ROMANTIC GETAWAYS IN THE EASTERN CAPE
Monday, 9th March 2020
Whether you are looking to spoil a loved one, planning a honeymoon, ready to pose a very important question or just want to celebrate a special anniversary, the Eastern Cape – with its diverse landscapes and secluded spots – comes packing with ideas for romantic weekend getaways.
And one escape is as swoon-worthy as the next, ready to woo you and steal your heart. Just imagine opening a bottle of South Africa’s finest wine in front of a crackling fireplace or heading to the mountain tops where the lack of signal and civilisation will set the mood. And then of course there is sundowners on coastal cliffs, candlelit dinners and flame-rekindling adventures around every corner. Here are some suggestions for a romantic Eastern Cape getaway...
Hugs & Kisses in Hogsback
From the indigenous forests, home to old trees and gushing waterfalls, to the peaks shrouded in swirling mist and romantic cottages with indoor fireplaces, the Amathole Mountains – and Hogsback in particular – is known for its incredibly magical, mystical and romantic atmosphere.
Find romance here: Take a magical stroll at The Edge’s Labyrinth, go hiking in search of waterfalls and mountain pools, join a retreat to nourish mind, body and soul, opt for one of Hogsback adventurous outings or, simply curl up in front of a fireplace in winter and watch the snow.
Love in the Karoo Heartland
The Karoo Heartland’s romantic atmosphere peeks through from its semi-arid soil to its big expansive sky, boasting dreamy sunsets. And then there is everything in between. The quaint small towns streets with art galleries, eateries and yesteryear’s architecture – just begging to be explored, hand-in-han. The long stretches of beautiful nothingness between here and there, and the numerous opportunities to switch off from the world, to find a secluded spot and spend quality time with a loved one.
Find romance here: Go off the beaten path in Nieu Bethesda and roam the art-filled streets during the day and appreciate the glittering sky at night. Step into nature at Mountain Zebra and Camdeboo National Park, and don’t forget to visit the Valley of Desolation. Smell the roses of Bedford, go on a fly-fishing adventure in Somerset East and catch a cabaret in Steytlerville. Or celebrate your love with one of the Karoo’s festivals such as the Karoo Food Festival in Cradock and Graaff-Reinet’s Stoep Tasting Weekend.
Kisses in Kouga
Kouga – which includes the coastal towns of Jeffreys Bay, St Francis Bay and Cape St Francis (and Baviaanskloof) – has ‘love in the air’ written all over it. With endless beaches, plenty of adventure activities, restaurants that put their best foot (and food) forward and a wilderness escape right on its doorstep, it is the ideal spot to get away from it all and reconnect.
Find romance here: Take a romantic beach walk (you can even go horse-riding), wine and dine and taste some of the local breweries’ beer, take a sunset cruise through the channels, go hiking and catch a wave. Or, if you prefer, head into the Baviaanskloof for a tech-free tour of the Megareserve.
Experience the romantic bushveld backdrop of the citrus-rich Sundays River Valley and the Greater Addo region; a place to escape, where nature never disappoints, where the vistas of the Zuurberg Mountains frame the moment and where the wildlife and game-viewing opportunities are endless. Beware, the sunsets in Addo are magnificent!
Find romance here: Whether you opt to stay in Addo National Elephant Park, or outside, there are plenty of accommodation options available that will fit the romantic bill. Go on a game drive, opt for a couple’s spa experience, float the meandering Sundays River, or get the adrenalin going by doing a high-wire adventure activity or some sandboarding.
You are my sunshine, my only Sunshine Coast
Sunshine, sea and sweet sensational experiences for those in-love travellers is what you can expect when visiting the Sunshine Coast. Here, beach time is everything and it starts by waking up to mesmerising sunrises.
Find romance here: Hop on a sundowner cruise up the river, go on a game drive in one of the nearby malaria-free reserves and explore the pristine beaches by foot, by snorkel, by surfboard, by horseback, fat bike or sailboat. The Sunshine Coast is also home to adventure activities such as hiking and biking, it is a preferred spot for birdwatchers, and you are spoilt for choice if you are looking for a romantic dinner experience.
True Love in Tsitsikamma
The Tsitsikamma region has all the romantic nuances necessary for an unforgettable getaway with your significant other. Between the rocky, rugged Tsitsikamma coastline and the indigenous forest, small villages and fynbos covered mountains, lies plenty of places ready to sweep you off your feet, sometimes literally!
Find romance here: Do the ultimate relationship test, and go on the 5-day Otter Trail, or for something easier and a tad (a mighty big tad) more luxurious, there is also the slackpacking Dolphin Trail. Your hiking options don’t end there, there are plenty more in the national park and there’s the Striptease Trail with its rock pools aptly named after the suggested dress code for each pool. Ziplining, snorkelling, ziplining and bungy jumping are some of the activities available for the adventurous at heart.
Wooing on the Wild Coast
The Wild Coast is known for its untouched rural landscapes, remote and removed from the hustle and bustle of the city, with cows sunbathing on beaches and horse-drawn carts. But don’t let the off-the-beaten-track destination fool you into thinking it can’t be a lovers’ escape, the Wild Coast can be wildly romantic with sumptuous accommodation, an unspoilt coastline and the chance to enjoy the simpler things in life.
Find romance here: Explore the coastline – sun, sea and surf – as well as the incredible geological wonders like the Hole in the Wall, Mapuzi Caves, Waterfall Bluff and the blow hole in Port St. Johns. Learn from locals about Xhosa traditions (you can even learn how to make pap and umngqusho), do 4x4 trails, go hiking and just soak up the wild wonder of the Wild Coast.
WHERE WILL YOU BE HEADED ON YOUR NEXT ROMANTIC GETAWAY?