Kalk Bay Holiday Guide


Simon’s Town (also widely but incorrectly referred to as Simonstown) and, in Afrikaans, Simonstad), is a village and a naval base in South Africa, near Cape Town. It is located on the shores of False Bay, on the eastern side of the cape Peninsula.

For more than two centuries it has been an important naval base and harbour (first for the Royal Navy and now the South African Navy. The town is named after Simon van der Stel, an early governor of the Cape Colony. The land rises steeply from near the water’s edge and the picturesque village is boxed in along the shoreline by the heights above.

The small harbour itself is not a particularly good natural harbour and is protected from swells by a breakwater that was built with thousands of huge blocks of sandstone quarried out of the face of the mountain above. Simon’s Town is now in effect a suburb of greater Cape Town.

Boulders Beach is located a few kilometres to the south of Simon’s Town. Here small coves with white sandy beaches and calm shallow water are interspersed between boulders of Cape granite. There has been a colony of African Penquins at Boulders Beach since 1985. There is no record of the birds having lived here prior to that date, so their decision to settle in an area already well-utilized by humans is remarkable. There are only three penguin populations on the mainland in southern Africa; the others are close to Hermanus at Stoney Point and Betty’s Bay.

This fishing village of Kalk Bay, with a natural harbour, is a buzz with local fisherman, bohemian shopping, antiques, crafts and superb restaurants. You’ll have to ask the locals politely for their favourite place to eat as there are some closely guarded secrets in Kalk Bay. If you stay on the Cape Point Route long enough you can arrange to go out on a traditional Kalk Bay fishing trip, who leave the harbour in the early morning and return with shouts of “Hottentot, kabeljou, Red Roman” or the appropriate catch of the day.

Kalk Bay is one of Cape Town’s trendiest seaside villages and reflects a cosmopolitan heritage and a long fishing history. There is a bohemian arty vibe, a growing nightlife, with great theatre and the art, architecture and cuisine are much sought after.

Home to one of the last remaining working harbours in South Africa, not only can you meet the returning boats for the catch of the day at noon, but the little cobbled streets, shops and restaurants make this an easy place to while away the time and forget the fast pace of city living. Antique stores, second-hand book shops, art galleries and a thriving theatre have given rise to a real sense of community in Kalk Bay.

A literal translation from the Dutch/Afrikaans name “Kalkbaai” is “Lime Bay”.

The Location of Simon’s Town & Kalk Bay

Simon’s Town is located on the shores of False Bay, on the eastern side of the cape Peninsula. It is within easy distance of the Cape Town International Airport.
Kalk Bay is a fishing village on the coast of False Bay, South Africa and is now a suburb of greater Cape Town. It lies in a beautiful setting, wedged between the ocean and sharply rising mountainous heights that are buttressed by crags of grey sandstone, just 25 minutes from Cape Town.

The Simon’s Town & Kalk Bay Vibe

Simonstown is a village that is rich in history, character, atmosphere and warmth. The neighbours are whales, penguins and seals with world heritage status bird life, fishing and the beauty of Table Mountain and Cape Point. Simon’s Town is the home of the False Bay Yacht Club which has keel boat regattas most Wednesday evenings and weekends.

It’s hard to believe that retro Kalk Bay is actually part of Cape Town. The pace differs – interesting people stroll along the wharf and browse the quirky shops, relaxed citizens sip on superb Cape Wines and cold beers while surfers ride the breakers. The mood of Kalk Bay differs from Cape Town – there is a holiday atmosphere and fishermen ply the waters constantly whatever the time of day or season.

Simon’s Town & Kalk Bay – Amenities

Amenities in Simon’s Town include outdoor activities, adventure, sports and leisure, museums and art galleries, and a whole lot more.

Kalk Bay is also a hub of outdoor action – from sea fishing to angling; one of the best reefs in Cape Town for surfers and the fascinating Kalk Bay caves for land and foot adventures.

Places to see in (or near) Simon’s Town & Kalk Bay

  • Simon’s Town Museum
  • Penguins at Boulders Beach
  • Heritage Museum
  • “Just Nuisance” Statue at Jubilee Square
  • Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve
  • Warrior Toy Museum
  • Mineral World & Scratch Patch
  • SA Naval Museum
  • Simon’s Town Waterfront
  • Kalk Bay Caves
  • Kalk Bay Theatre
  • False Bay Coast beaches
  • The Masque Theatre

Simon’s Town & Kalk Bay Activities

  • Boat and yacht cruises
  • Whale watching
  • Kayaking
  • Fishing
  • Scuba diving
  • Relax and swim at one of many splendid beaches
  • Shopping
  • Theatre
  • Cycling
  • Walks and hiking
  • Golf
  • Traditional Kalk Bay fishing trips
  • Walks and hiking
  • Surfing
  • Fishing
  • Angling
  • Theatre
  • Shopping
  • Caving
  • Golf
  • Swimming and sunbathing
  • Spa treatments
  • Whale watching

Eating out in Simon’s Town & Kalk Bay

Simon’s Town is at the coast and it is not surprising that seafood tends to be the speciality of most restaurants. However visitors will be spoilt for choice as there are options from fast foods to delis and an array of international choices.
There is a strong focus on food in the village of Kalk Bay, with an emphasis on seafood. There are many excellent restaurants & deli’s to choose from – along with some good wine shops thrown in for good measure.

Simon’s Town & Kalk Bay restaurants :

  • Berthas Restaurant
  • Bon Appetit
  • Boulders Beach Restaurant
  • Cafe Pescado
  • Flukes Restaurant
  • Harbour View
  • Just Sushi
  • Quarterdeck Restaurant
  • Roaring Forties Restaurant
  • Salty Seadog
  • Seaforth Restaurant
  • The Sweetist Thing
  • The Bishop & The Lama Gallery & Coffee Shop
  • Tibetian Teahouse
  • La Paloma
  • Sirocco
  • Cape to Cuba
  • Kalky’s
  • Olympia Café & Deli
  • Brass Bell Restaurant
  • Harbour House Restaurant
  • Rose & Crown
  • The Polana
  • Cafe des Artes
  • Live Bait

Guesthouses in Simon’s Town & Kalk Bay

Please use the links below to access more details on the featured guest houses, where indicated read the owners/ manager page for the inside story!!

  • Avian Leisure Guesthouse
  • Goede Hoop Guesthouse
  • Vredehuis Guesthouse
  • Water’s Edge Guesthouse
  • Lavender cottage Guesthouse
  • Villa D’Algrave Guesthouse