The Cape Peninsula takes up a vast portion of the greater Cape Town area. Visitors should definitely make a trip southwards and explore all the amazing sights and activities that the peninsula has to offer. A day away from the hustle and bustle of the city will be relaxing and thoroughly enjoyable.
There are so many world-class restaurants, adventure activities and places to be discovered in the southern region of Cape Town. From laid-back sightseeing trips and relaxing days on the beach to up-close encounters with wildlife and food sensation experiences, the Cape Peninsula is a treasure trove waiting to be found. While we simply cannot list them all, here are our top 10 things to do in the area.
- Get artistic at Clay Café
This busy little coffee shop and pottery studio is located in Hout Bay. It’s a brilliant way to spend a couple of hours getting in touch with your creative side. The idea is to paint and decorate your own clay products while enjoying a delicious meal and a beverage. Visitors can choose from a variety of clay products, such as cups, bowls, dishes and ornaments.
Once you have painted your clay products, you can leave them at the reception on your way out. Clay Café will fire the products in their industrial kilns, having them ready for collection within a few weeks, depending on how busy they are. If you’re only in Cape Town for a week or so, you can always have someone collect your clay products and ship them to your address.
- Dine at a restaurant with a sea view
There is no shortage of restaurants that boast beautiful sea views in the Cape Peninsula – every suburb will have at least one. An afternoon meal is made so much better when the backdrop includes a panoramic view of the blue Atlantic waters and bright skies. Guests are encouraged to phone restaurants ahead of time to enquire about space and to make a booking at a table with the best views.
Restaurants such as The Brass Bell or Harbour House in Kalk Bay, The Galley in Fish Hoek, Bertha’s or Seaforth in Simon’s Town, Two Oceans at Cape Point and Dunes in Hout Bay all have stunning sea views that add to the experience of dining out in the Cape Peninsula. The cuisine at these restaurants are typically seafood, but there is a range of other meal choices for various diets and preferences, too.
- Taste the freshest fish and chips possible
Speaking of seafood in the Cape Peninsula, there are a number of restaurants that offer the freshest fish and chips possible. Every morning, hundreds of fishing vessels leave Kalk Bay and Hout Bay. They return with numerous species of sustainable fish, such as hake, haddock, kingklip and sole. These fish are then sold to restaurants and served on the same day – sometimes within hours of being caught.
We recommend trying the battered hake and chips at Mariner’s Wharf in Hout Bay, Kalky’s in Kalk Bay or The Brass Bell in Kalk Bay. Most of the restaurants in the area will have battered fish and chips on their menu, so you can’t go wrong when deciding on a venue. Other fresh seafood also graces the menus of these establishments, such as oysters, calamari, crayfish and sushi. The Cape Peninsula truly offers the freshest seafood imaginable.
- Visit the penguins of Boulders Beach
This popular tourist destination is home to one of the largest colonies of wild African penguins. Boulders Beach in Simon’s Town is a great way to combine a beach day with some flightless feathered friends. Guests have to pay an entrance fee to access the beach as it is a protected environment for the breeding penguins, but exploring the nooks between large boulders on the sandy beach for little penguins is worth the fee.
There is a wooden walkway that runs along the back of the beach that is free for the public to access. This path winds its way above Boulders Beach and still gives visitors up-close encounters with the penguins, that can often be seen sitting on nests and basking in the sun. Just avoid touching the birds as they are wild and can bite.
- Swim with seals in Hout Bay
Seal snorkelling is a popular adventure activity in the Cape Peninsula. It offers visitors the chance to swim amongst wild seals in their natural habitat. Don’t worry about sharks – the snorkelling location is right in the middle of a kelp forest off Duiker Island, which protects the seals and swimmers from any predators.
There are a few companies that offer seal snorkelling adventures, so do some research before choosing one with the best packages and rates. Guests will be offered hot chocolate once they get out of the cold Atlantic water and back onto the boat before returning to Hout Bay. This animal experience is non-invasive and offers visitors a true glimpse of life in the sea for the wild seals.
