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Beaches on the Garden Route

South Africa, Africa + Middle East's insider take:

Long, often desolate beaches are the signature of the Garden Route, although you might miss some of the best—Keurbooms, Nature's Valley, and Buffalo Bay—if you don't detour off the N2. Victoria Bay, near George, is a tiny but renowned surfing destination and often hosts international events. Though Plett's popular Lookout Beach was wiped away by raging storms in 2007, it still has Robberg Beach, which ends in Robberg Nature Preserve, a wildlife sanctuary on a rocky peninsula teeming with seals. Both magical and off the beaten track is Noetzie, a few miles outside Knysna, which has a half dozen stone castles dating from the 1930s located next to the Noetzie River mouth. Two of the castles have been turned into luxury villas by the famed Pezula resort.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.