Coastal summer getaways in the Western Cape

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Coastal summer getaways in the Western Cape
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Coastal summer getaways in the Western Cape
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Pringle Bay

What to expect: The charming coastal village is just 85km outside of Cape Town, located on the famous Whale Route. The pristine white beach is definitely a calling card, but there is also a small, warm-water lagoon where the Buffels River enters the sea. The village itself is surrounded by mountains, overlooks the ocean and is part of the World Biosphere Reserve, meaning you will find few other areas as naturally beautiful and free of expansive development. The village has eight restaurants to choose from and plenty of activities on offer, including water sports, hiking trails, a vibrant penguin colony and more.


What to expect: Just 90-minutes outside of Cape Town, on the Cape West Coast, you will find the seaside village of Paternoster – the perfect coastal getaway. Quaint and unspoilt, Paternoster has a few restaurants, a lodge, a hotel and loads of accommodation establishments offering typical Western Cape hospitality and spectacular views. On the water you can kayak, kite surf, watch whales and dolphins, while on land you can enjoy romantic sunsets on the beach. There is also plenty to do on dry land with a vibrant local art scene, hiking and bird-watching in the village.


What to expect: Situated at the mouth of the Breede River along the shores of the mighty Indian Ocean, Witsand offers the best of both worlds.Long stretches of pristine beach are complimented by wonderful displays of fynbos, with the coastal village falls within the Cape Floral Kingdom World Heritage Site. Witsand is also a hub of outdoor activities including, of course, swimming, surfing, wind and kite surfing, deep sea charters, spear fishing, sailing, snorkeling, river cruises, fly fishing and rock angling. Phew!

Victoria Bay

What to expect: One of the smallest bays on the Garden Route, Victoria Bay is a special place. Hidden between George and Wilderness, this small resort is made up of a number of cottages, with a gentle sloping beach that is safe for swimming, as well as offering surfers some big waves further out. Perfect for families, there is a tidal pool, and natural paddling pools amongst the rocks, where the kids can spend hours at play. There are also a number of gentle hikes in the area for everyone to enjoy.


What to expect: You won’t find crazy nightlife and adrenalin-packed attractions here, only an azure sea, cobalt sky and peace and quiet. Activities in Arniston include angling, swimming, hiking, whale watching and seeing the loaded fishing boats returning to Arniston Bay. Be sure to also take some to explore Kassiesbaai, a 200-year-old fishing village, which is a national heritage site. Characterised by unassuming white thatch cottages, this is where you can experience the customs of the locals, as many who live here still make a living from the sea. There are some lovely little coffee and craft shops to visit in the village, the sea is safe for swimming (and relatively warm), and the sand dunes around the town are great to explore.

St Helena Bay

What to expect: Multi-shaped white boulders rising from aquamarine seas and fringes of sandy beaches greet you when arriving at St. Helena Bay. Home to whales and dolphins all year round, St Helena Bay boasts 31km of beautiful coastline, with no less than 18 bays, while the beaches offer safe swimming and sunbathing. St. Helena Bay is one of only three natural bays on the mainland coastlines of the world, where one can see views of both sunrise and sunset over the sea.


What to expect: You won’t find many towns as unassuming as Gansbaai. Just over two hours from Cape Town, and just 30 minutes from Hermanus, this Overberg town has a lot more on offer than the Great White sharks for which is has become famous. While shark tours are still very much a part of Gansbaai, there is much more on offer, with the warmth and hospitality of the locals second-to-none. Fat biking, drip caves, boat tours and slackpacking are all on offer here as well as some of the best seafood restaurants on the coast.