Cape Town - Recruiting the help of local explorers, Cheapflights took an in-depth look at the Cape Town coastline on a wintery day in July, inviting six travel and lifestyle bloggers to divide and rule over their designated stretch of coastline, feeding back to us their favourite discoveries.
On the #CheapflightsExplorers Atlantic Seaboard team we had Linda Markovina of Moving Sushi, with Lauren McShane of The Travel Manuel, owning their turf.
Next up was the Hout Bay and Noordhoek stretch, with Kathryn Rossiter of Becoming You and Di Brown, better known as the Roaming Giraffe, recording their insights.
Fiona Rossiter of Inspired Living SA and Dawn Jorgensen, The Incidental Tourist, drew up a list of things to do between Muizenberg and Kalk Bay, celebrating False Bay as their backdrop.
Tasked with a list of main attractions in their regions and the challenge to seek out more, after being briefed the three teams took off in a style made familiar by The Amazing Race – one driver, one navigator and a whole bundle of enthusiasm to bring to the world the treasures of their specific coastlines.
For those not familiar with the city, the heart of Cape Town itself sits slightly elevated on the west coast overlooking Table Bay. A drive south from the V&A Waterfront brings you to the renowned Atlantic Seaboard, eventually winding around to Hout Bay and Noordhoek, before crossing over the point to False Bay.
Each area has a distinct character, style and even populace, be it relaxed surfers or resident fishermen. As the discoveries amassed, the pace slowed and the appreciation grew.
Here are some extracts from our blogger’s posts of the day.
The Atlantic Seaboard
Lauren: When it comes to Atlantic Seaboard beaches, there are so many to choose from. Even though the Atlantic ocean proves to be icy all year round, the flashy beaches of Clifton and Camps Bay always draw visitors who enjoy the pure sunshine, people watching, being seen and sporting their new bikinis.
I must’ve taken this drive a thousand times and each time as I round the corner before Oudekraal I am flawed by its beauty. Each curve in the road brings a new view of Lion’s head, the drop-offs to tiny, deserted beaches and fynbos blanketing the Twelve Apostles Mountain range in the most glorious of fashions.
Linda: Llandudno is an incredibly picturesque beach, a hidden cove of perfectly white sand framed by large granite boulders looming out of the rough sea waters. Sitting south is Cape Towns only nudist beach, Sandy Bay, incase you were ever wondering where to suntan in the buff, for whatever reason.
Glen beach is a favourite among the surfing crowd when the wave turns on. Winter also ushers in whale season, you can often spot pods of dolphins playing in the waves off the beach and whales spouting water into the air close to the shoreline.
Hout Bay and Noordhoek
Di: The Farm Village in Noordhoek is a curious mix of eateries: a Hotel, a deli, coffee roastery, info centre and unique clothing and speciality shops. It was too chilly to sample the temptingly named Kirsten’s Kick Ass Ice Cream, but we did enjoy the excellent coffee from The Village Roast.
In Hout Bay we followed the road until it ended and found the local fish shop, aptly named Fish on the Rocks. Something of an institution in Hout Bay, they have been selling fish to the community for over 25 years.
Kathryn: We stopped off to grab a takeaway warm drink at Dunes, quite literally located ON the dunes as is evident by the amount of sand on the road outside. The views from the deck upstairs are stunning and leave you feeling like you’re almost out at sea yourself!Our next destination in our explorations was Chapman’s Peak Drive, the incredible road that winds and weaves it’s way around, through and beneath the towering peak.
Let’s just say this road is not for nervous drivers!! But if you haven’t motored around it’s bend before you’re missing out. To be honest I hadn’t driven this road in years and was amazed by the beauty of it all.
Dawn: The little stretch of coastline between Muizenberg and Kalk Bay was our focus, a distance of no more than 7km that runs from Surfers Corner in Muizenberg, to the Kalk Bay harbour. A laid back route that draws the crowds year round, whether the focus is beach, shopping or good food. Stopping in the soft drizzle, we walked to the beach that is a firm favourite with locals and beginner surfers alike, with its well-known surf shops offering board hire, as well as surfing lessons.
From there the short hop to beautiful St James beach with its brightly painted changing rooms and tidal pool. These little red, blue and yellow houses have become an iconic symbol of the town and draw photographers from afar, but its the beach that is the true hero, white sand, lapping waves and a welcoming tidal pool.
Fiona: The suburb of St James takes its name from the early St James Catholic Church, which was built circa 1880. It has a rich history, with homes dating back to the days when the Cape was still a colony, and part of the Victorian Empire. St James, popular for its tidal and rock pools, is a great spot to take kids.
Meandering further along the coast we arrived in Kalk Bay. Unlike St James, Kalk Bay was a hive of activity. This quaint but rather quirky fishing village has become a popular destination, with both locals and tourists. It is also home to the famous surf spot Kalk Bay Reef.
Kalk Bay really has a lot to offer visitors. A must see is the working harbour. You can buy fresh fish, straight off the boat or watch the resident seals in action. For the foodies there are a host of trendy eateries, coffee shops and bars, to choose from. For wonderful seafood and the best views, try Live Bait or Harbour House in the Harbour. If you are after a more festive atmosphere, not forgetting the amazing view, then the Brass Bell is your spot.
After lunch we walked down to the Kalk Bay Light House, which was looking rather impressive against the stormy grey sky.
Now that we’ve got all this details mapped out in a treasure trove of discoveries, we can only surmise that Cape Town needs more time. Often referred to as the sweetheart of South Africa, come rain or shine, the above straight from our local bloggers, demonstrates exactly why.
Adapted from a press release for IOL