Cape West Coast, Western Cape

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Western Cape Attractions

Cape West Coast, Western Cape

Rugged unspoilt coastline of the Cape West Coast
Rugged unspoilt coastline of the Cape West Coast

Once you've booked your hotel or Cape West Coast accommodation explore our destination pages below for info on attractions and what to do in the Cape West Coast Region.

What is still an almost undiscovered treasure trove of unspoilt beaches, incredible mountain ranges, rich geographical diversity, and the most astounding carpet of wild flowers in spring, has evolved into a major holiday route out of Cape Town along Route 27.

The Cape West Coast stretches from Cape Town as far as the border with the Northern Cape at Touws River, including within its parameters the indescribably beautiful Cederberg Mountains, famous for centuries-old rock art. All along this stretch of coastline is a series of quaint historic towns and fishing villages with names like Lambert’s Bay, Paternoster, Saldanha and Langebaan that today roll with ease off the tongue, but until fairly recently were left to languor in relative obscurity.

Paternoster in the Cape West Coast
Paternoster in the Cape West Coast
Salt of the earth residents make the area from Ganzekraal to Strandfontein their home, where snoek, mussels and crayfish are a way of life and ‘bokkoms’ (salted mullet strung up in bunches and left to dry) is the local delicacy. Route 27 on the Cape West Coast is a seafood mecca and a number of open-air beach restaurants offer unsurpassed seafood fresh from the sea, cooked on open fires whilst you watch the sun sink slowly over the sea.

Just outside of Cape Town, the little town of Darling deserves a stop, especially in September for its Wild Flower and Orchid show and for its locally produced wines. A little further up the coast, the West Coast National Park is the closest spot outside of Cape Town where one can sample the spring flower season. The Fossil Park, which lies just next door to the park, has uncovered 200 different kinds of animals, many of them new to science.

West Coast National Park in Cape West Coast
West Coast National Park in Cape West Coast
Parallel to the R27, the N7 passes through the Swartland to the equally beautiful towns of Citrusdal and Clanwilliam. Take a detour to Ceres and travel from here to Citrusdal along the Gydo Pass. Just after you pass over the Koue Bokkeveld Mountains you reach the Koue Bokkeveld, a valley famous for its red apples, pears, peaches, plums, apricots and unpretentious hospitality.

The Cederberg Wilderness, 71 000 hectares of mountainous terrain that runs almost north to south from Clanwilliam to Citrusdal, is renowned for its stark, rugged beauty, whilst gentle walks in the Cederberg when spring transforms the landscape into a carpet of yellow, orange and purple, will not fail to bring you closer to the natural rhythms of a world where fynbos, succulents and wide open skies couldn’t be more remote from city living.

Cape West Coast

Destinations / Town & Suburbs of the Cape West Coast


Where to Stay: Cape West Coast Accommodation

Aurora is one of those little unheard of villages on the Cape West Coast just inland from Dwarskersbos, close to other towns of the region - Redelingshuys, Picketberg, Eendekuil and Goedverwacht. Aurora is a small, unassuming town... aurora information

Britannia Bay

Where to Stay: Accommodation in Britannia Bay

Britannia Bay is 160 km from Cape Town, an easy 90 minute drive up the Cape West Coast. Britannia Bay offers acres of unspoilt, safe beaches. The bay is very protected and the water is slightly warmer than most places on ... britannia bay information


Where to Stay: Accommodation in Langebaan

Churchhaven is a beautiful little fishing village. Small but with enviable examples of restored white-washed fishermen's houses, with more recent and modern renditions having adopted a similar style. The little fishing village ... churchhaven information


Where to Stay: Accommodation in Darling

The charming little village of Darling lies between vineyards and golden wheat fields only 75km from Cape Town along the West Coast road and 25km from the beach at Yzerfontein. Traditionally known for its spectacular wildflowers ... darling information


Where to Stay: Accommodation in Doringbaai

Doringbaai is essentially a little fishing village that used to be known as Thornbay. It's well known as a bay where the Southern Right whales enter every year to calve between May to November. It's a charming little village ... dooringbaai information


Where to Stay: West Coast

Dwarskersbos is perched on the magnificent West Coast of the Western Cape, where the icy turquoise waters of the Atlantic Ocean lap mile after untouched mile of shells and sand. This entire region is known for the fishing villages... dwarskersbos information

