Not every traveller is keen on big city life. Some opt for a more tranquil and immersive experience. Thousands of tourists flock to South Africa every year to experience the diversity, people, food and the most breathtaking destinations. 

For those keen to experience what life’s like living off the beaten path, we’ve curated some of South Africa’s most charming small towns. 

Pringle Bay, Western Cape 

Pringle Bay_western cape

Surrounded by nature, Pringle Bay is a small town with a big heart located in the Overberg region of the Western Cape. The village is very low key. It is quiet with many dirt roads and the predominant sounds you will hear are birdlife and the ocean. The pace is slow and the energy from the mountains which envelops the valley is palpable. Most visitors opt for staying over at the Moonstruck beach house, overlooking Pringle Bay Main beach. This beach house is ideal for anyone looking for a coastal retreat. 

Hogsback, Eastern Cape

Hogsback is a village in the Amathole mountains and is known to be a hikers haven. It is also home to the oldest forest in South Africa and has been deemed as the most beautiful mountain village in South Africa. There are plenty of accommodation options to choose from in this village, however, Maple Grove is one of the most popular options in the area, particularly for couples. 

Clarens, Free State

Clarens is known for its spectacular sandstone mountains and wonderful weather. It is one of the most picturesque spots in South Africa and has recently gained popularity for the best Trout Fishing waters in South Africa. Ridge Road estate is one of the most luxurious accommodation options in the area. 

Barberton, Mpumalanga

Barberton first gained popularity in the 1800s as the Gold Rush town. This little town is located in the De Kaap Valley and is enveloped by the Makhonjwa Mountains. The mountains around Barberton are amongst the oldest in the world, dating back to 3.5 billion years. Barberton guesthouse is a popular and affordable accommodation choice. 


Hermanus, Western Cape 

Hermanus is the whale watching capital of South Africa. Travellers flock to this charming town to see these majestic mammals, the pristine beaches and award-winning restaurants.  The town is the busiest during June and December when thousands of Southern-right whales make the bay their playground. The Whale on Main B&B is a popular accommodation option in Hermanus and the beach is just a walking distance from this B&B

Getting around? 

If you’re worried about getting around efficiently while you explore these charming small towns, try renting a car fro the duration of your holiday. Most travellers opt for car rental when exploring South Africa.