Simon’s Town is one of South Africa’s oldest towns, situated 35km outside Cape Town. This scenic neighbourhood is known for its rich maritime history, gorgeous beaches, adventurous water-based activities, marine wildlife and the colony of African penguins.
If you’re visiting Simon’s Town, here’s the ultimate adventure guide to the seaside attraction:
Where to play
From animal spotting and sailing to the beach and cycling, here’s what you need to see and do during your Simon’s Town visit:
The famous Boulders Beach is home to a large colony of African penguins and is a popular tourist attraction. Spend the day watching penguins or swim in the safe, sheltered, warm waters (by Cape Town’s standards).
Whale View Manor Day Spa
Whale View Manor is conveniently situated on the main street of Simon’s Town and offers locals and visitors to the town a luxurious haven to relax and unwind. Let time and the world pass you by while you spoil and pamper yourself in an oasis of tranquillity.
Simon’s Town Ghost Walk
If you’re brave enough, join Simon’s Town Ghost Walk for a spooky evening adventure in the haunted village of Simon’s Town. The two-hour walk visits a few spooky jaunts, including the Old Burial Grounds. The tour guide will share some scary tales while merging in some of the history and culture of the iconic attraction.
False Bay Yacht club
The False Bay Yacht Club offers sailing and angling and provides ample fun for the whole family. Set sail and savour one of the most beautiful settings in the world!
The Scratch Patch
If you’re looking for something to do with the kids, then check out The Scratch Patch. Enter a pit of gorgeous, polished gemstones and fill a bag with your favourites to take home.
Enjoy an 18-hole underground golf course through a series of underground areas with rock halls, mineral displays and more.
Explore the neighbourhood and soak up Simon’s Town. Here are some suggestions:
Just Nuisance Grave
The grave of this very famous dog is at the top of Red Hill and is a frequent stop for visitors. While it is a tough climb up the steps to the top, the view is well worth it. The mountain steps begin on Barnard Street and lead up to the Navy Signals area where the grave is located. You’ll also find an impressive bronze statue of the dog on Jubilee Square.
South African Naval Museum
The South African Navy Museum is managed jointly by the South African Navy and the South African Naval Heritage Trust. Spend an hour or two learning about the Naval exhibits, collections, and other historical facts.
Warrior Toy Museum
Set in St George’s Street, this museum houses a permanent display of 4,000 model cars, 500 dolls and teddy bears, miniature dolls’ houses and rooms, two fully operating miniature railroads, lead soldier displays, Meccano, ships, and many other miscellaneous toys and models. The museum also has a sales section for collectors.
Simon’s Town Museum
Find out about the cultural history of the people of Simon’s Town and their connections with the Dutch East India Company and the Royal Navy at Simon’s Town Museum. The attraction collects and exhibits historical memorabilia.
Craving an adventure? Here are some suggestions:
Not far from Simon’s Town is Cape Point, hailed one of the most beautiful promontories on the planet. Take the Flying Dutchman Funicular up to the lighthouse to enjoy the finest views, explore the stunning indigenous fynbos vegetation, and spot the animals that call it home.
Above Boulders Beach and Seaforth area is a fantastic hike up to the blockhouse. Further on to the top is Black Hill/Swartkop, the big mountain above Boulders. This hike takes you through some gorgeous fynbos and landscapes. The round trip takes around 2 to 3 hours.
The Great African Sea Forests
Dive into the ocean and explore the iconic kelp forests – where the Oscar-winning documentary, My Octopus Teacher, was filmed. Meet seals, sharks, and other sea creatures in this scenic underwater experience. There are also snorkelling with seals experiences available.
Kayak Cape Town
Embark on a 2-hour long kayak trip around Simon’s Town to experience its grand coastline. During the tour, you can see marine life and visit the penguins at Boulders.
If you’re an avid twitcher, look no further than Avian Leisure, a company that hosts guided tours of the birdlife and other wildlife around False Bay. They also offer all kinds of fauna and flora-based tours across the Cape.
Simon’s Town Boat Company
A cruise to Cape Point with Simon’s Town Boat Company offers everything from whales (in season) and exploring ocean caves to stunning cliff faces and the most spectacular view of Cape Point from offshore. You will see many different bird species or may even witness a pod of dolphins.
Big Blue Fishing Charters
Join one of the dedicated and professional skippers and fishing guides from Big Blue Fishing Charters for the ultimate fishing experience. Dabble in a range of inshore game fishing, reef fishing, and fishing for big game.
For the brave, try Shark Cage Diving in False Bay, an area made famous by the spectacular hunting behaviour of its white sharks. There are many service providers who can take you on an adventure into shark-infested water, with activities ranging from cage or scuba diving to breaching and predation tours. African Shark Eco-Charters, Apex Shark Expeditions, Pisces Divers, and Shark Explorers are all accredited organisations offering a variety of shark-based activities.
Read more about shark diving and see a full list of operators here.