Garden Route DestinationsMossel Bay, Garden Route
Mossel Bay is a bustling holiday town and port, set on the sunwashed slopes of Cape St Blaize overlooking the expansive bay, against the blueblack backdrop of the Outeniqua Mountains.
Mossel Bay lies halfway between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, close to the towns of Swellendam, Outdshoorn, Plettenberg Bay and Knysna on the Garden Route and is synonymous with the Mossgas project, where offshore gas fields are mined for gas that is then converted into petroleum.
Despite this obvious industrial leaning, Mossel Bay has a tradition of unhurried hospitality and there is sufficient natural beauty in the town and its surrounds to make a stopover essential. Mossel Bay features in the Guiness Book of Records as having the mildest all-year climate in the world, second only to Hawaii. Add to this the long stretch of beaches, the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, a championship golf course or two and Mossel Bay becomes an ideal retreat for both summer and winter.
Mossel Bay has a significant history and there are a number of historic houses worth a visit, including about 200 stone homes built a century ago by Cornish stonemasons. She received her present name in 1601 when the Dutch navigator, Paulus van Caerden found a collection of mussel shells in a cave at the headland of Cape St Blaize although Mossel Bay was ‘discovered’ as far back as 1488, when Dias first encountered the ancient Khoi-San people upon stepping ashore.
Of real interest is the fact the very first Post Office in South Africa was at Mossel Bay in 1500, when a man named Pedro de Ataide left a letter in a shoe under a milkwood tree. Today the ancient Post Office is a national monument and mail is still sorted here.
Amongst the surfing fraternity, Mossel Bay is up there on the list with Jeffreys Bay and Port Elizabeth and Outer Pool is probably Mossel Bay’s most famous wave. Water sports are enormously popular and whale and seal watching and scuba diving a way of life.
Mossel Bay with its wide beaches for safe swimming and the awesome cliffs of Cape St Blaize’s southern shores, with the ever-watchful Outeniqua Mountains in the background provides a welcome and a worthwhile stopover on the Garden Route.
For more info see some of our articles about Mossel Bay on the SA-Venues.com Blog:
• Make Merry in Mossel Bay
• A Visit to Mossel Bay
• Whale Watching in Mossel Bay
• Hiking Mossel Bay