A scenic 850-kilometer drive from Cape Town (in the Western Cape) to Port Elizabeth (in the Eastern Cape) – is the longest wine route in the world!
Cape Route 62 – The Mountain Route
Driving eastwards from Cape Town the Route 62 offers a slightly shorter alternative to the busy, coastal N2 road. When travelling from Cape Town to the Garden Route and back (or visa versa), you can take this hinterland road to add variation to your journey and see more of South Africa’s beautiful countryside.
Taking the Route 62 you can loop back to the coastal N2 via one of the mountain passes, joining the Garden Route near Knysna or Mossel Bay.
The scenic Route 62 meanders inland through majestic mountain ranges and fertile valleys of rolling vineyards and orchards, then on into the semi-desert plains of the small Karoo, via charming towns and villages.
Towns En Route – Cape Town to Port Elizabeth
Pass through the Breede River, Klein Karoo and Langkloof areas travelling via the towns of:
- Paarl – a scenic town with historic charm and architecture, culture, good wine and fruit farms, as well as loads of cycling and nature trails.
- Wellington – nestled in a picturesque valley at the foot of the Groenberg and Hawequa Mountains, on the banks of the Kromme River. It hosts young vineyards and the finest pot-stilled brandies in South Africa.
- Tulbagh – South Africa’s third oldest town, this pretty town is famous for its fine wines, local cheeses and olives, and Belgian chocolates. There are numerous hiking and mountain biking trails in the area.
- Wolseley – set in the scenic Breede River Valley near the official start of the Route 62, this town offers a plethora of activities, from hiking, mountain biking, and fishing, to bird watching, wine tasting and fine dining.
- Ceres – the place for San rock art, as well as modern-day arts and crafts. Situated on a fertile plain along the Dwars River, surrounded by grand mountains, this is one of the most important fruit-growing areas in South Africa. Activities abound, with options such as cherry picking, horse riding, quad biking, 4×4 trails, abseiling, skydiving, hiking and fruity tastings and farm tours.
- Worcester – the largest town on the Route 62 is known for its wine and brandy, home to world’s largest brandy cellar of its kind. Visit the open-air museum, botanical gardens and go angling at the Brandvlei Dam.
- Roberston – the valley of wine and roses, home to unpretentious wineries that are less crowded than some of the Cape Winelands’ estates.
- Ashton – At the foot of the Langeberg Mountains, this little town is a good place for rock-climbing, bird watching, cycling, wine tasting and cruising down the Breede River.
- Montagu – hot springs, national monuments, wide streets, and fruit trees in the heart of Route 62. Excellent dining, superb accommodation options and plenty of activities, especially hiking and rock climbing.
- Barrydale – a unique rural town with beautiful scenery, quaint shops, art galleries and cafés, located near the breathtaking Tradouws Pass. Excellent wines and brandy are produced here, as well as deciduous fruits.
- Ladismith – another beautiful town with historic buildings and popular hiking trails, set amid fertile farmlands and vineyards, at the foot of the towering Klein Swartberg Mountains.
- Calitzdorp – the centre of the South African port wine production, where families have been farming for over 100 years and brandy has been exported since the 1800’s. Also a good place to see rock art.
- Oudtshoorn – the ostrich capital of South Africa, hosting grand old homes and serving as the base for visiting the 20 million-year-old Cango Caves in the foothills of the Swartberg Mountains. Also the place for hot-air balloon rides.
- Uniondale – a Little Karoo town in a surprisingly lush valley surrounded by mountains, with activities including game viewing, scenic drives, 4×4 and hiking trails. Drive to Knysna and Plettenberg Bay on the coast via the spectacular Prince Alfred’s Pass.
- Misgund, Louterwater, Krakeel, Joubertina and Kareedouw.
- Zoar and Amalienstein – historic former mission stations, where traditional lifestyles continue.
Don’t confuse the Route 62 with the famous Route 66 in The States, which runs between Los Angeles and Chicago.
Ways to Get Your Kicks on Route 62
Wind your way through fertile valleys, into deep canyons and over breathtaking mountain passes built in the 18th Century.
- wine and brandy tasting
- hiking trails and mountain climbing
- San rock art and cultural tours
- museums and monuments
- rock climbing, abseiling and caving
- 4×4 routes
- canoeing and boat trips
- horse or ostrich riding
- fishing (rivers and dams)
- hot-air balloon rides
- game viewing drives
- farm tours and cherry picking
- motor bike safaris
Recommended R62 Accommodation
Sanbona Gondwana Lodge is set on the expansive Sanbona Wildlife Reserve, only three hours drive from Cape Town between the small towns of Montague and Barrydale.
Rosenhof Country House is the only five-star accommodation in the Oudtshoorn area of the Klein Karoo, located between the historic town and the famous Cango Caves.
African Relish is based in the historic village of Prince Albert at the foot of the Swartberg Pass in the Western Cape, some 400km from both Cape Town and Port Elizabeth.
The Robertson Small Hotel is situated in the quaint Breede River Valley town of Robertson.
Breathtaking mountain passes on the Route 62 include:
- Michell’s Pass near Ceres
- Bain’s Kloof Pass near Wellington
- Gydo Pass north of Ceres (over the Skurweberg Mountains)
- Tulbagh Kloof (near Tulbagh)
- Prince Alfred Pass (near Prince Alfred)
- Tradouw Pass near Barrydale
- Garcia’s Pass between Riversdale and Ladismith
- Cogmans Kloof, between Ashton and Montagu
- Swartberg Pass between Oudtshoorn and Prince Albert
Travelling into this unique area of South Africa you will witness impressive rock formations, looming cliffs and dizzying mountain passes. In between the mountain ranges, the route dips into verdant valleys with crystal clear streams. The hills are covered in orchards, vineyards and indigenous fynbos vegetation.
This mountainous route is a journey worth taking slowly so that you can explore its quaint towns, soak up the beauty and marvel at nature.
Tours and accommodation on the Route 62
- Contact us if you’d like us to put together a self-drive itinerary for you.