The Cape West Coast Region, Western Cape

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.

Did you know? Once you've booked your hotel or Cape West Coast accommodation, explore the destination pages below for info on attractions, activities and things to do when you visit the popular West Coast.

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.

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.

Did you know? The R27 from Melkbosstrand via Darling, Yzerfontein, Langebaan, Paternoster, and on to Elands Bay has become the weekend delight of Capetonians and visitors alike. There are enough back roads off the R27 to make life really exciting. The added bonus of the nature reserves in Darling, and the presence of the West Coast National Park make this drive during the flower season a must-do on anyone’s itinerary.

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.

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.

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Destinations in the Cape West Coast Region

Aurora

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

Britannia Bay

Overnight? Britannia Bay accommodation
Britannia Bay is 160 km from Cape Town, an easy 90 minute drive up the Cape West Coast region. Britannia Bay is located 35 km from Vredenburg (the main commercial centre of the region) and 45 km from Saldanha Bay. Britannia Bay offers acres of unspoil...

Churchhaven

Ask the average person and they will not have heard of Churchhaven, or Church Haven as it is often written. Some will tell you that it is somewhere on the West Coast, and they would be right. But few know that it is hidden away in the West Coast National ...

Darling

Overnight? Darling accommodation
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 has much more...

Doringbaai

Overnight? Doringbaai accommodation
Further up the West Coast even than Lamberts Bay and Elands Bay, Doringbaai lies just south of Strandfontein and Papendorp, deep in the heart of 'gone fishing' land where time slows virtually to a crawl, and the sea and the sky become your daily barometer...

Dwarskersbos

Overnight? Dwarskersbos accommodation
Dwarskersbos is perched on the magnificent West Coast of the Western Cape Province of South Africa, 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...

Ebenhaezer

Ebenhaezer is rural village on the Cape West Coast of South Africa, where the fishing villages complement the farming communities within naturally spectacular surrounds. This little community gets to enjoy the annual bloom of the Namaqualand wild flowers,...

Elands Bay

Overnight? Elands Bay accommodation
The quaint fishing village of Eland’s Bay (Elandsbaai) might be only two hours from the city of Cape Town, but it is about as far off the beaten track as you can get, with so little travelling time. Eland’s Bay is one of those gems that have managed to...

Goedverwacht

The mission village of Goedverwacht lies off the R399 close to Piketberg. Its main road is lined with colourful fruit trees and gardens; a pretty little town with a history to match. Goedverwacht was originally a farm called Burgershoek, owned by Hendr...

Grotto Bay

Overnight? Grotto Bay accommodation
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 the beauty immediat...

Hopefield

Overnight? Hopefield accommodation
Despite the fact that Hopefield, when compared with nearby popular West Coast towns like Paternoster, Saldanha, Velddrif and St Helena Bay, tends to be something of a wallflower, it is fast earning its place on the calendars of those who know where to hol...

Jacobsbaai

Overnight? Jacobsbaai accommodation
Jacobsbaai, situated midway between Vredenburg and Saldanha Bay, is an isolated, traditional Cape West Coast Village about and hour and a half drive from Cape Town along the scenic R27. Strict building restrictions in the town have preserved the breathtak...

Kersbosstrand

For the ultimate in tranquillity, a true retreat from the hubbub of the big city, Kersbosstrand near Dwarskersbos is just about perfect. This little village invites travellers to sample the magic of the West Coast, where white-washed stone houses are perc...

Kraalbaai

Overnight? Kraalbaai 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 shallows on which people st...

Laaiplek

Overnight? Laaiplek 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 the Berg River...

Lamberts Bay

Overnight? Lamberts Bay accommodation
Staying in Lamberts Bay means getting to experience the magic of the Cape West Coast up close and personally. 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...

Langebaan

Overnight? Langebaan accommodation
The variety of accommodation available combines with the natural beauty of the West Coast, the charm of its fishing villages, and close proximity to Cape Town make for an idyllic getaway. This town is just off the R27, next to the picturesque Langebaan La...

Lutzville

Overnight? Lutzville accommodation
The Western Cape coastline is extensive with an incredible beauty that is quite unique, leaving a fond spot in the hearts of those who have visited this part of South Africa. It is known for its fishing villages and friendly, hospitable folk. Lutzvill...

