Way down on the south coast of South Africa, there is another peninsula, different from its more famous cousin at the Cape, that's perhaps even more beautiful.
Cape St. Francis is a tiny spit of land about four hours from Cape Town to the west which offers an beautiful village setting. There are strict regulations on what styles of property can be built, meaning that the houses and shops all fit with the original fisherman's village of whitewashed rough plaster houses with black, normally thatched, roofs. This has meant that the village really does feel like one, not just a collection of enormous millionaire's summer houses.
You can choose from either the canal-side luxury palaces, a great collection of small beach houses with private outside spaces (perfect for families) or the selection of small hotels. There are restaurants and shops a plenty in the village meaning that you don't really have to leave the place at all (and many don't: there are almost as many permanent inhabitants as holiday homes here, another reason why it's so popular year-round).
Our particular favourite because of its Fair Trade stamp is The Cape St. Francis Resort which is a 'village within the village'. While every unit has self-catering facilities, there is also a choice of two restaurants; the new Full Stop Café, and Joe Fish (famous for its butter-soft calamari), which overlooks a pool and play area – bliss for families with kids who love to swim. There are several accommodation categories, from tiny cottages sleeping two to luxury villas sleeping 12. Few have sea views, but the furthest cottages and apartments are no more than about 300 metres from the beach; some are even pet-friendly. Despite the size (the resort can sleep up to 480), service is personal and the atmosphere homely – locals frequent the pub as well as Sunday lunches, deservedly popular.
Prices are super affordable, with 70sqm apartments from R350 per person sharing. Cottages from R1,300 per night (sleeping six) and aea-facing villas from R5,200 per night (sleeping 10).