Montagu, one of the highlights on Route 62, is a small town surrounded by scenic mountains, hot mineral springs and wandering wildlife. Benn van der Westhuizen curated a list of Montagu’s top accommodation options and activities that should be on every visitor’s stay-see-and-do list.
Housed in a town that combines scenic surrounds with a hearty helping of history and class, Jonkmanshof comes up smiling with a beautiful backdrop to experience both. This private escape fine-tunes the needs of the modern traveller with 18th century Cape splendour. Jonkmanshof forms part of the Hemelhuijs family and the resemblance and attention to detail are undeniable. Look forward to a luxe interior highlighted by a touch of understated elegance with four-poster beds, cashmere blankets, and carefully decorated antiques. And the ultimate trump card? A picturesque ensuite bathroom which transports you to a bygone era with stunning views over the manicured citrus gardens and mountain range.
The boutique accommodation consists of two Cape Dutch-style heritage houses in Bath Street, built around 1854 and 1856 respectively. Each venue can be rented per suite, which is suitable for two guests. Alternatively, exclusive use of the entire house is also available, as well as rental of both houses for a large group of friends or family of up to 8 people.
Standard features include access to the library, farm swimming pools, laundry services, and for those who must get some work done, a solid Wi-Fi connection. A variety of activities such as classic car country drives, golf, and rock climbing can be arranged via the accommodation.
Jonkmanshof is giving Capetonians the chance to experience their Visi-level interiors first-hand. Their winter promo, currently running until 31 August, offers 15% off of their standard winter rates. In addition, Jonkmanshow is also offering one night on the house for a confirmed booking for 3 nights or more.
Cost: From R2000 to R6100
Time: Check-in from 2pm to 5pm | Check out by 11am
Address: Jonkmanshof, 20 Bath St, Bergsig, Montagu, 6720
Montagu is a town famed for its natural splendour. It is therefore fitting that one should also dine there in splendour. The town’s prime new restaurant, BluVines, ticks all the boxes for great food and design, stunning views, and on occasion, live entertainment.
This urban-chic eatery is situated in an old farmhouse and boasts with a contemporary design set against snap-worthy views of the Langeberg. BluVines’ culinary team is headed by chef Sean Bassett. Guests can look forward to signature dishes such as Picanha (rump cap), and refreshing twists on pork neck or baby chicken. During operating hours, BluVines also hosts wine tastings showcasing Mimosa Wines. On offer is a tasting of either three or five award-winning wines or a three-wine food pairing with a trio of New Age seared salmon, prawn wonton and deep-fried Camembert. Reservations are recommended for groups.
In the venue’s bid to ‘give back’ to the community, the waiters were chosen from the performance alumni of the local Rural Arts Development (RAD) Foundation. They may even entertain with their impromptu energetic song or dance performance.
Time: Fri to Tue 9am to 5pm | Reservations for the restaurant and wine tasting recommended for groups
Address: 12 Long Street, Montagu, 6720
Montagu is nestled beside the neighbouring Robertson Wine Valley. A mere 30 minutes drive from Montagu, it would be remiss not to take a tour of this beautiful wine valley.
Wine Valley Safari provides convenient and fun transport in an open-air safari vehicle, along with pick-up from your accommodation in Montagu. Guests can sit back and relax on a journey to discover world-renowned wines, olive and lavender products while enjoying 360-degree views of orchards, rolling vineyards and the magnificent Langeberg Mountain range while breathing in the fresh countryside air of the Robertson Wine Valley.
Choose from self-guided hop-on hop-off routes to pre-packaged wine tasting tours. Operating from Mondays to Sundays, the Safari vehicle follows a different route each day. Guests are spoiled for choice from wine, MCC, craft beer, whiskey, gin, grappa, olive and olive oil tastings to food and wine pairings. Also included in the itineraries are a lavender farming tour, a river cruise, cellar tours, a cultural McGregor Village tour, with many popular lunch spots on the way.
Cost: R180 per person – R350 per person | Time: Varies
Address: Wine Valley Safari, 1 Voortrekker Avenue, Robertson, 6705
In Abundance is a four-star guest house in Montagu surrounded by the small town’s picturesque panoramas and providing spectacular views and serenity. The B&B accommodation stands tall with a five-star rating from Trip Advisor and winner of the 2019 Trip Advisor Travellers’ Choice Award, meaning visitors voted the establishment as one of the top 25 guesthouses in South Africa. In addition, the guesthouse is also voted as the Top Accommodation for a Honeymoon in Montagu by Travelmyth for 2019.
