The Town of Doring Baai

There are over 190 towns in the Western Cape but no one seems to know where Doring Baai; once a thriving fishing village.

Exploring towns that many don’t often seem to think is a holiday destination is what drives me to visit.

Telling everyone we heading to Doring Baai for the holidays, we either got blank stares followed by questions like, “Is that even a town?’ and, “where is Doring baai?”.

Before Doring Baai, the town was once named Thornbay which lies along the West Coast. To get there, you can either drive through Graafwater and onto a hectic gravel route or, drive along the N7 through Lutzville and, onto the R362.

It’s quiet, quaint and, it reminds me of a small island you’ll find on a postcard.

Back in the day before the fishing industry collapsed, the bay was used as an anchorage on a northwards trading route; storing goods that were transported by camel to Vanrhynsdorp.

I understand why Doring Baai it’s so hidden. I wouldn’t want any over-tourism ruining this small harbour town with spectacular ocean views from the cliff paths while discovering deserted beaches.

But as much as it’s a town with a really slow pace to life, it’s comforting to know that there’s a forgotten fishing town, along the West Coast and, it’s a holiday retreat for getting away from it all.

Here are a few activities to do in and around Doring Baai:

Watch the sunset at the Harbour

The harbour is silent with only a handful of residents that come down to enjoy the beautiful sunset.

It’s spectacular to witness and, worth spending some time just relaxing and, viewing the few fishing boats floating around.

View the Lighthouse

The lighthouse is one of the prominent features in the area that looks over the shoulder of Fryer’s Cove from a small rocky outcrop.

Built-in 1963, the lighthouse still serves as a beacon to local fishermen and passing shipping traffic. Unfortunately, it’s not open to the public but it is pretty to look at.

Explore the town

This town is safe and extremely pretty to view so taking a stroll through the residential homes and handelhuisies is a must.

Chat to the locals and find out why they still enjoy staying in this charming little village.

Eat at Kommetjie in Strandfontein

Strandfontein is notorious for its mild summers with lovely clear days, perfect for spending time on the beach or in restaurants like Kommetjie.

It’s popular during the holidays so somethings making a reservation is important. It overlooks the ocean and serves mostly seafood dishes with an array of selections on the menu to choose from.

Spend the day at Standfontein Beach

The beach is overflowing with holiday goers that come to Strandfontein during the holiday period even if the water is ice cold, it’s really refreshing.

Pack a picnic basket and bring along your camping chairs while the sun bakes on your back. We watched a few people play volleyball and touch rugby while Courtney played in the sand and I, read a book.

Where to Stay

There are a few places to stay at but we managed to find a self-catering place for two called Diamond Divers.

It’s affordable and resonates flawlessly with the seaside town. It accommodated all our needs for a lekker holiday. Since its fairly refurbished, the open space facilitates everything from a comfortable double bed, a TV, and all the kitchen utensils you need.

The bathroom had a shower and, I was happy to have a seating area to eat. Outside, is a big patio overlooking the arid landscape with a braai.

If you seeking constant entertainment, then Doring Baai is not for you. It’s a town where you hear the constant sound of the sea crashings against the cliffs and, really looking to unwind.

Watch what we got up too in Doring Baai and Strandfontein

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Till the next adventure.

Stephanie Marthinus Blog