The gorgeous Noordhoek Valley, with its rustic atmosphere and untouched beauty, is undoubtedly one of the gems of the Western Cape. Situated at the foot of Chapman’s Peak, charming Noordhoek, which is Dutch for “northern corner”, has a distinctive village atmosphere and laid-back feel, not to mention a famous beach, vast open spaces, delicious restaurants and a wealth of activities guaranteed to delight visitors again and again. If you had just one day to spend discovering the wonders of Noordhoek, here’s a list of just a few of the highlights.
Sometimes referred to as “Long Beach”, this 8km stretch of golden sand is well-known for its incredible surf, enthusiastic kite-surfers and avid horse-riders enjoying a gallop alongside the ocean. Each day, weather permitting, between 9 and 10am, and then again at 4pm, one can experience the wonder of Noorhoek’s coast while on horseback. The Dunes Kakapo Horse Trail that rides past the famous wreck of the steamship Kakapo, is well worth a try for those wanting to try something new, but even more so for horse-riding fans. Admittedly it’s not the best place for swimming (the water is cold and rough), but that doesn’t affect sunbathers in the slightest. People can often be seen taking their dogs for a walk or strolling along the shore at sunset. If you’re up for it, you can actually walk all the way to the next village – Kommetjie.
If you’re keen on burning some calories whilst out in nature, then you’ll be happy to hear that there are many beautiful hiking trails to choose from in the mountains surrounding the valley. There are both shorter and longer walks, ranging from one hour to four hours, each of them promising to deliver spectacular views of the lush valley and ocean. The area is home to an array of bird species, such as peacocks, guinea fowl and eagles, so bird watchers will want to keep their binoculars handy. For animal lovers, there are often meerkats, rabbits and cows to be found in the surrounds so keep those eyes peeled.
Noordhoek Farm Village
This vibrant place offers the perfect location for kids to play and explore, as well as some truly delicious eateries and exciting craft stores. Many artists call Noordhoek home and as a result, the creative energy is tangible. For scrumptious baked goodies and deli delights, be sure to pop by the Foodbarn Bakery and Deli. Located in a revamped barn with plenty of character, patrons can enjoy freshly baked bread, quality coffee, deli favourites and fine-dining dishes. The food is of a high standard but the setting is relaxed – a truly winning combination. In the evenings, the deli transforms into a festive tapas bar offering a variety of inspired dishes sure to tickle the taste buds.
Noordhoek is the perfect mix of coastal living and a rustic village lifestyle. It’s the kind of place that charms its way into your heart and makes you want to stay forever. If a day is all you have, then make sure you spend it exploring this unique place, but if you have longer, it’s highly recommended that you find yourself some luxury Noordhoek accommodation and soak up the magic this little village has to offer.