West Coast. Best Coast

Some say the West Coast is the ‘best coast’. Take a day or weekend jaunt from Cape Town and decide yourself …


You might end up hanging around longer than planned to let the locals show you the West Coast way.

 

From Cape Town, take the R27 or N7 north. Before long, the landscape becomes flatter and the vegetation takes on a wilder, more windswept tone. Smell the fynbos and the salty Atlantic air. This is the West Coast (‘Weskus’ in Afrikaans) where life moves at a gentler pace.

Starting roughly near Melkbosstrand just outside Cape Town, the West Coast District Municipality stretches over 30 000 square kilometres flanked by 350km of frigid Atlantic coastline on one side. At sea level, the region is sparse and laid-back in comparison to the buzzing coastal towns between Cape Town and the Garden Route. Even so, among the windmills and grain and citrus farms, the West Coast delivers on adventure, heritage, solitude and heaps of natural beauty.

The main towns of the West Coast, barely booming economic hubs, include Vredenburg, Saldanha, Malmesbury and Vredendal. But the sensational beauty spots, some off the beaten path, is where tourism gravitates to. Langebaan, Paternoster, Lamberts Bay and Eland’s Bay are just some of the Cape West Coast’s remote gems you shouldn’t miss.

About Langebaan


Langebaan, an idyllic lagoon-meets-ocean town with a population of approximately 9000, sits just off the R27 ninety minutes’ drive from Cape Town. Thanks to its crystal-clear lagoon, Langebaan is known for water sports and it’s a great place to try your hand at kitesurfing in calm, forgiving water. Choose from several kitesurfing schools in town, book time with an instructor and, who knows, you might just discover a new obsession.

About Paternoster


Situated 145km north of Cape Town, Paternoster is one of the oldest fishing villages on the West Coast of South Africa. Charming Paternoster offers a quiet coastal escape where you can put your feet up and relax in one of the authentic, white-washed cottages overlooking the beach. Paternoster is also home to Wolfgat. Voted ‘Best Restaurant of the Year’ at the 2019 World Restaurant Awards, Wolfgat offers a unique dining experience showcasing a selection of indigenous ingredients from its coastal location.

About Eland's Bay


Surfers delight off-the-beaten path in Eland’s Bay. About 220km north of Cape Town, Eland’s or E-bay being the shorthand versions, is a world class surfing destination and is also known for its caves, which have a number of rock paintings.

Weather

The Cape West Coast has a temperate coastal climate with the hottest, driest days in December, January and February. Summers are dry with early morning mists and south-easterly or south-westerly winds. Rain falls mostly in the winter months between May and August.

It is recommended to visit the Cape West Coast in spring (August – October) when the wildflowers are in full bloom in the West Coast National Park and in Darling.

Internet & Connectivity

While we recommend visiting the Cape West Coast for its mussels instead of its internet performance, mobile networks in the region can deliver download speeds of around 100Mbps and, in several of the main towns, you don’t need to look too far to find a fibre-connected Wi-Fi hotspot.


Co-working

In keeping with its laid-back, out of town vibe, co-working venues on the Cape West Coast are few and far between. That said, there are more than enough coffee shops and farm stalls to order your cuppa, a light meal and get a bonus space to work while supporting local business. Here’s a few scattered around the West Coast to get you started.

Ou Meul Bakkery is part of a chain of stores in the Western Cape where you can sip your coffee, munch on sourdough and enjoy the free Wi-Fi. The Melkbos store is open from 7am to 6pm during the week.

Alongside the R27, as you turn down to Yzerfontein, is where you’ll find the West Coast Farm Stall with freshly baked goods, a restaurant, children’s play area, gift shop and even more to distract you from work. Don’t worry, there is free Wi-Fi!

Wings Coffee Roasters is in Langebaan, and, if you’re there for the Wi-Fi or not, you’re going to want to taste their blends and single origins in the ‘hangar’s’ aviation-inspired venue.

More than three thousand square metres of prime office space in Stellenbosch, Ambassade by Ideas Cartel is a meticulously designed space that offers both flexible and fixed options and 24/7 access spread over three floors.


Accommodation

 

Average Price Est. US$ Equivalent
3-star hotel R1000 – R1700 p/n $70 – $120 p/n
1-bedroom apartment (short lease) R500 – R1600 p/n $35 – $110 p/n
1 bedroom apartment (long lease) R5000 – R8000 p/m $345 – $550 p/m
2-bedroom apartment (long lease) R8000 – R12 000 p/m $345 – $825 p/m
2-bedroom house (long lease) R9000 – R14 000 p/m $620 – $960 p/m

Getting Around

Even though Uber is active in Vredendal, Saldanha and Langebaan, there aren’t many public transport options (the MyCiti Bus’s last stop is at Melkbosstrand) on the Cape West Coast and exploring is best done on a self-drive basis. When driving on the Weskus, watch out for tortoises who occasionally like to take a break in the road or need a hand crossing it.