Top 5 Day Trips Within 150 Kilometres of Montagu Springs
4 min read
1. Swellendam (57 km)
Swellendam is the fifth oldest town in South Africa and has so much to offer! For those looking for activities in nature, head to Marloth Nature Reserve. The reserve’s main focus is hiking, offering several day trails ranging in difficulty to explore. Natural pools and waterfalls abound in the reserve and picnic spots are available. Within Swellendam there are many independent galleries and stores to discover – bookworms should head to Bokmakiri Books. If you have kids with you, take them to see the fairies at Sulina Faerie Sanctuary or pick berries at The Berry Farm or Wildebraam Berry Estate (remember to check if the berries are in season!).
2. Riviersonderend (68 km)
Riviersonderend is a small town which most simply use as a rest point when heading up or down the N2. This town, however, is worth exploring. The Kleinbergie Hiking Trail combines hiking and the historical. The 7-kilometre hike takes you past a part of the former Overberg Signal Cannon system, which was used to call residents to military service if there was a threat of war. It was used a total of 8 times in 1795 and 1806. The hike also offers beautiful views of the town, its surroundings, and the Sonderend River, where you can have a swim. Head to Ou Meul Bakery after for some great home-made pastries or Vn’ Desden Farmstall for baked goods and local art.
3. McGregor (52 km)
McGregor is known for its beauty – stunning architecture, incredible nature surrounds, and small country lanes give it its country village feel. You can explore the town on foot by going on a self-guided history tour – grab a brochure at the information centre and walk one or all 4 walks put together by the McGregor Heritage Society. While there, make sure to get the info on the McGregor Art Route, as the town has been home to many amazing artists for years. If you are a wine drinker, there are more than a couple of farms to try some tastings at, both close to McGregor and further afield in the Robertson wine valley. Or head to The Old Post Office Whisky Bar for a traditional English pub experience. Lastly, a stop at the Eseltjiesrus Donkey Sanctuary is a must! Visit their rescue donkeys and grab a bite to eat at their bistro – it’s all for a good cause.
4. Ladismith (143 km)
Ladismith is one of those towns that are often just driven through. The Klein Karoo town, however, is perfect for a day trip. Head to the Ladismith Cellar for brandy and wine or head to Ladismith Cheese factory shop to stock up on the dairy products you often see in the supermarket. There are some beautiful views to be found at the Hoeko, Dwarsrivier, and Voorbaat valleys – be sure to have your binoculars for birdwatching!
There are two interesting hikes in the area – the Towerkop hike and Stanley’s Light – both for experienced hikers. The Towerkop Mountain hike is a two-day trip with a tough climb and an overnight in Nel’s Cave, which can accommodate about 10 people. Stanley’s Light has an interesting story behind it: Stanley de Wit installed a light on the cliffs of Elandsberg in 1963 to indicate the water availability. For 30 years he climbed the 12-kilometre trail 278 times and replaced the bulb every 6 months. A generator and solar panel were later added to keep the light on permanently.
5. Matjiesfontein (153 km)
Ladismith is one of those towns that are often just driven through. The Klein Karoo town, however, is perfect for a day trip. Head to the Ladismith Cellar for brandy and wine or head to Ladismith Cheese factory shop to stock up on the dairy products you often see in the supermarket. There are some beautiful views to be found at the Hoeko, Dwarsrivier, and Voorbaat valleys – be sure to have your binoculars for birdwatching!Matjiesfontein is 3 kilometres outside of our radius, but it is definitely worth the hour and a half drive! It is one of the strangest towns, seemingly stuck in the past, and the time spent there never seems to be enough. The Lord Milner Hotel is a popular spot with ghost hunters, as there are a vast number of popular ghost stories. A self-guided tour can be taken – be sure to download the free audio guide to learn about the town’s history and popular figures. The Transport Museum houses vintage cars, while the Marie Rawdon Museum has the world’s largest collection of artefacts from the Anglo-Boer War. The bus tour of the town is something you can’t miss – hosted by local entertainer, John Theunissen (or Johnny as he is affectionately known), the tour is one of the shortest you will ever take. Johnny gives a brief but entertaining history of Matjiesfontein that will leave you in stitches.
Montagu Springs is a great base for exploring the vicinity, while offering a warm bed to return to at the end of the day. Feel free to ask our friendly staff for their recommendations and be sure to tag us in your pictures and posts!