St Helena Bay, approximately 150 km from Cape Town along Route 27, is a bustling fishing harbor set within a tranquil seaside village. It is a birdwatchers paradise with magnificent flowers decorating the landscape in late winter and spring and is a popular home to dolphins and whales all year round.

St Helena Bay is recognized as one of the calmest and is sheltered from the strong West Coast winds making it the perfect spot for surfing, kayaking and swimming in the rock pools. It is also the only Bay along the South African West Coastline where it is possible to see the sun rise and set over the sea due to its unique location where the town itself faces perfectly north east.

The seaside village has become a popular tourist destination for the very beauty and tranquility it offers its’ visitors, but because the Bay is one of the best for whale and dolphin sightings. Dolphins can be found at any time chasing fish along the shoreline and between August and November St Helena seems to be one of the most popular Bays for Southern Right Whales to visit to calve.

St Helena Bay is close to Vredenburg allowing visitors to have access to the main Mall along the coastline and the area offers plenty of accommodation to choose from with quaint B&B’s, Guesthouses and self-catering cottages scattered all around the Bay.

Places to Visit

Things to do and see

  • Shelley Bay Beach
  • Stompneus Lighthouse
  • St Helena Bay Arts, Crafts & Food Market
  • Vasco da Gama Memorial
  • LazyCatz Art & Decor
  • Shelley Point Golf Course
  • West Coast Mall

Climate

The area receives most of its rainfall between June and August and enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate most of the year.

Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 15˚C and 27˚C.

Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 8˚C and 17˚C.

Transport

There are daily domestic and international flights into Cape Town International Airport and St Helena Bay is approximately 150 km away via the R27.  Car rental companies are located at the Airport.

History

Explorer Vasco Da Gama discovered this great Bay while on his pioneer voyage to the India from Europe.  He sailed into St Helena Bay on 7 November 1497 where the explorers anchored their four ships and relaxed in the bay after their four month journey out at sea. He named the town Bahai da Santa Elena, which is Latin for St Helena Bay, after St Helena a devout Christian and mother of Roman Emporer Constantine the Great.

It was on the shores of this Bay that a brawl developed between one of Da Gama's men and a group of KhoiKhoi. This was the first clash on the shores of Southern Africa between Europeans and Africans.

Today the town is a bustling fishing village where the fishing factories around the town supply over half the fish in South Africa. St Helena Bay is known for its crayfish, snoek and anchovies.

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