Plettenberg Bay, Garden Route - Stein Travel
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Plettenberg Bay

The upmarket holiday town of Plettenberg Bay, about 380 miles (600km) from Cape Town and 125 miles (200km) from Port Elizabeth, was originally called 'Bahia Formosa' (Beautiful Bay) by the early Portuguese explorers, and it is still possible to see why, despite explosive development of luxury homes, hotels and a thriving town centre.

The town - familiarly known as 'Plett' - is a favourite holiday destination for South Africans and foreigners alike with its unspoilt golden beaches, year-round Mediterranean climate, dramatic rocky Robberg Peninsula, and vibrant nightlife. The bay is a nursery for the endangered Southern Right Whales, which arrive each winter and spring to calve.

Information & Facts


The surroundings of Plettenberg Bay provide a playground for sports enthusiasts and the list of activities is almost endless. Between July and December the bay is home to Southern Right Whales that come to calve in the protected waters. The lagoon and the bay itself are perfect for all sorts of watersports and activities including boat cruises and sailing, paddling, fishing, swimming, and scuba diving, while the beaches allow for long solitary walks and surfing.

The mountains and forests offer a variety of trails for hikers, mountain bikers and horse riders on holiday. Plett's golf courses are also highly regarded and provide plenty of challenges. There are thirteen polo grounds in and around Plettenberg Bay; the best known is at Kurland (20 minutes outside the town, heading towards Port Elizabeth) where major polo tournaments take place over Christmas and Easter.

Robberg Nature and Marine Reserve is only 2.5 miles (4km) outside Plettenberg Bay, and offers the chance to view wildlife including penguins, Cape Fur Seals, Southern Right Whales, and the occasional Great White Shark.


South Africa has 11 official languages, including Afrikaans, English, Xhosa, Zulu and Sotho. English is widely spoken.


South Africa's currency is the Rand (ZAR), which is divided into 100 cents. Money can be exchanged at banks, bureaux de change and the larger hotels. ATMs are widely available (there is a daily limit for cash withdrawals) and major international credit cards are widely accepted, except in petrol stations where cash is required. Visitors should be vigilant when drawing cash from ATMs, as con artists are known to operate there. Travellers cheques and some foreign currencies are accepted at larger hotels and shops, but commission is charged, otherwise all commercial banks will exchange them.


Plettenberg Bay is best avoided over the Christmas holiday period when prices are double, accommodation is impossible to find and everything gets very crowded.

Night Life

Although Plett is a small town, nightlife is fairly lively, yet laidback, however the choices are somewhat limited. In summer most action takes place on or near the beach, beginning with sundowners in typical South African style at one of the beach bars, but there are a few vibrant pubs and clubs for later evening entertainment with pool tables, live music and dancing.


There are plenty of dining opportunities in Plettenberg Bay, from beach pubs, bistros and deli's to five star cuisine and award-winning à la carte menus. Foodies will find Thai, Italian, fresh seafood, steak and a variety of other choices on offer.


Plettenberg Bay shopping malls and a variety of shops provide everything that is needed by holidaymakers and shoppers, including clothing and speciality goods at several boutiques, arts, crafts, and antiques.


Local time is GMT +2.

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