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Travelling along the N2 highway from Cape Town, the road dips down into a valley and before you lies the stunningly beautiful Great Brak River that meanders out to sea, and a taste of what’s to come in this scenic part of the world known as the Garden Route. A further 10km along the highway is the turnoff to Glentana with its remote beaches and village atmosphere. Fortunately the limited amount of space above Glentana beach has curbed commercial activity.
It’s a known fact that Mossel Bay – on the western end of the bay shared by Glentana – has the 2nd most moderate climate behind the islands of Hawaii. Protected from the northerly winds by the Outeniqua range of mountains, Glentana has a similar weather pattern to Mossel Bay.
Glentana is a typical holiday resort, busy during school holidays and barely occupied in off peak periods. If you are looking for absolute peace, you would do well to stay at Glentana in winter when the weather is mild and the beaches are exclusively yours. For those wanting to get with the [holiday] programme, summer is a good time to visit.
Top 8 reasons to visit Glentana
1. Have a dip in the warm sea (patrolled by lifeguards only in peak season) or walk along the unspoilt beach to the floating dock that wrecked here while being towed from Cape Town in 1902. The dock is only visible at low tide and is located 3km from Glentana.
2. Visit the Cape St Blaze cave at Mossel Bay to see evidence of 80000 years of cave dwelling. The cave has remnants of shellfish middens and fire making. The boardwalk traverses the high cliffs that make for a scenic and interesting walk.
3. Day visitors are welcome at the Botlierskop Private Game Reserve in the Small Brak River area. The reserve offers game viewing of 3 of the Big 5 (lion, rhino and buffalo) and various buck species. Horseback safaris are also available.
4. The region has two of the finest golf clubs in the country; Pinnacle Point Beach and Golf Estate set along a clifftop and Fancourt’s three championship courses designed by local hero Gary Player.
5. The Great Brak Museum is housed in an old school building and has interesting artefacts collected by the region’s first tollhouse keeper. Exhibits include old photographs, Khoisan tools and a visit to the restored hydro-electric power station.
6. Explore the beautiful beaches, lakes, estuaries and dense wooded forests at Victoria Bay, Wilderness, Sedgefield and Knysna.
7. Stop in at the Aloe Ferox Factory in Albertinia en route to Glentana to purchase cosmetics made from the aloe sap. This wonder plant is an ingredient added to many medicines.
8. Get to know the locals at the only venue in town, the Glentana Strand Café and Restaurant. The meals are good and the conversation flows.
Glentana is 12km from the George Airport which receives domestic flights from Cape Town International Airport. Car hire companies are located at the George Airport or in the town, otherwise order one online. Many visitors to this part of the country hire a vehicle in Cape Town and travel the 400km for a full Garden Route experience. Metered taxi and shuttle companies operate from George, however, a rental is your best option.
Did you know?
The village was named after the Scottish estate Glen Tanar by one of the first residents and somewhat bastardised to Glentana. The estate is still operating and lies within the Cairngorms National Park in north-eastern Scotland.
Surfing at Glentana is only for the experienced, the undertow is strong and there is a possibility of encountering sharks offshore.
Glentana has a few beach caves worth exploring, however, it’s recommended that visitors be escorted by a qualified member of the Spelaeological Society. Ask your host for details.