Travel & Coastal Town Review: Yzerfontein, West Coast

IMG_20141230_101940Found along the beautifully wild West Coast, roughly +/- 85 – 90 km north of Cape Town on the R27, one discovers the tranquil, seaside/coastal town of Yzerfontein.

Yzerfontein, which falls under the Swartland Municipality in the Western Cape, is a small harbour town with breathtaking ocean views that is popular among artists, who are drawn by its quaint beauty, and visitors alike.


It’s a great holiday destination (many of the local B & B’s have high star-ratings, although self-catering accommodation is also available) due to its close proximity to several nature reserves (including: the West Coast National Park and Dassen Island, which is 10 km offshore) and nature trail offerings.

During the flower season of August through to October, the area is an explosion of Spring colour and a sight not to be missed. Still, Yzerfontein doesn’t need its spring show to be a Catch 22.

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It is a natural haven for: bird-, plant-, sea- and wildlife and the town’s ‘small-craft’ harbour allows for relatively effortless jet-ski and boat launches.

The circular bay is extremely popular for board- and body-boarding and kite-surfing and affords you picture postcard views of the beautiful ocean and the delightful homes, which overlook the bay.

Local fishermen angle from the beach and rocks collecting mussels and catching crayfish and snoek.

During my first visit to the town in April 2014, I fell in-love with the town’s rustic charm and the sense of calm, which prevails over this sleepy seaside town. It must be one of the Cape’s loveliest coastal offerings and has so much to offer you in terms of wildlife and raw, natural beauty.

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The town’s ‘Sixteen Mile Beach’ is, according to the Yzerfontein Wikipedia page, “longest uninterrupted sandy beach on the South African coastline, stretching north from the main beach… to the West Coast National Park, which borders the town.”


(That’s prime for beach-strolling leisure if ever a stretch of beach was!)


The town is also nearby to the West Coast town of Darling (which now hosts the annual ‘Rocking the Daisies’ outdoor concert experience) and the power-producing Darling Wind Farm.

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Now for a few fun facts connected to ‘Yzer’:

* Has a population of +/- 1200 residents

* Yzerfontein is apparently an old Dutch word which means ‘iron fountain’ in English.

* Yzerfontein is the landing port for the ACE and WACS submarine communication cables

* Is near several private nature reserves, which offer a range of 4×4, hiking, game and nature trails, as well as excellent birdwatching.

* Keep an eye out for local fauna in the nearby reserves, such as: eland, bontebok, kudu, gemsbok and zebra to name but a few.

* A historical point of interest in Yzerfontein is the old Fish House, which today serves as the local tourism office.

* Lime kilns used to once produce quicklime for building in Yzerfontein.

* The Bokbaaivygie (Note: a vygie is a Cape flower, of the Mesembryanthemum flower species) Wildflower Trail and Schaapeiland Trail are great ones to try out. (The latter apparently offers astonishing views over the Atlantic Ocean and even occasional whale sightings.)


Yzerfontein is a truly wonderful place to visit, if only for the day and as the huge blue-and-white sign, painted on a big yellow barn outside the town, says: “I Love Yzer.”

After my visit there, now so do I and I hope to visit ‘Yzer’ again sometime soon! 🙂

Tammy and Lynton at Yzerfontein

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Author: Tamlyn Ryan

Content writer by day and blogger by night, Tamlyn Ryan passionately runs her own travel blog, called Tamlyn Amber Wanderlust, from her home base of Cape Town, South Africa. And, despite a national diploma in Journalism, in her free time, Tamlyn’s preferred niche remains travel writing.

Tamlyn is a hopeless wanderer, equipped with an endless passion for road trips, carefully planned, holiday itineraries and, above all else, an innate love for the great outdoors.

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