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LOCAL TIME: 03:45 am | Thursday, 20 June
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Somerset West

The first thing that will catch your eye in Somerset West is the view over False Bay.  This town surrounded by majestic mountains and hills covered with vineyards is rich in cultural heritage dating back to 1672 when the land was purchased from the locals and a cattle post was established by Dutch soldiers.

Somerset West

The town was named “Somerset” after and British Governor of the Cape Colony during the 1800s, Lord Charles Henry Somerset. The suffix ‘West’ was added after 1825 to differentiate it from Somerset East

Somerset West is well known for the traditional “Helderberg Lights Festival” or the “Strawberry Festival” when Main Road is transformed into a magical display of lights and Christmas decorations. During the festival Main Road is closed off to traffic during the evenings so everybody can enjoy the flea market stalls and parades.  People from all over Cape Town travel to Somerset West to share in this fantastic display of Christmas spirit.

The Helderberg  area has a community radio station “Radio Helderberg” broadcasting community based information and contemporary music.

Somerset West is home to various Sports clubs e.g. Soccer, Bowling, Baseball, Tennis, Cricket, Croquet, Hockey, Golf, Squash, Athletics and various others. Click here for a list of sports clubs and their contact information.

There are numerous wine farms in Somerset West that are part of the Helderberg Wine Route including Vergelegen which has the oldest vineyard in the area and also the historic Cape Dutch homestead.  Vergelegen hosts the annual “Carols by Candlelight” event every Christmas season.

Somerset West

The Helderberg Nature reserve is situated on the slopes of the mountain and offers picnic areas, hiking trails, a restaurant and a gift shop.

For the watersport enthusiast there are the beaches in Strand and Gordon’s Bay as well as the harbours offering sailing and various other sports.

There are various other activities available in the Somerset West area e.g. Horse Riding, Hiking trails, a Cable Water Ski Resort, Mountain Bike Trails and lots more.

Where to stay in Somerset West

Accommodation in Somerset West

Accommodation in Somerset West caters for every taste and budget. With the town being the heart of the Helderberg Wine Route, beautiful and luxurious Wine Estate accommodation is available. Accommodation options available include luxury hotels, back packers lodges, self catering accommodation, bed & breakfast accommodation, and guest houses.

Visit our Accommodation Page..

Where to eat in Somerset West

Restaurants in Somerset West

No matter what your taste, Somerset West will have a restaurant that suits you, from Fine Dining to Italian, Chinese, Seafood, Burgers and Tappas. There are a variety of restaurants spread around the town’s CBD, its shopping malls (Somerset Mall and Waterstone Village), and the wine route.

Visit our Restaurant Guide..

Night Life in Somerset West

Night Life Somerset WestIf you are looking for something to do at night, no need to travel very far.  Somerset West has various establishments offering live entertainment, DJ’s and big screen TV’s for those all-important sports games.

Some popular spots include The Old Bridge Tavern, Nu’Bar and The Nameless Pub, amongst others.

Visit our Events & Entertainment calendar

Things to do in Somerset West

(Click on the link for more information)

Helderberg Nature Reserve


The Helderberg Nature Reserve is situated in Somerset West on the slopes of the beautiful Helderberg Mountain overlooking False Bay. There are picnic spots, a visitor centre, our Guinea gift shop, exhibitions and hiking trails for young and old. Enjoy our abundant birdlife, stroll around and watch the tortoises lazily mowing our lawns. Read more…

Helerberg Nature Reserve

Hiking at the Helderberg Nature Reserve

There are several trails in the Helderberg Nature Reserve, of which only the Brown Route is non-circular. Many regular walkers buy an Early Riser key which allows them access to the Reserve on foot before opening hours. This is a great way to beat the heat and enjoy a quiet walk. Read more…

 Hiking at Helderberg Nature Reserve

Bird Watching

The Helderberg is one of the world’s greatest biodiversity hotspots and is home to a remarkable variety of bird spices. The Helderberg is a fantastic destination for enthusiastic birders. The Helderberg area has a wide diversity of birding habitats including the unique Fynbos, and wetlands. Popular birds include Lesser collared Sunbird, Malachite Sunbird, Spotted Eagle Owl, Yellow Billed Duck and boasts with 6 unique Bird Watching Spots. Read more…

Somerset West Bird Club

Erinvale Golf Course

Erinvale Golf Course is set against the Helderberg and Hottentots Holland mountains, with breathtaking views of the surrounding wine estates and glimpses of the sea from the higher areas on the course. Designed by Gary Player, Erinvale’s beautifully manicured par 72 championship course boasts some of the country’s most challenging and spectacular holes. The greens at Erinvale are huge and well-shaped allowing for several different pin placements. Read more…

Erinvale Golf Course

Helderberg Farm

Helderberg Farm offers a traditional South African charm as well as a friendly atmosphere. Old world charm and an atmosphere seldomly found. The farm is home to one of the biggest Mountain Candlewood trees in South Africa which is easily accessed from the hiking trail. Activities include: Hiking trails, picnic spots, braai areas, kids parties, weddings and events, tea parties, tea garden, mountain biking, mountain huts, 4×4 routes, scenic views, panoramic viewpoints.

 Helderberg Farm

Cheetah Outreach

When you visit the Cheetah Outreach facility you will experience the excitement of a personal encounter with hand raised ambassador cheetahs. (Don’t forget to bring your camera!) Cheetah Outreach is an education and community-based programme created to raise awareness of the plight of the cheetah and to campaign for its survival. Read more…

 Cheetah Outreach

Monkey Town

Monkey Town, located on the N2 in Somerset West is a Wildlife Centre for monkeys and apes. There are more than 250 animals and 26 different exotic species including Tammy, Ruby, and Sunny, our famous chimp sisters.

