Yes yes, I know it sounds wrong and it’s meant to resemble the famous Route 66 but this is the cooler South African version. Route 62 is modelled after the iconic Route 66 in the USA. Like its American counterpart which aims to connect rural and urban communities, route 62 does the same by connecting Cape Town to smaller towns and cities like Paarl and Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth).
Route 62 proves to be more scenic than the average mainstream road to GQ (short for Gqeberha because wow that’s a lot to say) and sounds more enjoyable to me. Wouldn’t you prefer to see the beautiful and unique towns that demonstrate their culture and heritage along the way to your destination? Every town on the route has many exciting features that allow you to take in its luxurious scenery and surroundings. Route 62 is also one of the longest wine routes in the world. If that makes you ecstatic then a pitstop is a must! You must be excited to hit the road so I won’t hold you back any longer. Here are 4 must-see places to stop at when driving along Route 62. Let’s go!
1. Paarl in the Cape Winelands
Paarl is one of the first stops from Cape Town and is one of South Africa’s largest wine-producing areas. This town also has stunning mountains and scenery to indulge in so a stop is a must! instead of kickstarting your adventure with just a glass of wine, why not tackle a hiking trail instead? The Rhebokskloof Wine Estate in Paarl also offers you a multitude of hiking trails named after different types of wine. I wonder if these trails are as intoxicating as their alcoholic counterparts. But that’s for you to find out!
Rhebokskloof’s hiking trails embrace the town’s mountainside and terrain all while having a spectacular view of the estate. The ‘Chardonnay’ is a 5-kilometre trail that can be completed by either runners or walkers. The trail is exceptional for beginners, just like chardonnay wine is great for those starting out as wine drinkers. The “Shiraz” trail, on the other hand, spans 25 kilometres and is hardcore runners. It’s just as intense as a glass of Shiraz, to be honest. These hikes are great for clearing your mind and taking in all that the beautiful little town of Paarl has to offer. If you’re ever interested in hiking in Europe, be sure to take a peek at the 5 breathtaking hiking trails in Magic Norway.
The Rhebokskloof Wine Estate also offers specially curated chocolate and wine pairings. The indulgence can be so soothing, just like the way the wine and chocolate perfectly complement each other. Cocoa and red wine both contain antioxidants which improve good cholesterol, which means wine and chocolate are good for both your physical and mental health!
2. Ceres in Witzenberg
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the name Ceres? If your answer was: “the well-known juice we all love and have drank since childhood” then you are spot on! The said juice (Ceres) comes from, well, Ceres! The town is named after the mythical goddess of fertility and agriculture in Ancient Roman Mythology. It is quite fitting because Ceres produces multiple types of fruits which are then harvested and turned into the delicious varieties of fruit juice we all know and love.
You are welcome to tour the orchards on the Ceres-fruit route. Hey, that rhymes! The best time to visit this idyllic town is in fruit-picking season. Going into the fields and being fully immersed in the valley is a wonderful way of understanding nature and its processes. This in turn allows you to feel more connected with nature, which has proved to have superb benefits for your mind and soul.
3. Montagu in the Little Karoo
Montagu is the perfect breakaway spot to detach yourself from the fast-paced city life. Situated in the Little Karoo, Montagu is best known for its orchards and mineral-enriched hot springs. The Avalon Springs Hotel has pools that are fed from a 43-degree thermal spring that is 2 kilometres underground. It is pumped into multiple pools and caters to all temperature needs and clientele.
Hot springs possess a rich source of sulfur which have healing benefits that aid in the treatment of skin irritations or eczema. They also help with internal issues such as indigestion and menopausal symptoms. Why not relieve pain and relax your body and mind with the beautiful scenery that The Avalon has to offer?
4. Oudtshoorn in the Little Karoo
Oudtshoorn in the Little Karron (known by locals as Klein Karoo) is well-known for its extensive ostrich farms and the ostrich feather industry. So it is only appropriate that you go to an ostrich farm and have ample contact with these magnificent birds. Ostriches are the largest birds in the world and lay the largest eggs so imagine the size of that omelette.
The out-of-this-world experience of encountering these wonderous creatures is offered at the Highgate Ostrich Show Farm. There, you will have an opportunity to learn about Ostriches, get a chance to feed them, and even see the incubators and how these systems work.
So, when planning your next road trip along Route 62, be sure to add these places to your list. That way you can experience the astonishing landscapes, unique activities, and signature attractions that each of these towns and have to offer. While you’re at it, don’t forget to find the best accommodation along the way. Visit the BookNow.co.za website to find the perfect places to stay during your road trip along Route 62. The website is sure to cater to all the specific needs of your trip.
Psychology tip: interacting with animals decreases the stress-related hormone cortisol and also decreases loneliness. Spending some time with these ostriches will definitely boost your mood!