Holidaymakers guide to Cape Town's Western Seaboard

Private Property South Africa
Kit Heathcock

Cape Town’s Western Seaboard is a mecca for water sports, birdlife and outdoor activities.

Colourful kites swoop the length of Bloubergstrand on windy summer afternoons as kiteboarders speed across the waves. Cape Town’s Western Seaboard is a mecca for water sports. With stand up paddle boarding, longboarding, and surf schools at Big Bay, there are water activities for everyone from beginners to experts. The long stretches of beach with beautiful views across the bay to Table Mountain and fresh sea air make it a fantastic holiday base with plenty of space to spread out. Families with younger children can find a sheltered bucket-and-spade beach out of the wind at Little Bay, with rock pools to explore in between.

The flamingos and other birdlife on the vleis, wetlands and river lagoons that wind between Milnerton and Blouberg are another attraction. Those who prefer flatwater for windsurfing find their fun on Rietvlei, and stretched out between the Diep River lagoon and the beach is Milnerton Golf Club, which is known as a challenging coastal course with stunning views and varied birdlife. Keen golfers find more world-class golf at Atlantic Beach edged with fynbos and close to Melkbosstrand’s family-friendly Blue Flag beach.

The laid-back surfer vibe lends itself more to casual cafes than fine dining, with a few exceptions, and visitors have endless scenic sundowner spots to choose from gazing out over the bay to Robben Island and the setting sun over pizza and beers at the Blue Peter for example.

The whole area is well connected to the MyCiTi bus routes, and it’s an easy trip into the city centre for sightseeing. A similarly short drive takes you out into the Durbanville Wine Valley for leisurely wine tasting, good restaurants and even mountain biking on designated trails in the adjoining Tygerberg Nature Reserve. Then there’s the whole West Coast to explore beyond.

Guests of all ages love the location for its close proximity to the beaches, wine tastings, world-class restaurants, golf courses, shopping centres and easy access to road networks. Then, of course, there is the spectacular view of Table Mountain across the bay.

Sonja Peters, Guest House Du Cap

Best in food:

  • Homespun: for laid-back fine dining
  • The Indian Chapter: for authentic Indian food
  • Petits Fours: for cafe treats
  • Cafe Orca: for excellent seafood overlooking Melkbosstrand beach
  • Ons Huisie: for traditional West Coast flavours on the beach

Things to do:

  • Golf at Atlantic Beach and Milnerton Golf clubs
  • Kitesurfing along Blouberg beach
  • Windsurfing on Rietvlei
  • Surf lessons at Big Bay
  • Wine tasting in the Durbanville Valley

Nature nearby:

  • Bird-watching at Rietvlei Nature Reserve
  • Hiking or Mountain biking in the Tygerberg Nature Reserve
  • Whale watching from the beach in winter
  • Rock pools for small kids to explore

This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.

Take a stunning tour of the Western Seaboard here:

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Explore neighbourhoods mentioned in this article

Magnificent Milnerton
Milnerton is a laid back, relaxed neighbourhood that's just a 15 minute drive away from the Cape Town CBD. The area has an abundance of natural beauty with Milnerton lagoon, Woodbridge Island, Rietvlei Nature Reserve and Milnerton Beach nearby. Residents take maximum advantage of the surroundings to participate in outdoor pursuits like canoeing, surfing, stand up paddling, kite surfing and running. The area is served by a number of shopping centres including Canal Walk, Bayside Mall and the Paddocks Shopping Centre. Century City offers both residential and business opportunities.The Ratanga Junction amusement park also offers entertainment options for the whole family.
Tableview and Blouberg
Affordable Upmarket Beachfront Living
The Tableview and Blouberg neighbourhood on the Western Seaboard of Cape Town includes the suburbs of Big Bay, Blaauwberg, Bloubergrant, Parklands and Tableview. The area is vibey both day and night. During the day, life revolves around the beach with surfing, stand-up boarding, running and cycling proving popular with locals. At night the numerous pubs, clubs and restaurants buzz with activity. The area is extremely popular with families due to it being child-friendly, having great schools and being affordable, in comparison to other areas in Cape Town.