Cape Town is home to various stretches of natural beauty, hidden nooks of wonder and epic landmarks, all of which bring a unique flavour to our world-renowned city – and the glistening Atlantic Seaboard is one such region. Often referred to as Cape Town’s “Riviera”, it encompasses the area starting at the V&A Waterfront and travelling all along the Cape Peninsula to Hout Bay. In this helicopter tour of Cape Town, follow Victoria Road as it takes you along the picturesque coastline, the sparkling Atlantic Ocean on the one side, with the changing mountainous slopes for which Cape Town has become so famous on the other. If cycling, driving or walking this stretch is sure to take your breath away, just imagine what it will be like to witness this splendour from the sky?
If this sounds like the perfect way to spend an afternoon, read on and find out more about each of the places you’ll get to see from above during your Atlantico Tour.
Your starting point: The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront
Undoubtedly one of the most popular spots in the city for both locals and visitors alike, the V&A Waterfront is a veritable playground for both young and old. Indulge in a shopping experience unlike any other as you browse shop after shop, after which you can quell your hunger when dining at one of the many delicious restaurants on offer.
The best part is that while the inside of the V&A Waterfront is so appealing, the outside and surrounds don’t disappoint either. Enjoy a walk along the harbour, alive with activity, as you take in the spectacular views of Table Mountain. For locally produced wares, pop by the Watershed to find something special, and for the kids, there’s the exciting Scratch Patch, bursting with gemstones waiting to be collected. Quintessentially Cape Town, the V&A is the perfect place for lift off.
Following on from here, you’ll fly over the following areas that together form the magnificent Atlantic Seaboard:
The buzzing metropolis that is Green Point is not only a popular residential area, but one that boasts a host of shops, cafés, clubs and restaurants. It is also home to a much-loved outdoor space, Green Point Park, an idyllic spot that lends itself to lazy afternoon picnics, keeping the kids occupied with the various play areas and providing the perfect route for walkers, runners and cyclists.
If there’s one structure that has made its mark on the area, it’s definitely the mesmerising Cape Town Stadium. Built for the main purpose of servicing the 2010 FIFA World Cup and marking the end of the Fan Walk, this grand stadium now hosts an array of events, from music concerts to sold-out sporting matches. Standing before this incredible landmark is remarkable, but seeing it in all its glory from above, is something truly amazing. In fact, it’s probably the best way to appreciate its unusual shape. Just across the way towards the sea, you’ll find the unmissable, candy-striped Green Point Lighthouse, with iconic Robben Island easily being spotted floating out in the Atlantic Ocean. The UN World Heritage Site is a constant reminder of how much South Africa has had to overcome as a nation.
Unmistakably an area with attitude and vibrancy, Sea Point will be the next stop on your tour. Also a desirable choice for both residing and holidaying, this suburb has a distinctive, sea-side living feel, complemented perfectly by the array of amenities and hustle for which it has come to be known.
Perhaps the thing for which Sea Point has become synonymous is its Promenade, which you’ll be able to point out from the air. A true symbol of Cape Town life (and, in many ways, summer itself), the Sea Point Promenade is a hive of activity as runners, cyclists and pram-wielding moms make use of its winding length – nothing is better than getting some much-needed exercise while simultaneously taking in the sounds and smells of the sea.
The Promenade has also become known for its display of artworks dotted along the way, namely the large pair of sunglasses by local artist Michael Elion, called Perceiving Freedom, and Rhinosaur by André Carl van der Merwe. As you fly over, the Sea Point Pavilion Pool will jump out at you as well, in all its sparkling, turquoise glory.
Cape Town is no stranger to exclusive suburbs, and perhaps it’s Clifton that takes the cake when it comes to luxury living. Apart from being recognised for its beautiful, sea-facing bungalows and soaring apartment blocks, Clifton also boasts beach heaven in the form of its four (well, actually five) well-known sandy spots. Divided by huge granite boulders, of which are more easily defined from a bird’s-eye view, Clifton 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th are idyllic albeit small beaches, that are arguably some of the most stunning in the world. From braving the freezing water, to catching some rays, enjoying a sunset picnic or admiring the luxury yachts in the bay, Clifton is a haven of beauty and activity – now picture seeing all of this from up above? Unbelievable.
