Summer in Cape Town is a spectacular time of year but sometimes, with all the frenetic buzz, heat and summer crowds, it can often be hard deciding what to do or where to go.
Although you can’t always avoid the heat or beat the crowds, you can still have a great time and make it a summer to remember in this special city.
1) Let’s go to the beach, let’s go catch a wave.
Cape Town has some of South Africa’s (and arguably, the world’s) most beautiful beaches, with a beach for everyone:
-If it is surfing that you’re after, Muizenberg and Scarborough are great picks, with the latter far less populated.
-If you want to sun tan and enjoy pristine beaches with aqua waters a whisper away, then Camps Bay, Clifton and Boulders are definitely your best picks. However, these beaches can get crowded so best get to them early.
-For wind surfing and/or sunsets, Blouberg and Sunset Beach are your answers and they’ll both afford you breath-taking views of Table Mountain and Table Bay.
2) Stand on Mountain Tops.
Photo credit: Lion’s Head, Hloni (Instagram)
If hiking or nature exploration are on your Cape Town to-do list, then you are in for real, free treats. With a plethora of wonderful hikes, which suit everyone’s age, fitness level and needs, at your fingertips:
– Lion’s Head is definitely one of the city’s most popular hikes, and has the added bonus of being safe for kids (though parental guidance is strictly necessary), the elderly and even four-legged doggy friends! And better still, you can even hike to Wally’s Cave, a more secret hike but one that nevertheless forms a firm part of all things Lion’s Head.
– Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) offers a multitude of excellent hikes from the CBD, Camps Bay and as far as False Bay too.
– One of the most popular TMNP hikes is Platteklip Gorge, which takes you straight up to the cable car atop Table Mountain. It’s not the easiest of hikes but it is certainly doable for most people. Indian Venster is another option but it’s more challenging and considered slightly more dangerous too.
- From Kirstenbosch, you can tackle the more shaded Skeleton Gorge or, if you are in or near Kalk Bay side, head up Boyes Drive. Here, mapped and marked mountain paths reign supreme. These will take you through indigenous forests and allow you secret entrance into mountain caves too. (Boomslang Cave is one of the most famous caves.
3) Take Day Trips out of Cape Town.
Photo credit: Babylonstoren, Kristen van Niekerk (Instagram)
For those who best love the call of the open road, Cape Town offers a number of excellent day trip options.
-Head to the West Coast or travel along Clarence Drive (a memorable, scenic coastal drive) until you reach the Overberg region.
-Or venture into the Cape Winelands (includes: Durbanville Hills, Paarl, Franschhoek, Stellenbosch and Somerset West) to explore some of the country’s top wine estates and sample some sublime tipple.
-Finally, travel to Simon’s Town to best enjoy the False Bay suburbs, before finishing off with a highly recommended, possibly life-changing trip to Cape Point.
4) Off to market we go!
The city has some great indoor and outdoor markets, most of which fall on weekends but there are always great exceptions to the rule.
These city markets offer a wealth of food, clothing, mementos and home improvement options, and cater to the shopping needs and tastes of everyone.
Indoor markets of note include: The Bluebird Garage Market, the V&A Food Market (open daily) and the Bay Harbour Market.
Oranjezicht City Farm Market and Groote Post (spring and summer) markets offer more relaxed, farmer’s market experiences.
Other hugely popular markets include: The Palms Market, the Neighbourgoods Market and Root 44 Market (near Stellenbosch).
5) Explore the V&A Waterfront.
A trip to Cape Town in summer would not be complete without a visit to the picturesque V&A Waterfront.
Although you can definitely expect to encounter scores of locals and foreigners alike here, it offers world-class shopping experiences (especially with the relatively new Hamley’s and H&M shops) and amazing harbour views, complete with fun boat trips.
There are also many good eateries, interesting markets, Amphitheatre performances and Noble Square attractions too, to name just a few of the highlights one can anticipate at the stunning, globally famous Victoria & Alfred Waterfront.
Cape Town is a city known for its variety of wonderful experiences and fun adventures, amazing, contrasting scenery and diverse people. It is also a city famed for interesting weather patterns, though during summertime especially, the weather is truly stunning… provided you don’t mind a little wind!