Cape Peninsula Coastal Paradise

About the Cape Peninsula

The Cape Peninsula of South Africa is frequently named one of the most scenic drives in world! With majestic mountains covered in the magnificent fynbos of the Cape Floral region, the area is strewn with white sandy beaches of turquoise waters, and spectacular sights to behold. Stretching around the world famous landmark of Cape Point, the Cape Peninsula offers some of the most breath-taking and unforgettable coastal scenery in the world.

Abbey Manor Cape Town Boulders Beach b

Boulders Beach

There are so many spectacular attractions along the Cape Point route, several days is ideal to explore the scenic Cape Peninsula. For those on a tight schedule, here are some top fives not to be missed:

Top Five Restaurants in the Cape Peninsula

  1.  The Barnyard at Noordhoek Farm Village – Unbeatable French cuisine, the best in the country 5 years running
  2.  Mariners Wharf in Hout Bay – Delectable seafood with maritime ambience
  3.  The Meeting Place in Simons Town – Tasty treats in a cosy atmosphere overlooking the harbour
  4.  Harbour House in Kalk Bay – Seafood delights and fine dining on the rocks
  5.  The Octopus Garden in St James – Gourmet cuisine in an artistic seaside setting

Top Five Beaches in the Cape Peninsula

  1. Noordhoek Beach – Stunning scenes on a long white beach with icy waters
  2. Scarborough Beach – Cold turquoise waters and breath-taking scenes of misty cliffs
  3. Boulders Beach – A National Park area so an entrance fee applies, but swimming with African penguins is almost guaranteed
  4. Fish Hoek Beach – Warm waters and a newly fitted shark net
  5. Dale Brook in St James – The most stunning tidal pool with warm waters and beautiful views

Top Five Cape Peninsula Attractions:

  1. Chapmans Peak Drive – Unforgettable scenes
  2. Noordhoek Beach – One of the most stunning beaches in South Africa
  3. Misty Cliffs – Magical seaside overhang
  4. Cape Point – Witness the fabled Cape of Good Hope
  5. Boulders Beach – Swim with the African Penguins
Victoria and Alfred hotel boulders beach penguins b

Swim with African Penguins at Boulders Beach

 

The Cape Peninsula Route

Hout Bay

Starting in the busting and colourful seaside village of Hout Bay, begin your Cape Peninsula experience at the foot of the Chapman’s Peak Mountain. Nestled on the slopes of a lush mountainside, Hout Bay is a vibey and sociable town. Soak up the scenes from the long white sandy beach, starting at the foot of Chapmans Peak, and ending at Hout Bay Harbour. In between, lies the quaint and colourful coastal town stretching up along the slopes of the mountainside, and home to a variety of cultures. Directly translated as Wood Bay, Hout Bay was founded as a timber logging town. Enjoy kayaking, sailing, fishing and surfing, or browse the eclectic shops and markets around town. Along the harbour, try the catch of the day at one of the fantastic seafood restaurants, or visit the popular Bay Harbour Market. With spectacular scenes across the Atlantic, Hout Bay is an inspiring introduction to the Cape Point route.

Top Attraction: Visit Hout Bay harbour and enjoy the catch of the day!

Chapmans Peak drive

Leaving Hout Bay, venture along the stunning mountainside cliff face that is Chapman’s Peak Drive, an unforgettable experience and one of the most stunning coastal scenes in the world! The majestic mountain towers behind you, and the sheer drop of the cliff face onto the azure blue Atlantic Ocean offers the most beautiful views. A photographer and film makers dream, the meandering road is a favourite location for Hollywood directors. With picnic and lookout sights littering the drive, stop to enjoy the scenes and soak up the splendor of this awe inspiring mountain pass.

Top Attraction: The spectacular lookout points and picnic spots!

