A 30-min drive out of Cape Town lies a beauty and diversity that cannot be compared to any place in South Africa, quaint towns and seaside villages with a rich cultural history.
By Tamara Toti
Whether you’re looking for a day out, weekend getaway or a longer trip, this stretch of road offers the most amazing self-drive tours that’ll leave you in awe of nature’s splendour and beauty.
This is one of the largest and most beautiful fishing towns on the West Coast. It’s the hub of the fishing industry, a hotspot for water sports fanatics and great during whale watching season. The bay is home to the South African Military Academy which is surrounded by a nature reserve that becomes a floral wonderland in spring.
Paternoster is one of the oldest fishing towns where residents still live the authentic West Coast lifestyle. Fishermen with traditional colourful fishing boats are a common sight on the beachfront. There are many charming restaurants with dishes prepared from the catch of the day to suit any pallet. This town is a firm favourite for snorkelers, kite surfers and flyers, hikers and kayakers; also great for whale and bird watching.
ST HELENA BAY
A beautiful unspoilt coastline with magnificent sea views and sparkling surf St Helena is a great holiday destination all year round. It’s the only town where you can see the sun rise over the sea with the granite hills and boulders making a striking backdrop. Its calm waters attract whales and dolphins. St Helena Bay is home to the Cape St. Martin Private Reserve which becomes a garden of beautiful wildflowers in spring.
Langebaan is the gemstone of the West Coast and a popular holiday destination. Blessed with all-year-round sunshine, this mild climate together with crystal clear waters is a great attractor to water sports enthusiasts. There’s also a modern-day country club that offers holiday facilities and activities. There are two parks in the area to visit, namely the West Coast National Park and West Coast Fossil Park.
Sometimes referred to as the sleepy town, this charming town with Victorian styled houses and lanes of trees takes you back to historical times. This small town is home to writer Pieter Dirk-Uys, Tannie Evita Bezuidenhout and Evita se Perron an eccentric theatre with quirky shows and delicious dishes. In spring Darling becomes a tapestry of colour as every field blooms with wildflower splendour. The Darling Wildflower Show takes place every 3rd week of September, also pay a visit to the Darling Brew Tasteroom and Brewery for a tipple of some of the area’s best craft beverages.
The West Coast can take you on a myriad of twists and turns through the countryside and along some of the Cape’s beautiful (sometimes hidden) beaches. Plan your next family holiday and indulge in what these little towns have to offer… activities for all family members guaranteed, young and old.