Monkey town is not just a primate centre, but also a wildlife centre with over 700 animals in total to admire. Visitors to the well-designed enclosure at Monkey Town observe the monkeys from caged walkways allowing the monkeys to roam freely on the outside. Read more…

 Monkey Town

Helderberg Wine Route

The Helderberg Mountains makes their presence felt on all of the wine estates on this route. The scenery and the terroirs are very similar to those found in the Stellenbosch area and some of South Africa’s best known and oldest estates can be found here. The Helderberg Wine Route offers its splendour all year round. In addition to the many fine wines available, a visit to the region may be complemented by a meal in one of the excellent restaurants, a hike or horse-ride in the mountains, a swim at one of the nearby beaches, or a visit to shops and craft market. Read more…

 Helderberg Wine Route

Country Craft Market

The Country Craft Market at Southey’s Vines has been around since 1983, situated in Somerset West.  After all this time, crafters are still lining up to get a spot at the market to display their wares for everyone to see. There is always a merry and exciting atmosphere around and this, in turn, means a good day out with friends or with the whole family.Entry is free and there is plenty of free, secure parking is available behind Southey’s Vines. We’re pet- & child-friendly! Read more…

 Country Craft Market

Shopping in Somerset West

There’s a variety of shopping experiences for you to enjoy at your leisure and pleasure at Somerset Mall, Waterstone Village, The Sanctuary and more… Read more…

 Shopping in Somerset West

Summer Sunset Concert

The #SunsetConcerts series provides great entertainment on Sunday evenings in the Helderberg Nature Reserve. The concerts also provide a major source of funding for the conservation work of the Friends of Helderberg Nature Reserve. Read more…

 Sunset Concerts

Mountain Biking

The mountain bike trail is on this stage not clearly marked and can be done for free. It is only recommended for a cyclist that is familiar to the farm Mountain biking is the sport of riding bicycles off-road, often over rough terrain, using specially designed mountain bikes. Mountain bikes share similarities with other bikes but incorporate features designed to enhance durability and performance in rough terrain. Read more…

 Mountain Biking

More things to do in and around Helderberg

 Type of Activity
 Activity & Area
 Sport/Adrenalin  Strand/Somerset West – Play a round of Golf at Strand Golf ClubSomerset West, or Erinvale Golf Course
Gordons Bay – Surf at Bikini Beach  or Koeel Bay
Gordons Bay – Go Deep Sea Fishing
Gordons Bay – Hike the Danie Miller Hiking Trail up to the GB sign
Gordons Bay – Rent a bicycle & cycle around our Village
Gordons Bay – Go Scuba Diving
Kogel Bay – Hike up to Crystal Pools (permits required)
Sir Lowry’s Pass – Go Horse Riding at Journey’s End
Somerset West – Go Hiking at the Helderberg Nature Reserve (Check our Events & Entertainment Page for Guided Hikes)
Sir Lowry’s Pass – Paraglide from Sir Lowry’s Pass Lookout Point (seasonal)
Sir Lowry’s Pass – Spend the day at Blue Rock where you can Cable Water Ski, Wake Board, Fufi Slide, Play Paint Ball, swim in the Badi or have a picnic
Somerset West – Hit a couple of balls at the Vodacom Golf Driving range
✓ Somerset West – Mountain Biking at Schapenberg located at Ongegund Lodge
Somerset West – Spend the day at Helderberg Farm where you can Mountain BikeHike one of their Trails, try the 4×4 Route, play Laser Games or go Gravel Carting
✓ Somerset West
Play Paintball at Helderberg Farm
Grabouw – Go on a quad biking adventure
Strand – Rent a surfboard from Son Surf School at Strand Beach & learn to Surf
Gansbaai – Go Shark Cage Diving
Betty’s Bay – Go Sand Boarding
 Sight  Seeing/Other ✓ Gordons Bay – Browse for some reading at Bikini  Beach Books
Gordons Bay/Strand/Somerset West – Treat yourself at one of our Spa’s
Gordons Bay – Visit an Art Exhibitions by our local artists – exhibitions take place the last weekend of every month.  Visit our Events & Entertainment Page for info.
Gordons Bay – Take a scenic drive up to the Steenbras Water Treatment Plant
Somerset West/Sir Lowrys Pass – Tour the Helderberg Wine Route
Lwandle – Visit the Lwandle Migrant Labour Museum
Somerset West/Strand – Visit our famous Bird Watching spots
Somerset West – Go shopping at Somerset Mall
Somerset West/Gordons Bay – Visit one of our local Craft Markets
Gordons Bay – Take a scenic drive along Clarence Drive to Hermanus
Betty’s Bay – Visit the Harold Porter Botanical Gardens
Hermanus – Go Whale Watching  (seasonal)
Western Cape – Do the Brandy Route
 Family Activities

✓ Gordons Bay – Spend the day at one of our beaches
Gordons Bay – Have a picnic under the Milkwood trees
Somerset West – Have a picnic at the Helderberg Nature Reserve 
Somerset West – Go to a Summer Sunset Concert at Helderberg Nature Reserve (seasonal)      
Somerset West – Visit Monkey Town
Somerset West – Visit the Cheetah Outreach Centre where you can now Take a Cheetah for a walk on the Beach
✓ Strand – Spend the day at Strand Waterworld with water slides and putt-putt
✓ Strand – Spend the day on Strand’s 5km beach
Somerset West – Spend the day at Helderberg Farm’s picnic spots, petting zoo or go strawberry picking
✓ Klapmuts/Paarl – Visit Butterfly World
✓ Cape Town – Visit the Two Oceans Aquarium at the V&A Waterfront
 Betty’s Bay – Visit the Stony Point Penguin Colony

About Somerset West on Youtube


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