A couple of hours drive from Cape Town lies a little village that is so pristine and beautiful, it rivals the prettiest, white-washed Greek islands.
The tranquil village of Arniston offers unspoilt beauty, and clear, warm seas
Just 24 kilometres from Bredasdorp, in the Overberg in the Southern Cape, lies one of South Africa’s best-kept secrets. Originally just a fishing community, Arniston has become a holiday destination for families and those seeking peace and quiet.
You won’t find a mall or even a bottle store in this little village, where gorgeous holiday homes perch adjacent to the local fishermans’ village and the laid-back Arniston Hotel and its sprawling lawns overlook the azure bay. (Nowhere else in South African have I seen sea this colour and the artists who paint it agree.)
Wander through Kassiesbaai and enjoy a traditional dinner served in a fisherman’s home or a converted church
The fishing village of Kassiesbaai, full of charming little lime-washed, thatched houses, where smiling tannies in aprons prepare traditional Cape meals for tourists, has been declared a national heritage site.
A place where time stands still
A vist to the Arniston harbour can feel like you’ve been time-capsuled back to the early nineteenth century. Fishermen still go to sea in boats that haven’t changed much in 200 years, although they now work for commercial companies.
When in Arniston, you have to visit the famous (and spectacular) cave
Arniston was first known as Waenhuiskrans – ‘wagon house cliff’ – (before the British ship Arniston sank there in 1815), and the famous low-tide cave acquired its name because it resembles the structures used by settlers to house their oxen and wagons. It’s a 1,5 kilometre walk along the coastal road and over a couple of sand dunes, but well worth the effort.
We (two families, total number: seven) rented a gorgeous thatched holiday house called Burke’s House for a week. It had three bedrooms downstairs and an upstairs loft for the children, two lounges and a covered patio with a built-in braai. It was school holidays but not Christmas or Easter so Etna gave us the low season rate of R850 a day.
The weather was glorious and the ocean warm and calm
We swam in the sea every day, took long, hot outside showers, ate, read and napped, and took strolls through the fishing village taking photos and scoffing pancakes. It was a week of lazy days and bright skies, sunshine and sea, and every bit as good as a week in Corfu.
The Arniston Hotel (www.arnistonhotel.com) also has a great restaurant and offers spacious family rooms as well as romantic breaks.
Accommodation enquiries for Burke House: Etna’s Accommodation: http://www.arniston-etnas.co.za/accommodation.php?id=37
Azure waters and pristine beaches – Arniston is one of the most beautiful places in Southern Africa…
An old church nestles among the holiday cottages
Everywhere in Arniston is just a short stroll to the sea
A fisherman cultivates a garden in his sandy back yard