…

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