Arniston is a beautiful seaside town along the Overberg Coast in the Western Cape. Holiday makers flock to Arniston to enjoy the warm turquoise waters, and for the laid back vibe of the town. There’s so much to do in Arniston and it’s only 2.5 hrs drive from Cape Town, making it a perfect spot for a weekend getaway in the Western Cape.
Planning a weekend away to Arniston
Where to stay?
We stayed at a cute cottage with a sea view at Arniston Seaside Cottages. They have a cluster of white-walled and thatch-rooved cottages with gorgeous sea views. Our cottage was a semi-detached upstairs loft with a kitchenette, private bathroom and a balcony with a sea view. The cottages are a 2 minute walk from Roman Beach and the Waenhuiskrans Nature Reserve. You can book your stay through this link (PS. by booking directly through this link I get a small commission at no extra cost to you!).
What to do in Arniston?
Visit the Waenhuiskrans cave at low tide
This sea cave is a short walk along the rocks from Roman Beach. To get there you’ll start at the Waenhuiskrans Nature Reserve/ Roman Beach parking. Walk down to the beach and turn right. Follow the rocks hugging the edge of the sea cliffs until you get to the cave (maybe a 30 min walk). The main entrance to the cave is a small hole at the back which opens up to a big cave. You can only access the cave at low tide so be sure to keep an eye on the time to keep safe.
Explore the dunes of the Waenhuiskrans Nature Reserve
Park at the Waenhuiskrans Nature Reserve parking and go for a wander along the dunes. You’ll have beautiful views of the ocean and sea cliffs from above. Watch the sunset from here or check out the surfers down below.
Spend the day at Roman Beach
Roman beach is a lovely spot for swimming and relaxing in Arniston. At low tide the beach is big and the sea lovely for swimming. At high tide the sea and currents can get a little more rough so be careful. One can also freedive and snorkel off Roman beach at the rocky outcrops and reefs.
Have a swim at the beach off the Hotel
The beach just in front of the Arniston Spa Hotel is another lovely swimming spot.
Take a stroll through the local fishing village Kassiesbaai
Kassiesbaai fishing village has been declared a National Heritage site. This quaint part of Arniston is dotted with white-washed, thatched houses and is home to the local community. Kassiesbaai is a rare community as it is one of the few that has managed to hold on to their land even through the apartheid years. Be sure to check out the houses but also remain respectful of the local residents and their homes.
Take a drive to De Mond Nature Reserve
De Mond Nature Reserve is a 25 minute drive from Arniston and well worth a visit while you’re in the area. This gorgeous nature reserve is located at the mouth of the Heuningnes River. This brilliant blue estuary is the perfect spot for birding, fishing and hiking. There are two major hiking trails in the reserve. The first is the Sterna Trail which is 7km (this is a circular route) and should take about 4 hours to complete. This trail starts at reception and takes you through dune milkwood thickets, limestone fynbos and dune fynbos until you get to the beach. From there, hikers make their way back to the estuary mouth. The second is the De Mond to Arniston Trail which is 8km (this is a one-way linear trail) and should take about 4 hours to complete. If you don’t have too much time you can always do a section of one of the hikes ad turn back when you need to. The nature reserve fee is R50 for adults and R30 for children, free with a wild card. For more details visit their website.
Arniston is a really lovely seaside getaway spot close to Cape Town. Let me know in the comments below if you’re planning a trip up there! The Arniston sea caves and cliffs reminded me so much of the Algarve in Portugal! Check out my blog on Lagos, Algarve, Portugal to see what I mean!