As the southern hemisphere slips into summer, sunset in the Garden Route extends further south and later, creating ample opportunities for a perfect beach sunset to mark the days end.
Depending on your preferences on how you prefer to bid farewell to the day and welcome the night, the Garden Route has numerous beaches from which to celebrate the revolution of earth.
Below are six of the best beach locations to relax on at sunset in the Garden Route.
Firstly, for sporty types that enjoy an end of day swim or surf, nothing beats Buffalo Bay. Located west of Knysna, the bay is recessed east of a rocky peninsula, forming a secure swimming beach with easy waves. It is a perfect beach to arrive at, light a fire in a Webber or Cobb kettle barbacue, sprint down to the surf and catch waves in the last light. If timed well, your barbecue should be ready as you dry off and settle down for typical South African meal, a braai, with an exquisite seascape as backdrop.
For the romantically inclined seeking more privacy, the fossil dune cliffs between Myoli beach and Platbank east of Sedgefield are worth a visit. A picnic blanket, vino chilling in an ice bucket, a tray of shucked oysters and an enticing partner will make this an unforgettable experience as the shimmering golden red sun seemingly drops into the ocean. Walking back to your vehicle, be on the lookout for phosphorescence in the breaking waves and in your footprints.
For those with limited time and looking for a short walk to toast the setting sun with friends before heading out for a night of festivities, then Robberg Beach is the beach of choice. Select one of the numerous beach access parking areas, kick off your shoes and step onto the beach. With luck you may even have a pod of dolphins cruise past as you charge your glasses. En route to your car, rinse your feet before setting off to town.
Fishermen with more inclination to relax than actually land a fish can head for Kleinkrans. Mesmerized by the waves and in a semi meditative state as you gaze westwards, you would be forgiven for believing that the setting sun is merely rolling off the receding cliffs and dropping into the rosey orange pallette of the Indian Ocean.
Ultimately, for those sophisticated visitors to the Garden Route that wish to pair their dinner with a beach sunset there is little to beat reserving a veranda table at Salinas restaurant in Wilderness. Hugging the side of a dune, this double story restaurant was designed to watch the sunset. Paired with a crisp cool white wine and a plate of seafood mezzes, you will enjoy a sunset that will have you planning your return visit to the Garden Route.
For nature lovers, savoring a picnic at Swartvlei beach before setting off on a guided night tour of the Gericke’s Point rock pools is a definite sunset experience to have on your bucket list. The Moonlight Meander is conducted by Judy, who offers an entertaining, yet very informative ecological tour for about three hours. By torchlight, you will explore marine life and learn about the survival and reproductive strategies of the creatures of the intertidal zone. Tours are limited to spring low tides over the full and new moon.
Whatever your itinerary for the Garden Route is, planning for at least one beach visit is essential to enrich your time in this unique and magical region of South Africa.