Noordhoek

Coming to the end of Chapmans Peak Drive, you will witness the stunning length of Noordhoek Beach. The long, wide beach is a contrast of brilliant white sand and stunning blue waters, with Chapmans Peak Mountain towering in the South-East. A sleepy village of made up of artists and nature lovers, enjoy scenic beach walks or unforgettable horse rides along the beach. A number of restaurants offer a unique viewpoint across the Atlantic. Monkey Valley Beach Resort is nestled on the lush mountainside slopes, and offers a splendid view of the romantic beach. The Red Herring Pub and Restaurant is a favourite among locals, with a relaxed atmosphere and the best views of Noordhoek beach and the adjacent mountains. The famous Noordhoek Farm Village is home to delightful coffee shops, delis, and boutiques of unique crafts and local produce.

Top Attraction: The pristine shores of Noordhoek Beach!

Kommetjie

Kommetjie is a rustic seaside village, and is known for its surfing capital of longbeach, it also offers world class kite surfing. Neighboring wetland reserves, Kommetijie is also home to a huge variety of bird life, and is a nature lover’s haven. A relaxing seaside retreat, Kommetjie is a laid back town, with Fisherman’s Pub a favourite spot for locals and visitors passing through. With crayfish highly recommended, enjoy a traditional seafood lunch in a friendly atmosphere. The historical Imhoff Farm is an experience in itself and ideal for families with a farmyard, snake park, camel rides, farm fresh produce, delicious treats, and interesting crafts. Take a township tour in Masiphumelele or a walking tour of Ocean View, to meet the fishing community that lives here.

Top Attraction: Imhoff farm for family fun!

Scarborough

Just along the coast from Kommetjje lies Scarborough, a pristine coastal conservation area. Past “witsands” and the impressive area known as Misty Cliffs, the quiet seaside town of Scarborough is an ocean lover’s dream. With cool Atlantic waters, the turquoise ocean is a spectacular feature and the perfect destination for the ultimate in tranquility and rejuvenation. Travel up the mountainside through Redhill, a colourful settlement in the heart of the Cape Peninsula. Bordering the magnificent terrain of Table Mountain National Park, Cape Point is just a stone’s throw away.

Top Attraction: The immaculate beach with stunning views of misty cliffs!

Cape Point

The landmark attraction of the Cape Peninsula is Cape Point, or the legendary Cape of Good Hope. Within a massive and pristine coastal reserve, Cape Point is Africa’s most south westerly point. A highlight for visitors to the point is the historic lighthouse that towers 238 metres above sea level. A spectacular vantage point, gaze out across the ocean and splendor of the surrounding national park. The fascinating reserve is rich with history, and is the final resting place of several ships that tried to round the Cape of Good Hope. Cape Point is an unforgettable experience of fresh sea air, towering cliff faces, and desolate beaches. Teaming with life, the reserve is home to the hugely diverse Cape Floral Kingdom, with various small mammals and an impressive bird population too. Experience scenic walks, hiking and biking, swimming in the crystal waters, diving, surfing, fishing and whale watching too! A full day’s adventure, Cape Point is a South Africa experience not to be missed. Leaving the splendor of the Cape of Good Hope reserve, you will encounter the pretty waters of tiny Smitswinkel Bay, home to at least 6 shipwrecks, and en route to the historical naval base of Simonstown.

Top Attraction: The panoramic birds-eye view from the lighthouse!

Simonstown

Simonstown is a historical naval village, and home to an African penguin colony at Boulders beach. With a rich maritime history and working naval base, Simons Town is an interesting and unforgettable experience. There are a host of activities to enjoy in this tiny seaside village, starting with the famed penguin colony at Boulders and the surrounding beaches. Visit the maritime museums, art galleries, and famous wharf side restaurants, offering scrumptious seafood delights. Enjoy golfing, fishing, boat rides, diving, and kayaking. A relaxed seaside town, Simonstown is an exciting day trip, unwinding beach escape, and favourite choice for history lovers.

Top Attraction: The Penguins, of course!

Glencairn

Glencairn lies on the edge of Simonstown, in valley between 2 mountains, with a wetlands area for visitors to enjoy, Glencairn also boasts a quaint beachfront, and large tidal pool. A great family destination for whale watching, bird watching, windsurfing, kayaking, and surfing. An enchanting seaside town, numerous sightings of the legendary ghost ship, the Flying Dutchman, have been reported from the shores of Glencairn beach. The mountainside slopes are a spectacular viewpoint, overlooking the stunning waters of False Bay, A central location with panoramic scenes and easy access to the Cape Point route, Glencairn is a favourite choice for a family beach and mountainside holiday in Cape Town.

