It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Black Friday ads made way for Christmas specials and everyone is looking forward to end 2018 with a well deserved break. This also means that people from all over the country will once again descend onto the coastal towns of the Western Cape. However, for the locals of these holiday towns, this can be quite a frustrating experience.
As a George local, a major holiday destination for thousands of Valies over the December period, I have come up with ways to escape the crowds during these holidays. Here are a few peaceful holiday destinations that you should try:
One of the most popular and over-crowded places over the December period is the Garden Route, and more specifically Mossel Bay. But what you might not know is that the peaceful coastal village of Boggomsbaai is only a 30 minute drive away. Here you will find a beach that stretches for miles along the turquoise blue water. The beach never feels crowded, even over peak times. There is no shop in Boggomsbaai; and the nearest one is about a 2 km walk away in Vleesbaai (only accessible from the beach).
The Boggomsbaai locals and regulars take their environment seriously, which means you will never find a piece of litter in this village, or see someone driving faster than 40 km per hour. My first time in Boggomsbaai was in 2016, and it has become one of my favourite places ever since.
One of the best kept secrets in the Garden Route is Vleesbaai, neatly tucked away between Mossel Bay and Gouritsmond. You can only have access to this coastal town if you live there, or if you’re renting a house for the holidays. It’s as exclusive as you can get. The beach is perfectly safe for swimming and a very popular surf spot amongst the locals.
Vleesbaai only has one small shop, where you can only find the bare necessities, and of course ice cream. This dreamy town had me hooked since day one, and I will definitely return for another relaxing holiday away from the buzz of the nearby towns.
De Hoop Nature Reserve
The De Hoop Nature Reserve (managed by Cape Nature) is an absolute favourite for bird watchers, whale watchers and hikers. This hidden gem along the Garden Route is yet to be discovered by most people. It’s for this reason that these golden beaches are the perfect getaway if you are looking for something a little more peaceful.
Imagine going to the beach, and the closest person is a few kilometers away from you. Only a three hour drive from Cape Town, you can skip the hustle and bustle of the busy coastal towns for this paradise in the Overberg region.
Another very popular, and very crowded holiday destination is the coastal town of Hermanus. But if you’re in the area and you’re looking for a little peace and quiet, Walker Bay is only an hour away. Also run by Cape Nature, the bay is known for having some of the best land-based whale-watching spots in the world.
It has a beautiful stretch of beach, ideal for swimming, fishing and picnics. The surrounds are untouched, making it the perfect place to unwind in nature before 2019 arrives.
What is your go-to beach if you want to escape the crowds over the December holidays? We would love to hear all about it in the comments below.