Western Cape Tourist AttractionsThe Cape Helderberg
The Cape Helderberg, or Helderberg basin, is one of the most visually dramatic areas in the Cape, with the Hottentots Holland and Helderberg Mountain ranges creating a powerful backdrop against which the valley descends into vineyards and finally on to a coastline swept with warm waters and effortlessly white, sandy beaches.
This is the land of the Helderberg and Stellenbosch wine routes and home to the towns of Gordon’s Bay, Sir Lowry’s Pass, Somerset West, Strand, Lwandle and Macassar. 45 minutes’ drive from Cape Town, the land that originally belonged to the Strandlopers has become a playground for visitors and locals ...
Gordon’s Bay is an invitation for windsurfing, surfing and braaing – it has one of the few braai areas on the Helderberg coast - and the walk along the harbour wall to take in the yachts and boats as they leave and enter the protected marina, is a must.
If it’s swimming, sunbathing and a stroll on the beach you’re after, then Melkbaai, Strand’s Bikini beach and Main beach are good options; and avid surfers head out to Kogelbay, if Gordon’s Bay is too busy.
The Helderberg Wine Route, a subsidiary of the Stellenbosch Wine Route, has a distinct personality and wines produced here are heavily influenced by cool sea breezes and ideal soil conditions.
Vineyards line the slopes of the Helderberg, sharing both a mountain and maritime climate that has resulted in world class examples of wine on a route that ranges from a 300-year old historical manor to art boutique wineries. Overlooking False Bay, the Helderberg Nature Reserve offers picnic spots, hiking trails and a number of Bontebok, squirrels and the occasional tortoise.
Popular Towns in the Cape Helderberg Region
Overnight? Accommodation in Gordons Bay
Gordons Bay is all about its waterfront, where the bay lies against the sheer mountains of the Helderberg, providing shelter to a picturesque cove that offers a veritable feast of water-based activities and a promenade lined with fish...
More info and photographs: Gordons Bay Information
Sir Lowrys Pass
Stay? Accommodation in Sir Lowrys Pass
The beauty of this pass, often shrouded in mist and rain, more than makes up for the unsynchronised traffic lights that grace the N2’s tardy passage through Somerset West and around Gordons Bay, invariably resulting in bumper-to...
More info and photographs: Sir Lowrys Pass Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Somerset West
Somerset West is situated in the Hottentots Holland area, about a 30 minute drive from Cape Town along the N2 (national road). Close to Stellenbosch, this residential centre has a delightful setting and many of Somerset Wests residents...
More info and photographs: Somerset West Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Strand
Lying at the foot of the Hottentots Holland Mountains, between Macassar and Gordons Bay and just 40 minutes’ drive from Cape Town, Strand is a town in its own right and a bustling one at that. New Dubai-style apartment blocks have...
More info and photographs: Strand Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Lwandle
The informal settlement of Lwandle lies close to both Somerset West and Gordons Bay and people who live here are employed in the Helderberg Basin, largely within the building industry, although as many as 60% are still unemployed...
More info and photographs: Lwandle Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Macassar
Lying on the wind-blown rugged coastal road that takes one from Cape Town to Somerset West the long way - along the coast - is the beach of Macassar, more or less across the road from the Helderberg suburb of Macassar on the Cape Flats...
More info and photographs: Macassar Information