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Atlantic Seaboard Travel Guide - Cape Town, South Africa

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The Atlantic Seaboard runs west from the V&A Waterfront through to the southern tip of the Cape Peninsula and is among Cape Town's most expensive and trendy seaside real estate. Several upmarket suburbs nest on the steel slopes of Table Mountain, offering incredible views across the Atlantic Ocean.

The water along the coastline is icy cold and is a few degrees cooler than that on the False Bay side, but the beaches are gorgeous, perfect for getting a great tan, enjoying sundowners or picnics. Due to its positioning, the coast sees amazing sunsets over the water. Along the coast, the rugged Twelve Apostles mountains hug the bays and the coastal road, running through from Mouille Point to Llandudno

The coastal road to the west of the Waterfront runs through Mouille Point and Green Point and while this was a red-light district in the past, it is now an area of restaurants, clubs and holiday accommodation. A fascinating aspect of this area is the Mouille Point lighthouse. Dating back to Victorian days, the lighthouse os am attractive red and white building, housing the foghorn, often heard as the sea mists come in over the coastline.

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Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa

Following on from Green Point, Sea Point is a popular spot for great eating places and its high rise apartment blocks all loom over gorgeous ocean views. The grassy promenade is a popular spot for dog walkers, mothers pushing their prams, as well as the odd street kid and vagrant.

Passing along from this spot, Bantry Bay is a more upmarket resort, with several luxury hotels and apartments on offer, all in easy walking distance of the many restaurants in the area. Just around the corner from this is the amazing Clifton, with its stunning apartments and beach houses, along with four excellent beaches, always packed with visitors in the summer season.

Beach at Camps Bay, Cape Town, South Africa

Just past Clifton is the posh suburb of Camps Bay, well known as being the "Cape Riviera," an area with a gorgeous sandy beach, several beach front restaurants, bistros and cocktail spots, as well as the Theatre on the Bay. 

Next stop is Llandudno, a rather more isolated seaside resort with a lovely beach, flanked by enormous boulders. Llandudno is a popular surfing spot and gets very busy over the weekends. 

Just past this is the lovely Hout Bay, a popular, family-friendly town with a large fishing harbour, great fish restaurants and a good beach. While in town, visit the World of Birds, as well as the interesting shebeens, spazas and a local witchdoctor to visit on a township tour. Another great option is to take a scenic boat ride out to Seal Island.

Hout Bay From Chapman's Peak Drive, Cape Peninsula, South AfricaAlong the coastal route, Chapman's Peak Drive makes for an exhilarating journey. The drive runs for 10 kms along the mountainside, with cliffs hanging over the sea. There are viewpoints to stop at, which allow you to view the gorgeous views of Hout Bay and the Sentinel. However, bear in mind that if the weather is bad, the drive can be closed, so always check first before heading out for the views.

Noordhoek makes for an interesting experience. Located at the foot of Chapman's Peak, this rather sleepy settlement has its charms. Near to the beach you will find the Red Herring restaurant and Fingo Cafe. Up on the main road, Noordhoek Farm Village is a great place to stop with the family, to stock up on locally-grown fresh produce or enjoy a lunch in the shade of the trees.

Heading to Kommetjie, enjoy a famous surfing spot, which attracts all kinds of surfer types. At night, the Slangkop lighthouse, the tallest cast-iron lighthouse on South Africa's coast,  lights up the village. From here itís a 10km drive to Misty Cliffs and Scarborough, the most remote suburbs along the peninsula. 

These villages border Cape Point, and are often frequented by troops of wild baboon, who manage to gain access to the houses, looking for food and can be seen having fun along the road from Kommetjie.

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V & A Waterfront Travel Guide:

Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town, South AfricaThe Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, more commonly known as just "the Waterfront, lies to the west of the industrial Duncan Dock and was Cape Town's original Victorian harbour. Prior to its construction, the Cape of Storms was notorious for its ferocious winter storms, often wrecking ships along the way. It was back in 1860 that a young Prince Alfred ceremoniously places the first load of stone as construction began on the Breakwater and the twin basin dock was completed in 1869.

The Victorians wouldn't recognize the Waterfront as it stands today, although the period buildings have been renovated, with the addition of imitation Victorian shopping malls and piers. These days the busy working harbour goes hand in hand with an astonishing collection of shops, clubs, pubs, restaurants, museums and outdoor theatres, all in an amazing setting, backed by a panoramic view of Table Mountain.

Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town, South AfricaThe most popular area of the Waterfront is the two-level Victoria Wharf, a shopping mall crammed with retail therapy, along with cinemas, stalls and kiosks. There is a huge variety of eateries, with everything from sushi bars to coffee shops, upmarket venues and simple take-out joints.

Newcomers to the Waterfront should pop into the Visitor Centre on Dock Road to enjoy a self-guided historical tour. A map and other information can be gathered here and it is possible to book tours and taxis. Close by is the Telkom Exploratorium, a popular spot for the kids and an interactive science museum. However, possibly the more popular destination for the children is the Two Oceans Aquarium close by.

Next to the modern swing bridge, which connects it to the attractive Victorian Clock Tower, is the Old Port Captain's Office and a little further along is the Nelson Mandela Gateway. It is possible to book tours to Robben Island, prison home of the former South African President, and it is also the departure point of the ferry to the island. The Gateway also houses a museum, offering interactive displays of the island's history, including the voices of the prisoners and their freedom songs. There is also a restaurant for a welcoming stop.
 

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Latest update: October 13, 2016