Gordon's Bay Travel Guide

Explore the best of Gordon's Bay, South Africa with this comprehensive tour guide featuring top attractions, activities, food, and accommodation options.

Introduction to Gordon’s Bay

Located in False Bay, in the Cape Peninsula of Western Cape, Gordon’s Bay is a charming coastal town that offers visitors a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage. From its stunning beaches and rugged cliffs to its historical landmarks and bustling town center, Gordon’s Bay is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the best of South Africa.

List of Places to Visit in Gordon’s Bay

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

Gordon’s Bay is rich in history and culture, and visitors will be pleasantly surprised by the town’s numerous museums and landmarks. Some of the most popular places to visit include:

  • The Old Harbour Museum: This museum is housed in a historic fisherman’s cottage that showcases the town’s maritime heritage.
  • The Gordon’s Bay Heritage Walk: Take a walk along this historic trail to learn about the town’s history and culture.
  • The Helderberg Nature Reserve: This reserve is home to a variety of indigenous plants and wildlife, as well as several historical landmarks.

Natural Attractions of Gordon’s Bay: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

Gordon’s Bay is a paradise for nature lovers, with plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventure and breathtaking views. Here are some of the top natural attractions:

  • Bikini Beach: This Blue Flag beach is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and watersports.
  • Crystal Pools: This stunning nature reserve boasts crystal-clear rock pools and waterfalls, perfect for a refreshing dip.
  • Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve: This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to over 1,600 plant species, making it one of the most biodiverse areas in the world.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Gordon’s Bay

Gordon’s Bay and the surrounding areas offer some of the best hiking and biking routes in South Africa. Here are some of the top trails:

  • Steenbras River Gorge: This hike takes you through lush forests and along the rugged coastline, with breathtaking views of the ocean.
  • Sir Lowry’s Pass Hangliding and Paragliding Launch Site: Soar over the Cape’s stunning countryside on this thrilling adventure.
  • Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve: This reserve offers a variety of hike options, from easy strolls to challenging treks.

Best Things to Do in Gordon’s Bay: Activities and Tours

Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, Gordon’s Bay has something to offer everyone. Here are some of the top things to do:

  • Whale watching: During the winter months, Southern Right Whales can often be seen frolicking in the waters off the coast of Gordon’s Bay.
  • Wine Tasting: The Cape Winelands are just a short drive from Gordon’s Bay, where visitors can indulge in some of South Africa’s world-renowned wines.
  • Sunset cruises: Take a leisurely cruise along the coast and watch the sun sink beneath the horizon.

Week-Long Itinerary for Gordon’s Bay

Day 1: Explore the historic Old Harbour Museum and take a walk along the Gordon’s Bay Heritage Trail.

Day 2: Hike the Steenbras River Gorge and enjoy a picnic lunch overlooking the ocean.

Day 3: Take a day trip to the Cape Winelands, stopping at several vineyards for wine tasting.

Day 4: Relax on Bikini Beach and enjoy a swim in the warm waters of False Bay.

Day 5: Go whale watching in False Bay and take a sunset cruise along the coast.

Day 6: Visit the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve for a day of hiking and wildlife watching.

Day 7: Spend the day exploring the bustling town center of Gordon’s Bay and shopping for souvenirs.

Food and Drink Scene of Gordon’s Bay

Must-Try Dishes

Gordon’s Bay is a food lover’s paradise, with plenty of local specialties to try. Here are some must-try dishes:

  • Bobotie: A South African classic, made with spiced minced beef and topped with an egg custard.
  • Biltong: Dried, cured meat that is a popular snack in South Africa.
  • Malva Pudding: A sweet, sticky pudding made with apricot jam and served with custard.

Local Beverages

South Africa is renowned for its wine, and the Cape Winelands are just a short drive from Gordon’s Bay. Other popular local beverages include:

  • Rooibos tea: A caffeine-free herbal tea that is unique to South Africa.
  • Castle Lager: A popular South African beer that is perfect for sipping on a hot summer day.

Where to Stay in Gordon’s Bay: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Gordon’s Bay has a range of accommodation options to suit every budget and taste. Here are some of the top choices:

  • The Blue Flamingo: A charming guesthouse located just a short walk from the beach.
  • Gordon’s Bay Luxury Apartments: Stylish self-catering apartments with stunning ocean views.
  • The Anchorage: A luxurious hotel with spacious rooms and a rooftop pool.

What to Buy in Gordon’s Bay: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Gordon’s Bay is known for its local crafts and products, from handmade jewelry to delicious preserves. Here are some top souvenirs to bring home:

  • Handmade jewelry: Local artisans sell a variety of beautiful handmade jewelry, from beaded necklaces to silver bracelets.
  • Preserves and jams: Try some of the unique jams and preserves made with local fruits, such as fig or quince.
  • Rooibos tea: Bring home some of the delicious, caffeine-free tea that is unique to South Africa.

Local Culture and Customs of Gordon’s Bay

South Africa is known for its diverse culture and heritage, and Gordon’s Bay is no exception. Visitors should be respectful of local customs and traditions, such as greeting others with a friendly “hello” or “howzit.”

Best Time to Visit Gordon’s Bay

The best time to visit Gordon’s Bay is during the summer months (December to February), when the weather is warm and sunny. However, visitors can enjoy comfortable weather year-round, with pleasant temperatures in the spring and autumn as well.

Do’s and Don’ts of Gordon’s Bay


  • Respect the local culture and customs.
  • Try the local food and wine.
  • Take advantage of the beautiful natural surroundings for outdoor activities.


  • Travel alone at night.
  • Leave valuables unattended.
  • Disrespect the marine wildlife or environment.

Safety and Health

Safety in Gordon’s Bay

Gordon’s Bay is a relatively safe destination, but visitors should always take basic safety precautions, such as locking doors and windows, not leaving valuables unattended, and traveling in groups after dark.

Health in Gordon’s Bay

Visitors to Gordon’s Bay should make sure they are up to date on all routine vaccinations, and should take precautions to prevent mosquito bites.

Getting to Gordon’s Bay: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Gordon’s Bay

Cape Town International Airport is the closest airport to Gordon’s Bay, located approximately 45km away. From the airport, visitors can rent a car or take a taxi to Gordon’s Bay.

Bus Stations Near Gordon’s Bay

Several bus companies operate in the Western Cape, including Greyhound and Translux. Buses arrive at the Cape Town bus station, located approximately 50km from Gordon’s Bay, where visitors can rent a car or take a taxi to their destination.

Other Options

Visitors can also reach Gordon’s Bay by train or by private car.

How to Get Around in Gordon’s Bay

The best way to get around in Gordon’s Bay is by car or on foot. Several car rental companies operate in the town, and there are several taxi services available as well.

Where to Go Next from Gordon’s Bay: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Gordon’s Bay is situated in a prime location for exploring the Western Cape. Here are some nearby destinations worth visiting:

  • Cape Town: South Africa’s bustling metropolis is just a short drive from Gordon’s Bay.
  • Stellenbosch: A charming university town in the Cape Winelands that offers visitors a taste of South Africa’s rich history and culture.
  • Hermanus: A picturesque seaside town known for its stunning beaches and world-class whale watching.


Gordon’s Bay is a hidden gem in the Western Cape, offering visitors a wealth of natural beauty, rich history, and delightful cuisine. Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or just a taste of South African culture, Gordon’s Bay is a must-visit destination.