With our international travel plans cancelled – again! – we need to look closer to home. And with their warm winters, hot summers and Blue Flag beaches, i holiday spots like Shelly Beach, St Michaels, Uvongo, Ramsgate and Margate are well worth considering.
There’s so much to do in these seaside towns, from swimming and surfing, to pleasure cruises alongside dolphins and whales or deep-sea fishing. More water-based adventure can be had at Water World, where the slides offer thrills and spills for young and old. And then there are the luscious forests, rivers and mountains of surrounding areas like Lake Eland and Oribi Gorge, where adrenaline junkies can enjoy abseiling and white water rafting. There’s quad biking and adventure golf and horse-riding down those long beaches. And a range of restaurants to suit all tastes.
Or you could just relax under that wide blue sky and do nothing at all. There’s truly something for everyone on the South Coast.
The best time to visit? “Well that depends on the reason you’re coming!” laughs Lea-anne Homan, head of Just Property Margate’s holiday-letting department. “Compared to other coastal holiday destinations, peak season accommodation prices on the South Coast are very reasonable. During December it can be rainy but you almost need the relief after all the perfect beach days.
“Of course, in the off season you get quite astonishing value,” she continues. “This includes February, when the weather and the sea are at their warmest and many visit us for a romantic Valentine’s getaway. March and April are happy, festivity-filled months and May is our best-kept secret – the days are beautifully mild and windless while evenings are perfect for braaing.”
But how do you choose where to base yourself? Lea-anne gave us the inside track on great options at her favourite South Coast resorts:
Lea-anne recommends renting close to the sea and her first choice is Saints View, which is in the heart of Uvongo on the beachfront. “The three-bedroom units are a good size and priced per unit not per person. They are modern and clean and the popular front units have breath-taking sea views,” she says. “There are loads of gems in the surrounding area but the complex also has its own onsite restaurant, with a bar and family dining, plus roof putt putt, jungle gyms and a pool to keep little ones occupied.”
Daily rentals: Low season R1 100 – R1 300 • Mid season (long weekends and normal school holidays) R1 550 – R1 650 • Easter R1 800 • High season (08 Dec to 15 Dec) R2 000 • Peak season (16 Dec to 07 Jan ) R2 500 – R2 800.
“Seagull Holiday Flats overlook the ocean and fishing pier, so most units have a seaview, while others have a city view,” says Lea-anne. “I also love this option because there are restaurants and pubs within walking distance and if you love the night life, this is the place to be. There’s a real buzz in peak season. It’s also truly cost effective.”
Daily rentals: Low season R580 • Mid-season (long weekends and normal school holidays) R750 • Easter R1 400 • High season (8 Dec to 15 Dec) R1 200 • Peak season (16 Dec to 07 Jan ) R1 500.
“If you want direct access to the beach and a palm-tree, island-style vibe, you’ll love the small and quaint units at Ramsgate Palms,” says Lea-anne. “They’re perfect for two adults and two children or for two couples. The complex is very secure and has its own swimming pool.”
What range of budgets are catered for? Low Season – R550 to R750. Mid-Season R950, Easter R1200, High R1450 and Peak R1600- R1800
Daily rentals: Low season R550 – R750 • Mid-season (long weekends and normal school holidays) R950 • Easter R1 200 • High season (08 Dec to 15 Dec) R1 450 • Peak season (16 Dec to 07 Jan ) R1 600 – R1 800.
Border of Ramsgate, Margate
“For those who want something a little quieter, the two-bedroom units at Chesea Peak are ideal,” says Lea-anne. “There’s direct access to the beach and a beautiful swimming pool, plus tennis courts and braai facilities. And the views are stunning.”
Daily rentals: Low season R500 • Mid-season (long weekends and normal school holidays) R750 • Easter R850 • High season (08 Dec to 15 Dec) R1 200 • Peak season (16 Dec to 07 Jan ) R1 450.
Lea-anne warns that scams involving fake holiday lets are becoming common countrywide. “Always make sure you get photos and images. Maybe ask for the owner to do a video walk through on their phone. Better still, use a reputable agent to book your holiday stay.
“Just Property Margate, for example, has a wide range of self-catering accommodation on its books, with options suitable for couples, families, friends and corporates. Besides the security aspect, we can also offer packages to meet your every need, whether you want us to make bookings for family excursions or bulk accommodation with meals provided for conferences.”
See you on the South Coast!