We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Franschoek to Knysna via Oudsthoorn

Surrey
Level Contributor
58 posts
67 reviews
Save Topic
Franschoek to Knysna via Oudsthoorn

Hi,

Our travels in early February find us leaving Franschoek on the morning of the 8th having spent five nights there. I see from other postings that the recommended route is the R62 - should we pick that up at Paarl? Also can you recommend a good spot for lunch on the way to break up the journey.. Our hire car is a Toyota Corolla which I understand should cope with the roads we will travel.

Once we are in Oudsthoorn do you have any recommendations ... we are a couple in our mid 50/60s and will have sampled the best that Franschoek's wineries have offered over the previous few days. We will need to be in Knysna by mid-afternoon on Sunday.

Many thanks, Diane

5-Day Garden Route Adventure Tour...
28 reviews
from US$530.10*
Special Offer
Private Tour: 3-Day Garden Route Tour
1 review
from US$445.30*
US$494.70
3-Day Garden Route Tour from Cape Town
13 reviews
from US$344.60*
Special Offer
Garden Route 4-Day Luxury Private...
from US$874.60*
US$971.80
London, United...
Level Contributor
1,394 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Franschoek to Knysna via Oudsthoorn

No, you don't need to go back to Paarl. Take the R45 going southeast out of Franschoek for about 23 km, then turn left onto the R321/R45 towards Villiersdorp and Worcester and then turn right onto the R60 heading to Robertson and Ashton. After Ashton follow the signs towards Montagu where you join the R62. From Montagu it is a straight forward run to Oudtshoorn.

On this route you will see some spectacular scenery, Driving through the Cogmansklook Pass into Montagu is well worth the drive. You'll also drive past Ronnies Sex Shop. An interesting curio and not what you think. Stop and get a cold drink.

Around Oudtshoorn there are quite a few things to do. The things that I would look at are the Kango Caves and the Swartberg Pass.

Hermanus, South...
Level Contributor
259 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Franschoek to Knysna via Oudsthoorn

Diane, Fact of the matter is that it is shorter via Paarl and the N1 to Worcester (75km - say 60 min) than over the Franschoek pass via Villiersdorp (84km -say 80min), the latter beautiful over the pass but slower in driving. The N1 takes you over the Du Toitskloof pass to Worcester and this is also a lovely drive through majestic mountains. Use the toll road as it saves some 11km.

If you, however do select to drive via Villiersdorp, then I recommend that when you see and reach the Aan De Doorns wine cellar about 10km before Worcester (You can't miss it, it is a large cellars next to the road) you turn right onto a link road of 6 km that joins the R60 to Robertson. If I remember the sign where you turn right at the cellar says "Over Hex". Using this shortcut to the R60 saves you the bother of finding your way through the centre of Worcester and thus save quite a bit of time.

Along the way albeit Sunday you can stop for midmorning brunch at Barrydale. There are several eateries next to the road such as the Country Pumpkin.

Actually before Barrydale, about midway there is a lovely farmstall called "Akkerboom." Also a good stop for something light to eat/drink, more so as you can taste their lovely "Star Hill" wines. Really good.

At Oudtshoorn a visit to the Cango Caves is recommended. tours are every hour on the hour. There is also a restaurant for lunch. Ditto a visit to the Cango Wildlife ranch where they also have a restaurant. I don't think time will allow you to also drive the Swartberg Pass. And there is also the Ostrich Showfarm.

The route to Oudsthoorn is lovely with interesting folded mountain scenery at Montagu and further along down the pass to Calitsdorp. Make sure your toyota has aircon. It is likely to be hot.

Happy travels

WK

Surrey
Level Contributor
58 posts
67 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Franschoek to Knysna via Oudsthoorn

Hi...

Thank you both for your very informative replies. Sounds like either route will be spectacular. I have had recommendations to visit both the Pumpkin and Ronnies so it's good to have extra confirmation.

I too hope the Toyota has aircon - in fact we have requested it as a must.

Many thanks and happy travels to you both too. Diane

London, United...
Level Contributor
1,394 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Franschoek to Knysna via Oudsthoorn

Definitely make sure that your rental car has a/c. We are in Eastern Cape at the moment travelling through the Karoo and the temperatures are in the upper 30s celsius. Cape Town - where we were last week and will be returning to next week - isn't much cooler.

Fordingbridge...
Level Contributor
2,083 posts
177 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Franschoek to Knysna via Oudsthoorn

The route via Villiersdorp is by far the most spectacular. Just before you get to the top of the pass there is a pull in on the right which has the most spectacular views back down over the Franschhoek valley.

For lunch you must stop at Mo & Rose, a superb restaurant on the left about 8 kms after you pass through Robertson.

http://www.moandrose.co.za/

Surrey
Level Contributor
58 posts
67 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Franschoek to Knysna via Oudsthoorn

Thank you all for your input. The route has been written down and the watering holes noted! We definitely have AC in the Toyota and are really looking forward to our route to Oudsthoorn. Will post feedback when we've completed our trip.

Diane

Fordingbridge...
Level Contributor
2,083 posts
177 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Franschoek to Knysna via Oudsthoorn

Have a truly wonderful trip & before you know it you will be home & planning your next visit. I'll be glad when you're home because it means that our next visit (27 Feb-19 March) will be very close!! ;-)

Looking forward to all of your updates on both new & familiar places.

Cape Town Central...
Level Contributor
3,110 posts
78 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Franschoek to Knysna via Oudsthoorn

I will go with MTChandler's route which to me is the most scenic route and also the quickest. Going via Paarl with take you back few km and then heading down the main strip back onto the N1 Highway is in fact going back wards.

Another thing is that i would suggest that you get an early start as well, and i mean start to drive by about 8am. My reason for that is, i have driven this road a lot and it always seems to me that it takes a long time to reach Oudtshoorn. By the looks and sounds of it, you said that you need to reach Knysna by mid-afternoon, which i think will not happen. Not with stops at Kango Caves and also Swartberg Mountain Pass. You will reach at least at about 4pm or even by 5pm, which should be ok. And to fit in Swartberg Pass, you will need to extend your trip with another 2-4hrs at least.

Hank - Owner - Ulungele Tours

Surrey
Level Contributor
58 posts
67 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Franschoek to Knysna via Oudsthoorn

Thanks Hank,

We will plan to leave at eight on the Saturday morning. We aren't due in Knysna (Wilderness in fact) until late afternoon on the Sunday. So we have a full day to reach Oudsthoorn. We are booked into le Petit Karoo Ranch in Schoemanschoek for Saturday night then have the Cango Caves booked for 10 on Sunday morning for the one hour Heritage Tour.

Do you have any thoughts on whether or not we should try to fit in a sundowner trip at Buffels Drift or just visit there for lunch on the Sunday after the Caves?

Thanks, Diane

Hermanus, South...
Level Contributor
259 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Franschoek to Knysna via Oudsthoorn

In view of the fact that it is likely to be very hot midday I would opt for a sundowner and dinner. Their restaurant should have aircon but at sunset the deck overlooking the dam should be pleasant and the chances of fauna activity at the water is better than midday. After the caves you could drive up to the top of the pass and back and/or visit some of the other attractions as previously mentioned. Please though make sure you have water in the car as you travel.

WK.