Elands Bay

Where to Stay: Accommodation in Elands Bay

Eland’s Bay is one of those gems that have managed to elude the rush of development and city dwellers to stake their claim on a piece of the coast - this is sand and sea with little else to lure the average holiday maker ... elands bay information


Where to Stay: Cape West Coast

Ebenhaezer is a tranquil little agricultural village that is occupied mainly by the local farmers. These ones farm paprika, coriander, lucerne, beans, cattle and sheep here. The fields make for breath-taking scenery and the... ebenhaezer information

Grotto Bay

Where to Stay: Accommodation in Darling

Grotto Bay is an easily accessible coastal bay virtually right next door to the Grotto Bay Private Nature Reserve, on the R27 south west of Darling and not even an hour out of Cape Town. The beach is wild, craggy and windswept, and ... grotto bay information


Where to Stay: Accommodation in Hopefield

Hopefield's claim to fame is that it is the oldest town on the West Coast. Not only does it lie in the heart of the Sandveld but it serves as the wheat and sheep farming centre of the region. It is also well known for its honey, not... hopefield information


Where to Stay: Accommodation in Jacobsbaai

Jacobsbaai, situated midway between Vredenburg and Saldanha Bay, is an isolated, traditional Cape West Coast Village. Strict building restrictions in the town have preserved the breathtaking 2 kilometers of coastline, boasting 7 ... jacobsbaai information


Where to Stay: Cape West Coast Accommodation

Lying just outside the Postberg Flower Reserve, which is part of the West Coast National Park, Kraalbaai is a beautiful, lagoon-side space in which to escape, made all the more memorable by the obvious house-boats moored in the ... kraalbaai information


Where to Stay: Cape West Coast Accommodation

Almost indistinguishable from Velddrif, Laaiplek lies on the west side of of the town closest to the sea, its name derived from its function - a place where one can offload the catch of the day on the pier. The heart of Laaiplek lies on ... laaiplek information

Lamberts Bay

Where to Stay: Accommodation in Lamberts Bay

The unpretentious, picturesque seaside village of Lambert’s Bay lies right up the West Coast, not far from Clanwilliam and only 2.5 hours’ drive from Cape Town. This part of the coast is quite simply beautiful, with wide expanses ... lamberts bay information


Where to Stay: Accommodation in Langebaan

A popular town just over 100 km from Cape Town on the Cape West Coast next to Langebaan Lagoon. Langebaan is popular among sunseekers, water sports enthusiasts, anglers and hikers. Added attractions are the thousands of ... langebaan information


Where to Stay: Vredendal

Lutzville is a small village along this coastline, close to the fresh waters of the Atlantic Ocean. This settlement is on the banks of the magnificent Olifants River, which makes for some beautiful views and excellent photographic backdrops... lutzville information


Where to Stay: Cape West Coast Accommodation

Mamre lies between Darling and Atlantis on the R307, about an hour outside of Cape Town via the R27 or N7, is debatable. It is, however, the site of a Moravian mission station, established by two Moravian missionaries known as ... mamre information


Where to Stay: Nuwerus Accommodation

The hamlet of Nuwerus lies at the intersection of the N7 and Route 363 between Garies and Vanrhynsdorp, just south of the equally small Bitterfontein. It's described by those who live there as a little, country town within an area... nuwerus information


Where to Stay: Cape West Coast

Papendorp is situated at the Olifants River mouth, a short distance away from Ebenhaezer. When the tide comes in and the waters rise, visitors can take a flat-bottomed boat up the river to Lutzville and its thriving... papendorp information


Where to Stay: Accommodation in Paternoster

Paternoster is a small, picturesque fishing village about 145km (90 minutes drive) from Cape Town. A favourite weekend getaway destination for locals, Paternoster is one of the oldest towns along the West Coast and is famous for ... paternoster information


Where to Stay: Cape West Coast Accommodation

Philadelphia began, as many little towns in South Africa do, as a farm. Local farmers travelled all the way, by horse and cart, to Durbanville for Nagmaal (the Eucharist) and, as a result, a local farmer donated a portion ... philadelphia information

Port Owen

Where to Stay: Accommodation in Port Owen

Port Owen is as its name suggests - a port, with a marina and the accompanying lifestyle. A series of admittedly pretty cabanas and apartments would have a little to recommend them but a resort type feel, if it weren't for the ... port owen information


