Simon’s Town is a historic village and naval base situated along the False Bay coast of Cape Town, in the Western Cape. Simon’s Town, originally called “Simon’s Vlekâ€, after Simon van der Stel (the Dutch governor of the Cape Colony) enjoys a mild climate, making it an ideal holiday destination all year round. The town offers a range of attractions from museums and historical sites, to scenic boat trips and golden beaches that make it well worth a visit.
Contrary to popular belief, the locals (known as “Simonitesâ€) will agree that the best time to visit is during winter. The secret lies in the fact that Simon’s Town is one of very few north-facing towns in South Africa, ensuring that it is sheltered from the north-west winter winds by the Cape Peninsula Mountain range. The climatic advantages of the sheltered bay, in contrast with Table Bay’s storm-ravaged waters, is what caused the Royal Navy to pick Simon’s Bay as the headquarters of the Cape Fleet in 1814. Simon's Town has remained the main South African Naval Base ever since.
Visitors are drawn to Simon’s Town for its vast attractions, such as the Simon’s Town Waterfront, featuring the statue of Just Nuisance, a beer drinking Great Dane that befriended the Royal Navy during World War ll; Jubilee Square with its African curio market; and variety of elegant restaurants. Simon’s Town is steeped in history. There are several museums to visit, such as the Simon’s Town Museum, Warrior Toy Museum, Heritage Museum, and Naval Museum. Other places of interest include the Bronze Age Foundry, Quayside Centre, Just Nuisance’s grave, Simon’s Town Country Club, Simon’s Town public library, and the Church of St Francis - the oldest Anglican Church in South Africa.
Spend some time on one of Simon’s Town’s beaches, including Long Beach, Miller’s Point, Fisherman’s Beach, Seaforth Beach, or Boulders Beach. Boulders Beach features one of only three African penguin colonies along South Africa’s mainland where you can stroll the boardwalks and watch these marvellous birds go about their day to day life.
The more adventurous can enjoy boat trips out to Seal Island or Cape Point, submarine tours, shark cage diving, and guided kayaking excursions. Other activities such as harbour tours, train rides to Cape Town Station (one of the most scenic in the world), golfing, and whale watching (between June and November) are very popular. Don’t forget the Cape Point Nature Reserve, Scratch Patch, Old Burying Ground, and Roman Rock Lighthouse, which is the third oldest in South Africa.