Tranquil, laid back and practically undiscovered, the Cape West Coast runs from Cape Town up to the Northern Cape border at Touws River.
Flanked by a ruggedly beautiful coastline and magnificent mountain ranges, this section of the cape coast unleashes riots of color in spring and attracts watersport and hiking enthusiasts from all corners of the country. The small fishing villages that pepper its shore are both quaint and delightful, serving up delicious sea fare from the icy Atlantic Ocean. Whether you elect to take in the West Coast on a day trip or an extended road trip, your immediate access to that expansive freedom is little more than an hour away.
Route 27 The West Coast Road
A seafood capital lining the West Coast, Route 27 steers past numerous rustic open air beach restaurants where fresh fish are cooked on open fires in a setting so relaxing even time seems lethargic to move along. Sunsets don’t get much more brilliant than from the Cape West Coast. Be bold enough to try any village that takes your fancy along Route 27.
A popular destination on Route 27 for holidaymakers and perched on a lagoon, Langebaan attracts sun worshipers, watersport fanatics and fishermen. The lagoon is surrounded by the West Coast National Park, home to thousands of seabirds nesting on the sheltered islands. Across the lagoon lies the Postberg Flower Reserve, which transforms each spring into a carpet of rich color as the flowers open.
Photo by slack12
A must see on the West Coast, Paternoster manages to embody much of what makes the West Coast such a special stretch of coastline. The picturesque fishing village is famous for its crayfish, the pristine white beaches are often awash with brightly colored crayfish traps, or kreefbakkies. The ocean is alive with whale and dolphins frolicking, while the land is periodically transformed after the winter rains into a sea of color during flower season.
One of South Africa’s oldest towns, the hub of rooibos production and a gateway to the majestic Cederberg Mountain Range. A wander through Clanwilliam’s streets offers visitors a glimpse of the area’s history, though it is for the town’s dam that most visitors flock to Clanwilliam where boating and waterskiing under the blazing Africa sun are the order of most days. Visit Clanwilliam Information Pages for more on this town
Citrusdal is majestically surrounded by the Cederberg Mountains and as the name suggests, is the citrus capital of South Africa. A drive through this area when the trees are laden with ripe fruit is a treat for the senses, strong orange scents accompanied by bright orange fruits is the stuff of childhood delight.
A wilderness area of more than 70,000 hectares is home to some incredible rock formations. A hiker’s mecca, the Cederberg presents a vast untouched realm in which to wander, pickling her landscape with famous features like the Wolfberg Arch, The Cracks, the Maltese Cross, Sneeuberg and the significant Stadsaal Caves. The entire area boasts instances of ancient rock art. For the less orienteering inclined the farms, bird watching, and solitude make for long, peaceful days. Mountain bikers, horse riders and hiker’s will find their itineraries full and on a clear Saturday night, the Cederberg Observatory is open for stargazers to observe the wonders of the Milky Way.
A charming weekend getaway, Darling is busiest during wildflower season. Surrounded by farmlands and home to a budding artist community there is something completely endearing about Darling, almost tangible in the village’s atmosphere. For an easily accessible escape from the bustle of Cape Town, this getaway presents a relaxing break infused with art and culture.