The Overberg is all about the meeting of land and ocean. Agulhas is the southernmost tip of Africa (not Cape Point as is often assumed) and here, where the Indian and Atlantic oceans collide, the sea smashes over rocky and rugged headlands, and washes up on wide, arcing white-sand beaches.
For those visiting between July and December (although August to October is prime time) there's the chance to see migrating southern right whales which, very sportingly, come right into food-rich shallows to calve, making them easily spottable from land. In fact the whole area is wealthy in wildlife, its fynbos-coated slopes home to many birds... so come armed with walking boots and binoculars.
Inland it's traditional Afrikaans farming country, the rolling fields of crops and pastures running between the sea and the Langeberg Mountains. Swellendam is at the centre of all this, a pretty little town founded by the Dutch East India company in 1747 as the administrative base for the Breede River Valley. Definitely make a stop here on your way to the Garden Route and don't - my mum and dad advise me - miss the Old Gaol Caf� and its milk tart.
If you're doing a day trip from Cape Town to the Hermanus area and whale-watching hotspots, take the N2 for a quick journey out there (Sir Lowry's Pass has great views too), but return on the R44 Clarence Drive coast road via Kleinmond and Betty's Bay. This takes longer but is a beautiful drive and, doing it on the return journey, you'll be driving on the sea side of the road, so the views are better.