Strand and Somerset West Holiday Guide


Strand (Afrikaans for beach) is a seaside resort town situated on the eastern edge of False Bay and at the foot of the Hottentots Holland Mountains.

Strand’s beginnings were as a fishing and holiday resort and things haven’t changed other than the development that has placed Strand at the heart of the beautiful Helderberg Basin (which forms part of Somerset West and Gordon’s Bay) with easy access to wine routes, Somerset West’s Mall and the coastal drive past Gordon’s Bay to Betty’s Bay providing perfect viewing points during whale watching season.

Strand is 10km away from the inland town of Somerset West, however recent expansion of both towns have resulted in the two towns to be adjacent to each other, with shopping malls and residential complexes creating the connections. Strand is a town in its own right and a bustling one at that – new Dubai-style apartment blocks have joined the ranks of 70s-style beachfront homes to give the beachfront a modern facelift. It has fine beaches and great views of the Cape Peninsula.

The main beach in the Strand, Melkbaai Beach, is known to be one of the best and safest bathing areas in the country. Facilities on or nearby include Dune Park with a super tube an dmini golf and Harmony Park which boasts a huge tidal pool. Strand also boasts an Olympic-sized, covered, centrally heated swimming pool which is open all year round.

A town encircled by exquisite mountains and hills covered in vineyards, with views of the nearby ocean, sandy beaches, this is Somerset West. It is a veritable paradise for all who appreciate scenic beauty, wine and fruit, decadent cuisine, hospitality, good taste and sense of history. Somerset West was named after the British Governor, Lord Charles Somerset, in 1819. Somerset West has expanded greatly over the past decade, yet its splendour remains intact.

The town is more industrious than ever and has become the commercial and residential capital of the Helderberg Basin. Quaint buildings in side streets are delightful features of the historic town filled with delightful boutiques offering wine, flowers, chocolates, books, fabrics, jewellery, antiques – anything you find essential and everything you require for afternoon’s diversion. There are historic buildings and monuments (the first church built is still in use and so does its now “pastorie” or parsonage, now Die Ou Pastorie guest house).

The Location of Strand & Somerset West

Strand’s geographical position is just between Macassar and Gordon’s Bay, and is about 50km southeast of Cape Town.
Lying on the slopes of the Helderberg, Somerset West is 6km inland from the False Bay coast and the resort towns of Strand and Gordons Bay, is 20km from Stellenbosch and its wine route, a mere 35 minutes’ drive to Paarl, Wellington and Franschoek and forms an integral part of the Winelands Region.

About 15km from Somerset West on the N2 is the fruit route which starts at Elgin and the coastal whale route to Hermanus. It is situated in the Helderberg area (formerly called Hottentots Holland), about 50 km (30 mi) east of Cape Town.

Strand & Somerset West Vibe

Guy Fawks is vividly celebrated on Strand beach every year on the evening of 5 November. Local youth and adults alike enjoy the fireworks displays that usually commence after sunset. The town has a vibrant business district, attracting customers from all over the town.

Somerset West  is renowned for its scenic beauty, flora and fauna, wine and fruit, gastronomic experiences, friendly hospitality and historical heritage. This is a bustling commercial and residential town at the foot of the magnificent Hottentots Holland Mountain Range, still retaining its village atmosphere.

Strand & Somerset West – Amenities

Strand’s main attraction is the beach; five kilometers of white sandy beach lapped by the waters of False Bay.
Somerset West has it all. From the stunning vineyards, the imposing mountains, world-famous golf courses, a fantastic climate and, just down the road (the two towns have now grown into each other) is the wonderful seaside resort of Strand.

Places to see in (or near) Strand & Somerset West

  • Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve
  • Helderberg Nature Reserve
  • The Country Craft Market
  • Vergelegen
  • Dick Dent Bird Sanctuary
  • Monkey Town
  • Hein van Huyssteen Art Gallery

Strand & Somerset West Activities

  • Surfing
  • Swimming and sunbathing
  • Golf
  • Rock angling
  • Fishing
  • Diving
  • Whale watching
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Pistol shooting
  • Croquet
  • Bowls
  • Squash
  • Wine tasting
  • Spa treatments
  • Cricket
  • Hockey
  • Soccer

Eating out in Strand & Somerset West

Strand and Somerset West both have an extensive range of restaurants and fast-food outlets to choose from.

Strand & Somerset West restaurants

  • Surfside RestaurantsSpur
  • Wimpy
  • St Elmo’s
  • Ben’s on the Beach
  • Kaapzicht
  • Spur
  • Bella Venezia
  • Delicious Deli
  • Bertie’s Moorings
  • KFC
  • Giardino’s Italian Restaurant
  • The Cattle Baron
  • Avontuur Estate Restaurant
  • Buena Vista Social Café
  • Cape Town Fish Market
  • Coco Bella
  • D’Vine Restaurant
  • Chez Max
  • Jimmy’s Killer prawns
  • La Vigna
  • Ocean Basket
  • Pomegranate
  • Primi Colony
  • Wang Thai

Guesthouses in Strand & Somerset West

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!!

  • Groenevald Accomodation
  • Dai Heka
  • Dreamland
  • Enjoy Africa
  • Golden Hill
  • Quins Holiday Home – read the hosts profile
  • Remus House