The Garden Route is certainly one of the most popular destinations over the summer time.

The entire coast is littered with amazing beaches, making it a swim, surf, sun and touch rugby haven in high season. The crowds drawing into places like Hartenbos, Stilbaai and Mossel Bay can be fun… for a while.

But when you start feeling claustrophobic, you need to get away. Check out these little known beaches…

Noetzie – Knysna

Ten minutes east of Knysna lies a secluded cove boasting a pristine beach, a quiet estuary, a large variety of indigenous flora and fauna and an eclectic collection of classic beach houses and fanciful modern castles.

Victoria Bay Beach – Victoria Bay

This secret lies under a cove, enclosed by rugged cliffs. Along with Herolds Bay, it is also one of the smallest and most hidden bays on the Garden Route. The small sandy spot is a gently-sloping beach with massive waves. It’s a favourite with surfers too.

Herolds Bay Beach – Herolds Bay

This beach is one of the smallest on the Garden Route. Besides the beach, the tidal pools are also a pretty perfect spot. Herolds Bay is definitely one of the most beautiful of coastal villages on the Garden Route, rising up high against a cliff on which the houses are built. The beach lies in a small little bay at the foot of the cliff, making it one of the most sheltered spots too.

Gerickes Point – Sedgefield

From the rocky landmark in the sea that resembles a lion’s head, to the impressive weathered sandstone cliffs that are actually fossilised dunes – some of the highest dunes in South Africa – this secret beach is perfect for the nature explorer. You can also do a night tour here.

Brenton Beach – Brenton-on-Sea

This is said to be one of the most wonderful beaches in the world by those in the know. It lies right on the other side of the Knysna Western Heads, at Brenton-on-Sea. The beach has some rocky patches, creating little pools to cool off in.

Cola Beach – Sedgefield

This little beach in Sedgefield hardly gets crowded – even in high season. You will always find the dedicated fisherman throwing anchor on the 6km stretch of sand, though. So no topless tanning here.

Sparrebosch Beach – Pezula Golf Estate

A small steep climb is what takes you to this secluded spot. You get to swim, fish or just soak up the sun and stunning natural beauty around you without any real disturbance , even in high season.

Myoli Beach – Sedgefield

Although this beach has lots of restaurants and cocktail bars scattered close by, it is still quite unoccupied. The windiness of this beach might have something to do with it, making it the perfect surf, windsurf and kite-surf spot.

Witsand Beach – Witsand

This small secret beach lies on the border of the Garden Route and the Overberg, right on the banks of the Breede River estuary. The beach provides some of the best land-based whale watching opportunities, especially from June