As the West Coast becomes a kaleidoscope of colours and we slowly start shedding those extra clothing items, there’s a crispy glimmer of sunshine at the end of a damp and cold tunnel. While we may not be able to enjoy those sweltering 32-degree summer hugs just yet, we’re celebrating the return of warm weather by searching for fantastic small towns around the Western Cape that add a touch of summer to our getaway dreams.
Freshly grilled fish slathered in lemon and butter sauce while watching the ocean’s gentle giants cruise the waters? Pinch us because we’re in heaven. The seaside town of Hermanus is a hotspot for whale watchers as it’s a popular breeding ground for the Southern Right whale, with a dedicated festival and everything. Grab your K-way and meander down the coast, exploring everything that this region has to offer, including some world-class wine farms, thanks to its reputation as South Africa’s Pinot Noir and Chardonnay-producing region. Good food, whale watching, the ocean breeze, and out-of-this-world wine? It smells like summer to us!
Struisbaai is another gorgeous seaside town that’s an easy 2.5 hours from Cape Town, making it the perfect destination for a day trip. Only a few minutes from the Southern Tip of Africa, make sure you bring your camera along for some epic pics of the mesmerising views and sunset that this area is renowned for. There are several Blue Flag beaches to relax on, or put on your hiking boots and enjoy the numerous hiking trails situated in this area.
Suiderstrand is a nature lover’s paradise, thanks to its unique location. Surrounded by the Agulhas National Park, this village is home to an array of birds, insects, mammals and endemic fynbos. Breathe in the fresh seaside air as you explore the natural beauty of this village. Take a hike to the Southernmost point of Africa, a mere 5 kilometres from this little town, or visit the famous musical pebble beach and listen to the waves wash over the tiny rocks, which create a beautiful instrumental sound. No shops and limited cell reception may make this the perfect destination for those looking to escape the bustle of the city.
George is a bustling city along the Garden Route that‘s packed with endless activities and sights to see, especially for the kids. If you’re looking for some summertime fun in winter, then grab your buckets and start picking some juicy strawberries. Horseback riding, kayaking, golfing, hiking and mountain biking are just a few other outdoor activities you can enjoy when attempting to get your body and mind ready for summer.
Not everyone enjoys pedalling up a hill or swinging a golf club, and if you’d prefer to kick your feet up and enjoy the slow-paced life of a small riverside village, then Stanford is your best bet. Whip up a few delicious sandwiches and pour a glass of local Stanford wine as you picnic along the banks of the Kleinriver while gazing in amazement at the dramatic mountains. If the outdoorsman in you starts calling, then explore the hiking and biking trails that this area offers.
Those kaleidoscopes of summery colours we were talking about earlier? Namaqua is famous for it, offering a spectacular display that will leave you wanting to prance around in the endless fields of wildflowers. The West Coast is also teeming with countless wine estates that offer a range of charming family-run farms to tickle your fancy, ensuring a perfect pseudo-summer day out.