SHORT ROAD TRIPS TO NEIGHBOURING TOWNS
While we think Langebaan is one of the most beautiful coastal towns on the West Coast (yes, we are biased 😁), there are a couple of other neighbouring towns that are also worth a visit … and they are all within a radius of 15 – 60km (9 – 37 miles).
In this post, we will list a few places we’ve visited before. Some of them are not towns, but favourite camping spots and then there are some towns we don’t mention as we are only concentrating on the coastal towns … well, except for two very interesting places, but that is for a reason … ☺️ (which we will reveal towards the end).
We have not even mentioned Vredenburg (a lively town on the West Coast), as well as Velddrif and Port Owen (beautiful little villages that are certainly worth a visit) … maybe we will do a separate posts on these towns later.
Let’s start with the furthest town up north from Langebaan:
Paternoster – 38km (23 miles) from Langebaan:
Paternoster is one of the oldest fishing villages on the West Coast of South Africa. The origin of the name remains unknown … but some people believe that the name, which mean “Our Father” in Latin, refers to prayers said by Catholic Portuguese seamen when they became shipwrecked.
Although Paternoster is quite small (their population is probably around 2500), it is a sought-after tourist destination – known for its crayfish and the white-washed fishermen’s cottages.
Tietiesbaai – 45km (28 miles) from Langebaan:
Now, mention the name Tietiesbaai in a polite conversation, some eyebrows might raise. The truth is that the name (which never got translated from Afrikaans to English) originated from two large rocks that indeed look somewhat like a pair of boobs – what can I say … we South Africans do have some humour 😉.
This is one of our favourite camping spots! Tietiesbaai has a beautiful and unspoiled beach in the Cape Columbine Nature Reserve.
The last manually controlled and first lighthouse to be seen by ships coming from Europe, can be found here.
When we’re camping at Tietiesbaai (and we’re fortunate that the crayfish season is open), we catch and prepare them for dinner on the beach … so called ‘camping 5-star dining’!
Sea Shack – 43km (26 miles) from Langebaan:
Between Paternoster and Tietiesbaai, is a little gem called Sea Shack – ideal for all the glampers. It’s your ultimate luxury camping spot.
We’ve been here in 2019 and this is really THE ultimate glamping experience on the beach. You only need to pack your clothes and food and voila – you are camping in style!
If you want to read more about our week-long glamping experience at Sea Shack, you can find it under Sea Shack on our blog.
Trekoskraal – 31km (19 miles) from Langebaan:
This is our favourite wild camping spot close to home! There are no facilities here – you need to bring everything you’ll need for camping (but leave the TV and the microwave 😁).
I have no idea where the name Trekoskraal originated from (a ‘kraal’ is an Afrikaans and Dutch word for an enclosure for cattle or other livestock) and since part of this area belongs to privately owned farms, I suspect the name derives from the farming activities.
Once again, this is a popular spot for catching crayfish. We’ve camped many times here before when the crayfish season was open and over a fire, cooked the crayfish to enjoy at our camp site next to the roaring ocean.
Jacobsbaai – 25km (15 miles) from Langebaan:
Jacobsbaai was originally found as a small town on the farmland and registered as ‘109 Jacobsbaai’. The name is said to have evolved from the Frenchman, called Jacques Titius, who was a colonial trader on the West Coast.
Most of the houses in Jacobsbaai are holiday homes and during the peak holiday season, this little town comes alive with families seeking after sun and sea.
Another popular attraction in Jacobsbaai is The Pixie and Fairy Village. This unique setting was created from “Pixie” Maritz’ imagination – she grew up amid the misty forests, rivers and mountains in Kwa-Zulu Natal … where the ‘river fairies’ inhabited the river banks.
There is a small entrance fee to be paid to Mama Pixie herself. You will be amazed at all these beautiful creatures and won’t be sorry to get lost in this little village!
Saldanha Bay – 19km (11 miles) from Langebaan:
Saldanha Bay’s history is strongly associated with early European exploration and the development of Table Bay (in Cape Town). It was named after Antonio de Saldanha, the Portuguese captain of a ship which visited the Cape in 1503.
This seaside village has the largest and deepest natural bay in South Africa and is dominated by the Sishen-Saldanha iron-ore project. It is also home to a Naval training base, the South African Military Academy and a whole fleet of fishing vessels that add a particular character to the bay.
Yzerfontein – 54km (33 miles) from Langebaan:
When you travel to Cape Town from Langebaan, the small harbour town of Yzerfontein will be on your way.
This little town was established in the 1930’s when the Katz family bought the Yzerfontein farm (meaning “Iron Fountain”). The farm developed into a small harbour town, known for its 16-mile beach.
Dassen Island lies about 9km off Yzerfontein. It is South Africa’s second largest island, after Robben Island in Table Bay. The island was proclaimed a nature reserve in 1987 and is managed by Cape Nature Conservation.
Our last two places are different than all of the above. The one is not a town, nor a camping spot and the other one is not a seaside town … but absolutely worth a visit!
West Coast Farmstall – 46km (28 miles) from Langebaan:
We do love a good farmstall and the West Coast Farmstall is a very popular resting spot for travelers.
We love having a breakfast here on our way to Cape Town or even just a cup of coffee. They have a great gift shop and sell fresh bread, cookies, rusks and even wine. Oh yes, they do claim they have the best pies in South Africa … well, we’ve tasted them and they are pretty damn good!
Darling – 60km (37 miles) from Langebaan:
Darling is our only inland town that features in this post. It is such a … well, darling little town – named after Sir Charles Henry Darling who came in 1851 to the Cape as Lieutenant Governor.
There are so many places to see in Darling: Darling Museum, Darling Brew for their craft beer, “Evita se Perron” (a restaurant/function/deli) that was the brain child of Pieter-Dirk Uys, well-known South African satirist, as well as all Darling’s wonderful little restaurants.
But to cover all these wonderful things, is an article worth dedicating to Darling only …
… For this post, we will focus on Darling Olives, a family-run business located on Alexanderfontein Estate (just outside Darling).
We just LOVE olives and here at Darling Olives, you will find a lot of things with the word ‘olive’ in … pastes, pesto’s, rubs, chocolates, even lip balm and soap and wine too … oh yes, and of course olives!
There is an impressive tasting room surrounded with old world charm where you can sit at a long table and taste their entire range of olive products … a real feast!
We can tell you so much more about all the other amazing places close to Langebaan … but in the meantime, I’m sure you can see it will be hard to get bored when you live here!
Thanks for taking a road trip with us, Wet and Dusty Roads 💌.