The Republic of Hout Bay as it is affectionately known, is the jumping-off point to take a boat trip to see the seals lounging on rocks in the ocean and has become known for its Seal Island, its beach and its working harbour. What tends to surprise most visitors is the spectacular scenery which is spectacular without any effort! However this is a lot more to Hout Bay – a place full of shops, markets, restaurants, artisan food, activities, a fabulous beach, fishing and mountain walks and great places to stay.
Hout Bay sometimes feels physically and mentally removed from Cape Town itself – with just 3 access roads Hout Bay has a unique quality despite being 15 minutes from the city and 30 minutes from Cape Point. The facilities in this little town seem to improve year on year and there are some exquisite places to stay – from beach cottages to 5 star homes and hotels. Many are within walking distance of the facilities in town.
Hout Bay – What to Do:
- Take that Seal Island boat Trip with Drumbeat Charters
- Look out for the musicians in the harbour on your return.
- Swim & snorkel with the seals when you get off the boat.
- Visit the Pearl Shop at Mariner’s Wharf -choose an oyster guaranteed to contain a pearl.
- Walk or play frisbee/beach bats on Hout Bay Beach at sunset
- Quiz night at Pirates Pub & Grill on the first Thursday of every Month
- Hang out at Bay Harbour Market
- Visit Hout Bay Vineyards– tastings by appointment (max 12 people)
- Go surfing & if you are really brave try Big Wave Surfing at Dungeons
- Visit Milavitsa lingerie boutique at Mainstream Mall for French & Italian lingerie
- Bag a big one – catch a Tuna on a Deep sea fishing safari with Hooked on Africa
- Visit the Original T-bag Design workshop that uses recycled tea bags to create jobs for the local township.
- Watch whales from Chapman’s Peak drive (in season)
- Visit Imizamo Yethu Township on a bicycle tour
- Myburgh Ravine is a great (& relatively easy hike) from Hout Bay
- Find the East Fort (oldest operating gun battery in the world) on Chapman’s Peak Drive and have sundowners
- Laugh your heart out on the first Weds of the month at Bay Harbour Comedy Supper Club
- Let the squirrel monkeys climb all over you at the World of Birds – home to more than 3000 birds.
- Watch Super Rugby at Pirates Pub & Grill with the locals: ½ price drinks for members until the first try score if a SA team is playing
- Do a 10 km out and back run from the beach to the Chapman’s Peak viewpoint
- Visit Iziko Lo Lwazi next to Hout Bay Manor – they are a stunning paper making and beading group
- SUP (Stand Up Paddling) lessons at Hout Bay beach
- Look for a castle on the slope of the mountain (As rumor goes it is a copy of one in Liechtenstein built by someone for his lover)
- Visit the Hout Bay Museum for a history of the town from early hunter gathers, to the first Europeans and memorabilia related to the fishing industry
- Find the leopard sculpture on the rock for a photograph
- Sea kayak to Duiker Seal Island or Chapman’s Peak on the water
- Watch the fisherman unload their fresh fish at the working harbour
- Sunday Market on the Village Green
- Check out the Kronendal building (from 1780 – oldest building in Hout Bay) – great preservation and home to one of the finest restaurants in Hout Bay – Kitima
- Incredible hikes and wooded walks. Heaven.
- Cycle on Chapman’s Peak Drive at sunrise or mountain bike in the surrounding mountains.
- Look for contemporary South Africa art at the Sembach Art Gallery
- Buy African handicrafts from the stalls at the harbour without feeling harassed.
- Go for High Tea at Pure Restaurant (Hout Bay Manor)
Hout Bay – Where to Eat:
- Eat prawns or sushi on the deck at Lookout Deck – it’s a perfect first lunch stop for any European visitor.
- Book a private dining cabin at Mariner’s Wharf’s Wharfside Grill Restaurant for a special occasion.
- Treat yourself to Haute Cuisine at Pure Restaurant – stylish food and decor without pretences
- Eat Fish & Chips at Snoekies – they’ve been in the harbour since 1951!
- Sip Italian coffee at Dario’s with the locals – just for the pleasure of it
- Visit the Chapman’s cigar bar at the foot of Chapman’s Peak for a sun-downer & while there taste their pan-fried Calamari, possibly the best in the world!
- Let the kids play at Dunes Restaurant while you tuck into a meal at the beach
- Eat Dim sum at Kitima or go for the Sunday Buffet (but book!)
- Coffee and best style crepe pancakes at the Boardroom Adventure Centre
- Beer on Tap & German delights at Alpenstube on Victoria Road
- Take 5 adult friends to Massimo’s for the ‘Italian Feast’ and try all the pizzas
- The Workshop claims to be the smallest pub in Africa – true or not its a gem!
Hout Bay – Where to Stay:
Hout Bay accommodation is plentiful but sought after. Reserve your Hout Bay accommodation early especially if travelling on busy weekends or peak holiday periods. Find and book a Guest House, Hotel, Bed & Breakfast or Self Catering Accommodation in Apartments, Cottages, Holiday Houses and Villas in Hout Bay.
Hout Bay – Getting There and Around
Road: City Centre via Camps Bay; From Constantia over Constantia Nek; From southern peninsula over Chapman’s Peak Drive.
The City Sightseeing Hop On – Hop off Bus- take the Blue Mini Peninsula Tour
Hout Bay is a popular stop on most Cape Point Day Tours.
Getting Around: Ideal to have your own vehicle but taxi’s are available. In the centre of town most facilities are walking distance but a bicycle is a good alternative.
I was once told that Hout Bay is the best place to mend a broken heart and then came back time and time again to enjoy the beautiful weather, beaches, restaurants, tranquility, cleanliness and charm. I think that’s a good enough recommendation – don’t you.
Cape Point Route offers day tours, packages, accommodation, activities and car hire in Cape Town’s south peninsula in addition to teambuilding events in Cape Town.
Call 021 782 9356 or visit www.capepointroute.co.za