Scenic Routes | Hiking Trails
There are many scenic routes to travel around Calitzdorp, as well as some beautiful mountain passes and hiking trails, below are just a few of them.
Groenfontein | Kruisrivier Circular Route
This is a 52km drive on dirt roads (the roads are maintained – so a standard vehicle is adequate).
On leaving Calitzdorp, the drive will take you past the Calitzdorp dam, Kraaldoorn Gallery, Marcia’s Studio, Watersong Cottage, Peter Bayley Winery, Groenfontein Guest Farm, Groenfontein Accommodation, The Retreat and on to Kruisrivier where Roger Young has a gallery and coffee shop.
From Kruisrivier, you can either head off toward Oudtshoorn and the start of the Swartberg Pass, or back toward Calitzdorp.
This a scenic route with spectacular scenery, if just looking and driving with no stops, this should take around 90min until back on the R62.
From here it’s 20 minutes back to Calitzdorp and 20 minutes to Oudtshoorn.
Situated between Calitzdorp and Zoar/Ladismith. From Calitzdorp to Ladismith it is but a 50km scenic drive, taking around 30- 40minutes (one way). On route pass Zoar and Amalienstein. Breathtaking and well worth the drive. More Information on the Pass
Situated between Calitzdorp and van Wyksdorp. From Calitzdorp to van Wyksdorp is a around a 50km drive, but taking around 70-90 minutes one way. En-route marvel at the flora and fauna, as you pass through this bio-diversity hotspot. This a more rugged route, with gravel roads as you start your climb. Worth the drive, and stop in van Wyksdorp. (Please note there is no fuel in van Wyksdorp, so fill up before you go). Click here for more information on the pass. More information on the pass
Situated 20km from Ladismith, this is a 17km stretch of gravel road running through the Swartberg Mountains, linking the Little and the Great Karoo, with easy gradients, river crossings and incredible geology. It falls entirely under the control of Cape Nature Conservation and more specifically the Swartberg Nature Reserve and is also a certified Unesco World Heritage Site. Time required with a turn around and return to Calitzdorp is around is around 3.5 Hours. More information on the pass
Another glorius gravel and relatively rugged pass, dating back to 1862. The road is named after the many fossilised ticks found in the rocks when the road was built. The main road between Laingsburg and Prince Albert up till the late 1960’s when the Gamkakloof Dam was constructed in its path. making this road a dead end (so you have to turn around and return). Reached from Calitzdorp via Ladismith and Seweweekspoort, the route will take some time (plan around 5 hours there and back to Calitzdorp). More information on the pass
The Swartberg Pass is regarded by many as the icon of gravel road passes. Once again a link between the Little and Great Karoo (Prince Albert), and the gateway to Gamkaskloof, this “Thomas Baine” pass is a must see and do, with dramatically changing scenery and rock formation. You don’t have to go all the way to Prince Albert, and can still get the magnificance of the pass by turning around at the summit.
Your time frame may vary, but allow 60 minutes from Calitzdorp, along the Groenfontein Road to the foot of the pass, and then around 40 minutes to the summit. Your descent into Prince Albert is another 40 minutes, so all in all with a return trip to Calitzdorp you are looking at around 2H30 Minutes driving time. More information on the pass
From Calitzdorp, take the day out and enjoy the mild waters of the Indian Ocean in Mosselbay. A stunning modern tarred pass with gorgeous views of the Outeniqua mountains. Travel via Volmoed and join in with the Oudshoorn – Mossel;bay road (R328). Time from Calitzdorp to Mosselbay is 1H30 minutes. More information on the pass.
Calitzdorp is surrounded by many district gravel roads that are fantastic for cycling on due to less traffic. One can cycle short easy routes or long easy routes or hit the mountains for some good hard riding. Unfortunately there are no routes onto private land where one can find single track. Below is a link to a brochure of the routes in more detail.
Tierkloof (Gamkaberg Nature Reserve)
Starting in the succulent karoo, this is a moderately strenuous trail taking hikers through a deep, forested ravine to a fynbos-rich mountain plateau. Here they overnight at the remote Oukraal camp and enjoy spectacular views of the Swartberg and Outeniqua mountain ranges.
Trail distance: 13.2km Estimated time: 8hrs
Trail distance: 11.6km Estimated time: 7hrs Trail Preparation: Do not hike alone. Wear comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen and a hat. Make sure to carry sufficient food, water and take along your binoculars. Permits are to be purchased via CapeNature Central Reservations or reserve office. In winter, a raincoat/pancho is advised.