Santos Beach, Mossel Bay
Did you know?
Santos Beach is named after a German schooner, the 'Santos' that sank off its shores.
Santos, one of South Africa’s Blue Flag beaches, is located at the heart of the southern Cape town of Mossel Bay. Santos Beach is wide and sandy, with brilliant ocean views and easy access to the town’s shops, restaurants and many historic sites.
This beach earned its prestigious Blue Flag status for its strict control of water quality, efforts at environmental education, sound environmental management and safety record.
As well as being a popular swimming beach, with sea temperatures that are a comfortable 20 to 22 degrees Celsius during the summer months and 13 to 14 degrees Celsius in winter, the beach has lifeguards on duty between November and January.
Santos Beach is also a favourite launch site for paddle skis and a range of other water spots, including surfing, boating, diving and angling. The rocky outcrops along the beach are home to rock pools full of interesting sea creatures, as well as oyster beds.
Santos Beach also forms part of South Africa’s Whale Route, with southern right whales sheltering in the bay between May and October. The whales are often clearly visible from the beach, along with dolphins and even seals.
Mossel Bay itself, just a stone’s throw from the beach, is known as the historical capital of the Garden Route. It was here that some of the continents earliest inhabitants set their Stone-Age fish traps. It is also the spot where early European explorers, like Bartholomeu Dias, the Portuguese Navigator, first discovered the southern tip of Africa while searching for a spice route to the East.
The town of Mossel Bay is proud of its Blue Flag beach, which is one of 35 beaches in South Africa that have been awarded this sought-after status, adding to its reputation as one of South Africa's favorite holiday destinations.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Mossel Bay Tourism
Tel: +27 (0)44 691 2202
Best time to visit
The summer months are a good time to visit the Garden Route. Winter in the Western Cape (June to August) is the rainy season and not the best time for a beach holiday.
Around the area
Explore Hough's Herbal Garden; visit the historic mission station at Friemersheim in the foothills of the Outeniqua Mountains; or spend some time at the Wolwedans Dam.
Tours to do
Take a boat tour to Seal Island, which is about 2km from the Mossel Bay harbour and is home to more than 5 000 Cape Fur seals.
Having your own car will give you the freedom to explore the quaint towns along the Garden Route. There are also organised tours (in luxury buses) on offer.
Where to stay
The 'Santos Express', known as 'The Train' by locals, is a real train that has been transformed into comfortable accommodation just 30m from the ocean. Mossel Bay also has four municipal caravan parks and a number of hotels and B&Bs to choose from.
What to eat
There are seafood restaurants aplenty along this stretch of coast.