Route 62 is possibly one of the Cape’s best travelled wine and agricultural routes that has many gems on offer, such as the romantic town of Montagu in a majestic mountain setting that offers an unbeatable country village lifestyle. Located approximately 200 km from Cape Town, about halfway between the City and the Garden Route in the heart of the Langeberg region, its central location also places it within close vicinity of the Robertson Wine and Breede River Valleys, both famous for the prolific growing of prime vineyards and a wide variety of herbs.
When reaching Swellendam by travelling via the Cogmans Kloof Pass to this rocky valley known for its beautiful sandstone, it becomes evident that had Thomas Bain not built this spectacular pass in 1877, it may not have been the most accessible destination by car. This area has much to offer its residents and visitors, and outdoor activities are abound from mountaineering to river cruises, boating and fishing.
Nearby rock formations has provided the region with a reputation for excellent rock climbing venues. One of the more adventurous mountain hiking routes reaches the 1266m high Bloupunt peak, that overlooks the village of Montague from where the town’s spectacular surroundings can be admired. This area also offers several other hiking trails, as well as some unbeatable mountain biking trails further afield. One of the most popular hiking trails here is known as the Arangies Kop Trail, that during winter is frequently covered in snow.
Locals are determined that their town has more to offer new residents and visitors than just its sought after hot mineral springs and historic buildings. As a result the town has gained popularity with young families escaping the stresses of big cities, who wish for their children to attend small schools in close communities, where barefoot playing and climbing trees are still the order of the day.
The rich heritage of this town can be experienced by simply enjoying an outdoor lunch in town, that could be in the setting of magnificently restored old property with a history going back many generations. Visitors are often entertained in courtyards lined with some of the country’s oldest vineyards and artefacts, where they can taste and purchase wines from any of the region’s 45 different estate labels.
The facts about property ownership in this quaint valley is that it falls within an affordable range, with average property prices last year coming in at R930 000, and where 50% of last year’s total number of 46 sales were priced between R1 million and R2 million. Further good news is that property sales in the first quarter of 2011 shows average property prices to have increased to R1 105 million, with the three highest sale prices at R1.3 million. Proving the desirability of this laid back healthy small town lifestyle is that property prices have reached its highest levels here since 2004 with average prices then rising from R164 000 to currently sitting at R1.1 million.