Choose your country and language:
SSo, you’ll be visiting Port Elizabeth and have just two day in which to see the best that South Africa’s friendliest city has to offer. Of course, two days isn’t nearly enough time to enjoy everything this buzzing city has to offer, but the following “hotspot” will help you make the most of every minute!
A busy start to the day
Start the day with a coffee and an early morning walk along the boardwalk, where a long, paved promenade provides pedestrian access to warm water and a variety of hotels and holiday apartments that overlook the ocean. It takes you 5 minutes from the airport to the beachfront areas of Humewood and Summerstrand on Marine Drive so this could just what you need after a flight – sea air and hot coffee.
PE’s promenade runs parallel to the beachfront coastline and it’s always busy with locals making the most of the balmy weather. You could even join in with a ‘parkrun’ – a free fun run on Saturday mornings, starting at Hobie Beach. This area is so special because you may even see dolphins gliding through the waves close to shore.
MMid-morning activity – pre-lunch
Work up the appetite for lunch back at Hobie Beach. The recently upgraded Shark Rock Pier shares centre stage pier with the Boardwalk Hotel complex and is a gathering place for people to watch the swimmers and surfski paddlers out at sea. Take the plunge and splash out on some ocean kayaking or surfing.
24 hours in Port Elizabeth
LLunch time stop
Hungry?! The Blue Waters Café is popular so book ahead for a table with a view and order the fresh linefish. Barney’s Tavern is always lively and serves up tasty pub food and cold draught beer. PE’s essential charm is that it’s laid back and unassuming, The Beershack exemplifies this and offers a range of craft beer paired with substantial burgers rated by locals as being the best in the area.
Afternoon fun for the families
After lunch, head southwards along Marine Drive to the Cape Recife Nature Reserve. This wild deserted stretch of pristine beach and fynbos vegetation is suitably tranquil after the hubbub of the beachfront and is best explored on foot along well-maintained trails.
You certainly won’t miss the black and white striped lighthouse, which rises up from the rocky shore with a wide blue sky as its backdrop.
Sunsets and sundowners
Sidewalk café culture in the quaint suburb of Richmond Hill is five minutes away from the beachfront and Stanley Street, and offers an eclectic mix of restaurants and bars. Packed most nights of the week, its charming sidewalk café culture provides a unique snapshot of Port Elizabeth’s diverse society. Or head back to Barney’s Tavern for a live band, the venue rocks until the early hours.
If you have extra time to spend in beautiful Eastern Cape, there are many gorgeous places to visit just hours away from PE. From Addo Elephant Park to the Blue Flag beaches on the South Coast, there is no shortage of things to do and see during the holiday season. We suggest you take a drive on day 2 of this beautiful area and explore.
A good way to start Day 2 is to visit The Donkin Heritage Trail, an easy 5km meander in the footsteps of the 1820 settlers, passing 47 historical sites in Port Elizabeth, including Donkin Lighthouse, Donkin Pyramid, the city market Square, City Hall and Fort Frederick. A map can be obtained from the tourist office located at the lighthouse. Donkin Heritage Trail is a joy to anyone who loves historical tours as the rich history is not only charming but also fascinating.
If you really looking for some fun, drive to Sundays River for a day of adventure. Sundays River Adventures is 5 minutes away from Addo Elephant National Park and offers adventures and fun with sandboarding, boat cruises and watersport activities. Boat rides, boat cruises, sandboarding and watersports are available to anyone looking for a good time.
The Freedom Trail is an exhilarating mountain-bike route from East Coast to West Coast in South Africa that runs through some of the most spectacular natural beauty the country has to offer.
South Africa is a surfer’s paradise, and whether you’re a novice or an old pro, the different conditions of the West Coast, Garden Route, Wild Coast and KwaZulu-Natal offers something for everyone.
The N2 route from Port Elizabeth in Eastern Cape to Nature’s Valley in Western Cape offers seaside history, excellent seafood, surfing and adventure, and magnificent views in the Tsitsikamma Forest.
The ‘Wildlife Route’ from Port Elizabeth to Grahamstown/Makhanda in Eastern Cape offers a journey through European/Xhosa frontier history, exquisite birds, elephants and scenery, and delicious food.
Drink in spectacular seaside scenery and marvel at pristine flora and fauna in Mkhambathi Nature Reserve, jewel of the Pondoland Marine Protected Area on the Wild Coast of Eastern Cape.
Once you can pronounce it, Chintsa on the Wild Coast could become your favourite Eastern Cape destination – it offers a magnificent beach, and the choice of utter relaxation or a host of activities.
Port Elizabeth boasts several lovely Blue Flag beaches – King’s Beach, Wells Estate and Humewood – as well as family friendly beaches Bluewater Bay and Sardinia Bay.
In South Africa, kayaking can be enjoyed on rivers, dams, lakes and in the sea, where you can combine the experience with whale, dolphin, penguin or seal watching.