Where to Stay: Cape West Coast Accommodation

Lying but two hours' drive from Cape Town, Redelinghuys is known as the potato capital of the Sandveld. It lies on the R366 between Picketberg and Velorenvlei, north of Aurora and en route to Elands Bay, if you like detours... redelinghuys information


Where to Stay: Accommodation in Saldanha

Saldanha is a seaside village that lies in the northern most corner of Saldanha bay - the largest and deepest natural bay in the country. About 110 km up the West Coast from Cape Town, the picturesque harbour town of Saldanha is ... saldanha information

Shelley Point

Where to Stay: Accommodation in Shelley Point

Shelley Point is a beautiful part of the world, this previously undiscovered coastline, that boasts an abundance of crayfish, abalone, mussels, dolphins, cormorants, the rare oystercatcher and little to break the miles of white ... shelley point information

St Helena Bay

Where to Stay: Accommodation in St Helena Bay

St Helena Bay is one of the most popular bays for whales to visit and calve. From August to November, the Southern Right Whales come in to the bay to calve, and can be viewed from the shore all around the bay ... st helena bay information


Where to Stay: Cape West Coast Accommodation

Stompneusbaai is a quaint little fishing village that lies just between St Helena Bay and Shelley Point. It's the first place that you pass en route to Velddrif from Shelley Point. There isn't much to it at first glance. It's... stompneusbaai information


Where to Stay: Accommodation in Strandfontein

Strandfontein is a small sea side village situated at the mouth of the Olifants River. Strandfontein has become a popular holiday destination because of the excellent opportunities for the observation of whales which come ... strandfontein information


Where to Stay: Accommodation in Velddrif

Velddrif is one of the small fishing villages that dot this part of the 'forgotten' West Coast; villages where a visitor is greeted with silence, the space to explore, and where time slows inexplicably. This part of ... velddrif information


Where to Stay: Accommodation in Vredenburg

Just 130 kilometres north of Cape Town lies Vredenburg, regarded as something of a business hub for the West Coast, and a springboard to the coastal towns of St Helena Bay, Langebaan, Paternoster and Saldanha Bay ... vredenburg information


Where to Stay: Accommodation in Vredendal

A prosperous, modern town set in the middle of a semi-arid region. Agriculture - especially viticulture - is practiced on an extensive scale in the region, made possible by means of the Olifants River Irrigation Scheme ... vredendal information


Where to Stay: Accommodation in Yzerfontein

Yzerfontein is a tranquil sea-side village, 80km north of Cape Town on the R27 and marks the start of the beautiful Cape West Coast. Yzerfontein offers unspoilt coastline with both rocky and sandy beaches including ... yzerfontein information

Cape West Coast

Featured and "Must See" Attractions in Cape West Coast

Whale Watching in Cape West Coast

The West Coast is not only esteemed for its seafood. You are also more likely to spot whales north of Cape Town, than in and around the city. The West Coast gets its fair share of the southern right whale, particularly at Melkbosstrand, Bok Point, Yzerfontein, the Rocherpan Nature Reserve near ... more information

West Coast National Park

Just inland from the secluded harbour of Saldanha Bay one finds the azure waters of the Langebaan Lagoon, focal point of the West Coast National Park. Thousands of seabirds roost on sheltered islands, pristine golden beaches stretch endlessly into the early morning mist and brooding salt ... more information

Bird Island Nature Reserve

The world’s most accessible Cape gannet colony can be found on an island, linked to Lambert’s Bay by a breakwater wall. Bird Island also gives shelter to thousands of cormorants and penguins, whilst Cape fur seals can still be found on the rocks on the sea side of the island. The three hectare Bird Island ... more information

Cape Columbine Nature Reserve

Although often referred to as lying in Paternoster, the Cape Columbine Nature Reserve, more often referred to by locals as Tietiesbaai, lies just south west of the popular weekend town, its manual lighthouse - the last of its kind - a draw card to many who then discover that the wildness and beauty ... more information

Cape West Coast Biosphere Reserve

Stretching all the way from Diep River in Milnerton, to the Berg River close to Velddrif on the West Coast, the Cape West Coast Biosphere Reserve (CWCBR) was designated as such by UNESCO in 2000. The beautiful area of the Cape Floristic Region is deemed worthy of protecting internationally, particularly as ... more information