Continuing along the coastline, more beach and bustle awaits at Camps Bay. The part of Victoria Road that runs through this wealthy area is often referred to as the Camps Bay “strip” and it heaves with social activity, particularly during the summertime. The many bars and eateries that run the length of the strip provide the ideal places for sundowners or a quick lunch off the beach. The grey-brown of Table Mountain, the Twelve Apostles and Lion’s Head contrast beautifully against the brilliant blue of the sea, the pearly-white sand and the splashes of green of the palm-lined boulevard. Looking up from the ground delivers a sight that resembles a postcard, so seeing this from the sky only seems to magnify the picture-perfect backdrop even more. With so much vibrancy and beauty, it’s no wonder that property investors dream of buying homes here.
Previously beginning in Camps Bay, the Twelve Apostles mountain range continues to stretch on as you continue your journey in the sky. The undulating sandstone mountains are part of the Table Mountain National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Nature-lovers are in for a real treat when exploring this range as it’s home to abundant fauna and flora, namely Cape Fynbos, found only in our lovely city.
Several hiking trails mean that not only are the Twelve Apostles perfect for appreciating the plant and animal life of the area, but they’re also the best way to exercise out in nature. Emerging out of the lush greenery and rocky mountain face, you’ll more than likely be able to identify the fancy Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, as it tends to stick out rather easily with its stark whiteness. It’s also the only structure you’ll see for a few kilometres, as this stretch is mainly sea and mountain – but who’s complaining, really?
As you fly on, seemingly moving with the curves of the mountains and coastline, you’ll eventually hit the secluded location of yet another of the Mother City’s finest beaches: Llandudno. Chiselled into the bay, the azure Atlantic Ocean rises up to meet the crescent-shaped golden sands, creating a slice of paradise. Sun worshippers, as well as those brave enough to tolerate the icy waters, come to Llandudno when they’re looking to escape the crowds. With parking being so limited, you’re almost always rest assured that the beach isn’t completely packed, making for a more relaxed and pleasant experience. It is also a very popular surfing and body boarding spot despite the freezing temperatures – the epic point breaks seem to make it all worth it.
Llandudno, named after a Welsh town, is also considered a highly upmarket residential area that boasts sprawling properties with unending sea views. The remoteness of the area only seems to add to its allure, something that the elite tend to hold in high regard. With mountain, sea, lush vegetation and mammoth granite slabs, Llandudno is the picture of untouched nature. If you’re feeling daring, you may choose to visit Sandy Bay, Cape Town’s official nudist beach, just south of Llandudno. Seeing all this exquisiteness from the unique vantage point of up in the air will be a memory you carry with you forever. The Atlantico Tour is the only one of the Scenic Tours that allows you to see Llandudno.
The last stop on this Scenic Tour is none other than charming Hout Bay. Known for being a hive of activity, this exciting Republic has a lively harbour and picturesque beach, all perfectly rounded off with a laid-back atmosphere. This part of the coastline is characterised by its steep cliffs that actually give rise to the awe-inspiring coastal route that is Chapman’s Peak Drive. This scenic drive stretches for 9km from Hout Bay all the way to Noordhoek, all the while providing you with sweeping sea views that can be enjoyed at one of the many vantage points along the way.
Witnessing glorious Hout Bay and its surrounds from high in the sky will give you a completely different perspective of this part of the coast, one that is sure to surpass all expectations. You’ll see Seal Island from a bird’s-eye view and if you’re lucky enough, you may even spot a Southern Right Whale or two during whale season.
Here’s what some delighted customers had to say about their Atlantico Tour:
“”Whales! What a bonus!! Thanks guys – it was amazing.” – Mr & Mrs Yerrm from the UK.
NAC Helicopter’s Cape Town tours offer a unique and thrilling way to take in the sights of the Mother City. If the Atlantico Tour appealed to you, you may also want to try the Three Bays Tour!
Bell 206 JetRanger