Fish Hoek Beach stretches for just over a mile at the head of a beautiful bay. It's one of the most popular Cape Town beaches for families, and there is loads of space for them to spread out. The northern side, Clovelly, is usually relatively peaceful. Fish Hoek often has a nice little wave and it's very popular with swimmers and young surfers.
From the southern end of the beach, another one of those great walkways hugs the southern end of the bay. It's a fabulous walk, especially in whale season, and there are some lovely tidal pools.
Things to do near
*Distances are shown as the crow flies and not necessarily the actual travelling
Clovelly (1.2 km from Fish Hoek)
A wonderful example of restored wetlands in an urban setting, which is a haven for various forms of wildlife, most notably birds.
Enjoy a nice walk amongst this natural ecosystem, and for birders, this walk is even sweeter. Easy enough for beginners and kids, well marked and fun. Don't forget to bring your binoculars.
Clovelly (1.2 km from Fish Hoek)
Considered one of the finest golf courses in South Africa, Clovelly Country Club is famous for its rolling, computer-irrigated fairways and undulating holes complementing its rich coastal environment. The championship-quality greens consist of bent grass and poa annua mix. Nestled in the pristine and tranquil Silvermine Valley close to Fish Hoek, Clovelly offers its members and visitors a memorable experience.The picturesque and challenging courses are a favourite of Bobby Locke, where each hole has a distinctive setting, with magnificent views of the surrounding mountains and False Bay. The Silvermine River, natural sand dunes and trees line the fairways with water features and a wide variety of birdlife such as guinea fowl, pheasant and steppe buzzard.Adjoining the club house is a pro shop, restaurant and driving range.
Table Mountain National Park (1.5 km from Fish Hoek)
Elsie's Peak Walk offers fabulous views of False Bay, Fish Hoek, Simon’s Town and Glencairn. On a clear day you can see all the way to Hangklip. The route is steep in places but requires minimal fitness.
The trail can be reached from either Fish Hoek or Glencairn Heights on the other side. If you plan to start in Fish Hoek, use the car park on Kommetjie Road and climb up the adjacent steps to the mountain trail.
Duration: 2 hours
Distance: 2.5 km
Clovelly (1.8 km from Fish Hoek)
The soft white sands of Clovelly Beach have been the starting point for relaxing morning and evening strolls around the Fish Hoek bay for generations. Fringed with ancient sand-dunes and washed by the 'Indian ocean', beach-goers enjoy a temperature that's often several degrees warmer than the Atlantic waters on the peninsula's west side.
A small offshore ridge gives junior surfers a perfect little practice wave, and hobie-cats and sea-kayaks launch into the ocean further down. Clovelly Beach provides a peaceful alternative to the busy Fish Hoek side of the bay. Whales frequently bask in the shallows from June to November, and dolphins provide great entertainment as they glide and bounce around in the surf.
Glencairn (2.1 km from Fish Hoek)
A hike up Elsie's Peak is well worth the short, sharp effort for the breathtaking and expansive views of False Bay - a wonderful way to get your bearings.
The flora in October is stunning and you may be lucky enough to see a whale or two. Extend your hike and take one of the many well marked footpaths in this mountain range.
Kalk Bay (2.9 km from Fish Hoek)
Described as the book shop with the best view in the world, Kalk Bay Books is a gathering place for locals and visitors alike, who browse and buy books, share a glass of wine or two with visiting authors, and gather for new book launches or discussions. The leather sofa invites customers to spend some time considering the books on offer, and to catch up on international book news with the New York Review of Books and other reading matter provided for their interest.Today, instead of tall tales being told around the bar counter, tales are sold at a shop counter, which was specially designed with a nod to the history of the building. Kalk Bay Books occupies premises that have a varied and interesting history. As recorded by author and historian Michael Walker in Kalk Bay: An Historical Booklet and Walk (Kalk Bay Historical Society), the building that now houses the bookshop was originally known as Die Klipkantienjie and was designed by architect John Parker in 1913.'The saloon and public bar formed part of an overall extension to the Old Masonic Hotel. Beside die Klipkantientjie, this single-storey extension had seven bedrooms, a storeroom and a large billiard roon, and was in fact larger than the Masonic Hotel. After the Masonic Hotel was demolished in 1916 the extensions became knows as The Annex to the Kalk Bay Hotel, which was later renamed the Majestic Hotel. The external façade of The Annex has changed little since Parker’s design of 1913.’Need to know? Winter trading May - September: 9am to 5pmSummer trading October - April: Monday to Sunday 9am to 6pmPeak summer season 16 - 31 December: 8am to 7pmChristmas Eve: 8am to 9pm(Closed: 25 & 26 December, 1 January)If getting to the book shop is a problem, you can browse their online books selection, which includes hand-selected fiction and non-fiction books, and many book lists offering their suggestions on a wide range of themes in the Open Books section of the website.
