Kalk Bay, on the False Bay coast and only 30 minutes from Cape Town, is a laid back and unassuming fishing village. Conveniently sandwiched between the rising mountains and Indian Ocean, the village, which takes its name from the lime extracted from sea shell deposits, is an intriguing blend of a bohemian lifestyle, cosmopolitan traditions and time-honoured fishing roots.
The village is perfectly sized, enabling the visitor to cover everything on foot. The main cobbled street contains a fascinating array of craft stores, art galleries, book and antique shops. At the southern end is the colourful harbour, home to a playful seal colony, fisherman selling the days catch and some excellent restaurants. Running parallel with the main road, and at the foot of the mountain, is the scenic Boyes Drive, the starting point for a number of hiking trails and a great place from where to appreciate the breathtaking surroundings.
By car, the village is a pleasant drive from Cape Town and a good starting point along the Chapman’s Peak drive to Hout Bay and Cape Point. Frequent trains from the station run north to Cape Town, via Muizeinberg, and south, through Fish Hoek, to Simon’s Town.
Although within close proximity to Cape Town, Kalk Bay, with its hippy-esque vibe, often seems to be a million miles away and, with the absence of city hustle, is an idyllic getaway destination.
Kalk Bay Caves - There are great hiking trails all around Cape Town, with one of the best being in Kalk Bay. Setting off from the harbour along Boyes Drive, this 4km trail passes Echo Valley and on to 6 impressive sandstone caves, including Boomslang that cuts through the mountain for c100 metres.
Kalk Bay Reef - As for the rest of the Western Cape, surfing in Kalk Bay is ever popular and this particularly reef is famous for its heavy barrels and shallow reef.
Water Taxi - This boat trip/taxi runs everyday, at regular intervals, between Kalk Bay Harbour and Simon’s Town waterfront, and offers the chance to admire the stunning scenery from a different perspective. Southern Right whale sightings have been known.
Bigsy’s Dining Train - Running from Kalk Bay to Simon’s Town, this is a relaxed way to enjoy the picturesque False Bay coast, whilst enjoying a local breakfast.
Historic Sites - A number of architectural feats provide an interesting insight into old Kalk Bay. The Holy Trinity Church, built in 1873, is famous for its thatched roofed lynch gate and the Mosque, of the late 1800’s, was constructed by a Malaysian community.
Kalk Bay Restuarants
The village has an abundance of restaurants to choose from and years could be spent without visiting them all. Favourites include Olympia Café, Harbour House and Kalky’s (fish and chips takeaway). The Brass Bell and Cape to Cuba are popular watering holes.
Seamount Seaside Cottage - Pleasant family run cottages set back against the mountain and overlooking the Indian Ocean. Tel (27) (21) 7824040.
Chartfield Guest House - Another laid back option, set in a 120-year-old house and along the harbour. Tel (27) (21) 7883793.
The Inn at Castle Hill - This tastefully decorated Edwardian style villa is like a home away from home. Tel (27) (21) 7882554.
Harbour Place - Luxury self-catering 2-bedroom apartment in the heart of the colourful village. Tel (27) 827710284.
Majestic Kings - Choice of luxury 1 or 2 bedroom apartments, both with panoramic views of the harbour and ocean. Tel (27) (11) 4690215.