Berg River Region

North of the Berg River lie the little towns of Piketberg, Porterville, Wittewater, Goedverwacht, Veddrif, Aurora, Eendekuil and Redelinghuys. Known collectively as the Berg River region, the towns fall into an area that moves from the icy waters of the Atlantic in the west across ... more information

Dassen Island Penguin Colony

Shaped like a flattened whale, its fins viewable on either side, when seen from the air, Dassen Island lies off the Cape West Coast region near Yzerfontein. Just a century ago Dassen Island was home to over a million African penguins and the largest African penguin colony in ... more information

Darling Wine Route

Although traditionally part of the Swartland, Darling is now a demarcated wine district and home to her own wine route, including five wine cellars all of which benefit from the cool breezes off the Atlantic Ocean and the long, hot summers to produce some stunning wines with concentrated flavour, depth and intensity ... more information

Darling Wine Estates

The Darling Wine Route continues to delight more and more tourists every year. The wines produced here are of a fabulous quality, thanks to the beautiful weather and soils. Local labels include Tukulu, Darling Cellars and Groote Post. Many of the wine farms offer tastings and tours as ... more information

Darling Wind Farm

On the hills just outside Darling, roughly 70 kilometres from Cape Town, stand four wind-generated mills. It's known as an Eskom demonstrator site, which means it's something of a learning platform for the development of the wind energy industry in South Africa. The Darling Wind Farm is one of ... more information

Elandsfontein Private Reserve

One is not even aware that there is a private game reserve on the far side of the West Coast National Park (to the right, roughly speaking, of the R27, 30 kilometres past the Yzerfontein turnoff, as opposed to the park on the right) from Cape Town. But this is indeed the case. Elandsfontein is a private nature ... more information

Grotto Bay Coastal Nature Reserve

Head up the West Coast from Cape Town for roughly 60 kilometres and you will find Grotto Bay Coastal Nature Reserve. It's a 500 hectare private nature reserve filled with walking trails, birds, the possibility of sighting whales, unpolluted skies and, during spring, a bevy of wild flowers. Grotto Bay ... more information

Knersvlakte Nature Reserve

Knersvlakte Nature Reserve (proclaimed in September 2014) is situated on the West Coast between Klawer in the Western Cape and Kliprand in the Northern Cape. It is idyllically nestled just north of the Olifants River. The reserve covers some 85 500 hectares, and is home to dwarf succulents... more information

Postberg Flower Reserve

The Postberg Flower Reserve is not always available for you to visit. Even though it forms part of the West Coast National Park, this part of it is disturbed as little as possible so that, when spring comes, great swathes of flowers can erupt in virtually every nook and cranny of the reserve and reward everyone for their patience ... more information

West Coast Fossil Park

For the visitor, the highlight of the West Coast Fossil Park is the ‘live’ exhibit of an ongoing excavation of early Pliocene fossils (fossils from 5 million years ago). There are daily guided tours that give a background to the fossils and the climatic changes that happened in the region. But the park is not just about fossils ... more information


Verlorenvlei is a long estuary stretching between the villages of Elands Bay and Redelinghuys, some 25 kilometres south of Lambert’s Bay. It is not only one of the largest lakes but one of the few coastal freshwater lakes that is at once one of the most important estuarine systems in the Western Cape ... more information

Langebaan Golf Course

The Golf Course at Langebaan Country Club is a links-type course, designed as a figure 8 winding around residential stands. Located on the unspoilt Cape west coast about 70 minutes drive from Cape Town, the elegant clubhouse offers panoramic views of the 15km (9.3 miles) long Langebaan lagoon, which is ... more information

Renosterveld Reserve

Situated in the village of Darling, the Renosterveld Reserve, which you will find at the top of the village on a hill just behind the Darling Primary School, is run by the local municipality and forms part of the Darling commanage. Donated by the local Versveld family in 1958, it is one of several pieces of land in and ... more information

Rocherpan Nature Reserve

Rocherpan enthusiasts who head off along the West Coast to visit this nature reserve near Velddrif will possibly mention to you that the bird life is incredible, but what they will not reveal is that it is also a wonderful setting in which to spot whales. The Rocherpan Nature Reserve is set a mere 25 kilometres ... more information

Tienie Versveld Reserve

The Tienie Versveld Reserve lies just outside Darling en route to Yzerfontein, part of a farm that was donated to the National Botanical Society of South Africa by none other than a Marthinus Versveld (known locally, obviously, as Oom Tienie). It is an incredibly pretty reserve of 20 hectares that because it ... more information

