One of the best ways to really explore Cape Town is by car. In fact, a recent Pentagon Motor Group analysis looked at over seven million Instagram hashtags and found that Chapman’s Peak Drive in Cape Town is number 5 in the world for number of photographs per kilometre.
Chappies might be the crown jewel of our scenic drives but there are plenty of other gems that’ll have you snapping pics. The city has some of the most amazing roads, which wind around the mountains and offer stunning sea views. Here are a few drives you can take to really soak up the splendour of Cape Town.
Chapman’s Peak, or “Chappies” to locals, is the classic Cape Town scenic drive. In fact, it’s been used in dozens of car commercials, so look out for it next time you read a magazine or watch TV. The drive winds around the mountains above the Atlantic, with endless ocean views. It’s a half-hour drive, but allow time to stop at one of the many lookout points and admire the view. End the drive in Hout Bay with fish ‘n chips at Mariner’s Wharf.
Signal Hill is a quick drive and it’s close to the city centre. Make your way up to the top where you’ll find panoramic views of the whole city. It’s one of the best places in town to watch the sun go down, and on clear summer evenings, you’ll find it packed with sunset-seekers.
This one’s a little longer and will take a minimum of 30 minutes but allow at least an hour so that you can stop off at one of the amazing beaches along the way. The road hugs the back of Table Mountain, passing quiet stretches of the coast as well as bustling cosmopolitan beaches. In this part of Cape Town, the sun sets over the sea, so it’s a fantastic place to drive just before sunset. Stop in Camps Bay for a delicious cocktail and snack while the sun goes down.
Boyes Drive is one of the less popular routes in Cape Town, but it shouldn’t be. This stunning drive traces mountains behind False Bay, with views over the harbour below, before finally winding down and ending at the lively and bustling Kalk Bay Harbour. During whale season, between June and November, you may spot whales frolicking in the bay below. The False Bay shark-spotters are also located up there, so stop off to read about these incredible sharks and see if you can spot one.
Simon’s Town to Cape Point
Simon’s Town is a great place to start many a drive, but our favourite is the route from here to Cape Point The Flying Dutchman Funicular. Stop just outside Simon’s Town to visit the penguins at Boulders Beach, before you wind your way along the quiet, largely untouched coastline to the majestic promontory of Cape Point. When you arrive, you can take the Cape Point The Flying Dutchman Funicular to the lighthouse at the top, where you will find some of the most spectacular views in town. There are great cliffs that rise from the crashing waves, and seemingly endless blue sea and skies stretching out to the horizon.
R44 from Gordon’s Bay to Somerset West
Gordon’s Bay is an off-the-beaten-track haven, where you can enjoy quiet beaches, cocktails, seafood, and some of the best sunsets in the country. Drive along the edge of the water through Strand, and stop to enjoy shopping, food (pro-tip: Belgian waffles), or just enjoy the views.
Rent a car to to get around Cape Town with ease.