Helderberg - Somerset West, Strand and Gordon's Bay
Helderberg, a paradise in the Cape, South Africa. Helderberg or the Helderberg basin consists of Somerset West, Strand, Gordon's Bay, Lwandle, Macassar and Sir Lowry’s Pass.
Images. 1) Somerset West from Sir Lowry's Pass. Author. Andresdewet. 2) Ou Kaapse Weg ("Old Cape Way") towards
Somerset West.One can see False Bay and the Helderberg mountains in the distance. Author. Dewet
The town, named after Lord Charles Somerset in 1819, is now the commercial and residential area of Helderberg. Situated on the slopes of the Helderberg mountain, the town forms an integral part of the Winelands Region. It is just 40 minutes from Cape Town and close to Gordon's Bay and the Strand.
The area is welknown for its indigenous mountain fynbos,scenic beauty, flora and fauna and wine. The Helderberg Nature Reserve
is situated in Somerset West and is owned and managed by the City of Cape Town with the support of the Friends of the Helder-berg Nature Reserve.
The Helderberg Beaches include Gordon's Bay, Bikini Beach, Kogel Bay and Strand. These beaches are approximately 40 minutes from Cape Town.
Gordon's Bay - Jewel of False Bay
Coming from the Apple areas of Grabouw and Elgin, the N2 winds down the famous Sir Lowry's pass revealing an unparalleled
vista of the Helderberg and the entire False Bay all the way to Cape Town. This view has got to be the best if not one of the very
best views in the world. Awesomely breathtaking both night and day. Gordon's Bay lies quietly on the coast at the foot of the Sir Lowry's pass on the coast.
Climate is mild with temperatures ranging from 18 degrees in winter through to lower 30's in summer. The Hot winter days are tempered by the breeze that blows down the mountains and the weather is absolutely ideal for a beach front holiday. Safe, clean sand and sparkling sea water are the hallmark of Gordon's Bay seaside.
Everything is within walking distance and the village is dotted with superb restaurants and being a seaside town the fish dishes
History of Gordon's Bay
Although the name of the town has undergone many changes, it was shown on earlier maps as Gordon's Bay in honor of Robert Jacob Gordon, Commandant of the Dutch troops at the Cape from 1777 to 1795.
The recorded history of Gordon's Bay goes back 350 years to when the little nook was explored by various expeditions by the Dutch East India Company as it started venturing inland after having settled into its "Cape of Good Hope".
The first fishing post established here in 1672 was called Vischers Baaij. Later variations became Vischbaai, Visch Hoek and
Fish Hoek. Dwellings in the area were originally farms then later small fishing houses started appearing in the late 1900's and it started becoming known as a holiday resort. An advertisement in 1889 called the then Gordon's Bay "the future Brighton of
Continual popularity has grown with overseas visitors and in particular the British and Irish. Even with that growth the town has maintained its "Charm and Beauty" and is extremely popular today. The holiday season over Christmas sees the town swell by numerous factors when the upcountry neighbours swarm down to the sea.
Gordon's Bay Accommodation
From basic fishing cottages to seaside holiday homes of the early 1940's the village has grown in what it has to offer the traveler. Beautiful homes and sophisticated Guest houses are dotted throughout the town and cling precariously to the steep mountain- sides. Gordon's Bay accommodation caters for everyone's pocket and taste. Beach front establishments with views over the sea from all of the wonderfully appointed and spacious rooms and just 50m from the seaside.
The white sandy beaches make it a chosen destination for bathing and water sports and the guesthouse is opposite a lovely swimming beach and a few minutes' walk from the well-known Blue Flag status Bikini Beach - Bikini Beach in Gordon's Bay is a firm favorite with worshipers because the harbour wall shelters it from most winds. The attractive bay is used as a small-craft harbour, where luxury yachts and cabin cruisers bob in tightly packed lines.
Things to do in Gordon's Bay
Sunbathing and swimming are the most prevalent activities in Gordon's Bay in summer followed by snorkeling, scuba and water sports of all kinds. Jetskis, rubber ducks and small fishing craft can be seen moving about all day as the easy access slip-ways
of the beach and harbour areas make it a pleasure to own and operate small craft in the area.
Fishing is also a very popular past time in Gordon's bay whether that is surf fishing or fishing from the rocks o the harbour wall or deep sea angling. The sport is very popular and the fish are plentiful in the area.
The Gordon's Bay Yacht Club is very popular for the sailing enthusiast and has a very active sailing program. The yacht club has hosted the Lipton Cup sailing race twice and numerous regattas are regularly held. For the sports fisherman the Gordon's Bay
Boat Angling club is extremely active. The club hosts one of the biggest game fishing events in Southern Africa, the Broadbill Classic. In addition Gordon's bay is host to other sporting events such as the Iron man Triathlon and the False Bay 50km run.
Hiking and walking paths are abundant and many forest reserves are a short walk from the village including the Theeswaters
Dam reserve above the town which offers magnificent views over the Cape towards Table mountain and beyond.
Food and Drink
Being a seaside town Gordon,s bay offers some of the most amazing seafood restaurants serving freshly caught fish, calamari, squid, crayfish and a wide variety of seafood. Fish and chips is a firm favorite after a day in the sum or a long walk in the area.
The food is just divine and portions are ample. Whether this is bought as pre-made or fresh from the famous fish shops in the
area. This is not to be missed. Gordon's Bay fish restaurants are exquisite.
Just 35 minutes drive away is the heart of the South African Wine industry in Stellenbosch, Vergelegen, Morgenster round the corner in Somerset West and hundreds of world renowned wine makers and vintners.
Having lived in and around False Bay for the past 8 years I am always amazed at the beauty of the town and the area. For more photographs of the area and local knowledge visit us at our home in Gordon's Bay. One of the most amazing scenes of nature is when the annual whale birthing season arrives in late August and hundreds of these large mammals appear around our coast.
We are just 15 minutes from the heart of South Africa's wine industry in Stellenbosch, which is a well known University town lined with beautiful oak trees hundreds of years old. We are so fortunate to live in this beautiful area and there is always lots to do in
and around Gordon's Bay Whale watching, hiking the old wagon trail over the Sir Lowry's pass, wandering through the biosphere natural areas, fishing,boating,yachting,water skiing, leisurely drives through the winelands para-sailing, you name it - we do it.
'Die Strand' with its endless white sandy beaches is known for sailing, fishing, water-skiing and windsurfing as well as for excel-
lent swimming and sunbathing. The beachfront promenade is lined with restaurants, pubs and coffee shops as well as an entertainment area with putt putt, waterslides, tidalpool and heated olympic size pool. And there's and excellent Strand golf
course.This beach is about 10kms from Somerset West and lies between Macassar and Gordon's Bay.