3 Hour Activities

KAYAK TO A CASTLE

  • Walk in the woods
  • Paddle your way along the Noetzie River

It’s hard to leave a poolside lounger at the Conrad Pezula, but the hotel’s hike-and-kayak trip is one very good reason to get up and go. With the help of a guide, you’ll set-off from the Barnyard on a mellow hike through a forest brimming with local yellowwood trees. Descend the steep slope to a secluded spot on the banks of the Noetzie River. There you’ll hop in a canoe and paddle your way to nearby Noetzie Beach, a dreamy golden swath of sand. As you glide through the water, keep an eye out for the clutch of stone castles (turrets and all) built in the 1930’s as the summer homes of wealthy vacationers. Insider tip: book this nature tour in advance with the concierge.
Book through Conrad Pezula


ALDO KLEYN LEATHER DESIGNS
5 Long Street, Thesen Harbour Town, Knysna
+27-(0)73-299-0598

KATHERINE WOOD FINE ART
4 Long Street
+27-(0)83-652-4956
katherinewood.com

JANDREART STUDIO
2 Long Street, Thesen Harbour Town, Knysna
+27-(0)78-610-5104
janraats.com

DALLAS SMITH GALLERY
13 Long Street, Thesen Harbour Town, Knysna
+27-(0)82-874-7995
dallassmith.org

THE PROJECT
1st Floor (Sirocco Building), TH28, Thesen Harbour Town, Thesen Island, Knysna, 6570
+27-(0)44-302-5814
theprojectbar.co.za

LE SPA TRANQUILLE
The Boatshed, Thesen Islands, Long Street, Knysna
+27(0)44-302-5727
lespa.co.za

GET ON ISLAND TIME

  • Pick up one-of-a-kind leather designs
  • Go gallery hopping
  • Dine at a local’s-only seafood spot​​

Venture over a small bridge onto Thesen’s Island, a posh seaside enclave with waterfront mansions and a Nantucket vibe. Wander down Long Street for exclusive shops like Aldo Kleyn Leather Designs and pick up a python jacket by the eponymous South African designer. The smattering of galleries is rich with local work, such as Katherine Wood’s sculptures and landscapes at Katherine Wood Fine Art. The Jandreart Studio evokes a cozy living room in the French countryside hung with bold canvases, and the Dallas Smith Gallery deals in animals and maritime scenes. Gallery fatigue setting in? Book a detox body wrap or aromatherapy massage at Le Spa Tranquille. Just make sure you’re done before sunset—that’s when stylish locals throng the sleek rooftop bar The Project. Opened in 2015, it’s now the Garden Route’s go-to spot for a sundowner. Before heading back to the mainland, stop for dinner at Freshline Fisheries, an open-air establishment that’s a bit hard to find, but worth the effort. Sink your toes in the sand and choose between angelfish, kingklip, or yellowtail either fried or cooked on the braai (South African for barbecue). Pair your fresh catch with local Grapetizer soda; note: you’ll have to BYO anything stronger.
Leave the mainland behind for Thesen’s Island, a 15-minute drive from the hotel.

ALDO KLEYN LEATHER DESIGNS
5 Long Street, Thesen Harbour Town, Knysna
+27-(0)73-299-0598

KATHERINE WOOD FINE ART
4 Long Street
+27-(0)83-652-4956
katherinewood.com

JANDREART STUDIO
2 Long Street, Thesen Harbour Town, Knysna
+27-(0)78-610-5104
janraats.com

DALLAS SMITH GALLERY
13 Long Street, Thesen Harbour Town, Knysna
+27-(0)82-874-7995
dallassmith.org

THE PROJECT
1st Floor (Sirocco Building), TH28, Thesen Harbour Town, Thesen Island, Knysna, 6570
+27-(0)44-302-5814
theprojectbar.co.za

LE SPA TRANQUILLE
The Boatshed, Thesen Islands, Long Street, Knysna
+27(0)44-302-5727
lespa.co.za

TIMBERLAKE ORGANIC VILLAGE
N2 halfway between Wilderness and Sedgefield, Wilderness
+27-(0)44-882-1240
timberlakeorganic.co.za

DECAMP TO AN ORGANIC OASIS

  • Head out to the coast
  • Play in a fairy garden
  • Bite into an antelope burger

Hit the road for the town of Wilderness, a quieter alternative to Knysna’s tourist-friendly (read: crowded) beaches, 45-minutes west of Pezula. Stretch your legs with a walk along the rugged coastline before continuing on to Timberlake Organic Village, a collection of shops, restaurants, and a playground with a fairy garden for the kids. Don’t pass up lunch (or any meal) at Zucchini, a popular Garden Route spot, set in a shabby-chic barn (have a seat on the saddles-turned-stools at the bar). Make a beeline for a patio table and go in for a gourmet burger — springbok (antelope), fish, or chicken fried in peanut butter are just a few of the unique patties. Afterward, grab a drink at the laid-back Oyster Shack, where live acts occasionally take to the tiny purple stage. Before you leave, stop off at the Mohair Mill Shop to pet the impossibly soft mohair socks, scarves, and blankets. Or, pick up a few bottles of local wine—Jakkalsvlei, Kleine Rust, and Kasteelberg—on sale at the Oak Barrel wine shop (there are always tastings, so sample before you commit).
Wilderness is a 45-minute drive from the hotel and Timberlake Organic Village is just off the N2 highway.

