Summer in Cape Town offers visitors an endless list of things to do. There are so many summer activities, experiences and places to visit that it is impossible to be bored during your stay. Our team at Cape Town Villas are all locals, so don’t be shy to chat with us and get some insights into the best things to do during your holiday.
We have tried to narrow down some of our top summer activities to just 10 – these are in no particular order but they allow visitors to make the most of the sunny weather and clear skies. The following list of things to do will allow our guests to see more of the greater Cape Town area and experience some of the best local hospitality.
1. Take a helicopter ride
One of the best ways to see Cape Town and it’s stunning beaches, mountains and suburbs is from the air. This will be, hands-down, a highlight of your holiday. There are a few companies that offer heli-flips from their V&A Waterfront bases – you are likely to come across their stands while perusing the quayside shopping hub.
Prices for helicopter flights are pretty similar at each company and they all offer flights of varying time. The short flights (about 10 minutes) start at around R1600 per person, while the long flights (about 40 minutes) can cost up to R15 000, depending on the company you choose. Each of the charters also offers special flights to wineland destinations and Robben Island, too.
2. Take a drive over Chapman’s Peak
If you prefer to keep your feet planted on the ground, then this trip can offer stunning views and an incredible driving experience. Chapman’s Peak Drive is one of the most picturesque roads in the world – no exaggeration. It has been used as a backdrop in many television adverts and movies. The road goes from Hout Bay to Noordhoek and winds along the steep cliffs of Chapman’s Peak above the Atlantic Ocean.
There are numerous lay-bys from which you can stop and take photos of the incredible views. Driving along this road at sunset will be a memory you will never forget. Take R50 with you as you will need to pay at the toll gate – this money is used to maintain the road and the steel catch fence that protects road users from falling rocks.
3. Swim at Llandudno beach
On your way to or from Chapman’s Peak, stop off at the tiny seaside suburb of Llandudno. It’s pretty well hidden from the road, but if you find the turning, you can wind your way down to the Atlantic Ocean and discover one of Cape Town’s best beaches. We love Llandudno because it is quieter than Camps Bay and the Clifton beaches.
Llandudno beach offers pristine sand and a secluded spot from which to soak up the sun. The beach is also a surfer’s paradise – granite boulders on either side of the 450-metre beach funnel the waves into the bay. It’s also the perfect beach for children as there are lifeguards on duty during peak season.
4. Hike a mountain
Capetonians love a good hike and the options are almost limitless. The two most-obvious mountains to climb are Table Mountain and Lion’s Head. If you’re looking for something a little different, we’d recommend finding Elephant’s Eye Cave in the hills above Tokai. Take a drive up Ou Kaapse Weg and turn-off at the top into the Silvermine Nature Reserve. From there, you can park your car and walk to this massive cave that overlooks Cape Town’s southern suburbs.
If you are looking for something more challenging, try Devil’s Peak. This hike will take a few hours, so leave early in the morning. The views from the top are unrivalled – you will see a 360-degree panorama that includes Table Mountain, Lion’s Head, the Cape Town city centre, Table Bay, the southern suburbs and all the way back to Muizenberg. There are hikes that are suited to people of all ages and abilities, so speak to us about the best one for you.
5. Take a bike ride along the Sea Point Promenade
This is such a fun and relaxing way to spend a summer afternoon. Ride a bike from one end of the Sea Point Promenade to the other, and back again – a 6.6-kilometre round-trip. You can hire one of the orange bikes from the food court next to the Sea Point swimming pool. These are normal pedal bikes with one gear.
On the other hand (and to make it even more exciting), you can hire an electric bike from GOnow. These bikes have an electric motor, so if you get tired of peddling, you can use the throttle to whisk you along at a comfortable speed. These e-bikes allow you to travel further – as far as the V&A Waterfront or, you can hire the bikes for a whole day and take a ride along Chapman’s Peak.
6. Boulders Beach and Cape Point
If you have a whole day free, make a trip to the tip of the Cape Peninsula. Drive through Simon’s Town and take a break at Boulders Beach – home to Africa’s largest colony of wild penguins. Boulders Beach is named after the massive granite boulders that intersperse the sandy beach. It’s a bit like a maze walking through the boulders and finding little penguins around every corner.
