I've been to Cape Town so many times now and still can't get enough.
But there is more to explore outside of the city. You could head towards the East, where you find Walker Bay, a top spot for whale watching and diving with sharks.
Or you head up North along the West Coast....
Less than 2 hours drive from Cape Town you will find the cozy fishing village of Paternoster!
The people here live mainly from fishing, but tourism gets more and more important, too. So you will find a good range of self-catering apartments. We stayed in the Zula Beach House and Cottage and it was simply a dream!
It's positioned in the first row at the Langstrand beach, on the north side of the town. Sit on the terrace and have an amazing view onto this long bay with its waves. There is as well a little cottage in the yard. Altogether you can stay with 12 people here!
The beach house and the cottage are fully equiped, but what's so much more important, it's done with care and personal touch. In Germany you would call it 'gemütlich'. The best translation in English would be 'cozy'.
It's a place to enjoy the sun, to relax and to take a break from everyday life. The Zulu Beach house is positioned right between both main beaches, which both invites for long beach walks. Maybe you spot some whales or dolphins? There is beach equipment like some shovels for the kids, sun chairs and sunshades. So if it's not too windy, get prepared to build some huge sand castles, daddies! If you want to be more active, get your board and surf or rent a sea kayak in town.
Also the small cottage provides everything you need for self-catering, including 2 small cooktops and a fridge. It's a studio, so it's all in one room and you might hear the fridge at night. I didn't... The fresh sea air and good food made me sleep real good! Open the door in the morning and you will see the sea out of your bed!
The owner of the Zula Beach House runs as well The Backpack in Cape Town, which is one of the best hostels you will find in South Africa. Toni knows how to make you feel welcome and I always love to go back!
Zula is paradise!
The houses in Paternoster are all rather small and white. This and the landscape make nice motives for photographers. But it's as well a paradise for surfers! The break is inviting to bring your board!
But also wind and kitesufer find great conditions. Often there is a good wind and there is no need to drive to the close lagoon Langebaan, which is known around the world for being one of the best kite- & windsurf spots.
You should as well take your car and drive to the Columbine Local Authority Nature Reserve. They charge an entrance fee, but it's worth it. Drive to the very end and enjoy this amazing scenery. You could park at Tietiesbaai Rest Camp and lie down at this little beautiful bay or drive around the corner and go for a nice walk along the coast. There is as well the Cape Columbine lighthouse, which is one of only four lighthouses in South Africa where you can stay overnight!
Just opposite of the gate to the nature reserve, you will find the Seekombuis pub & restaurant. It's got a bit the character of a 'beach shack'. Go there! The food is OK, but the place itself is worth stopping. It's right at the beach, so that you have another great view. Kids will love to play around the rocks at the beach, while you take a seat in a 'boat', surrounded by fisher nets.
Back in Paternoster... there is no need to cook yourself either. So if you feel like going out, then there are quite a few good restaurants in Paternoster. Fish is of course the dish to go for.
Paternoster restaurants I recommend:
- Voorstrandt; it's an old fisherman's house right at the beach front. Book your table in advance! It's usually very busy! It's a good place to go with your kids. They can play on the beach while you start with an appetizer. ;-) To eat, go and ask for the "catch of the day", order a nice wine from the Cape and enjoy 'beach life'!
- Gaaitjie; it's ideally located on the beach. Sadly we couldn't eat there, as it was booked the whole week in advance... lunch & dinner. Says enough, right? The food must be really delicious. Next time I'll call a month in advance! ;-) It really looks promising!
- Oep ve Koep; it says bistro, but it's more... it's a place to go to! There is a little shop as well, and that's where you can buy your fresh bread every morning! Better make sure to reserve one... it's delicious! Another option is to have your breakfast in the garden! That's what we did and it was good. Many things are homemade, which you can tell by the good taste. We also had lunch once and it for sure didn't dissapoint us. It's of course all fresh, and Kobus (the chef) gives the meal his very own style and taste! The garden got many trees and only a few tables. It's where you want to be on hot days, in the shade of the trees! The menu changes all the time, but I'm sure Kobus will have some bobotie on it!
- On the Rocks; maybe the best fish and chips take-away on the West Coast! It's easy to find. Head to the market square at the main beach and listen! Nathalie the owner got a loud voice and is a great personality. Your fish and chips will be made when ordered and this could be one of 300 on a busy day in main season! The fish is fresh... the fisherman land each morning only a few meters away. So eat it right there or take it away, but make sure not to miss it!
- Blikkie Pizzeria; we weren't really looking to eat pizza during our stay in Paternoster. But all the other places we wanted to go to were fully booked. Next time I will want to eat pizza! Come on... pizza is always yummy! And then, Blikkie is for sure the place to go to. It's positioned on a hill, so that you can overlook the whole bay and town. The owners are very friendly and the food is goooood! I'll come for more!
If you have enough of busy city life, then Paternoster should be it!