Peak summer season brings tourists and travellers to our local shores for seaside splendour - and now's the time where you especially want to escape crowds as much as possible.
But what about those hidden coastal towns with beaches just as beautiful? These secret small towns are bursting with natural beauty and are just waiting for you to visit.
Whether you go for the day or stay for the weekend, they all cordially requests your presence this December.
Add these to your summer road trip list:
Hondeklip bay, West Coast
READ: Chintsa: The Wild Coast’s Secret Coastal Town
To be honest, not a lot happens here. A long, gravel road leads you to Hondeklipbaai. Its two main attractions are the Aristea shipwreck and the Abalone Farm - both worth it. But aside from that, this town is all about breaking away from the world and take the opportunity to sit solace on an unoccupied beach.
TIP: Stay at the playful Hondehok Resort and eat crayfish at the Dop en Kreef Restaurant.
Pringle Bay, Western Cape
A tiny village in the Overberg region, at the very foot of Hangklip, the town and surrounds are part of the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO Heritage Site.
Go splash in the waters at the spotless Pringle Bay Beach and have lunch at the quirky-cool, seafood shack, Hook, Line and Sinker. (Warning: The chef is an unconventional fellow.)
Morgan Bay, Eastern Cape
This small Wild Coast spot was given its name in 1822. It was named after A.F. Morgan, the master of the Barracouta, a survey ship of the Royal Navy.
READ: MAPPED: A visual guide to the Namaqua Coastal Route of the Northern Cape
A swift drive from East London, it's well worth it to venture out here for a weekend or a day trip. Be sure to take in the intermittent beam of the Cape Morgan Lighthouse across the bay and stay at the iconic Morgan Bay Hotel - it's basically an institution.
Nature's Valley, Western Cape
After a gruelling 41km of Otter Trail, you end up in this paradise cove known as Nature's Valley. The Southern Cape coastline has many wonders, however this sleepy town, with its secluded beaches, lies between the Salt River, the foothills of the Tsitsikamma Mountains, the Indian Ocean and the Groot River lagoon - making it a spectacular mix of nature's most beautiful elements.
The rustic Nature’s Valley Restaurant is the ultimate place for a beer and a seaview. As it is situated right at the end of the Otter Trail, it is a haven for tired feet and hungry mouths - be sure to take a look at the tree in the outside courtyard with all the hanging shoes, discarded after the long walk.
Strandfontein, West Coast
Situated at the mouth of the Olifants River, this sleepy fisherman's village has become increasingly popular over the last few years, particularly during wild flower season. The earliest residents of this area were the Khoisan, who used to retrieve their drinking water from a fountain on the beach - hence the name 'Strandfontein' (beach fountain), says SA-Venues.
Take in some water sports on the beach or relax in the slightly warmer tidal pool. And be sure to catch a sighting of the Southern Right whales in the protective bay during their calving season.
On the Northern Coast of KZN you'll find the Nature Conservancy of Zinkwazi. The lagoon, an estuary of the Zinkwazi River is a big drawcard. But the town is an all-consuming coastal eco-experience with endless golden beaches and lush tropical palms. The ultimate stress reliever? We think so.
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