About George

The City of George

Lying in a fertile valley, surrounded by the Outeniqua Mountains, rivers, forests and prosperous farmlands, close to the ocean, George lies just 420 km from Cape Town and 320 km from Port Elizabeth, making it a perfect place from which to explore the surrounding towns of Knysna, Oudtshoorn, Mossel Bay and Plett on the beautiful Garden Route.

Regarded as the administrative capital of the Southern Cape (Eden District), George is the 2nd largest city in the Western Cape with a sophisticated infrastructure that includes a national airport, top medical facilities, regional mall and the Go George bus service to name a few. It has redressed its former image of an industrial town to that of a the administrative capital of the region and a major tourist destination – not hard to do when you have two of the top ten golf courses in South Africa, excellent conference facilities, the national railway museum, a wide expanse of forest, rivers and the Indian Ocean on your doorstep.

If history is to be believed, then this beautiful part of the world was only explored in 1688, well after Dias had landed in Mossel Bay in 1488, in the hope of finding meat and fresh water. To the Khoi people, who lived in this rich valley, the region was known as Outeniqualand – the ‘land of milk and honey’ – which aptly describes this lush and green paradise. A settlement was established here in 1811 and named George Town after the reigning monarch King George 3rd of England at the time.

George has always been an easy-going town, with a laid back approach that allows one to easily enjoy the beauty of the natural setting. Whether it is surfing a top ten break such as Vic Bay, teeing off at Fancourt or hitting the George Peak hiking trail with its magnificent views, George has the perfectly balanced lifestyle fused between a modern small city and amazing natural splendour. The moderate climate makes George ideal for outdoor adventure and trail activities, all year round.

Trail Attributes

The Garden Route already have an excellent reputation as a trail sport destination but George as the largest city in the region is a true sleeping giant that is being awaken. These are the attributes that makes George attractive as a trail tourism destination:

LANDSCAPE DIVERSITY

No place in the country will you find indigenous forest, coastal Fynbos, pine plantations, mountains, oceans, farmlands and semi-desert (Karoo) areas all within a 20km radius from the city center. George offer pristine beauty all around, and all year round. 360° of natural splendor.

TRAIL DIVERSITY

George Trails will offer a variety of trail systems and routes catering for all trail users (from a mountain biking perspective for beginner to advance) Whether it is whining mountain passes, technical single track or scenic district roads through farmlands, George Trails cater for ALL types of users, no matter what their skill or fitness levels. Most of our trails are accessible for trail runners, hikers and mountain bikers.

INFRASTRUCTURE

The City of George features excellent infrastructure as the business center of the Garden Route region. The region’s national airport is located here and the national N2 highway passes by the city. Furthermore most countrywide businesses have representation in the city which also features strong medical, hospitality and financial services sectors. The Go George bus service makes all areas easily accessible and the Garden Route Mall is a regional retail hub. It also offers some of the continent’s finest golf courses.

VALUE FOR MONEY

George is a cost effective trail tourism destination and on average cost of living, accommodation, restaurants and attractions are considerably cheaper than other major trail destinations such as Stellenbosch and Pietermaritzburg.

HOSPITALITY AND ATTRACTIONS

George (and Wilderness) offer a large variety of quality hotels, guest houses, golf courses, shopping centers, a mountain range and three beaches (Victoria Bay, Harold’s Bay and Wilderness) It is the perfect central base from which to explore the Garden Route & Klein Karoo region as it is surrounded by the towns of Knysna, Mossel Bay and Oudtshoorn with Plettenberg Bay a little further to the East. The local tourism industry offers good service and are known for their warm hospitality. The Garden Route is well known as an adventure tourism destination and also boasts a variety of related national events.

THE CROSS CAPE ROUTE

The Cross Cape Cycling Route is an tourism focused mostly gravel cycling route from Plettenberg Bay to Stellenbosch. It is a project initiated by Minister Alan Winde which aims to establish the Western Cape as the cycling mecca of Africa and to create 100 000 jobs in the cycling industry over five years. George is located along the route with the Montagu Pass a local highlight.

IT IS CONSIDERED SAFE

George is considered a mostly safe trail destination compared to many other places in the country.

CREATES OPPORTUNITY

George Trails creates opportunities for new jobs, to develop trail sports and clubs, grow tourism, grow local businesses, organize events and offer excellent marketing opportunities to partners that invest in the project.

IT IS FOR THE COMMUNITY

By supporting George Trails you are also supporting the Green Sport Foundation non-profit and helping to develop a product that will lead to a healthier and more productive community. Green Sport promotes a balanced lifestyle by participation in nature sport and recreational activities.

MODERATE CLIMATE

George offers a moderate climate and trails can comfortably be used all year round unlike other places where it is often too hot or too cold.

INFORMATION READILY AVAILABLE

Through its website George Trails offer a large variety of trail specific information from route choices and down-loadable GPX files (to navigate on your GPS device) to safety precautions and events. Please follow our social media to stay up to date with all that is happening.

COMMUNICATES TO A LARGE AUDIENCE

Through its database and social media, George Trails communicates to a large audience of trail users on a variety of topics such as safety risks, landowner issues, special promotions, upcoming events, news and much more.