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- 22 Jan 2020, 3 nights
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Mossel Bay on South Africa’s Garden Route is an archaeological hub and one of the oldest beachfront holiday destinations in the world. Surfers flock to the 60km of windswept coastline here to ride the unique breaks at Inner Pool and Outer Pool. And with 320 sunny days each year, there's plenty of opportunity to get outdoors. You'll find world-class golf courses and adrenaline-fuelled activities including sandboarding, skydiving and guided encounters with great white sharks.
You can stay in a Mossel Bay hostel created from a train parked permanently on the beach and sleep in the carriage dorm or a double compartment. Or you can head out of the town centre to a beach house in a quaint seaside village. Expect free continental breakfasts, with hot meals available for a small charge. Mossel Bay hostels often have communal kitchens or barbecues, or you can dine at an on-site restaurant with sea views.
Mossel Bay is a small community, so all the main attractions are within walking distance. The Point is the heart of the town, close to Cape St Blaize and a square lighthouse that you can climb for views across the ocean. There's a promenade along the waterfront with ice cream stands and mini-golf. Following the coastline past the marina will take you to Santos Beach, a Blue Flag stretch of soft white sand with lifeguards. Head inland to Bland Street to find historic buildings, tour operators and an indoor flea market.
Join the Point of Human Origins tour to the famous cave site where archaeologists found evidence of modern human behaviour dating back 162,000 years. The St Blaize Trail is a popular 13.5km hike along the cliffs and caves from Mossel Bay to Dana Bay. Adventurous travellers can sandboard on the 170m-high Dragon Dune; you might spot the occasional whale or dolphin from the top. For a more intimate encounter with the local wildlife, you can even book a shark dive.
Mossel Bay is at the centre of the 800km Garden Route, halfway between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. George Airport is 40km east of Mossel Bay and has connecting flights across South Africa. You can hire a car or book a shuttle service for the 30-minute journey into town. If you're arriving by bus, you'll be dropped at the Voorbaai Shell petrol station on the highway, 8km from Mossel Bay. Hostels will often pick you up if you arrange it in advance, but taxis are available too.