Strand is a small town on the False Bay coast, about 40 minutes drive from Cape Town.While the town has undergone many developments in recent years, at its heart it is still a beach town.
As with many coastal settlements in South Africa, Strand started out life as a fishing village. However, as time passed, the village grew and metamorphosed into a small city. In fact, with the growth of both Strand and its neighbours Somerset West and Gordon's Bay, the boundaries of each town are blurred forming instead what seems like one large extension of Cape Town. Obviously each maintains its own personality though.
Economically speaking, Strand has a large industrial area, and in recent years, the beach front architecture has taken a move towards glistening skyscrapers as opposed to quaint beach cottages. However, it retains many good holiday town traits, not least of all its beach, Melkbaai.
Melkbaai is touted as one of South Africa's safest beaches, with generally small waves and no dangerous undercurrents. It is also very pretty with 5km of white sand stretching along the coast. While the heart of Melkbaai is a swimmers' beach with small waves, Strand is renowned for having excellent off shore surf breaks as well as numerous other surf spots closer to land.
Attractions nearby to Strand include the beautiful, winding coastal road which follows the curves of the mountain from Gordon's Bay through to Rooi Els. Not only does this route provide exquisite views but during whale season, when the Southern Right whales enter the bay to mate and calve, the roadside layby's provide excellent vantage points to view these magnificent creatures from.
The harbour in nearby Gordon's Bay has a number of boat charter companies which will take you out for a sunset cruise, while Stellenbosch and it's wine estates are just 25km from the centre of Strand.
Strand makes a great base for a summer break, and you have a range of options from tall hotels to small guesthouses and B and B's.
If you're looking for a seaside escape, consider this small town.
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