Mellow Out in Marvellous Montagu

The Western Cape Province town of Montagu is located at the confluence of the Kingna and Keisie rivers around 180km from Cape Town. Considered to be one of the Cape’s most beautifully preserved late Victorian agricultural villages, Montagu is renowned for its therapeutic hot mineral springs, warm hospitality and spectacular scenery. Home to the Montagu Wine Cellar and Montagu Wine & Spirits Company, Montagu is one of the prime destinations on the Klein Karoo Wine Route. Visitors to this tranquil town will find a range of accommodation and dining options and loads of activities to enjoy in the picturesque surroundings.

Consisting of three historic buildings –the Old Mission Church, Joubert Huis and the KWV Buildings – the town’s museum offers insight into the history and culture of Montagu and its surrounding farmlands. Situated in Long Street, the Old Mission church dates back to the 1850s and features old Bibles, antique wedding dresses, and the original pulpit and pulpit cloth, while Joubert Huis depicts the typical lifestyle of that era. Among the items displayed in the house is a collection of toys, including a number of handmade porcelain dolls. Behind the house is an Indigenous Medicinal Plant Garden with plants traditionally used by the San and KhoiKhoi, as well as the Europeans who settled in and around Montagu when it was founded in 1851. The KWV buildings are a superb example of historic industrial architecture and a display area contains a collection of agricultural vehicles and artifacts used in bygone days.

Outdoor enthusiasts will find a choice of hiking trails and rock climbing opportunities around Montagu. Covering a distance of 15.6 km, the Bloupunt Hiking Trail offers trekkers a challenge as it winds its way between ravines, across mountain streams and past fascinating rock formations. While the ascent to the 1,266m high summit of the mountain can be strenuous, the panoramic view is truly spectacular and hikers will be able to see Bonnievale, Ashton, Montagu and Robertson from a lofty perspective. Hikers can refresh themselves in any of the three sparkling waterfalls along the route down from Bloupunt summit. Other hiking options include the 2.2 km Badskloof Trail, the 3.2 km Aasvoelkraans Trail and the 500m Loverswalk along the banks of the Keisie river. Keep an eye out for black eagles overhead, as well as many other bird species, and klipspringers and dassies along the trails.

Other attractions in the area include the Eseltjiesrus Donkey Sanctuary in MacGregor, the Montagu Leiwater Dam, the Old English Fort, the Novello Alpaca Farm, and the Olijvenhof Olive Estate. There is also the option of taking an all-day round trip from Montagu, to Barrydale, Suurbraak, Swellendam, Ashton and back to Montagu, all of which feature on the Klein Karoo Wine Route.