A weekend getaway destination in the Western Cape of South Africa

Spending some time at the sea is the dream for most people.  When you live or work in the city it is not always possible.  However, for the Capetonians, there are many options available.  Staying in Cape Town CBD, you get to be within easy reach of many fabulous beach destinations.  One of the beautiful weekend getaway options in the Cape, South Africa is the lovely Gordons Bay.

Did you Know

What does the letters "GB" stand for?

The big white “GB” letters on the mountain of Gordons Bay do not stand for the town’s name.  The GB initials actually stand for General Botha.  According to legend, General Botha was a ship that played an important role in the SA navy.  However, the anchor on the mountainside was constructed in November 1949 by Senior Cadets of the SA Nautical College General Botha.  It was built to identify the position of the college.

So, it is just a coincidence that the GB is also seen to stand for Gordon’s Bay. (As many people think…)  LOL

Gordons Bay main beach
visit Gordons Bay in South Africa


“Gordon’s Bay in South Africa is a breathtaking coastal gem that left me captivated with its natural beauty. The scenic drive along Clarence Drive, hugging the cliffs with panoramic views of the ocean, was nothing short of spectacular.”

“The harbor area, lined with vibrant cafes and restaurants, provided a delightful culinary experience with fresh seafood and local delicacies. The friendly locals added a warm touch to the overall visit, making Gordon’s Bay a must-visit destination.”

“Gordon’s Bay, with its laid-back charm and stunning vistas, left an indelible mark on my travel memories, making it a standout destination.”

Harbor Island in Gordons Bay for breakfast lunch or dinner

So what do you need to know before you go?

This is Gordons Bay
Gordons Bay restaurants

Best time to visit Gordon's Bay

The best time to visit is actually May to July.  Although it is a winter rainfall area, during this time you will miss the famous South-Easter wind, leaving you much more time to spend on the beach.  Gordon’s bay is a year-round holiday destination and for outdoor activities, you can actually go any time of the year.

TRAVEL TIP:  To really enjoy your stay in Gordons Bay go “out of season” as “high season time” is super super super busy and not fun at all.  Avoid visiting between Christmas and New Year’s (you definitely don’t want to go then) as the beaches are crowded, and strong winds persist until mid-January. The optimal seasons for a beach experience are spring, summer, and fall, but winter is still awesome.

Things to do

In and around Gordon’s Bay you’ll find a lot of outdoor activities:

  • Camping
  • Hiking 
  • Mountain biking
  • 4×4
  • Swimming
  • Diving
  • Spending a lazy day on the beach
  • You can take an easy walk (even for beginners and children) from the main beach all the way to the harbor.

There is definitely no shortage of restaurants and you can enjoy local fish and chips fresh from the sea or indulge in a waffle with fabulous toppings, enjoy a cozy fireplace in many of the restaurants during winter, or great outdoor seating in summer.

Gordons Bay Restaurant Fish and Chips
Spur gordons Bay

The Waffle Café.

We loved this little gem situated in Beach Road, right on Gordon’s Bay beachfront.  The views were nice, the service excellent and the food simply delish.   This family-friendly café serves the best waffles-with-a-view (savory or sweet) as well as pancakes with awesome fillings.

Check out their website:  The Waffle Café or Facebook page.

Restaurants Gordons Bay

Beach holidays in Gordons Bay

The family-friendly main beach is beautiful and offers picturesque views of the town and surrounding mountains.  It is the perfect combination of sea and mountain views.  With a family restaurant and play park situated right on the beach, it is the perfect place for families with kids, to spend a day or two.

For the sunbathers, when mentioning Gordons Bay everyone immediately refers to Bikini Beach:  the spot where you’ll find the young at heart playing on the beach or just soaking up the sun.  A beautiful, small almost secluded beach area close to the harbor.

Harbour Island, GB

For a nice evening of dining out, you can visit Harbour Island.

