The Retreat is a Victorian farmhouse set in 560ha of the beautiful Groenfontein Valley Conservancy, bordering on the 129 000ha Swartberg Nature Reserve. The house, filled with yellow-wood and mellow Oregon pine, has a lounge and dining room – each with its own ceramic fireplace to keep them cosy on chilly winter evenings – leading onto a wide verandah, overlooking the sweeping gardens and majestic Swartberg mountains. The Retreat is ideally situated for day trips to the Swartberg Pass, Meiringspoort, Seweweekspoort, Montagu Pass, the coast and more.
Calitzdorp (and The Retreat), is situated more or less in the middle (from east to west), of a new conservation area that was officially established in the Little Karoo in 2011. The Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve (GCBR), covers an area from the Swartberg mountains in the north, to the Indian Ocean in the south; and from Uniondale in the east, to Montagu in the west. It aims to coordinate the protection of three international, biodiversity hotspots that overlap in this region, that form part of the Cape Floristic Kingdom.
Enjoy energetic hill walks or mountain biking in the clear air – or lazy summer afternoons cooling off in the shady, secluded rock pools that sparkle like jewels along the length of the tree-fringed river – or simply stroll along the peaceful, winding lanes of the Groenfontein Valley.