Find Tranquility in Zoar

How many times have you driven on Route 62 and missed the town of Zoar; nestled between Ladismith and Calitzdorp?

I have multiple times and I have no one to blame but myself. Until a follower reached out and asked if I would like to stay in her friend’s newly self-catering establishment in Zoar and how could I pass on that opportunity, right?

Zoar is a town that’s underexplored and isn’t one to come up in popular small towns to holiday at. It’s an undiscovered gem if you ask me and I wish we spent more time; exploring this eco-cultural village.

Only a 4-hour drive from Cape Town, I would suggest taking Route 62 as the scenic route to get there. You can do many pitstops with interesting padstals (farmstalls) like Ronnie’s Sex Shop in Barrydale which we did. It’s also a path many prefer than the busy N2 with towering cliffs and spectacular mountainous views.

Due to our pre-planned trip, we only stayed over for the night. The establishment is brand new to the accommodation scene so it doesn’t have a name just yet. Located next to Route 62, this 4-sleeper is where you will find tranquility. With a fully equipped kitchen, a dining and lounge area as well as an outdoor braai section, it’s certainly a vacation spot to bring friends or family along. It also has two bathrooms with a large stoep where you can open a bottle of Chardonnay while the sun goes down.

PS: If you would like to book a stay here, please be in touch with the owner.

This town is not a place to watch television or ask what the WIFI password is. It’s a place for you to sit on the stoep and relax. A place to admire nature’s beauty, nod your head in ‘Hello‘ when a friendly local walks by, and put your feet up.

The town has about 5000 residents and its biggest attraction is the Seweweekspoort Peak which happens to be the highest peak in the Western Cape at 2325m. If you’re looking for a tour guide, Alistair Reizenberg is your guy. Unfortunately, our stay was too short to book a tour but we hope to come back and extensively explore Zoar.

Another activity not to miss is to drive into Amalienstein (the sister town) and visit the church and its yellowwood pews. If you’re wondering why Amalienstein needs to be mentioned? Well. Here is how the story goes:

Zoar was the first of the South African Missionary Society’s (SAMS) ‘projects’, established in 1817. Interestingly the Berlin Mission Society ran the mission station on behalf of SAMS, only to fall out over something vital enough that one of the injured parties established Amalienstein, just next door.

So when you think of visiting Zoar, you have to also venture into Amalienstein. It’s non-negotiable.

If you are planning on doing a Route 62 journey, make sure to add Zoar to your list of towns worth exploring.

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Till the next small town.

Stephanie Marthinus Blog