It is true what they say about the Western Cape being a gift that keeps on giving and unsurprisingly the province receives hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. Whether travelling on your own, with friends, with family or your significant other, and even if you only have a day to spare, there is always something to look forward to.
Let me take you on a tour around Cape Town and the West Coast region of Western Cape. Vibrant Cape Town is the star of the Western Cape. The West Coast on the other hand is the sleeping beauty. Life is slow-paced but rich with history and human interactions. Let’s see which one is going to steal your heart.
Destination: Cape Town
The award winning city of Cape Town is and will forever be a global darling. This is one city that knows what it means to cater to visitors. It does not matter whether they are young or old, international visitors or locals. No day is the same as the other in Cape Town. Brace yourself for the experience of a lifetime as you explore the Mother City.
Stellenbosch is known for its postcard perfect surroundings as it is framed by beautiful mountain ranges. It also offers the best country style living in the Cape. It is a perfect location to relax and visit wine farms for wine tasting. Do try a wine pairing dinner in one of the top restaurants also. If you visit on a weekend, farmers markets are a great way to learn about the people and the food. Furthermore, if you visit at the right time, it’s beach day, every day.
Cape Town is buzzing with family activities. No family vacation is ever complete without a beach day. If you are not scared of cold water you can swim in Camps Bay. Muizenberg has warmer waters and is perfect for swimming at any time of the day. Be daring, go swimming with seals and kayak with penguins in Simon’s Town. One of the most exciting family events in Simon’s town is the Air Force Parade Day. This is an annual event that you need to align your trip with if you want to win the parent of the year award.
On another day you can catch the first boat out to Robben Island and take a short trip to Zevenwacht for a picnic.
For easy-going couples, wine tasting, sunset boat cruises, picnics and visiting art galleries is the way to go. For some adventure, paragliding, dune bashing and kite surfing are the perfect activities to get lost in. Weekend markets like Oranjezicht are also great for you to spend precious time with your partner.
I have been to Cape Town enough times to know that for a perfect time with friends you need to stay in the City Bowl as it gives access to the entire city. Most importantly, the views are amazing if you choose you accommodation correctly. However, if you want a bit of luxury you can also stay in Camps Bay. Why not start your day with a sunrise hike up the Lion’s Head. While at it, look for a secluded spot for a yoga session. You can also join a group as there are sometimes group sessions.
I can’t think of any better way to spend a great time with friends than going to the Atlantis Dunes for quad biking, off road biking and sand boarding, among other things.
Wake up early to catch the first Franschhoek Wine Tram so that you can maximise your day. You will have enough time to get off and have brunch at one of the wine estates and then off again for a late lunch at a wine pairing restaurant. All while taking in the amazing views the area is known for.
Wrap up your day by visiting the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. This experience is even better when you pick a day when there are live performances.
You could also spend a day in Bo-Kaap. Learn about this historic area and the patriots, entertainers and artists that have been preserving its culture for decades.
Destination: West Coast
For the best holidays in the Cape, head west. The West Coast is the perfect spot for all your quaint, peaceful and slow-paced living. Small towns like Yzerfontein are your best bet. All you need is a good book, a yoga mat, comfy shoes and swimwear. Plus the food in small towns is always amazing and mostly homemade.
Solocation in Yzerfontein
Yzerfontein is the place to visit when you want to connect with yourself. This small, enchanting town has pristine beaches and is so serene. It is the perfect place to go alone to refresh and find peace of mind. Take long walks along the boardwalk in the afternoon and beach jogs in the mornings.
Famcation in Tietiesbaai and Patenoster
Tietiesbaai is famous for its annual jazz festivals. This beautiful bay is five kilometres away from Patenoster. The main attraction here is fishing. This would be a fun activity to be enjoyed by the whole family. There is no accommodation in Tietiesbaai, which means that you and your family would stay in Patenoster. This small town has various family activities including kayaking, boat cruises and fishing. The star of the show would have to be the food. Come with your palette cleansed.
Baecation in Patenoster
The minute you set foot in this small town you are greeted by a sense of community and peace. It is one of the country’s hidden gems. Why would you want to go anywhere else with your partner? Morning walks and private beach time with amazing sunsets are enough to bring you and your partner closer than ever.
Apart from sun bathing and taking a dip in the water, there are a few water sports couples can enjoy there. You can test who is good at leading and coordination with a kayaking experience or get lost in the sunset on your own chartered boat.
Find out from the locals which are the best restaurants in town. I have a few favourites like Gaatjie and Leeto. The Crayfish Wharf is one of my preferred hangout spots with a selection of restaurants overlooking the beach for the foodies and an art gallery.
Friendcation at the West Coast National Park
Have you ever wondered where those beautiful pictures with a sea of flowers that goes as far as the eye can see are taken? Well, the West Coast National Park is your spot. The showy plants of the area, usually growing on granite or limestone rocks, especially during spring time, and these are the main attraction in this fascinating park.
There is a recorded total of 482 plant species in the park. I have never seen a better, picture perfect sight. Call all your friends for a special time out. When you are done, go discover nearby Kraalbaai.
Daycation in Kraalbaai
Who wouldn’t want to find themselves stuck in this little fishing village for a day, where the only mode of transport is boats? Amongst other things, house boats are the main attraction.
The town’s whole in the wall rock feature and other lovely rock formations make for lovely pictures. This would be a perfect spot for a picnic, a braai, swimming and playing your favorite music. You can also book a boat for the day and sail out to an island just off the coast and indulge in some snorkelling.