The larger towns, such as Plettenberg Bay and Knysna, are highly developed tourist resorts, while other areas offer untouched wilderness and wonderful hikes, including one of the most famous in the country, the Otter Trail. This runs along the coast in Tsitsikamma National Park, one of the most popular national parks in South Africa. There is a second national park, Wilderness, which is also very popular. If hiking isn’t your scene, the beaches are stunning, offering a mix of peaceful seaside villages and livelier surfer spots, and there are various attractions hugging the N2 to distract the traveller. Finally, the Garden Route is coming into its own as an adventure destination and there are numerous activities on offer from bungee jumping to mountain biking.
One of the most popular and enjoyable day trips is a ride on a steam train between George and Knysna. This picturesque branch line was opened in 1928 and the 67-km journey gives you an extraordinary view of some spectacular coastal scenery and forests, passing through Wilderness National Park and along the Goukamma Valley. The journey ends crossing Knysna Lagoon via a long bridge. An alternative is to follow the Seven Passes Road, one of the most enjoyable drives in the region, following the foothills of the Outeniqua Mountains.