TIMBERLAKE ORGANIC VILLAGE
N2 halfway between Wilderness and Sedgefield, Wilderness
+27-(0)44-882-1240
timberlakeorganic.co.za

LE FOURNIL DE PLETT
7 Lookout Centre, Main Street, Plettenberg Bay
+27-(0)44-533-1390
facebook.com/lefournildeplett

FRENCH KISSES
Lookout Centre, Main Street, Plettenberg Bay
+27-(0)44-533-0586
facebook.com/French-kisses-plettknysna

BOOK NOOK
Lookout Centre, Main Street, Plettenberg Bay
+27-(0)44-533-3230

PURE COLLECTION LIFESTYLE GALLERY
Lookout Centre, Main Street, Plettenberg Bay
+27-(0)82-933-7247
facebook.com/purecollectionhome

DISCOVER A GALLIC QUARTER

  • Snack on croissants
  • Shop ‘till you drop
  • Have lunch at a French cafe

There’s an unlikely slice of France just 30 minutes from the Conrad Pezula on Plettenberg Bay’s main drag. Walk up a narrow ramp from the entrance of the otherwise nondescript Lookout Centre to a lovely cobbled courtyard. Follow your nose to the French-owned Le Fournil de Plett bakery—it’s home to the best almond croissants on the Garden Route, along with Cape Town cult favorite Truth Coffee. Drop by French Kisses, a French expat-owned boutique with fashion-forward clothing lines from Australia, Italy, Colombia, and Paris, bien sûr. Look for bikinis by Maaji Swimwear, colorful Metalicus cardigans, and Yaya boots. Literary types will love scoping the secondhand offerings at the bite-sized Book Nook. Design aficionados should check out Pure Collection Lifestyle Gallery for cutting-edge South African fashion, housewares, and accessories (wallets by Cape Town-based Jinger Jack make for a nifty souvenir). Shopped out? Take a seat at Grand Café for a lunch of bouillabaisse soup and fillet bearnaise in a glam dining room with glittering chandeliers and outsize ostrich feathers.
Make the 30-minute drive from Pezula to Plettenberg Bay’s main square.

LE FOURNIL DE PLETT
7 Lookout Centre, Main Street, Plettenberg Bay
+27-(0)44-533-1390
facebook.com/lefournildeplett

FRENCH KISSES
Lookout Centre, Main Street, Plettenberg Bay
+27-(0)44-533-0586
facebook.com/French-kisses-plettknysna

BOOK NOOK
Lookout Centre, Main Street, Plettenberg Bay
+27-(0)44-533-3230

PURE COLLECTION LIFESTYLE GALLERY
Lookout Centre, Main Street, Plettenberg Bay
+27-(0)82-933-7247
facebook.com/purecollectionhome

PLETT PUZZLE PARK
N2
+27-(0)44-534-8853
www.plettpuzzlepark.co.za

RISTORANTE ENRICO
296 Main Street, Keurboomstrand

RIDDLE ME THIS

  • Solve puzzles in a forest
  • Escape a 3-D maze
  • Dine al fresco steps from the beach

Get a mind-body workout at the Plett Puzzle Park found just outside Plettenberg Bay. Take an easy hike through a forest dense with birds and pause every few feet to solve a puzzle or brain teaser at the wooden stations along the trail (bonus: get seven right and you win a free drink at the café). Then, try to escape from a convoluted two-tier 3-D maze that’s a challenge for kids and adults alike. On the way back to Pezula, cool off with a swim at Keurboom Beach on the outskirts of Plett, a wide stretch of sand that’s among the prettiest on the Garden Route. Sunsets here are particularly spectacular, and best viewed over dinner steps from the surf at local favorite Ristorante Enrico. Chef Enrico Iacopini sails off on his boat each morning to source much of the fresh kabeljou, red snapper, and other seafood on the Italian-leaning menu.
Plett Puzzle Park is just off the N2 just outside Plettenberg Bay a 45-minute drive from the hotel. Ristorante Enrico is 10 minutes away in nearby Keurboomstrand.

PLETT PUZZLE PARK
N2
+27-(0)44-534-8853
www.plettpuzzlepark.co.za

RISTORANTE ENRICO
296 Main Street, Keurboomstrand

KNYSNA ELEPHANT PARK
N2 between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay
+27-(0)44-532-7732
knysnaelephantpark.co.za

TENIKWA
Forest Hall Road, The Crags, Plettenberg Bay
+27-(0)44-534-8170
tenikwa.com

TALK TO THE ANIMALS

  • Pet elephants at a sanctuary
  • Get close to cheetahs

When you see signs for Knysna Elephant Park on the highway between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay, you should definitely take the turnoff. You’ll have the once-in-a-lifetime chance to stroke the rough skin of elephants or let them snort lemons and carrots from the palm of your hand at this researcher-run rehabilitation camp. Feeling brave? Walk with the cheetahs on a guided tour at the Tenikwa wildlife awareness center where they care for the big cats.
Knysna Elephant Park is between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay a 30-minute drive from the hotel. Continue on past Plettenberg to Tenikwa.

KNYSNA ELEPHANT PARK
N2 between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay
+27-(0)44-532-7732
knysnaelephantpark.co.za

TENIKWA
Forest Hall Road, The Crags, Plettenberg Bay
+27-(0)44-534-8170
tenikwa.com