Hout Bay (in English, it means ‘Wood Bay’) is a picturesque resort and fishing port that lies 25 kilometres (16 miles) south of the city of Cape Town. Surrounded by magnificent mountains on all but one side, Hout Bay backs onto the famous Table Mountain National Park to the north and majestic Chapman’s Peak range to the south. The dramatic Sentinel watches over proceeding to the west and protects town and harbour from harsh north-westerly winds in winter months. The bay opens out to the heaving Atlantic Ocean between the Sentinel and Chapman’s Peak.
The beach itself at Hout Bay is a flat, white sand stretch running about a kilometre from Chapman’s Peak Drive (M6) in the east to the fishing boat harbour in the west. The promenade overlooking the beach provides plenty of convenient parking, while Dunes Beach Restaurant and Bar serves meals at the end of the beach promenade. The beach itself ranges between 50 - 100 metres wide and is flat rather than sloping. This makes it safe, and is possible to walk far out into the surf, thanks to the shallow waters around Hout Bay’s shoreline.
Four lifesavers keep watch in either direction along this long stretch of beach. Vendors ply their trade too, renting out beach chairs and selling refreshments. Swimming, sunbathing, surfing and strolling are among the popular pursuits, while various ball games keep the youth engaged. Volleyball, tag rugby, cricket and beach soccer play out in designated areas. Kayaking and kite flying are popular too.
When you have had enough sun, surf and sea, why not unwind further by strolling into scenic Hout Bay village and fishing harbour. This charming coastal town with its photogenic fishing wharfs and restaurants, makes a fascinating place to spend a morning or afternoon. The Bay Harbour Market swings into action every weekend with more than 100 stalls offering tasty foods as well as a fine selection of arts and crafts to browse through. Try to leave time for a visit to the impressive World of Birds on the way out of Hout Bay. The drive into town along the beautiful M6 coastal road is equally as good as the alternative route along amazing Chapman’s Peak Drive.
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