Stilbaai is one of those towns you might have noticed as you sped by on your way to your holiday destination on the Garden Route. Next time, turn off at this pretty little sailboat by the side of the road. A whole new world awaits you.
This coastal village is perfect if you want to escape from reality, enjoy pristine scenery and while away the hours with a book on the beach. It’s just as perfect if you’re keen to get out and about, seek adventure in the mountains, learn some history or indulge in the best cheese on the block. Here are six fun things to do in the area.
1. Explore the Goukou River mouth and Lappiesbaai Beach
The Goukou River mouth flows into the ocean and makes for the perfect place to swim, kayak, and paddleboard or just have a picnic and a stroll. The banks of the river are dotted with public green spaces and kiddies playgrounds, dog-friendly pathways and leafy trees. If you’d like a change of scenery from the river, Lappiesbaai is a Blue Flag beach and whales can often be spotted from there.
2. Do a gin tasting at Inverroche Distillery
Surrounded by vineyards, olive groves and fynbos, Inverroche Distillery is one of the largest drawcards to visit Stilbaai. You can taste expertly crafted gin inspired by the endemic botanicals from the area, as well as their equally splendid rum. If you prefer something a little lighter, they have their own signature cocktail range too.
Contact: +27 28 754 2442
Cost: From R60 per person, subject to change
3. Hike Sleeping Beauty
The name of the hike stems from the shape of the ridge of the mountain. Viewed from a distance, it resembles the iconic princess Sleeping Beauty lying on her bed. But don’t let it fool you, the hike itself is not so sedate. To reach the exquisite views of all the surrounding villages from the top, you’ll have to hike a challenging six hours in the sun. But totally worth it – as most hikes are.
Getting there: Head out on Garcia’s Pass toward Riversdale. The start is next to the old ‘Toll House’. No official parking or security.
Cost: Around R70 for a permit
4. Visit The Blombos Museum of Archaeology
The museum houses fascinating finds from the Blombos Cave in the town (the cave itself is an excavation site and unfortunately closed to the public). Displays include bone tools, little freshwater shells which were used as beads, a replica of the famous engraved ochre and a replica of a 100 000 year-old paint workshop found in the Cave. There are also Early, Middle and Later Stone Age artefacts, and a gallery showcasing the Bushman rock art of the Langeberg.
Contact: 082 808 3856
5. See the ancient tidal fish traps
The Khoisan had a clever way to fish thousands of years ago. They built stone enclosures in the ocean that fill up during high tide, and during low tide when water levels drop, fish are trapped inside. This is an interesting sighting and many parents take their kids to play in the makeshift tidal pools during low tide. The traps even have their own names: Alleroudste (Oldest), Niksvanger (Nothing-catcher) and Wonderwerk (Miracle), and others. Find them adjacent to Skulpiesbaai Beach.
6. Do a tasting at Kasselshoop Handcrafted Cheese
Kasselshoop is a family-owned and run cheesery known for its fabulous tastings. You can do a cheese-only tasting, or do a pairing with wine, beer, port or gin! Our personal favourite is the beautiful natural cheddar mixed with dried stinging nettle that is delicious in white sauces, pasta dishes, and complements garlic very well.
Contact: +27 73 259 7966 (Whatsapp)
Cost: From R60 per person
If you find yourself on the hunt for good coffee, ice cream or just feel like browsing the town, there are plenty of unique little shops to explore. Take a virtual look around in the meantime through the pictures below by Cinematic Solutions SA:
Check out some more things to do in Cape Town and enjoy your stay.