Top Attraction: Spot whales in the bay from Dixie’s, a favorite local pub and grub!

Fish Hoek

Surrounded by rugged mountains and boasting a top beach experience in Cape Town, Fish Hoek is a sleepy seaside village with warm waters and a relaxed pace. Fish Hoek lies in a cosy bay with soft white sandy beaches and the famous jagers walk catwalk, it is a top choice for a quaint seaside holiday. A historic town, the famous “Fish Hoek man”, dated 12 000 years old, was found in a local cave. Fish Hoek is a prime whale watching site and perfect beach holiday destination for families. On the western mountain slopes lies the stunning gem of Clovelly, a tiny suburb on the outskirts of Fish Hoek, tucked away behind the Kalk Bay Mountains. Clovelly is a romantic setting, overlooking the Fish Hoek valley and the Silvermine Valley, and surrounded by a wetland reserve. It is also home to one of the finest golf courses in the cape, at Clovelly Country Club. A haven of peace and tranquillity, the Fish Hoek area if on one of Cape Town’s best kept secrets.

Top Attraction: Clovelly Golf Course!

Kalk Bay

Kalk Bay is an artist’s retreat, with a colourful variety of restaurants and boutiques, it is a fantastic attraction and one of the most enjoyable seaside towns in the Cape. Historically a thriving fishing village, on the harbour lies an assortment of restaurants, all serving the freshly caught local bounty. In the town itself, visit the assortment of boutiques, art galleries, and scrumptious bakeries. A number of other famous restaurants lie along the rocky shores overlooking the harbour and warm waters of the Indian Ocean. The mountains sloping behind this busting town offer fantastic hiking and mountain biking trails. A trendy seaside village, Kalk Bay also offers a nightlife at Polona on the harbour, Cape to Cuba, and the Brass Bell, all featuring live music on weekends. Kalk Bay is a vibey vantage point from which to experience the wonder of the Cape Peninsula.

Top Attraction: Eclectic boutiques, galleries, and antique stores!

St James

St James is a tiny stretch of coastline spanning just 1.5km. Rich in history, this strip of shore was one of the first colonized in the Cape, and is home to some very interesting Historical Sites. Apart from the rich history of the tiny seaside village, the immense St James beach tidal pool is a great bathing spot. With picturesque Victorian bathing boxes, it is also a favourite spot for photographers and filmmakers, with the mountainside slopes providing the most magnificent views over the bay.

Top Attraction: Hidden gem tidal pools!

Muizenberg

Muizenberg is home to the oldest house in South Africa, Post Huis, which was built in the first half of the 17th century. The grand stone houses lining the coast of Muizenberg are reminiscent of a time when the town was referred to as “Millionaires Mile”. Muizenberg is famous for its wide expanse of white sandy beaches, and its rich culture offers some colourful attractions in stores and museums. A small amusement park with swimming pools, water slides, and a putt putt course make Muizenberg a great location for family entertainment. Once a week on a Sunday is the vibrant event of the Muizenberg Market, an interesting shopping experience! Muizenberg beach front is favourite Cape attraction for surfing, kite surfing and land sailing – beginners and pro’s welcome! Other outdoor opportunities in Muizenberg include hiking from the mountain pass of Boyes Drive, boating, sailing, canoeing, and bird watching in the wetlands.

Top Attraction: Learn to surf on the beachfront!

An extraordinary route, exploring the Cape Peninsula is a memorable experience to say the least. Based in the greater Cape Town area, Greatest Africa are on the ground experts and Southern Africa travel specialists. Allow us to guide you in planning the perfect Cape Peninsula Experience, with some fabulous Cape accommodation, and perhaps a Cape Wine experience too, on one of our exclusive private wine tours in the Cape!

 

About the Author
Richard is the Founding MD of Greatest Africa & Richard Hilton Vineyards. He lives in Somerset West with this wife, Fiona, and their two girls. He is passionate about the Cape, travel, global wines, wine education and sharing his experiences of this beautiful country that he calls home.