Gordon's Bay and Strand – The Official Guide
Gordon’s Bay and Strand are part of the Helderberg region which also includes Somerset West. These breathtaking seaside towns offer modern beachfront establishments along the Main Beach and Bikini Beach and magnificent mountain range framing the sublime summer playground. There are many things to do in Gordon’s Bay and Strand, but it’s worth a visit just to see the sunsets, which are among the most beautiful in the country.
Only 45 minutes’ drive from Cape Town and close to Strand is Gordon’s bay, it is the only town in South Africa boasting with 2 fully operational harbours, namely the Old Harbour where you will find the Gordon’s Bay Yacht Club and Harbour Island a marina development with mooring for yachts and home of the Gordon’s Bay Boat Angling Club.
A resort town on the eastern shore of False Bay with a beautiful, white 5km long beach, Strand (“beach” in Afrikaans) is an ideal family stop for swimming, sunbathing and beach activities. A promenade featuring a mix of restaurants, cafés and shops follows the shoreline.The main beach, Melkbaai (“Milk Bay”), is reputedly one of the safest bathing areas in the country.
Nearby Dune Park has a supertube and mini-golf, and the adjacent Harmony Park features a huge tidal pool. A wide variety of organised sport is available, including an internationally rated golf course, tennis courts, rugby fields, squash clubs and fun water sports such as board sailing, surfing, power-boating and paddleskiing.
Surfing and the many surfers who frequent Strand have imbued the seaside region with a laidback culture. “The Pipe” is a specially designated surfing area, famous for its good waves. The waves are safe for beginners. Many of the surfing spots are quite far from shore, yet they remain popular. If you get particularly lucky, you may even share the waves with dolphins.
En route from Strand to Gordon’s Bay, just off the N2, take some time to visit the Lwandle Migrant Museum, dedicated to the history of black migrant workers here during the apartheid era. A memorial to the system of migrant labour, single sex hostels and the control of black workers through the pass book, it is one of only a few museums in South Africa that covers this aspect of our history. Visitors can take a walking tour around the township, watch crafters at work, taste traditional beer and see other historic sites in the community.
The beach at Gordon’s Bay is child-friendly and has a stretch of milkwood trees that provide shady picnic spots. Bikini Beach enjoys Blue Flag status and is the hang out spot for young and trendy visitors. The scenic Clarens Drive joining Gordon’s Bay to Rooi Els is one of the most scenic coastal routes in the world and well worth the drive.
If you’d rather get out of the car and into the surrounding nature, head to Blue Rock Resort where a crystal clear 60m-deep lake awaits you. A hotspot of adrenaline-pumping adventures, it offers scuba diving, knee-boarding, water-skiing and wakeboarding using an overhead cable system.
Blue Rock is situated just off Sir Lowry’s Pass, a mountain pass built in the 1830s as the original link between Somerset West and the outposts on the other side of the Hottentots Holland mountains. For the wine lover, don’t miss the Helderberg Wine Route, which is steeped in history and celebrates a rich wine culture from vine to table.
Take a look at our video of Somerset West, Gordons Bay, and Strand in the video below:
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