Mamre

Overnight? Mamre accommodation
The 'great tree of Mamre' is where Abraham is said to have pitched his tent. Whilst he never owned the land on which his tent rested, he did later buy a piece of land very close to it where he buried his wife, Sarah. And indeed, it is Abraham's final ...

Nuwerus

Overnight? 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 known as the Hardevel...

Papendorp

Near to the banks of the exquisite Olifants River, in the heart of the Cape West Coast of South Africa, is the small fishing village of Papendorp. This settlement is situated along the Atlantic Coast, the chilly water of which is brimming with fresh seafo...

Paternoster

Overnight? Paternoster accommodation
Paternoster, meaning "Our Father" derives its name from the prayers of ship-wrecked Portuguese sailors. Paternoster is a small, quaint and picturesque fishing village about 145km (90 minutes drive) from accommodation Cape Town and 15km north west of Vrede...

Philadelphia

Overnight? Philadelphia accommodation
Not the Philadelphia one attributes to the eastern parts of North America, just south of New Jersey, this Philadelphia lies but 20 minutes outside of Cape Town, past Durbanville. Rural Philadelphia is just off the N7 towards Malmesbury. Conversely you...

Port Owen

Overnight? Port Owen accommodation
The beautiful West Coast region is a necklace of loosely strung villages that hug the rough coastline north west of Cape Town. Port Owen lies just a little closer to the coast than Velddrif, where the R27 appears to peter out and the R399 continues at an ...

Redelinghuys

Overnight? Redelinghuys 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. The village itself is quain...

Saldanha

Overnight? Saldanha accommodation
Saldanha is a seaside village that lies in the northern most corner of Saldanha bay - the largest and deepest natural bay in the country. The Saldanha accommodation available to travellers from all over the world includes guest houses, lodges, bed and bre...

Shelley Point

Overnight? Shelley Point accommodation
On the West Coast of the Western Cape lies Shelley Point, about 150 kilometres north of Cape Town, perfectly positioned between Saldanha and Port Owen. It is a beautiful part of the world, this previously undiscovered coastline, that boasts an abundan...

St Helena Bay

Overnight? St Helena Bay accommodation
St Helena Bay was "discovered" by the Portuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama on 7 Nov. 1497, during his pioneer voyage from Europe to India. He named the bay after Saint Helena, a devout, influential Christian and mother of Roman Emperor Constantine the Great....

Stompneusbaai

Overnight? Stompneusbaai accommodation
It seems ridiculous distinguishing Stompneusbaai from St Helena Bay as the two are virtually synonymous, but there is a distinction, particularly if you stay here often. St Helena Bay lies on a stretch of coastline on which there are no fewer than 18 ...

Strandfontein

Overnight? Strandfontein accommodation
Strandfontein is a small sea side village situated at the mouth of the Olifants River. Strandfontein ('beach fountain') has evolved from being an small rural beach resort to a bustling tourist hub, especially during the wild flower season (late July to Se...

Vanrhynsdorp

Overnight? Vanrhynsdorp accommodation
Vanrhynsdorp is situated in the folds of the towering Matzikamma and Gifberg Mountains on the N7, 300 km north of Cape Town, en route to Namibia. Vanrhynsdorp is in administrative terms part of the Western Cape Province, but geographically, Vanrhynsdo...

Velddrif

Overnight? Velddrif accommodation
Velddrif brings to mind the Berg River, fishermen, bokkoms and beautiful beaches. 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, a...

Vredenburg

Overnight? Vredenburg accommodation
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, to which it is closest. Interesting i...

Vredendal

Overnight? Vredendal accommodation
As its name intended, the little town of Vredendal, which borders on the southern tip of the Namaqualand region, is named after a peace settlement that brought harmony between two sparring parties. Part of the original Vreedensdal farm, which dates ba...

Yzerfontein

Overnight? Yzerfontein accommodation
Yzerfontein is a tranquil sea-side village, 80 kilometres north of Cape Town on the R27 and marks the start of the beautiful Cape West Coast Region. Did you know? Once you've booked your hotel or accommodation in Yzerfontein, explore the destination pa...

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