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Engel & Völkers Licence Partner South Africa > Blog > Visiting Kalk Bay - Discover one of Cape Town’s treasure troves

Visiting Kalk Bay - Discover one of Cape Town’s treasure troves

A gem on the False Bay coastline, Kalk Bay is known for its raw beauty, interesting shops, antiques, crafts, a vast selection of superb restaurants and stunning views. Nestled between the mountains and the ocean, it is a vibrant, trendy, seaside fishing community that reflects its cosmopolitan heritage through art, architecture and local cuisine. You could easily spend a full day in this little neighbourhood and still not be able to experience it all!

 South Africa
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Kalk Bay is only a 30-minute drive from Cape Town, yet it seems a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The pace is different to the city - there is a holiday atmosphere and fishermen ply the waters constantly whatever the time of day or season. It also boasts with a hub of outdoor action – from deep sea fishing to angling; to having one of the best reefs in Cape Town for surfers and the fascinating caves for land and foot adventures.

“This quaint town with its eclectic mix of people, historic buildings, cobbled streets, bohemian bric-a-brac shops, vintage bookstores, art and antique galleries and colourful fishing vessels is what makes it so unique and charming. It attracts fewer tourists than the V&A Waterfront, but still manages to be a hub of fun activity for all ages” says Jackie de Waal, Licence Partner Engel & Völkers Kalk Bay.

Kalk Bay’s layout is pretty simple. Most of the town’s eateries, bars, stores and hotspots are located along the main street. There are parking places along the entire length of the street, but you’ll usually have to park a little further away from where you’re headed, and walk along the beautiful coastline, which is really part of the experience.

Whether it’s good food, art or adventure you're after, Kalk Bay has something for everyone, and will enchant you no matter how you choose to spend your time there.

Did you know?

A literal translation from the Dutch/Afrikaans name "Kalkbaai" is "Lime Bay". This derives from the vast deposits of mussel shells found there, which early settlers burned to make lime for construction.

Typical property type

Kalk Bay has very few properties because there is only a limited amount of space between the mountain and the sea and no room left to build anymore, making it very sought-after. There are only 223 residential houses and 238 apartments.

Average Property value

Apartments range from R2.9 million to R7 million depending on the size, position, condition and views. Whilst houses start at approximately R7 million and can reach up to R20 million conditional to the same criteria as apartments.

Property trends and tips

Plenty of properties in Kalk Bay tend to pass from one generation to the next, so very few actually appear on the open market. Patience is key to finding something in this highly sought-after area and for the lucky few who do manage to buy here it’s certainly worth the wait! The demand always far outweighs the supply.

What’s happening?

  • A crucial upcoming ‘event’ is the final anticipated end of the road works currently planned for the end of October 2017
  • Ocean Odyssea - local talent, every first Saturday of the month at The Brass Bell
  • Muizenberg Jazz Festival - 13 and 14 October at the Masque Theatre in Muizenberg
  • The Kalk Bay Gindig - celebration of local gin distilleries on 15 October at the Olympia Café
  • Chi-pin Hsieh and Kai-ya Chang performance - Taiwanese jazz musicians performing on Saturday 22 October at the Olympia Café

10 top things to do in Kalk Bay

  • Take a swim in Wooley’s, Dalebrook or The Brass Bell tidal pools.
  • Shopping - there are plenty of shopping spots. Also, look out for the various antique and bric-a-brac shops. You never know what you will find there!
  • Kalk Bay Theatre - all shows are handpicked and many are sold out, so be sure to book early! Take advantage of the two-for-one Tuesday tickets to get a good deal. You can have dinner at the venue beforehand, plus a coffee afterwards to mix with the crowd and artists.
  • Kalk Bay Books - here you will find classics you possibly thought weren’t available in SA as well as lots of books by local authors. Described as the book shop with the best view in the world.
  • Kalk Bay Harbour - visit the picturesque fishing harbour especially when the boats come in with a catch and buy the freshest fish in town. A family favourite for a lovely sunny afternoon is a nice stroll along the harbour. Watch the seals swimming, playing in the water and sunbathing.
  • Surfing - Kalk bay reef has consistent left - breaking waves for winter surfing as well as summer swells.
  • Self-drive the Cape Peninsula - two oceans in one day and one of the most beautiful drives, and easiest way to truly orientate yourself to the mountain range and two oceans that dominate Cape Town. 
  • Various hiking trails - Echo Valley is a scenic hiking trail that takes you high above the harbour and through the Spes Bona forest, leading all the way to Silvermine on Ou Kaapse Weg. Kalk Bay to Boomslang Cave Hike; the cave lies up above Kalk Bay, a relatively easy cave to access, and great for novice caving if you have not done any before. Kalk Bay to the Amphi theatre Hike; a rather different side to the Mother City is showcased on the walk from Kalk Bay to the Amphitheatre, which begins on Boyes Drive just above St James.
  •  Save our Seas shark education centre - an educational research facility dedicated to the preservation of our diverse marine environments. 
  • Kalk Bay Modern Gallery - a contemporary arts and crafts gallery that supports local talent and developing communities. Works on display range from San Bushmen art to photography, textiles and jewellery. 


Favourite local restaurants

One of the toughest decisions you will have to make on your visit will be where to eat. There are so many places to choose from and each one is unique from the next. Jackie shared some of her favourites with us:

  • Ohana - has the best coffee in Kalk Bay made by their very own queen of coffee, Violet, who makes all guests feel like family!
  • Lekker - great food, service and has amazing sea and harbour views. It claims to be the place to go if you’re looking for lekker coffee, pastries, cakes, food and local favourites.
  • The Brass Bell - spoilt for choice with their extensive menu, a front row seat to watch the whales and dolphins play. The Bikini deck is where the live music unfolds.
  • Kalky’s - for their laid back atmosphere, located right on the harbour and is known to serve up fresh fish and chips in a relaxed and unpretentious setting watching the local fishermen haul in their latest catch.
  • Harbour House - a fine dining establishment sitting right on the rocks and giving diners an amazing view of the ocean.
  • Cape to Cuba - this restaurant and beach bar is a great place for casual drinks while dinner can be had overlooking the ocean. This is for those who love a vibey atmosphere, good music and some dancing.
  • Olympia Café and Deli - everything is prepared from scratch and portions are large. The setting is rustic and the staff is friendly.
  • Lucky Fish and Chips - is exactly that- fish and chips. Sitting in the harbour right next to Live Bait, there for anyone who wants their fish and chips experience right by the harbour watching the boats come in.
  • Sirrocco Café - casual yet sophisticated outdoor café, Sirocco is about freshly ground Lavazza coffee, fresh daily baked croissants and orange juice, freshly squeezed while you wait.
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Licence Partner South Africa
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