Verlorenvlei Heritage Settlement

What was once a thriving little hamlet on the shores of Verlorenvlei (40 buildings or ruins were still in evidence in 1992) is only a few surviving langhuis (long house) structures today. These houses are of cultural significance and protected by law. The four surviving building structures include the langhuis... more information

Cape West Coast Biosphere Trails

Cape West Coast Biosphere Trails – slackpacker trails on the West Coast! The Cape West Coast Biosphere Reserve (CWCBR) is a recognised UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, one of only 6 in South Africa and just over 600 world-wide. It extends from Diep River in Milnerton in the south, to ... more information

Berg River Canooze

The Berg River Canooze, one of five trails that take place within the Cape West Coast Biosphere, is a relatively easy downstream kayak from Hopefield to Velddrif, with farm stays en route. The emphasis of this trail is on relaxation. There are no rapids and all of it is downstream ... more information

Darling Stagger

One of five slackpacking trails in the Cape West Coast Biosphere, the Darling Stagger emphasises food and wine, together with a walk and a cycle that allow one to experience the surrounds of the gorgeous town of Darling. The trail follows a route once walked by both the short-necked giraffe ... more information

Eve's Trail

The theme of this trail, as the name suggests, is walking in the footsteps of Eve, who is regarded as the mother of all human life. The spectacular scenery and lack of human activity gives one an idea of what it must have been like to be governed only by the sun, the stars and the tides. The idea is that ... more information

Five Bay Trail

The trail starts with a late afternoon stroll along the beaches of Paternoster as far as 'Tweede Mosselbank' (named such by local fishermen) and on to dinner at a local restaurant. Day two takes one through the fishing village of Paternoster along the beach to Cape Columbine Nature Reserve and ... more information

Wheels of Time Trail

Aimed more at recreational cyclists than Absa Cape Epic trainees, the mountain bike ride traces the secondary roads of the West Coast, with varying destinations and overnight stops. You can be assured of incredible scenery and fun, but at times challenging, cycling. The trail can be divided up ... more information

West Coast 3 Day Itinerary

Our suggestions for a self-drive, three day trip up the Cape West Coast with ideas on what to do and where to stay! Note that this is a Three-day itinerary for the West Coast – OUT of flower season! Leave Cape Town via the R27 – there is a lot to do en route and day one is jam-packed. Look out for the Darling Wind ... more information

West Coast 5 Day Itinerary

Anyone with any knowledge of the flowers will tell you that to see them at their best, you need to drive with the sun at your back. What this means is that you should drive all the way up to at least Vanrhynsdorp or Nieuwoudtville to start your route. The flowers are best viewed between 11h00 and 15h00 ... more information

The Penguin Route

The diminutive African Penguin with its peculiar gait, black feet, and obvious cute factor is found mainly on islands off our shoreline. It has also taken up residence amongst us in mainland colonies, like Boulders beach and Stony Point, both of which have become major tourist ... more information

Cape West Coast

Featured Things To Do in the Cape West Coast

Windsurfing on the Langebaan Lagoon

Where: Langebaan
How much (per person): Free

The Langebaan Lagoon on the Cape West Coast is a favourite with locals, offering some of the best windsurfing in South Africa. Langebaan off ... more information

Feast on Seafood at The Noisy Oyster

Where: Paternoster
How much (per person): On Request

The Noisy Oyster Restaurant in Paternoster serves modern South African cuisine. The chef changes the menu daily and might serve black mussel ... more information

Cape West Coast

Holiday Accommodation in Cape West Coast

For accommodation in the Cape West Coast see:
Britannia BayDarlingElands BayDoringbaaiJacobsbaaiLamberts Bay
LangebaanPaternosterPort OwenSaldanhaShelley PointSt Helena Bay

Or to see all accommodation in this region at once, visit Cape West Coast accommodation.

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On you'll find plenty of South Africa accommodation options. We've also listed nearby activities for any town or city in which you plan to stay. And the big bonus is that you deal directly with the venues - no fees involved. With eight world heritage sites, a multitude of game reserves and national parks, over 1350 ha of national botanical gardens, and exotic combinations of landscapes, people, history and culture, South Africa offers the traveller a unique and inspiring experience. Enjoy your stay in the Cape West Coast!
Information about the Cape West Coast in Western Cape, South Africa
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