The place to be or be seen

Plettenberg Bay can be found on the N2 between Storms River Village and Knysna on the Garden Route, 240 km from Port Elizabeth and 520 km from Cape Town.  It is the place to be or be seen and was voted the most exclusive town in South Africa.

This beautiful and popular coastal holiday village has many sandy, safe beaches, a lagoon and a river mouth, and is backed by mountain ranges and the prominent Cape Seal, at the end of a promontory known as Robberg or 'mountain of seals’.

The coastline is magnificent and the long walks on the beach or refreshing dips in the ocean are a given, but don’t forget to look out for the distinctive flower-shaped Pansy Sea Shell; it is common to this part of the coast and used as the symbol representing the town.

Places to Visit

The Robberg Peninsula, about 8 km south of Plettenberg Bay, will surely be one of the highlights of your trip. Robberg is home to a large Cape Fur Seal colony and often Great White Sharks can also be spotted from the high ground of the Reserve due to their attraction to the seals. Whale sightings are particularly common during the breeding months, July to December. Popular whales in the area are the Southern Right Whale, Humpback Whale and Bryde’s Whale. Not to boast, but the area also has three species of Dolphin that visit the bay throughout the year – Common Dolphin, Bottlenose Dolphin and Humpback Dolphin.

Things to do and see

Climate

With an average of 280 Sunny Days a year, “Plett” is the perfect all-year-round destination.

Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 11˚C and 30˚C with the highest rainfall months being November and March.

Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 7˚C and 21˚C with high rain usually in August.

Transport

Plettenberg Bay Airport – Chemair offers flights from Johannesburg and Cape Town directly to Plettenberg Bay. Other major Airlines only offer flights into Port Elizabeth Airport or  George Airportthe two next closest local Airports. However, the scenic drive through Wilderness and Knysna from George is well worth the trip, about 1 hour.

Airport Shuttles or Car Hire Services are available for transfer and self-drive scenic trips from both Port Elizabeth, approximately 2 hours and George, approximately 1 hour.

Festivals

February – George Old Car Show: representing cars manufactured from the early 1900’s to present day.

March – Knysna Literary Festival:A five-day literary experience including workshops

July – Momentum Weekend Argus Rotary Knysna Cycle Tour:One of the most popular cycle races in South Africa takes you through the breathtaking beauty of Knysna

October – Sasfin Wine and Bubbly Festival:An experience not to be missed!

Nov / Dec - Plett Rage: This music festival is the longest running and possibly the largest student festival in the Southern Hemisphere. A few hundred student started visiting Plett in the 8o’s to celebrate the start of Summer vacation and freedom. The festival has now grown to 10 days of partying at six festival venues filled with about 15 000 fellow students. Not for the “older” crowd!

History

In 1576, Manuel da Perestrello, an early Portuguese explorer named the Bay Bahia Formosa – “Beautiful Bay” and it was only in 1778 that the name Plettenberg Bay came to be, when the then Governor of the Cape of Good Hope, Baron J. van Plettenberg, arrived and decided to name the Bay after himself. The Governor erected a beacon claiming the bay as the possession of the Dutch East India Company in 1778. The beacon was removed by the Historical Monuments Commission in 1964 to the South African Cultural History Museum inCape Townand a replica put up in its place.

The Dutch tried to develop the bay into a port for the shipment of timber, but only the ruins of the storehouse they built in 1788 remain of this venture. The ruins have been proclaimed a national monument.

Norwegian settlers built a whaling base on what is known as Beacon Island from a beacon erected there.

When the Norwegians left in 1920 holiday-makers started to move in and nowadays Plettenberg Bay, nicknamed “Plett”, is devoted almost entirely to their enjoyment.

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