Originally christened ‘Bahia Formosa’ (beautiful bay) by early Portuguese explorers, Plettenberg Bay lies at the feet of the Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma mountains. The bay was home to South Africa’s first settlers, not Cape Town, as many people believe. Today it is an upmarket resort town and in spring is home to whales that calve in the shallow waters of the bay. Only an hour from George Airport and two hours from Port Elizabeth Airport, Plettenberg Bay is well situated to explore the various Garden Route attractions from Knysna to Oudtshoorn along Route 62 and the N2. The bay offers access to the beautiful indigenous forests with their unique mixture of Cape Fynbos and temperate forest, as well as world-renowned hiking trails and the chance to see the last remaining forest elephants of South Africa. The area teems with birdlife; nearly 300 species are to be found in the great variety of habitats ranging from fynbos to forest to wetlands. The highlight of the area is undoubtedly the rivers, beaches and the bay itself with its ideal conditions for all types of water sports. Alternately you can simply stroll on the clean, sandy beaches, which stretch for miles along the Indian Ocean and enjoy its safe swimming areas. Accommodation options range from five-star luxury hotels and lodges to guesthouses and B&B’s.