Simon’s Town is one of the most delightful little villages in Cape Town. Situated about 40 km outside of the city, en route to the Cape Point Nature Reserve, this quaint town is the residence of the South African navy and steeped in nautical history – its cobbled streets alive with restored cottages and homes, whilst the main road is an assortment of shops, coffee shops and restaurants.
Simon’s Town’s historical mile, St George’s Street, has 21 buildings over 150 years’ old and includes a local museum, the navy museum and a toy museum. This stretch also includes the Church of St Francis, said to be the oldest Anglican Church in the country, a Mosque built in 1926, and the Dido Valley Cemetery, filled with gracious headstones made virtually illegible by the salt-laden sea air and wind.
Visit the Simon’s Town museum for a truly historical experience. Learn about “Just Nuisance” the world famous dog who was awarded the title of Able Seaman in the Royal Navy. A life size bronze statue of this legendary Great Dane stands proud in Jubilee Square in front of the hotel.
The Simon’s Town Waterfront Centre has all the sophistication that you can hope for, while still maintaining the town’s seaside atmosphere. A variety of speciality shops, with a range of products, are within easy reach of the hotel and the town is rapidly gaining a reputation as the culinary capital on the Cape Point Route.
Aside from the wonderful views from the seaside restaurants and the feeling of being right outside of any city, it is the beaches of Simon’s Town that are a real draw card.
Boulders, home to an African penguin colony, is a wonderful swimming beach and very popular with families over a weekend, despite the entrance fee and the need to juggle the tides. Swimming with penguins in this calm bay never ceases to delight.
Seaforth beach is also protected from the wind and offers safe swimming and snorkelling and the country club here has a golf course with magnificent sea views. The village is close to Cape Point Nature Reserve – home to 1100 indigenous plant species, some of which occur nowhere else on earth, and one of the highest sea cliffs in the world at 249m above sea level.