Not too far from Cape Town lies the small towns of the West Coast with their unspoilt beaches, amazing mountains and fields of wildflowers in the spring.
But there is so much more than just nature. You get to stay at incredible hotels and dine at world-class restaurants. From Cape Town, you can hop in your car or hire a car in Cape Town and take the R27 and your West Coast Way adventure begins.
The Pearl of the West Coast
Just an hours drive from Cape Town lies the town of Yzerfontein. A popular beach vacation spot for many. Visiting during December, it just feels like summer holiday with children playing and the smell of snoek on the braai.
There is however a little more to Yzerfontein than the beach. Travelling during spring, you are spoilt with fields of wild fynbos and wildflowers.
A little further along the coast, you reach the charming little town of Paternoster. One of the oldest fishing villages along the West Coast, the town is known for the white-washed fishermen’s cottages.
Also famous for lobster, it is easy to see why the area has some of the best restaurants. Paternoster is home to World Restaurant of the Year, Wolfgat. Kobus van der Merwe started this restaurant with a very basic tasting menu and now offering some of the best dishes, true to the area. Definitely a must when visiting Paternoster.
Home of Vasco da Gama
Known as the area where Vasco da Gama first set foot in South Africa, St Helena Bay is another must stop for your visit to the West Coast. Here you would also find the lovely Shelley Point Hotel and Spa. Not only a great place to overnight, but you get to relax and unwind. Go for long walks on the beach or book a massage at the spa. Should you be looking to practice your swing, there is also the 9 hole Links Golf Course.
Next stop, Darling
The West Coast offers more than just seaside villages. Just a few kilometres from the coast lies the town of Darling. A small town with lots of character.
Visit one of the local artists to view their breathtaking artwork or one of the stores that offer a kaleidoscope of gifts and collectables. For a great laugh, why not enjoy a cabaret show at Evita se Perron. Here you get to hear Mrs Evita Bezuidenhout latest update on the progress of democracy. Visitors can also look forward to the new Evita se Perron restaurant and deli, museum, book shop, and outdoor sculpture garden.
Sunday lunches are available at most restaurants in town and would remind you of the home-cooked lunches at your grandma. Darling Cellars produces local wines and there is also a beer brewery in town. And for those with a little sweet tooth, Darling Sweets is not to be missed. Handmade Toffees in a variety of flavours from Honey & Salt, Liquorice and even Rooibos Chai. It is hard to pick your favourite! Just in case you need a little more sugar, there are also toffee spreads and soft caramel. A quick visit to this town might not be possible, but definitely sweet!
Afternoon tea in Clanwilliam
Just before you leave the West Coast, there is the town Clanwilliam at the foot of the Cederberg Mountains. Just 2.5 hours drive from Cape Town, this is the perfect ending to your West Coast visit. If you prefer the calming effect of water, book yourself a cosy cottage at the edge of the Clanwilliam dam. This is a haven for watersport lovers and a popular spot for water-skiing. Here you would also find avid fishermen. You can also explore short walking trails in the Ramskop Nature Garden.
Feel like a cup of tea? Travelling to Clanwilliam you would be in the heart of Rooibos country. Here you would be able to experience a little more than just a cup of tea. You can learn more about the growing and harvesting of Rooibos Tea. Or just visit the tasting room to enjoy one of more than 100 blends/flavours of rooibos tea. And don’t miss out on something freshly baked to compliment your cup of tea.
If you are more a nature person, then Bushmanskloof is the ideal overnight spot for you. Here you can enjoy exciting outdoor activities including nature drives, hiking trails, mountain biking, fishing and canoeing. You would also be able to view bushman paintings and there is an on-site Heritage Centre if you would like to learn more. Or just relax at the spa and book yourself a treatment. Vaccinating is hard work!
If you are looking for a getaway not too far from Cape Town, the West Coast is a great option. It is also a great honeymoon destination. Here you are able to enjoy everything from the beach to the mountains and even a quick tea stop in between. Grab your sunglasses and let’s go!