or Plett, as this holiday and residential resort is popularly known, was given the name of "Bahia Formosa", meaning Beautiful Bay, by the Portuguese seafarers of old.
It was aptly named as it is one of the loveliest bays to be found along the southern African coastline.
During the summer holiday season this quiet seaside town is transformed into a little metropolis by holiday-makers from all over the country, and is visited by many anglers and divers throughout the year.
In spring, whales regularly swim into the protection of the bay to mate and calve, and dolphins often frolic in the waves close to shore.
The water temperature is moderate with an average of around 18C (65F), and visibility is usually between 5 and 10m.
The best months to dive the area are September through to October, but fair conditions prevail all year round. The onshore south-easterly winds tend to churn the sea up in summer, while the westerlies clear the water in winter.
Horse trails, bicycle trails, golf, tennis, sailing, canoeing on the lagoon and lovely walks are available for energetic non-divers. The more relaxed visitor can visit one of the many excellent restaurants, or just lounge around the pool at one of the hotels.Diving Sites
Access is by boat from Plettenberg Bay. The water is usually colder and cleaner here than around Plettenberg Bay.
There are big terraces going down from 10-24m. The marine life is not quite as abundant as at Virgin Reef, but the pretty relief makes this an interesting dive when visibility is good. Big mako sharks have been spotted here on occasion.
* Virgin reef
Access is by boat from Plettenberg Bay. Conditions are usually cleaner and colder than around Plett as it is further out to sea.
Virgin Reef is not often dived and consequently has profuse and colourful invertebrate life.
Other diving spots worth while are Groot Bank, Redbait Reef, Deep Blinders, Shallow Blinders, Dolphin Column, Jacob's Poort, The Island and Whale Rock, as well as the MFV Athina (1967) shipwreck.