The Secret Idyll of Leisure Isle

leisuretriptips Isle is a small island tucked away in South Africa’s Garden Route in a small town called Knysna. This historic and multi-cultural town boasts great beauty and character and yet is often overlooked by tour operators and tourists alike. Those that are referred to the town often only stay a night or two missing the main attractions and not fully understanding why their travel agent put it on their agenda at all.

What is it about Knysna that makes you wish you’d stayed longer?

Set in the heart of the famous Garden Route, Knysna offers visitors and locals a broad selection of attractions encompassing sport, beauty, eco-tourism, gastronomic delight and history.

The town is set in a picturesque basin of which the azure lagoon is the hub. Lazing in the sun on the shores of the lagoon lies the town itself with its colourful waterfront, meandering streets and intriguing selection of shops offering everything from trinkets and tourist souvenirs to gourmet extravaganzas and high fashion.

As you linger in the bistros and roadside cafes your ears will pick up the music of multi cultural languages for Knysna is a melting pot of races, creeds and classes. It is this diversity that creates the magic that is Knysna.

Why stay on Leisure Isle?

Originally known as Steenbok Island, Leisure Isle is a treasure trove for visitors. Containing around 300 residences the island is flat, making it suitable for walking and cycling – especially for romantic couples! Leisure Isle is a nature reserve.

Passing under the tree canopy you will see the Island Art Gallery on your right with its wonderful Coffee Shop where you can sit out under the ancient, bearded trees and enjoy home made food before perusing the latest exhibition.

Opposite are the local estate agents and Tides Restaurant where Michael prepares culinary delights for the supper crowd. Continuing, you pass the yacht club and tennis courts, the nature reserve and the bowls club – all with majestic lagoon and mountain views.

Round the point where, if you are lucky enough, a local will point out the alley to the secluded beach, and then on to the other side of the island facing the magnificent Heads. These two outcrops were once joined but now form a natural entrance to the lagoon. Picnic on the grass or continue on to Bollard Bay where the silver sand slips softly between your toes and the lagoon laps gently, home to rays, seahorses and many varieties of fish. If you are lucky, you may see dolphins skipping in.

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