In Abundance features 5 spacious en-suite bedrooms all decorated with care and attention, with some of the rooms boasting with great views of the adjacent Keisie river, resident gardens, and mountains. Guests can soak up the sun on their pool terrace, or bird watch from a secluded spot in the garden. All beds are King Size, extra length and may be converted to twins. The luxurious bed linen is custom-designed with 100% percale cotton, and each room comes with a seating area and small book collection.
A variety of activities can be booked via the guest house, such as chauffeur-driven tours, historical walks in the town, a village market available nearby, art experiences, and hiking excursions.
In Abundance is currently running a ‘3 for 2’ promo where you can stay for 3 nights, and only pay for 2. The venue is also a private and exclusive option for a family getaway over Christmas, where the entire guest house can be booked for 10-12 people from 24 to 28 December.
Cost: R950 – R2900
Address: In Abundance Guest House, Cnr Bath and Rose Street, Montagu, 6720
Tel: (+27) 023 614 2099 | (+27) 082 325 8872 | (+27) 083 285 3040 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook: @InAbundanceGuesthouse | Twitter: @InAbundanceZA | Instagram: @inabundanceza
Montagu’s cafe culture comes in the shape of The Barn on 62, a cosy restaurant housed in an heritage-style barn situated at the end of town. Expect warm and attentive service, and there’s also a play area for kids. The eatery comes up smiling with all-day breakfast and light lunches which are, as far as possible, cooked with locally sourced and free-range products. Vegetarian and vegan dietary options are also available. Go for the freshly ground coffee, but don’t leave without trying the home-style bread such as sourdough, and one of their homemade daily specials or signature menu items.
The Barn on 62 has recently expanded with three newly renovated cottages which bring together the old with the new, but with their trademark personal touch. Beautiful mountains can be seen from each cottage, and two of the suites features a fireplace and a private pool, while the third is a spacious loft room. So if you’re looking for an off-beat accommodation option, with some fresh cuppa right around the corner, this quaint little spot should be right up your alley.
Time: Tue to Sat 8.30am to 4pm
Address: The Barn on 62, 60 Long St, Montagu, 6720
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and end the work week with a trip into nature. Take a drive up the picturesque Route 62 to Sanbona Wildlife Reserve and lose yourself – and your heart – in the Little Karoo.
With its semi-desert location, endless hills and impressive mountain ranges, Sanbona is home to hundreds of species of flora and free-roaming, self-sustaining animals. The luxury accommodation at three lodges is perfectly suited to different tastes and preferences, and the twice-daily guided game drives encourage exploration of an area steeped in history.
And don’t forget to bring the kids. With the Kids on Safari programme, they’ll have hours of fun following their very own safari activity book while learning more about animals, both big and small, in the interactive Skull Garden.
Cost: From R5860pp per night | Time: Pick-up from arrival lounge 12.30pm and 4pm
Address: Sanbona Wildlife Reserve, R62, Montagu, 6720
Tel: +27 (0) 21 010 0028 | After hours +27 (0)21 010 0002 | Website: www.sanbona.com
Facebook: @SanbonaWildlifeReserve | Twitter: @sanbonasafari | Instagram: @Sanbonasafari
With accommodation booked and an appetite satisfied, this idyllic little town brimming with activities now awaits.
One of the first pitstops on your must-see list to Montagu is Penny Farthing Antiques. The quirky vintage shop boasts with an eclectic mix of antiques and collectables to suit all tastes. Popular with locals, visitors and dealers, Penny Farthing Antiques was started by Mike & Chris Folan some five years ago in order to downscale Mike’s vast collection, which had been built up over a 30 year period.
It is now a local institution as it offers an ideal spot to find that perfect present for a special friend or loved one, or just a piece to personalise your home decor. Alternatively, just pop in for a browse or chat with the team about the charm of antiques.
Visitors are advised to phone ahead to make sure the shop is open.
