Beneath Table Mountain, Cape Town's white beaches and café culture, great restaurants, working harbour, urban nature reserves and vineyards have earned this African city a season ticket to all the "World's Favourite City" polls.
If you plan to visit South Africa, chances are you've got Cape Town at the top of your list of places to go. And well you might, the second largest city in South Africa is easily reached from all over the world and the perfect place to start your South African holiday.
Within minutes of arriving in Cape Town you can be lying on the beach, walking in a nature reserve, sampling award-wining wines or just sitting at a sidewalk café enjoying the weather and a passing platter of people more varied than the Mount Nelson High Tea.
Cape Town's appeal lies in heart, or rather its central nervous system. Running the 60km length of the Cape Peninsula, starting at Signal Hill and ending at Cape Point, Table Mountain Nature Reserve is a rather fetching custodian of the Cape Floral Kingdom - declared a World Heritage Site for its incredible bio-diversity and endemism.
Behind the thousand-metre Table Mountain is a series of peaks known as the Twelve Apostles. Arguably more photogenic that its square-topped sibling, the Apostles chain provides shelter for stray clouds, its gullies sustain an evergreen sheen of life and the whole lot looks out over the azure sea and pure white sands of Camps Bay, Clifton and Llandudno. A Big Sur road winds along the coast circumventing the entire peninsula with a view at every corner.
On the other side of the mountain are the city and the harbour, bristling with semi-busy Capetonians in glamorous repose at strategically-placed streetside cafés.
Further south along the Cape Peninsula you will find some of South Africa's oldest wine farms in scenic vales at the foot of these ever-present mountains; beyond that: more beaches, mountains, forests, nature reserves and a daisy-chain of charming seaside towns.
Some of the popular attractions in Cape Town include:
- Robben Island - UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Table Mountain (hike up, cable car down if you can) - UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Cape Point Nature Reserve and Boulders Beach penguins
- Township tours - a surprisingly uplifting experience and an essential companion to Robben Island and a tour of the historical museums and landmarks of Cape Town.
- Constantia Winelands
- Atlantic beaches (Bantry Bay, Clifton, Camps Bay, Llandudno)
- Simon's Town and False Bay beaches (Muizenberg, Fishhoek, Boulder's Beach)
- Good Hope Castle
- Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
- V&A Waterfront
- Museums, galleries, shows and markets
A short drive from Cape Town takes you into the
If the game reserves are the eastern bookend of the Garden Route, the Cape Winelands are the western bookend. And what a bookend with charming country towns, vast mountain ranges, beautiful nature reserves and of course the ever-so-picturesque vineyards.
More... , including the scenic Franschhoek valley, Stellenbosch, Paarl, Robertson… but don't go too far or you'll end up on the Garden Route Garden Route
Packed with an assortment of attractions from family beaches, charming seaside towns, whale watching, nature reserves, forests, fynbos and the Karoo hinterland, the Garden Route is made for relaxing holidays.
More... and you haven't explored Cape Town yet.
From transfers, day tours, guided hiking trails and restaurant recommendations to artisanal bakers and open-air concerts, we're here to give you the right Cape Town travel advice and make all the necessary arrangements.
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