Even though our little trip to Montagu was three weeks ago, the wonderful time we had still lingers in my mind. Montagu is one of those towns where you simply have to take your time. You don’t rush a good thing (or time for that matter). We visited quite a few interesting places durin our short stay in the historic town. So in the spirit of preventing FOMO, here’s a list of 8 places to see in Montagu.
Take the Road Less Travelled – R318
Everyone always takes the Route 62 when heading in the direction of Montagu. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a route packed with attractions but this doesn’t mean it’s the only route. The R318 is a detour route to Montagu just after De Doorns on the N1 highway. As we take the turn-off I’m not initially impressed. We’re met with dried-up dams and endless views of well, nothing. But pretty soon the flat landscapes turn into beautiful curves including the hairpin turns of the Burgers Pass. The R318 is refreshingly free of traffic so you won’t need to do any yellow line driving for hasty drivers.
Get to Know the Locals at the Montagu Village Market
The Montagu Village Market is held every Saturday in the Euvrard Park right opposite the tourism bureau in Bath Street. We popped in bright and early before our tractor ride for some good coffee and delicious pancakes. The market is a good way to mingle with the locals and chat to those who’ve made the move from city to farm life. You’ll also get local produce at a fraction of the price – such as a 1 litre bottle of olive oil for only R85. Two vendors not to miss are Karoo Coffee and the book stand but you’ll be spoiled for choice either way!
The Protea Farm Tractor Ride
The Protea Farm is one of the top places to see in Montagu. So if you only have time to visit one place while in town or passing through, make sure it’s this farm. I did a full post on the Protea Farm Tractor ride last week which you can read all about. It really is one of the highlights of a Montagu visit and should not be missed. Just be sure to book in advance to ensure availability and avoid disappointment.
Keeping it Local with Lisa’s Potjiekos Lunch
Lisa’s potjiekos lunch is also offered at the Protea Farm but has to be booked separately. You don’t get a more authentic South African experience than a potjiekos lunch. South Africans might argue that it’s a usual thing for us but trust me, these ladies know their stuff when it comes to making a mean stew! Homemade breads and delicious waterblommetjie bredie rounded off with baked chocolate pudding is what you can expect. Book it with the tractor ride; you’ll thank me for it.
Rambling Rose Kitchen and Deli
The minute we drove pass Rambling Rose in Long Street, I knew I wanted to pop in for a meal sometime during our Montagu stay. It’s got that inviting and interesting look. So on our way back to Cape Town we went for an early Sunday breakfast. The first section is a deli and gift shop selling all sorts of goodies from pastries to artwork. I had a giant BLT and Mr G (hubby) surprisingly went for French toast and bacon. The service and food is amazing and so is the décor. Rambling Rose is also rated as a ‘must see’ Route 62 stop so don’t miss this gem.
The Joubert House Medicinal Garden
The indigenous medicinal garden is situated behind the Joubert House Museum right opposite the Rambling Rose. Joubert House is in essence a museum but we went for the medicinal garden. They have their own local gardener who grows the herbs. The garden is quite big so you’re able to take a leisurely stroll while familiarising yourself with the herb names. The herbs are also dried and sold on site – mostly in the form of herbal teas, hair and skin products. We stocked up on some Cancer Bush tea.
The Montagu Museum
This museum tells of the history of the town of Montagu. It is situated in the Old Mission church and is also a few hundred metres away from the Rambling Rose. I found the photos of the photos of the 1981, 2003 and 2008 floods particularly interesting. It’s wonderful to see how the town rebuilt itself every time after such devastation.
That’s Not All the Places to See in Montagu
There are obviously many more places to see in Montagu but these are at the top of my list. One place I would’ve liked to add is the Montagu Dried Fruit factory shop. However, the many detours due to the current road works taking place just made it too confusing to navigate and we didn’t get around to it. Nonetheless, we left Montagu with a heart full of memories.