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.
Plan your Gordon’s Bay itinerary
Only 45 minutes’ drive from Cape Town and close to Strand is Gordon’s bay. It offers a quiet, romantic beach retreat and some of the best sunsets you’ll ever see. Gordon’s Bay is about slowing down, skipping the crowds, and spending quality time exploring one of the best-kept secrets of the Western Cape. It is also 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.
There are several fantastic dining options in Gordon’s Bay, including Mary-Ann’s Emporium & Eatery, a vegan eateryserving wholesome and delicious dishes. There are countless excellent fish ‘n chips spots too. For some more sophisticated fare try Zest, a sidewalk café with sea views and some seriously good food
While exploring the village don’t miss Bikini Beach Books, where you can get lost among the secondhand treasures from your childhood.
Just outside the village, some great adventure awaits. Stony Point Nature Reserve in Betty’s Bay has a wooden boardwalk that winds through a large colony of African Penguins. At Kogel Bay Beach you can enjoy the fantastic views, unspoilt sandy beach, and picnic and braai facilities.
The Crystal Pools hiking trail leads to some gorgeous natural rock pools
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. The Main Beach is also perfect for family-friendly fun in the sun.
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.
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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