Western Cape Tourist AttractionsThe False Bay Coast
For those who visit this effortless coast that stretches in a glorious arc all the way from Hangklip, close to Pringle Bay, through to Cape Point on the peninsula, there are unlimited opportunities for safe swimming and dramatic beauty that incorporates white, sandy beaches, beautiful valleys and sweeping vistas.
For many, the False Bay coastline is preferable to the trendier Atlantic Seaboard - the waters of the Indian Ocean are warmer for one, and less inundated by sun worshipping wannabees.
False Bay, named such because early navigators mistook Hangklip for Cape Point, is the largest true bay in South Africa and one of the great bays of the world.
It is no surprise to learn that the distance across False Bay (33 kilometres from Rooiels to Miller’s Point) remains a rather daunting prospect for even the most primed marathon swimmers - it has eluded almost 90% of those who have tried - and has been attempted 20 times with only three successes.
The False Bay coast is a continuous collection of seaside villages and hamlets, their narrow avenues lined with quirky and quaint shops, hotels, restaurants and pubs. Implicit in the diversity is the promise of myriad picnic spots and lookout spots, particularly during the whale season when whales enter the bay to calve.
Some of the most popular of these in and around Cape Town include Muizenberg - popular amongst surfers and swimmers alike – Kalk Bay – a little character fishing village, with a vibrant day and night life – and Simon’s Town – the historical naval village. The wide stretches of beaches central to the bay - Monwabisi, Macassar and Mnandi - are favoured for fishing, whilst the villages of Rooiels, Hanglip and Pringle Bay all offer cosy getaways.
Popular Towns in the False Bay Coast
Overnight? Accommodation in Castle Rock
The average Capetonian doesn’t even know of the existence of Castle Rock, which lies in a marine reserve just south of Millers Point as one leaves Simon’s Town on the Cape Peninsula. The advantage, of course, to venturing out this far...
More info and photographs: Castle Rock Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Clovelly
Clovelly lies between Fish Hoek and Kalk Bay just as you leave the quaint harbour village and come round the corner towards Fish Hoek. The beach, accessed by crossing a railway crossing, is a long stretch of white sand, fairly popular with...
More info and photographs: Clovelly Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Fish Hoek
Drive through the main road of Fish Hoek and shops still delight with original character - interspersed with the odd second-hand furniture shop, and grocers and delis have not yet been nudged from the high street by corporate shopping...
More info and photographs: Fish Hoek Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Glencairn
Lying between Fish Hoek and Simons Town, in the bend of the road where the M4 meets the M6, Glencairn and the beach of the same name are often overlooked for the more exciting destinations of Simon’s Town and Cape Point Nature Reserve...
More info and photographs: Glencairn Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Kalk Bay
The unpretentious bohemian fishing village of Kalk Bay lies between the mountains and the sea, just 25 minutes’ from Cape Town. Home to one of the last remaining working harbours in South Africa, not only can you meet the returning boats...
More info and photographs: Kalk Bay Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Lakeside
Lakeside lies between the suburbs of West Lake and Muizenberg, with the rugged Steenberg, Mountain of stone, towering in the backdrop and the Zandvlei (sandy lake) in the foreground. This is a highly sought after residential area and...
More info and photographs: Lakeside Information
Marina da Gama
Stay? Accommodation in Marina da Gama
Reminiscent of a Greek village, with its white homes and perpetually blue days, Marina da Gama is built on the eastern banks and the waterways of the quiet Zandvlei Lake - an inland salt water lake, connected to the sea. Marina da Gama...
More info and photographs: Marina da Gama Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Muizenberg
This eclectic beach-side suburb is a colourful mix of history, architecture, fantastic beaches and culture. Set in the heart of the southern suburbs of Cape Town, Muizenberg lies up against the mountain of the same name, en route from...
More info and photographs: Muizenberg Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Simons Town
Simon’s Town is one of the most delightful little villages in Cape Town. Situated about 40 km outside of the city, en route to the Cape Point Nature Reserve, this quaint town is the residence of the South African navy and steeped in nautical...
More info and photographs: Simons Town Information
Overnight? Accommodation in St James
The little seaside village of St James lies just past Muizenberg en route to Kalk Bay, set against the mountain with incredible sea views and one of the prettiest little beaches. St James’ beach - of the colourful beach huts - also has...
More info and photographs: St James Information