Hotel at Gordons Bay Harbor Island

There is a beautiful hotel to stay in, and you’ll have lots of choices for holiday accommodation.  The Krystal Beach Hotel is central to the Harbour Island area.

Gordons Bay
Yacht in front of Hotel in Gordons Bay
Harbor Island Gordons Bay

More places to eat and "kuier"

Enjoy your breakfast at the hotel (buffet style), lunch at Ocean Basket, sunset drinks at one of the beach bars, and dinner at Bertie’s Moorings.

Or breakfast at the Spur on the main beach, lunch at the corner fish restaurant, and dinner at Tallas.

Or maybe breakfast at the Waffle House, lunch at…..

Do you get the idea?  There are more than enough options that we can all recommend.

Oh La La for sunset drinks at Harbour Island Gordons Bay
Oh La La - Gordon's Bay

Clarens Drive

This beautiful 22 km coastal road along the Hottentots Holland Mountain with fabulous sea views all along the way, is a definite must-do self-drive experience.  Here you’ll find the beautiful Kogel Bay Resort located between Gordon’s Bay and Rooi Els:  A famous spot for surfing.  Along the route, be on the watch out for dolphins and whales.  Whales can be spotted from May to November.

view from Clarensdrive

Clarens Drive is seen by many as the most beautiful coastal road in the Western Cape. It’s a part of the R44 road that runs along the coast between Gordon’s Bay and Rooi Els. The drive offers breathtaking views of the ocean and mountains, making it a popular route for tourists seeking a picturesque journey.

Iconic stops in town

We just love a bookstore, so the famous Bikini Beach bookstore in Gordons Bay is, according to us, a great place to visit if you love browsing second-hand bookstores.  One of those places that make you think: “I might just find a treasure here.”  (As we often have…)  Next to the bookshop, you’ll find a “shell shop” with gifts, trinkets, and stuff made of sea shells.  Also a fun place, especially for the kids, or if you’re looking for a small gift for someone to take home.

The small village post office with its interesting tilework-map of False Bay, on the front entrance wall.

Gordons Bay post office

And then you just have to stop for a Gordon’s Baydraai-roomys” as the locals refer to it.  A soft-serve ice cream on a cone.  (Unfortunately, I did not take a photo of mine, but it is kind of something like the one below.  However, you have the option of adding sprinkles, caramel, flake chocolate, and more….)  Get the toppings, it is much more fun.  🙂

Soft serve ice cream
Gordons Bay Poskantoor
Gordons Bay Jetty

Gordons Bay has two harbors.  One at the Harbor Island and the other next to the Navy base.  Here you can stop for a stroll along the jetty, or maybe a drink and something to eat at the restaurant.  There are often little pop-up shops on Saturday mornings you can also visit for the fun.

Gordonsbaai hawe restaurant Gordons Bay harbor restaurant

Where to stay | Accommodation in Gordons Bay

There are loads of fabulous places to stay. 

However, we stayed in a beautiful 2 bedroom, beachfront apartment.  Neat and clean with everything you need for a great holiday.  But above all, it was the beautiful views, sunsets from the porch, and late evening braai that had us wanting to go back again and again.

If you’re staying in a self-catering apartment or home, check out our recipe page for some inspiration.  Read more…

You’ll experience some of the most beautiful sunsets in the world.

“Personally, I have thousands of sunset photos all taken at Gordon’s Bay.  Every evening is different, and you simply want to capture all of them on photos.  It is one of the best places in the Western Cape to experience the African sunsets” – Elmari JvRensburg

susets in Gordons Bay
Gordons Bay sunsets
Most beautiful sunsets in the Western cape Gordons Bay

Here is a list of more great accommodation options in Gordon’s Bay.  

Book early to avoid disappointment.

How to get there

The nearest airport is Cape Town International (CPT)Car Rental is available at the airport. There is no public transport available from the airport or Cape Town to Gordon’s Bay.