The Western Cape has so much to offer both locals and visitors; from ‘big city’ towns to beautiful
small towns that are charming and interesting to visit. Each have their own uniqueness and special offerings, from winelands, beautiful beaches, nature reserves and museums, to incredible historical landmarks. The Cape is also known for its abundance of diverse history and culture.
Here are just five towns of the many that we have that visitors love to explore.
Franschhoek is a quaint town with centuries-old Cape Dutch architecture and vineyards. It is a beautiful town with many beautiful boutiques, where you will find some unusual decor to take you back in time. There are also many fine chocolate shops that offer tours; as well as spectacular restaurants for fine or casual dining. Franschhoek is known as the area that was founded by the French settlers who arrived between the 17th and 18th centuries, and it’s easy to notice the French influence. Franschhoek Valley has one of the most breathtaking wine regions in the world with lush vineyards surrounded by a stunning mountain range. For the avid vintage car collector there is the Franschhoek Motor Museum that will keep both young and old spellbound for hours.
Source: Seen Vicariously
Constantia is a beautiful town with tree lined streets and lush green landscapes. Constantia is known for the natural beauty that surrounds it; the breathtaking mountain range of Table Mountain and Constantiaberg makes for an exquisite backdrop. Being one of the oldest wine-producing areas in the Cape and southern hemisphere; travelers come from near and far to sample world class wines and marvel at the natural beauty. Constantia is also known for its award-winning restaurants, most of which have green rolling lawns where you can picnic with family and friends. Accommodation in Constantia is also incredible, with many different options; from villas to B&B’s and five-star hotels; making it the perfect place for a relaxing getaway!
When you think of Simonstown, immediately you think of the Naval base as it’s a landmark everyone knows. Simonstown is a small coastal village and is one of South Africa’s oldest towns. Simonstown is filled with history and is very picturesque. A must visit is the Navy Museum where you will find the statue and some of the history around the famous Great Dane, Able Seaman, Just Nuisance and the Toy museum. There are plenty of restaurants, quaint antique shops especially for the ladies, where you can just go back in time and reminisce about the “old days” and things that take you back to great grandmother’s trinkets you once admired in their homes. Boulders Beach is a tourist attraction and is famous for its colony of penguins who have no problem sharing a swim or two with you in the beautiful crisp blue ocean.
Paternoster on the West Coast is one of the oldest fishing villages. It is about 145 km north of Cape Town. Not all residents reside there permanently; most come for a relaxing break. It has become a very popular destination for holiday makers who just want to spend a weekend away from the hustle and bustle of town. Paternoster is a fishermen town and because of this it’s widely known for its pretty white-washed fishermen’s cottages. It’s also well known for some delicacies such as lobster; and there’s even a lobster factory! The local people and the weekend fishermen love to extract mussels or fish off the rocks, in the hope of selling their fresh finds to passersby. This small town has some ocean gems; giving you the chance to spot whales, seals, dolphins or penguins. The best time for these sightings is usually in October and November.
Yzerfontein is a quaint harbour town on the west coast, about 90 km north of Cape Town. It is a pleasant drive coming from town along the R27. If you are a nature person, Ysterfontein is the place to visit, as it is surrounded by ocean and lush vegetation, and is a peaceful town with extremely friendly locals. While you may think small towns have little to offer; you’ll be blown away by the many incredible things to see and do. When you’re not laying on the beach or enjoying the warm water; go on a scenic hike, go for a picnic along the coast, visit the many amazing restaurants, go shopping at the seaside boutiques; or simply just kick back and relax and enjoy the nature that surrounds you.