Kalk Bay (3 km from Fish Hoek)
Kalk Bay Harbouris a picturesque but thriving fishing harbour where members of the local fishing community are out daily in their traditional fishing boats earning their living.Take a stroll along the harbour wall to check out the colourful vessels.Bright blues, reds and yellows are the norm.Names like Star of the Sea, Amber Rose, Gold Pearl and Antoinette tell of the high regard with which these sailors hold their vessels. The majority are wooden creations.Learn how to fish from real fishermen – those who make a living by catching Cape fish.Apparently, there is still a loyal market for fresh fish.Witnessing this is a cultural experience.Kids love to look at the harbour seals waiting for scraps of fresh fish.Kalk Bay is also a hub of outdoor action – from sea fishing to harbour wall angling. Kalk Bay has one of the best reefs in Cape Town for surfing and the fascinating Kalk Bay caves for landlubber adventures.While out for a fishing boat tour you will have the opportunity to observe seals, dolphins, Great White Sharks and in season Southern Right Whales in their natural habitat.These giants come to calve in False Bay between June and October each year.It’s hard to believe that retro Kalk Bay is actually part of Cape Town. The pace differs – colourful folk stroll along the wharf and browse the quirky shops, others sip on superb Cape Wines and cold beers while surfers ride the breakers.Nestled between the mountains and the sea, is just a 30 minute drive from the centre of Cape Town yet a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city.For scuba divers the harbour wall offers an interesting dive, but there're plenty more spots in the area. Popular restaurants to suit all pockets are right on the water's edge.
Galleries and Museums
Kalk Bay (3.2 km from Fish Hoek)
Kalk Bay Theatre offers a unique evening of entertainment. The 78-seat theatre and restaurant is situated in the quaint Kalk Bay Dutch Reformed church. Built in 1876 and also a heritage protected building, the old church has been lovingly converted into an intimate theatre with the restaurant on the upper floor.
Dinner, theatre and quality time with friends is found under the same roof. Patrons arrive from 18:45 and are directed upstairs to the restaurant. The open-plan restaurant has been designed to give the customer a feel of eating in a warm, family kitchen. The wooden tables and chairs are set around a gallery, allowing customers to look down onto the stage below. There are usually two set menu choices of three course meals or diners can cherry-pick dishes off the menu.
If you choose a three course meal, the starter and the main course are served before the show and the desert and coffee is served after the performance. Patrons make their way down to the theatre after their main meal and return to the restaurant for their desert and coffee. Drinks may be taken into the theatre. The menu is vegetarian friendly. Specific dietary requirements will, wherever possible, be catered for provided advance warning is given. KBT is licensed. Corkage is charged at R20 per bottle.
The ground floor theatre has 78 comfortable seats crafted out of beech wood and modelled around the comfortable Morris chair. The theatre is a thrust stage with the audience on three sides. This allows for a very intimate theatrical experience. Shows usually run for four to eight weeks in the venue. Performances are from Wednesday to Saturday night (and sometimes Sundays as well) at 20:30. Shows are normally announced by email and on www.kbt.co.za.
Glencairn (3.4 km from Fish Hoek)
Glencairn Beach is a pretty beach situated on the False Bay side of the Peninsula. Popular with families and dog walkers, it is perfect for lazy strolls and sunbathing. Parking is right at the beach and access is easy but you will need to cross the Metro rail line.
Southern right whales can often be seen during their calving season and in summer great white sharks are occasionally spotted. Shark spotters keep watch during the summer months – keep an eye on their signal flags if you intend swimming. On the Western side is a shallow tidal pool that is great for small kids.
Sunnydale (3.9 km from Fish Hoek)
Longbeach Mall houses all the large food and clothes retailers including Pick n Pay, Woolworths, Food Lover’s Market, Edgars, Truworths. Ocean Basket, Spur, and Wimpy. You will also find jewellery stores, coffee shops, craft shops, hair and beauty salons, pharmacies and music stores.
