Choose your country and language:
SSantos Beach, one of South Africa’s Blue Flag beaches, is located at the heart of the Western Cape town of Mossel Bay on the south coast. 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, its efforts at environmental education, its sound environmental management and its safety record.
As well as being a popular swimming beach, with sea temperatures that are a comfortable 20 to 22⁰C during the summer months (November to March) and 13 to 14⁰C in winter (May to September), the beach has lifeguards on duty from November to January.
Santos Beach is also a favourite launch site for paddle-skis and offers a range of other water sports, 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 continent’s earliest inhabitants set their Stone-Age fish traps. It is also the spot where 15th-Century Portuguese navigator Bartolomeu Dias landed, after becoming the first European explorer to round the southern tip of Africa (Cape Agulhas) in search of a sea route to the spices of Asia.
Mossel Bay is proud of its Blue Flag beach – one of 35 beaches in South Africa that have been awarded this sought-after status – as it enhances the town’s reputation as one of South Africa’s favourite holiday destinations.
TTravel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Mossel Bay Tourism
Tel: +27 (0)44 691 2202
Best time to visit
Late spring and summer (October to February) are a good time to visit the Garden Route. Winter in 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 Hub in the coastal village of Groot Brakrivier, then visit the historic mission station nearby at Friemersheim in the foothills of the Outeniqua Mountains; or spend some time at the Wolwedans Dam, which offers hikes for a variety of fitness levels.
Tours to do
Take a boat tour to Seal Island, which is about 2km from 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 backpackers’ accommodation just 30m from the ocean. Mossel Bay also has 4 municipal caravan parks and several hotels and B&Bs to choose from, so it’s affordable whatever your budget.
What to eat
There are seafood restaurants aplenty along this stretch of coast, although you should read up on sustainable seafood stocks before you visit – you want to avoid any places with menus that feature red- or orange-listed species.