The wind, the ocean, the sand dunes, the wilderness, the waves. There is so much natural splendor in the Cape Peninsula. We've seen plenty of incredible places during our week in Cape Town, and this was one of the great surprises.
The Cape Peninsula is a 52 long rocky peninsula South of Cape Town. A drive along its roads is one of our favorite additions to our Cape Town itinerary. You can plan at least one full day to explore around, but if you have time, I'd say three days would be perfect. Get a map, a good playlist, a camera and get ready to hit the road...
10 Things to do in Cape Peninsula
1. take your time on chapman's peak drive
Known as one of the most scenic drives in the world, Chapman's Peak Drive will blow your mind. It's a spectacular 5 km ocean road linking Hout Bay with Noordhoek. The road is cut out of the cliff and the drive is a unique experience with near vertical cliffs and blind bends. The views are so incredible you'll want to stop all the time. The best way to enjoy it : with a cool travel buddy and a picnic!
2. Have a bite at the farm village
The Farm Village in Noordhoek was a lovely discovery! It encompasses numerous excellent restaurants and cafes. We had lunch in Café Roux -where salads are INCREDIBLE. It's even better at night, when they host live concerts on the grass. Oh, and don't leave without tasting Kristen's kick ass ice cream!
3. Relax on Noordhoek beach
That's how the Chapman's Peak Drive ends. We were literally speechless. We've seen plenty of beautiful beaches, but this one?! The immensity, the serenity, the wilderness. It was unreal! Plus, there's a good surf spot on the right side.
4. wander around Kalk Bay
Kalk Bay is one of the charming fishing village of the peninsula. A great stop for art & crafts shops, nice cafés and super laid-back atmosphere.
5. Surf in Muizenberg
Muizenberg stole my heart! Not only because of its very retro bathing chalets on the beach and its white sandy beach, but also for its awesome surf / artist town vibe. Keep an eye open for street art and concept stores. Waves are usually pretty good there -it's also a great kitesurfing spot when the wind picks up. And if you're curious about sharks in South Africa, don't miss the Sharp Spotters Center, it's very informative.
6. Visit the penguin colony
Simon's Town is famous for its African penguin colony which lives on its shores, and which is an absolutely unmissable stop on any Cape Peninsula route! We're talking about thousands of penguins here, going about their daily business, preening, cuddling, waddling, swimming and mating. As you can see on the picture, the view is pretty cool, too.
7. Enjoy the best fish & chips (ever)
While you stop in Simon's Town to visit the penguin colony, make a stop for a lunch in the Lighthouse Cafe. They serve the BEST fish & chips we've ever had -in a relax beach-style cafe. Just talking about makes my mouth water. [90 St Georges St, Simon's]
8. explore the Cape of Good Hope Reserve
The Cape of Good Hope sits at the tip of the Peninsula, offering some incredible views on the mesmerizing Atlantic Ocean. We thought a couple of hours would be enough to "see it" -we didn't realize there's a magnificent national park that's worth a full day visit there. There are hiking routes, wildlife, stunning beaches, gorgeous roads -loads of options. First thing, climb up the lighthouse in Cape Point for the best views over the Cape of Good Hope. You'll feel like you're at the end of the Earth! Then drive down to the actual Cape of Good Hope, 10 minutes from there. It's magical at sunset.
9. Meet the African wildlife on the road
While at the Cape of Good Hope, keep an eye out for zebras, ostriches and baboons -watch out, they are NOT friendly animals. There are also 1,100 species of indigenous plants that grow here and nowhere else in the world.
10. Enjoy the most magical sunset from Platboom beach
From Australia to Indonesia's most remote islands, we've see a lot. But this is the most extraordinary beach we have seen so far. We had to leave the Cape of Good Hope Reserve at 7:40 pm, we arrived in Platboom beach at 7 pm. The park was empty, everybody had left already. Which made us the only people on this stunning, white sandy beach. We stopped the car, then went running and rolling like kids on the sand dunes. It was fabulous! On our way back, we crossed a family of ostriches -those things are massive! A magnificent moment.
- Driving time from Cape Town to the Cape of Good Hope is about an hour and a half.
- If you have enough time, stay in one of the villages of the peninsula such as Hout Bay and Kalk Bay. They're lovely, and you'll avoid the traffic of the city.
- If you go on the mountains, spot the shark spotters -that's a job I've discovered in South Africa. How COOL is that!?
- The peninsula is absolutely perfect for picnics.
- Do not rush it. It's better to see less things but enjoy every minute of it!