Kalk Bay is like a barefoot, hippy sister. No Jimmy-Choos and cocktails, abundant on the Atlantic side of Cape Town, but a more down-to-earth, alternative kind of place nestled between mountains and sea in the “deep South” (Southern Peninsula).
Quaint and unspoilt
It has a village atmosphere while boasting fabulous places to eat and drink and quirky, individual shops that make for hours of enjoyment. There are cobbled streets to explore and of course, the still working fishing harbour, which must be one of the most photographed places in South Africa!
From July-October you can gape in wonder at the free Whale spectacular – the beautiful Southern Right Whales return every year to give birth and can be seen from the shore.
Hedonist Hippy recommends
Hiking and Walking
For the more energetic, there are great hikes up the mountain and a wonderful walk along the sea to Muizenberg which takes about 30 mins, just beware of high tide as it washes over the pathway including any unsuspecting walkers. I know, it’s happened to us, but it is fun to try and dodge the waves….
Kalk Bay to Simonstown
The train journey from Kalk Bay to Simonstown has to be one of the most picturesque ever, following the coastline all the way and for under R20 one way there’s just no excuse not to get on board!
The Follow Spot – Kalk Bay Theatre
Try this for an alternative night out. It’s thriving and showing some of the best South African theatre around in an intimate and quaint environment, which also boasts a restaurant for a dinner/theatre experience.
Kalk Bay Book Shop – one of the few independent bookstores in the country, which apart from being a great place to visit, is worth supporting for that alone!
Buy fish straight off the boat as they dock after the night’s catch – you can have the fish cleaned and gutted by colourful characters with very robust language. Or buy a rod from the supermarket and try to catch your own supper from the harbour wall!
Chartfield Guest House – affordable, comfortable guest house with fabulous ocean views. They also offer a few lovely self-catering places.
By The Seaside – quaint and cosy self-catering cottage that sleeps two in the garden or 2 double rooms and kitchenette attached to the main house. Beautifully decorated and Chris is a great host!
There are also good places to stay on airbnb.com.
There are no really bad places to eat in Kalk Bay! Our favourites are:
Harbour House – the best sea food with exquisite views of the sea, but it doesn’t come cheap.
Olympia Cafe – this place is always full so the atmosphere is up there with the best. Wonderful baked goods and delicious food ordered from the blackboard of daily specials.
Salt – great tapas bar with interesting menu on the blackboard and lovely exposed brick interior.
The Brass Bell – has to be mentioned as it’s the old dame of this seaside village. Numerous bars all with sea views and serves great fish and chips.
Off-beat and worth it!
In my humble opinion, the charm of Kalk Bay far outweighs the sophistication of Camps Bay. There’s no comparing cars, cell phones or designer kids this side of the coast, just a warm welcome from genuine locals. It’s definitely my sort of place and where I feel very at home.
For other information go to the Kalk Bay website
Where to find it