One of my absolute favourite things to do is drive. There’s just something magical about getting in your car, playing some epic music and going on an adventure. I know it’s cliché to say it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey, but when you drive along the magnificent roads in the Western Cape, you can’t help but believe it.
Whether you like food, wine, small towns, beaches or all of the above, there is a route for you explore. As a regular road tripper, I have done many of these routes, some multiple times (everyone loves those wine routes), so when I found out about two new tourism routes in the West Coast, I was so excited to go somewhere new. They are named the Scenic and Berg Routes. For my first trip I got to see both routes along with the Shadow Minister of Tourism, James Vos, who officially opened the routes on Monday 14 March.
Minister Vos explained the how agri-tourism is on the rise and how advantageous it is to connect little towns on routes that will grant them better exposure. Many people just drive this way when they are trekking to Namibia, but if you want to get out of the hustle and bustle of the city, there are great little towns that are ideal for a break. If you have driven through the West Coast on the N7, you are familiar with the absolutely stunning scenery. You pass picturesque farms and magnificent mountains that fill you with awe.
We first visited a delightful farm stall called Desert Rose in Koringberg. The town’s Postmaster, affectionally known as Tannie Marta told us how the town was established. As we snacked on delicious fresh bread and homemade butter, we learned how the first inhabitants came to be there and how farm plots were sold for just R2 back in the day!
From there we went to Piekernierskloof Mountain Resort, which overlooks the most beautiful valley I have ever seen. I jumped on the best-placed trampolines that overlook the view and I felt like I was on top of the world. When visiting Citrusdal, you know you are going to see exquisite nature. In fact, it is the start of the Namaqualand valley, so during flower season, you don’t have too far to go to enjoy the colourful blossoms.
We then made our way to Darling Brew to drink some beer, taste the amazing local cheese and cured meats. There’s nothing better than ending a long trip with a cold one. Both the Scenic and Berg routes are along the N7 and they aim to connect all the small towns that fall within these areas. Each town has its own local produce, stories and charms. They make great pit stops for long journeys where you can stay overnight, or are great for day visits when you need to take a break. They are right in our backyard and we should take more advantage of them.
If you are in the mood to explore here is a graphic showing the new Scenic and Berg Routes, as well as the Culture and Foodie Routes:
So the next time you are planning a road trip or short break, think West Coast – you won’t be disappointed!
Photography courtesy Annzra Denita