Four fabulous coastal breaks in the Western Cape
It’s that time of the year again when all you want is peace and quiet, and a good break by the sea to refresh the mind and calm the spirit. The Western Cape presents the simple beauty of nature in no less than at least 4 easily accessible destinations that offer a variety of accommodation plus the slow, deeply relaxing pulse of the ocean right on your doorstep.
Around 2 hours from Cape Town, and situated near Gansbaai, Pearly Beach is considered the ‘pearl of all beaches’. This vast stretch of natural beauty has retained its original peaceful charm despite the development of a village-style environment over a number of years. The beach is large enough to provide space for long hikes, cycling, horse riding, and safe swimming. Fynbos dunes give a sense of timelessness and serenity, while the convenience of shops, pubs and restaurant are in close proximity.
For those who enjoy dangling a rod, there is also the Angling and Recreational Club to provide advice and information. And if you’re lucky to visit during July to December, you stand a very good chance of viewing Southern Right whales with their calves close to shore. This is truly a place to embrace nature and take your mind off life’s daily grind.
Two and a half hours from Cape Town, and along the N2 through Caledon, Napier and Bredasdorp, this is not only a great getaway for those thirsting for open spaces and the sound of the sea, but also one of the most intensely emotional places to visit – the tip of the African continent! The sense of viewing the great meet of oceans is truly something to stir the senses. Accommodation is set to suit for all circumstances – and within the SANParks Agulhas National Park, you’ll find comfortable chalets where you can enjoy stunning views over the ocean.
Apart from the magnificent vistas before you, take time to visit the Agulhas Lighthouse, the second oldest working lighthouse in South Africa. Learn about the fascinating shipwrecks of the past. Cycle or hike the surrounding picturesque routes, swim in the lagoon or at the safe beach in Struisbaai. A visit to a nearby wine farm for lunch in their family-run restaurant while enjoying the fine local wines, is highly recommended.
You don’t have to travel more than an hour to find yourself in Pringle Bay with its delightful atmosphere of carefree holiday living for all ages. Not only are there great water sports to be had in the bay, but the Palmiet River mouth is warm and safe for children. Plenty of restaurants and choice of accommodation awaits you. And if you want the stillness of nature in a more inland adventure, then visit the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO registered site, and home to the most complex array of biodiversity on our planet.
With approximately 1,800 species of plants, there will definitely be something to catch the eye of those with a keen interest in nature. From rare proteas and indigenous forests with yellowwood and stinkwood trees, to a variety of fauna such as the Cape Clawless Otter, small antelope, baboons, dassies, Peregrine falcons and fish eagles, etc. This is a place with every option for the perfect break away. Enjoy the tranquillity of nature – not to mention the sight of a herd of wild horses on the flats of the Bot River estuary at Rooisand Nature Reserve!
Diaz Beach, Mossel Bay
Mossel Bay is one of those small coastal towns that remain charmingly old-fashioned while offering an array of upmarket accommodation for those wanting a comfortable and convenient home away from home. Along its 60 kilometres of golden beaches, you will find Diaz Beach which boasts a variety of facilities to suit every pocket, from B&B’s to well-appointed hotels, with accommodation that includes families, couples or a single traveller looking for rest and recuperation.
Restaurants are plentiful – and don’t forget to order the famous Mossel Bay mussels, possibly the best you’ll find in the world. An array of cultural, historical and natural attractions await (if you can take yourself off the relaxing environs of Diaz Beach). There is the fascinating boot-shaped post office, the Garden Route Casino, the Diaz Museum Complex, the famous natural tidal pool, whale and dolphin watching, a small harbour to explore; and not to mention some intriguing, world famous archaeological sites to visit.
Whether you want to read your book quietly on the beach, or get up to some hair-raising fun such as shark cage diving or bungee-jumping, you can relax or revitalise in your own way when you choose your perfect stay close to the splendid, sweeping Diaz Beach!
For information on accommodation and activities at any of these destinations, send an email to: mailto:[email protected] or contact Tourism on +27 (0) 86 132 2223.
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The Western Cape offers a rich history of architecture, beautiful fauna and flora, together with captivating views of magnificent mountain ranges and the scenic blue of the oceans. In fact, it offers the best in experience and lifestyle anywhere in the world. And we believe in making the best of what both nature and refined living can offer, including beautiful places to relax and indulge your senses, fitness and health information and lifestyle enhancement through the promotion of brilliantly refurbished antique items.
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