Time: 10am to 4pm
Address: Penny Farthing Antiques, 13 Long St, Montagu, 6720
If you’re looking for a holiday without breaking the bank, Montagu Springs is a little tropical oasis nestled in the famous small town. The resort is renowned for their family-friendly accommodation or group getaways with a variety of self-catering chalets which comes complete with its own braai area and can house up to 4 people. A range of sports facilities, activities and swimming pools strengthens the appeal of this affordable Montagu resort.
The scenic river banks and the Keisie river, running through the resort, attract a variety of exotic bird species to the area making it ideal for some impromptu bird-watching. And a host of amenities are available to keep the kids active and entertained such as a multi-purpose Astroturf that can be used for 5-a-side soccer, netball, volleyball and tennis courts, bike rental, a kids’ playground and a kids’ pool among others.
Montagu Spring is currently running a mid-week winter promo until 17 September 2019. Book for three nights and only pay for two. The special excludes public holidays, weekends, long weekends and school holidays. Block out periods and a minimum of two nights stay apply.
Cost: R750 – R2190 | Time: Check-in Mon-Sat 3pm, Sun 5pm | Check out Mon – Sat 10am, Sun 1pm
Address: Montagu Springs, Uitvlugt St, Bergsig, Montagu, 6720
For avid explorers keen on delving into the nooks and crannies on offer in Montagu, why not try one of Flying Feet’s cycling tours. Founder Marchelle Van Zyl and her friendly team offer rentals and guided cycling trips to explore the small town’s art and cultural identity. Visiting guests can opt for an informative art tour, a vibrant town tour, or a combination of both.
Flying Feet makes an excellent case for highlighting Montagu’s art scene. Their Art & Town Tour follows a visit to top art galleries, access to the current Francois Krige exhibition, and an intimate glimpse into resident artist Hanna Naude’s studio. For the Town Tour, an expert guides the group around various parts of the town while sharing the interesting figures who shaped this small town. And for those who dare to be different, Van Zyl personally takes charge of some history tales and a decent dose of urban legend with her Ghost and History Pre-Dinner Walk. Van Zyl assures that there’s no fake ghosts or spooky costumes jumping out from behind the tree for dramatic effect, just an informative and entertaining pre-dinner walk.
All the cycling routes are non-technical, and a low fitness level is adequate as the focus is on the experience. Private, customised tours can be arranged, as well as walking tours for those who are not comfortable with cycling. The bicycles are simple Dutch-style, single speed, backpedal type, and each one comes hand-painted in quirky design by a different local artist. In more ways than one, Flying Feet connects their audience to the community, the smells and sounds of Montagu.
Cost: R100pp to R250pp | Group discounts available
Time: Varies | Ghost & History walk starts at 6pm in winter and 7pm for 7.30pm in summer
Address: Flying Feet, 24 Bath St, Bergsig, Montagu, 6720
Nestled among the picturesque mountains on the outskirts of Montagu is a family-run Alpaca farm where visitors can experience something slightly off-beat with a good cause. Alpaca Paddocks strives towards a fiercely sustainable approach by growing their own organic veggies, berries and fruit. Their gentle yet meme-worthy alpacas fit firmly into this mission statement as they are an eco-friendly species by nature.
The farm is open for short family-friendly tours which offer insightful info about this obscure South American herd animal and the amazing wool byproduct. A small collection of knitwear is also for sale, including hand-knitted scarves, beanies, mitts, and a growing selection of children’s wear all made from hand-spun Alpaca fibre. Alpaca fleece is one of the most luxurious in the world, softer than lamb’s wool and warmer than goose down.
All proceeds from tours and sales go towards the upkeep of The Healing Farm Haven, a non-profit rehabilitation centre for substance and alcohol abuse.
Address: Alpaca Paddocks P.O. Box 459, Montagu, 6720
De Nagmaal is a farm-style homeware concept store spotlighting fresh produce and artisanal wares made in and around the Montagu region. The store follows a more creative and gallery-like approach to the classic ‘Hoekwinkel’ – you can find a small collection of hand-crafted ceramic crockery, produce and preserves made from citrus and quince grown in the garden, scented candles and cotton bags to name a few. Look out for the ceramic colanders which should make a perfect gift option, and don’t leave without trying their old-fashioned lemonade and almond wafers. De Nagmaal only opened their doors recently, but it’s off to a cracking start as one of the design destinations in the area for discerning lifestyle enthusiasts.
Address: 30 Bath Street, Montagu, 6720