Simon's Town, Fish Hoek and Kalk Bay General Information
The False Bay seaboard is a charming stretch of Cape Town coastline to the south-east of the city that boasts an endless array of attractions & activities steeped in fascinating history and culture. Holiday accommodation along the shores of False Bay can be found in one of the many coastal communities, which include Muizenberg, St James, Kalk Bay, Fish Hoek and Simon's Town. The beaches on False Bay are not quite as scenically spectacular, nor as competitively trendy, as those on the Atlantic side, but the water is often 5'C or more warmer, and can reach 20'C in summer. This makes swimming far more pleasant and enjoyable!
The history of the False Bay coastline reaches back to 1687, when Commander Simon van der Stel first found and explored the shores and lands of the Cape Peninsula. He surveyed False Bay and selected it as the safest anchorage for his fleets, calling it Simon's Bay after himself. It was only 1794 that the Dutch East India Company made it their official anchorage and in 1814 the British Royal Navy used the Bay, establishing themselves in what is now known as Simon's Town. Eventually, in 1957 the South African Navy took control from the British Navy.
Simon's Town is a delightful seaside town, boasting a main street filled with enchanting and beautifully restored Victorian buildings, charming curio shops, aromatic coffee shops, fascinating museums and excellent restaurants offering delicious traditional and international cuisine. A stylish Quayside Waterfront Complex has also now been built next to Simon's Town harbour, allowing holiday visitors to sip thirst-quenching refreshments overlooking the various boats bobbing in the yacht basin.
And don't miss the opportunity to see the Jackass Penguins at Boulders Beach - the only species of penguin to colonise on the African continent. On warm summer days, people and penguins alike splash together in the clear and sparkling waters of the bay. Boulders is the perfect family beach - as the name suggests, it is well protected from the wind by large granite boulders whilst the indigo waters are shallow and calm - ideal for swimming and perfect for young children to enjoy. For the nature lovers, a stay in holiday accommodation along the False Bay coastline during October and November will offer sightings of whales - most commonly southern right whales, humpback whales - that favour this bay during their mating and calving season.
Along the False Bay coastal road from Simon's Town lies the placid town of Fish Hoek. Fish Hoek offers a long, sandy beach that is very popular amongst the holiday makers. The waters are warm, the sea is generally calm, the beach is relatively shallow and there's ample space for everyone to enjoy their favourite seaside past-times - whether that be sun tanning, beach volleyball, sandcastle building or kite surfing. For the culture seekers, the neighbouring fishing village of Kalk Bay is not to be missed. The narrow main street is renowned for antique stores, art galleries and craft shops which make fascinating browsing and the well known Brass Bell restaurant and Bar is as close as you can get to the breakers without going for a swim. In the afternoons the fishing boats come back into Kalk Bay Harbour and unload their catches - so be sure to stroll down to the harbours edge and haggle with one of the charismatic fish mongers selling their wares.
And a leisurely drive along the coastline from Kalk Bay towards Muizenberg leads through St James - a residential community surrounding a charming, small beach cove renowned for its colourful beach huts. St James features many beautiful, old Victorian and Cape Dutch homes, all of which offer gorgeous views straight across False Bay to the yonder mountains of Gordon's Bay and Hermanus. From St James, a short drive leads to Muizenberg. Muizenberg beach appears to go on forever and the rhythmic waves offer one of the longest wave breaks in the world, perfect for novice surfers and safe for swimming.
Cape Villa Collection offers the above luxury vacation rentals accommodation in Simon's Town, Fish Hoek and Kalk Bay.