Noordhoek, Cape Peninsula
With its gardens, smallholdings, paddocks, a large common and lots of trees there’s a country village feel to Noordhoek. Add in the beautiful long white sandy beach, unspoilt nature and background of mountains and it’s the perfect rural escape from the city, allowing residents to enjoy everything from horse-riding to surfing, paragliding to hiking, and a very beautiful 45 minute coastal drive to Cape Town whenever the city beckons, via Hout Bay along the dramatic mountain curves of Chapman’s Peak Drive.
A barefoot on the beach lifestyle unfolds, with surfing, long horse-rides along the beach, kayaking, and other watersports. The wetlands behind the dunes attract a host of bird-life for varied bird-watching and the surrounding mountains offer endless hiking trails, so you really do feel immersed in nature. Silvermine Nature Reserve is a family favourite centered around a dam for picnics and swimming, with mountain trails to explore and caves to discover. And in winter whale-watching from the heights of Chapman’s Peak Drive or from the long beach, while the surf pounds on the sands, is a magical experience.
Noordhoek Farm Village is the foodie heart of the community and a fun family outing with play areas for kids and a choice of good restaurants and artisan producers, then there are several more independent eateries tucked away around the village and at the Red Herring Centre near the beach. A visit to Cape Point Vineyards for wine tasting and spectacular views is a must and their vibey food market on summer Thursday evenings brings visitors from all over the peninsula. For everyday shopping there are two malls a short drive away, so everything you need is within reach without leaving the valley. Away from all this the village is quiet, reverberating only to the clop of horse hooves, bird-song, frogs calling and the constant soundtrack of surf, so that you really do feel miles from anywhere.