Simons Town (4.3 km from Fish Hoek)
Visit a sparkling, colourful Alladin's Cave with your little ones.
The Scratch Patch and Mineral World Gemstone shop is an awesome spot for young and old to relax while foraging for your own gemstones.
Visitors can purchase fabulous, affordable gifts at the shop in addition to their collected treasures.
Topstones is also worth a visit - see how rough stone is polished at the world's largest gemstone tumbling factory.
St James (4.3 km from Fish Hoek)
With its famous and much-photographed Victorian bathing huts, St James Beach is a wonderful place for family leisure. The protected tidal pool combines the feel of ocean swimming with the safety and calm of a swimming pool. Collect shells, investigate interesting rock formations, or relax on the nearby lawn. Refreshments, cafes and restaurants are within easy walking distance.
Table Mountain National Park (4.4 km from Fish Hoek)
The path starts on Boyes Drive above St James – look for the Ou Kraal sign. Take the left-hand path and relish the sweeping views Kalk Bay, Seal Island and across False Bay to the Hottentots Holland mountains and Cape Hangklip. You should be able to see surfers at Kalk Bay Reef and fishing boats coming back to the harbour.
Once on the jeep track, keep following the signs marked “Amphitheatre via Spes Bona Forest”. After an hour of walking, you’d enter this enchanting forest of old Yellowood, Cape Beech and Assegai trees.
Keep walking up until you reach a four-way intersection and turn left towards the Amphitheatre. Choose a shady alcove here for a tea break. Continue across and turn left into Echo Valley and another magical forest, Amazon Forest, also called Kroon se Bos. After leaving the forest, head down to the little weir, Wandering Willy’s Weary Wait. Turn left here to reach the starting point.
Duration: 3 – 4 hours
Distance: 6 km
Silvermine (4.5 km from Fish Hoek)
Silvermine Nature Reserve forms part of the Table Mountain National Park and offers numerous trails for walking or hiking. A detailed map of the trails can be purchased from Noordhoek Village tourism office for a nominal fee.
The Silvermine Hiking trail allows one to see some of the world’s most spectacular coastal and mountain scenery which is rich with a variety of flora as well as bird and small animal life. There are a large number of different Proteas and other fynbos species, flowering throughout the different seasons; making this an enjoyable and interesting walk at any time of the year.
One of the easiest and most accessible walks leads from the car park at the top of the mountain to the Silvermine Reservoir. This is an easy 1 – 1 ½ hour walk and is suitable for all members of the family. From the parking area the trail is well marked and heads predominantly uphill although it is not particularly strenuous. The trail winds through remarkably different vegetation and you will enjoy a number of boardwalks over the streams.
On hot summer days you will find the wooded banks verdant with tree ferns a pleasantly cool and peaceful spot to linger. Surprisingly the trail heads through some small forest glades. The path wends its way up well-maintained wooden walkways and the occasional rustic bridge until reaching the dam wall. Stop along the way to admire the spectacular views across False Bay where on a clear day you can see clear across to Gordon’s Bay.
A number of quaint stone benches and tables are dotted along the path where one can picnic or braai. It is best to check at the ticket office beforehand – lighting of fires may be prohibited in dry and windy conditions. During hot summer days, people often take a cooling swim in the clear water. In early autumn there are an amazing variety of flowering plants including Proteas.
On the opposite side of Ou Kaapse Weg, just after the apex, is another entrance manned by the Parks board where one can park and walk up Silvermine River Valley to a small waterfall, passing a number of old ruins. The waterfall offers the perfect spot to take in the sounds of nature. Like so many of the waterfalls on Table Mountain, this one is only seen in its full glory in winter, but it is also a great peaceful picnic spot.
Need to know? There is a small entry fee or free for Wild Card holders. There are toilet facilities at the parking area.
Silvermine (4.7 km from Fish Hoek)
Park your vehicle at Gate 2 in Silvermine East and take the path signposted to Higher Steenberg Peak. The circular trail meanders through interesting fynbos past the distinctive Wolfkop Pillar. The spectacular views extend across Silvermine West, Constantia, and the back of Table Mountain all the way to Devil's Peak.
The hike to Higher Steenberg Peak can also be done in an anticlockwise direction, taking the jeep track just past the waterfall. From the top of Steenberg Peak, the awesome panoramic views are well worth the steep climb.
Duration: 3 hours
Distance: 4 km