The school holidays are here, giving locals with children the perfect excuse to plan a break with the little ones (not say that those without wouldn’t be keen on getting away for a weekend too). It may be difficult to think of the perfect getaway if you don’t already have one in mind.
If you’re looking for a little adventure or wanting to try somewhere new, we’ve put together a few towns in the Cape that provide the ideal weekend escape:
Just a two-hour drive out of Cape Town along fynbos-lined roads with beautiful mountain scenes lies the small town of Swellendam.
The third-oldest town in South Africa, Swellendam has around 17,537 inhabitants and boasts over 50 heritage sites.
We can highly recommend spending the weekend at Jan Harmsgat, a historical farm and country house dating back to the 1700s.
Their sprawling lawns offer space for children to play as well as a pool to swim in, and the Just Amy restaurant has something for everyone’s tastebuds.
Swellendam is the place to go for relaxation and rejuvenation, rolling hills, and fantastic wine farms.
Contact: 087 057 4507
Address: R 60 Swellendam, South Africa
If seaside lounging is what you’re after, Langebaan is the place for you.
This town is on the eastern shore of the Langebaan Lagoon and home to Club Mykonos, Cape Town’s little piece of Greece.
The resort offers guests three tasteful accommodation options, from the three-star Athenian Cascades and Terraces units to the elegant comfort of the four-star preferred units.
Visitors can enjoy movie hire, day trips, guest photo shoots and more. It’s the perfect place to spend some time sunbathing while the kids enjoy the water.
The nearby Die Strandlooper restaurant is an ideal place to indulge in fresh seafare while you enjoy the sand underfoot and blue sky above.
Contact: 022 707 7000
Address: Mykonos Access Rd Langebaan, Western Cape, South Africa 7357
3. Betty’s Bay
With the sea on your left and the mountains on your right, Betty’s Bay is the place to go if you’ve got little ones and fur babies.
This small, quaint town offers the lovely presence of cheerful locals and some of the least-crowded beaches around with beautiful mountain view you won’t forget. And let’s not forget some of the town’s noisier residents: the colony of penguins at the local Stony Point Nature Reserve.
On the way to Betty’s, you’ll take one of the Cape’s most scenic drives, the R44, with a breath-taking view of the ocean.
Once you arrive, a great animal-friendly café to stop at is Coffee, On Clarence which you can find on Clarence Drive. Their sandwiches are a treat and their coffee is delightful, plus no four-legged friend who enters goes without a warm greeting and a special treat.
Stay at Friends offers comfort and luxury, with easy access to nearby beaches and the must-visit Harold Porter National Botanical Garden.
Contact: 082 894 1651
Address: 2359 Business Crescent Betty’s Bay, Western Cape 7141
4. St Helena Bay
St Helena Bay is located on the West Coast Way Foodie Route and is the perfect escape for locals looking to wander and discover parts of the West Coast
Visitors with an interest in yachting, canoeing or surfing will love the waters in this quaint bay.
We suggest picking a spot that suits your fancy from Air BnB, where you can find an abundance of beach cottages and beachfront villas.
Must-visit spots in St Helena include the Algeria Restaurant and Shelly Point.
Gaansbaai is not only a peaceful little town just two hours out of Cape Town but also a place of great interest for certain kinds of thrill seekers.
It is most popular for its shark cage diving attractions as well as the famous Klipgat Cave, which is located in the Walker Bay Nature Reserve.
Visitors to the area should check out the Eco cabins at Farm 215 – nature retreat and fynbos reserve, which is home to a great number of birds and animals.
This little town is most suited to nature-lovers looking to get a break from their busy working lives – and maybe get their adrenaline pumping a little bit, too.
Contact: 082 097 1655
Address: Farm 215 Hartebeeskloof & Koudeberg Baardskeerdersbos
There’s no better destination for whale-spotting than Hermanus, a famous place for sighting the majestic ocean giants.
Known for its easy-breezy offerings right on the ocean, with great views for catching a glimpse of migrating whales as well as things to do for the whole family, Hermanus is the place to be.
You simply can’t visit this area without paying a visit to the Belgian Waffles, Beer & Burgers spot in Village Square, Marine Drive. Not only is the view spectacular but the waffles are second to none.
78th on 5th B&B in Hermanus is a great spot to stay for an uninterrupted view of the ocean, even while you’re eating breakfast.
Contact: 028 314 1601
Address: 78 Fifth St Hermanus, Western Cape 7200
7. Saldanha Bay
Just an hour-and-a-half from Cape Town by car, this laid-back bay waits to welcome all in need of peace.
The small town of Saldanha, which has just 21 636 inhabitants, offers visitors the chance to relax and enjoy the sea view with the bay breeze blowing by.
It is known as an oyster and mussel haven, and is considered the pearl in the West Coast’s crown. Protea Hotel by Marriott Saldanha Bay occupies a prime position on the waterfront overlooking the bay, and offers fishing and water sport enthusiasts the perfect location to kickstart their West Coast adventure.
Must-see spots here include the North Head Lighthouse and The Pixie & Fairy Village (definitely a place to take the kids to).
Contact: 086 111 9000
Treat yourself to a botanical getaway and stay in a cottage that is neatly tucked away at the foot of the Cederberg Mountains.
The Cederkloof Botanical Retreat offers travellers 10 well-equipped self-catering cottages situated in green rolling hills filled with nature, and some even come with their own hot tub.
It’s a great spot for hikers, those looking for a good spot to do some yoga outdoors, or travellers keen to hop on a horse and have a ride around the reserve.
This is also one of the best places to get a good view of the night sky and the nearby Hebron Restaurant offers fabulous wining and dining delights.
Contact: 083 285 6766
Address: R303 Regional Road, Citrusdal Cederberg 7340