Garden Route DestinationsThesen Island, Garden Route
Thesen Islands make safe, tranquil suburban living a reality in a world of urbanisation, hustle and bustle. This secure estate is situated on an award-winning Blue Flag marina in the heart of Knysna, which remains one of the Garden Route’s favourite destinations for its natural vistas, and its abundance of top-notch wining, dining and shopping.
Thesen Islands comprises 19 man-made islands that are linked by bridges that arch over the pristine waterways. There are 512 free-standing homes and 56 trendy apartment suites. During the year, only about half of these are occupied. However, come holiday season (December and January), the islands are a vibrant hotspot of activity as visitors from around the world take advantage of the central locale and the awesome facilities within the boomed community.
The design of the houses is somewhat regulated, and they all display a colonial maritime style. This is particularly fitting as Knysna has an important maritime history, as well as a context in the world of timber.
There are private beaches that are only open to those staying on the island, making them safe enough for children to while away sweltering summer days, just meters from the houses. The park includes an exciting maze, veggie patch, bird hide, and plenty of swings, slides, jungle gyms and other toys or activities. The bird hide reveals a treasure – a spot in which the spoonbills, sacred ibises, plovers, herons, Egyptian geese and others live in melodious harmony.
For those wanting to enjoy something more physical, there are two all-weather tennis courts, a squash court, an 18-hole putting green, permanent volleyball posts on the beach, and cricket practice nets next to the clubhouse. Locals love walking, jogging and cycling around the island too, and there are yoga classes at the clubhouse several times a week.
The Thesen Harbour Town includes a number of restaurants (including Sirocco’s, Col’Cacchio and Tapas), boutique stores, salons, corporate offices, speciality stores, and a great central play area for little ones.
All of the facilities are just a stroll away from the homes on the island, many of which sit perched on gorgeous waterways. Watching the paddlers and boaters come past, drinking in the views of the lagoon and the Heads in the distance, and breathing in the fresh ocean air combine to create idyllic conditions; perfect for a weekend getaway, a private honeymoon, or a long summer holiday with the family.