Even though there are plenty of activities to keep you busy at Kurland for days on end, the surrounding area is so beautiful that we like to keep on top of extraordinary local experiences that our guests can pair onto their holidays. Once such experience is most definitely the new Plett Camino, which sits right on Kurland’s doorstep.
The Camino is the brainchild of local resident and long-time Kurland friend, Iain Bryant. He was inspired by the famous pilgrimage trail El Camino de Santiago in Spain (one of the world’s most popular walking holidays and spiritual journeys), as well as the success of the Hermanus Camino in the Overberg.
We sat down with Iain recently to understand what makes this local 5-night experience so special…
1. It’s a multi-day hike with heart and soul
“Inspired by the beautiful philosophy that ‘a rising tide raises all the boats’, we always knew that we wanted this business to have a strong purpose,” Iain explains. The Camino uplifts the area in multiple ways, including through creating job opportunities amongst resident community members, supporting local businesses, building a sustainable economy, and giving back to environmentally conscious bodies like SANParks and MTO forestry.
2. The surrounding nature is picturesque and pristine
The Garden Route is, of course, an astonishingly beautiful part of South Africa. The Camino starts in the aptly named Garden of Eden and then heads north, taking hikers through leafy forests, across fynbos fields and over rivers.
“My favourite days are days 1 and 5, when you walk into an authentic Afro-montane forest on single track trails,” Iain says with a smile. “The bird sounds are astounding, as are the smells, the flowers, the mushrooms, and the absolute silence. Not to mention the unreal views. Mostly people gasp at the ocean views around Plett, but on the Camino the inland views are equally breathtaking. You look out over massive river valleys covered in indigenous forest and you really feel like you’re miles from anywhere.”
3. It caters for nature fundis that are foodies too
Special activities and highlights along the trail include stopping at a local wine farm for lunch and a wine tasting (day 2). The next day you’ll head off to the Plett Game Reserve where you’re picked up for a scenic game drive and then dropped off at Kay and Monty for a hearty lunch. The food and wine along the way is amazing, and there’s nothing quite like ending a full day of hiking by putting your feet into the pool with a GnT in hand and catching up on the day with friends and fellow hikers.
4. Slackpacking makes it suitable for all ages
Hikers will walk an average of 15 kms a day, for five days in a row. Because of the slackpacking option, however, which takes your luggage ahead of you and drops it off at each night’s accommodation stop, you only need to carry a light day pack, making the trails very achievable for hikers of all ages and fitness levels.
“On the Plett Camino you always end the day with cold drinks, hot showers, and hearty food. You can even book a massage!” Iain explains. “It’s perfectly planned to be a seamless experience, with experts guides taking care of every little details.”
5. It’s all-inclusive
The Plett Camino is an all-inclusive and fully catered slackpacking pilgrimage. Every day you’ll be treated to full breakfasts, lunches and suppers, as well as delicious snacks and drinks. And every night you’ll stay in a new location, affording you the opportunity to meet different local hosts and experience new views.
There you have it, five compelling reasons to book your 2024 spot on the sought-after Plett Camino. In fact, why not gather a few friends for the Camino and end off at Kurland Estate for a luxury country getaway to really round off a perfect holiday. If you’re yearning to disconnect from the world and reconnect with nature, all while indulging in wonderful food, wine and accommodation options, it doesn’t get better than this.
Book your spot quickly because the Camino’s 2024 slots are filling up: https://plettcamino.com/.