- Take the funicular to Cape Point
While visiting the area, guests should think about heading to the southernmost tip of the Cape Peninsula, called Cape Point. It is marked by an old lighthouse that sits on top of a massive knife-edge cliff. The green funicular is a fun way to ascend and descend the route to the lighthouse. Guests can also opt to walk, but the funicular is an experience in itself.
The waters of the Atlantic ocean bubble and froth hundreds of metres below Cape Point, highlighting the majesty and treachery of this famous shipping waypoint. Sailors of the past said that rounding Cape Point was one of the most dangerous points of their voyages. Rocky outcrops, furious waters and unpredictable weather have stranded and sunk hundreds of vessels off the coastline – some of which can still be seen on a clear day from the top of the cliff.
- Relax on a beach
If you’re looking for a more relaxed day out, the best thing to do is lay on a beach and soak up some sun. The Cape Peninsula offers many beaches, some are quiet and others are packed with sunseekers. Choose one that suits your needs and forget about the worries in the world.
The busiest beaches in the Cape Point area are Muizenberg, Boulder’s Beach, Noordhoek and Hout Bay. However, some of the nicest beaches are the quiet ones. Kommetjie, Misty Cliffs, St James and Fish Hoek are all worth a visit. There are numerous coffee shops and restaurants located within walking distance from all of these beaches, so visitors don’t have to worry about packing lunches.
- Live music at Café Roux
This little restaurant has become an institution in the Western Cape. It is located at the popular Noordhoek Farm Village and has become well-known for its live music performances. Café Roux hosts a variety of musicians and artists throughout summer, giving diners and guests an experience they won’t soon forget.
From talented guitarists and up-and-coming singers to renowned South African bands and international artists – Café Roux has hosted some brilliant talent. Soak up the sounds of the music while tucking into a delicious meal at this farm-style venue. It’s a great way to spend an evening in the Cape Peninsula.
- Try some local craft beer
Craft beer has become a massive industry for the Western Cape – some of the best craft beers in the world come from Cape Town and surrounds. The Cape Peninsula is no stranger to microbreweries and guests can sit at one of these venues and sample the various ales, lagers and weisses. Most notable of the craft breweries is the Aegir Project Brewery in Noordhoek.
This outdoor venue is fast becoming a hotspot in the region, offering delicious food and snacks with an array of beers and ciders. The Aegir Project also offers tasting menus that perfectly pair their beers with certain flavours on a plate. Another craft brewery and bar is The Striped Horse in Muizenberg. What better way to spend a summer afternoon than sampling thirst-quenching brews and tasty snacks?
- Lunch at a wine farm
If grapes are more up your alley than hops and yeast, then spend a day at Cape Point Vineyards in Noordhoek. This is Cape Town’s southernmost wine farm and offers exceptional views of the Atlantic Ocean from its lofty position on the Silvermine mountain range. Cape Point Vineyards is home to an award-winning restaurant and some truly delicious wines, grown in the vineyards behind the restaurant.
Wine tasting is a common past time in Cape Town, but guests often find themselves driving to distant towns such as Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl. Cape Point Vineyards is just a 30-minute drive from the Cape Town city centre – not far to get your wine fix at a beautiful location.
These ideas are just a few of the things to do and see in the Cape Peninsula. Most of them can be combined into a day trip that rounds the peninsula from one side to the other. Alternatively, speak to one of our local experts about booking a villa in the Cape Peninsula and spend a few days exploring this rich region of food, culture, history and activities.
Header image: Bas Leenders
Cape Town Villas has over 17 years of experience in the hospitality industry. We are based in Cape Town and, as locals, we can offer guests the best options and advice for accommodation and holiday experiences. Cape Town Villas can provide surety and a guarantee that our properties are of world-class standards.
Our properties are located all around Cape Town and the Western Cape, including Knysna and Plettenberg Bay. As these properties are owned by different people, we operate on an inquiry-only basis. Get in touch with one of our Villa experts for all the information you will need.