When you’re ready to move-on, keep driving south towards the Cape of Good Hope Table Mountain National Park entrance. From here, it’s another 20-minute drive to Cape Point. You can park your car and make your way to the funicular – a green tram that takes you up to the Cape of Good Hope lighthouse. The views from this vantage point are really breath-taking. You can see along the jagged edge of Cape Point, some 240-metres above the frothing sea below. Numerous ships have been wrecked in this very sea over the past 400 years or so. Some of the wreckages can still be pointed out on a clear day.
7. Walk through Kalk Bay and stop for lunch
The seaside suburb of Kalk Bay is a must-see for any visitor. The narrow streets are lined with antique shops, art galleries and cafés. They are always abuzz with live music, curious tourists and jolly locals. Kalk Bay is a small gem that must be experienced, but parking can be hard to find so be patient. Visitors can walk from one end of the suburb to the other and see hundreds of different things along the way.
Stop by any one of the amazing restaurants – The Brass Bell is a bit of an institution here, so have an ice-cold drink and some battered hake and chips while enjoying a pristine view of the sea. There is also an old railway carriage that has been converted into a café, a quaint and cosy bookstore, as well as the actual fishing harbour itself. Kalk Bay harbour is a thriving hub of local fishermen and hungry seals. Take a walk along the harbour pier and get a great view of Kalk Bay with the colourful fishing vessels in the foreground.
8. Seal snorkeling
Talking of hungry seals, summer visitors should book themselves a seal snorkeling experience. At the cost of around R950 per person, you can swim with wild Cape Fur seals in their natural habitat. The boats set-off from Hout Bay. After a quick safety briefing and a change into wetsuits, guests board a boat that then takes them around The Sentinel peak, out of Hout Bay and to Duiker Island.
Don’t be afraid of sharks either – the cold water and thick kelp forests around the island keep sharks away. This is why it’s such a popular spot for the seals. They can play and thrive around the island without worrying about their natural predators. After the snorkeling experience, guests are offered hot chocolate and biscuits on the boat ride back to Hout Bay. Seal snorkeling is a great way to cool off and hang out with some furry critters during summer.
9. Spend a day at Kirstenbosch
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is home to the most diverse array of flora in the world. The garden is a world-class habitat and offers incredible picnic spots for families on a sunny day. There is a coffee shop and restaurant, but visitors are welcome to bring their own picnic blanket and snacks for a day in the pristine environment. Every Sunday afternoon during the summer season, there is an outdoor concert held at the music stage. This is a magical way to spend an afternoon and evening – listening to some of the finest local music in the open-air.
Kirstenbosch is also home to some of the oldest plants in the world – cycads (Encephalartos species). These palm-like plants are often called ‘living fossils’ because they have remained remarkably unchanged from millions of years ago. Cycads have grown since the Jurassic Era, some 150 to 200 million years ago. Visitors to Kirstenbosch also need to take a walk along the Boomslang – a steel and wooden walkway that weaves its way along the tree canopy. This structure was designed to look like a snake and is remarkably well integrated into the treeline. Entrance to the gardens will cost R75 for adults, R20 for children over six years old and there is free entrance to kids under six years of age.
10. Wine tasting at a farm in the area
You cannot visit Cape Town without having a wine tasting experience at one of the scores of wine farms in the area. Many visitors believe that you need to travel out to the Cape Winelands to find the wine farms, but there are numerous establishments right in the heart of Cape Town itself. Some of the oldest Cape wineries are still going in Constantia.
Book a lunch at any one of these venues and try some of Cape Town’s unique wines. We can give you some helpful tips to select a wine farm, depending on your preference for food, views and prices. Constantia is home to the most wine farms in Cape Town, but more exist all around the region, including Noordhoek and Hout Bay.
These are just a few of the incredible experiences and destinations that visitors can enjoy while on holiday in Cape Town. There is no doubt that while you are here, you will hear of countess other activities to try. There is never a dull moment in Cape Town – it is impossible to be bored here. So make the most of your trip and immerse yourself in the culture, views and activities of the Western Cape.
Images: Joshua Oates
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.