Kleinmond for history buffs and outdoor enthusiasts
About an hours drive from Cape Town, along the picturesque drive of the R44 is the little town of Kleinmond. Sitting between the jagged Palmiet mountain range and the Atlantic Ocean, this peaceful coastal town lies within the unique Kogelberg biosphere reserve boasting over 1600 species of indigenous plants. Although traditionally a retirement village, when holiday season hits, the town becomes ablaze with activity. With its gorgeous beaches; tranquil lagoon; fantastic hikes and walks; as well as sumptuous restaurants, Kleinmond is a little piece of paradise. Outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs alike will enjoy the remote wilderness as well as Kleinmond’s sordid and exciting history …
For those who enjoy a bit of sand, sun and excitement, Kleinmond has much to offer, especially in the way of water sports, ranging from canoeing down the rivers, swimming in the lagoon, fishing in the ocean and exploring the rocky tidal pools. For those who prefer their feet firmly on the ground, there are numerous hikes and mountain trails. If this all sounding a bit too extreme, then try the luxurious Arabella Spa, just 10 minutes out of Kleinmond where you can enjoy steam baths, massages and all round pampering to revitalise both body and mind. There is also the Arabella Golf Club, one of the most beautiful golf courses in the country.
You can also wile away a day browsing through Harbour Road, with its charming little shops, great galleries and craft stores. This area is known for its fresh and tasty seafood, most notably perlemoen and oysters, so be sure to take a break and settle down into one of the many great restaurants. Harbour Road is also home to Immenhof Honey so be sure to taste some of the locally produced deliciously sweet honey. They allow guests to taste up to 10 varieties of honey as well as offering beeswax candles, teas, furniture oil, nuts, fruits, rolls and gifts.
Not only a picture perfect coastal town, Kleinmond has a rich history with stories of shipwrecks, pirates, runaway slaves and cattle thieves. Check out the graves of those who were shipwrecked off Palmiet Beach in 1902. The crosses and commemoration plaque were made from the sunken Norwegian ship, the Gustav Adolf.
A little less eerie, but also for the history buffs is the Toy Museum, with cars and dolls ranging from old-school to modern from all around the world. There is also an Iron Museum open on Fridays and Saturdays , which will show you the amazing evolution of irons from the Chinese silk irons to ox tongues and the tattle-tale iron. As if this isn’t enough to keep you busy, the front entrance of the library has a tapestry depicting the history of Kleinmond and is a must see. It took ten Kleinmond ladies and a total of 1,439 hours to finish it.
For an extra special sight, go to the beach at first light during the winter and look out for the Paper Nautilus shell. Closely related to the octopus the female Paper Nautilus has a rounded body with eight tentacles and a papery shell which she makes and uses to carry her eggs. These shells are exquisite and can make for a beautiful gift or as a reminder of the harmonious coastal town.