Hire a car at Cape Town Airport and head to False Bay for a bohemian adventure. Why not start your holiday by winding down at one of the irresistible villages along the coast?
False Bay is a huge crescent of beach extending from Cape Point on the west to Hangklip on the east. Its name comes from the fact that Hangklip was mistaken for Cape Point a great many years ago. False Bay is a beautiful area with glorious beaches, quaint seaside towns and a charming old-world atmosphere. On this side of the mountain the pace of life is slower, the temperature of the water is warmer, and there’s a real sense of community. The scenery is striking, with mountains seeming to jut out of the sea while villages sit at their feet. Hire a car at Cape Town Airport to explore the coastline at your leisure.
Muizenberg is a vibrant town settled at the base of the mountain bearing the same name. Its beach, Muizenberg Beach, is a favourite with families and people learning to surf. The beach has been immortalised in many a postcard and photograph featuring the brightly coloured changing rooms. Local boys are known to entertain themselves by back-flipping off the change room stair rails! Muizenberg, like other villages along the western side of the False Bay Coast, has thus far refused to give in to the pressures of developers wanting to change the face of the town.
A little further down the road is Kalk Bay, a fishing village with delightful charm. Local restaurants purchase their seafood from the fishermen when the boats arrive back in the harbour after a morning at sea. Kalk Bay has a creative community which is reflected in the shops with an amazing collection of locally made treasures; from art to furniture to jewellery. The Kalk Bay Theatre is wildly popular, as is the Olympia Café and Bakery-great for breakfast and scrumptious take-aways.
Fish Hoek is one of the “big” towns in False Bay. It’s favoured for its amazing beach, a huge expanse of white sand and often turquoise waters. It’s perfect for families, with lots of space for spreading out, building sandcastles, playing cricket and picnicking. The beach is well looked after with lifeguards on duty and the water is usually calm which makes for ideal swimming conditions. There’s also a promenade for walking and whale watching.
Simon’s Town is an intriguing place to visit. It’s the home of the navy and the harbour is full of naval vessels. Simon’s Town’s “historical mile” showcases 21 buildings over 150 years old as well as three museums: one local, one naval and one for toys. Look out for the statue of “Just Nuisance”, the famous Great Dane awarded the title of “Able Seaman” in the Royal Navy.
Boulders Beach is the renowned home of the African (Jackass) Penguin. Visiting this beach is a special event! There is a small entrance fee to pay before walking onto the beach and sunning yourself on the sand with the penguins. A boardwalk runs along the two main “penguin beaches” and the information centre shows an award-winning documentary on the penguins living in the Simon’s Town area.
The False Bay coastline and its captivating villages are exceptional places to visit. Hire a car at Cape Town Airport and enjoy a self-drive tour!