Where to Stay - South Africa

Port Alfred Travel Guide (Eastern Cape)

Port Alfred

Eastern Cape

Right in the middle of the Sunshine Coast is Port Alfred, the most popular destination for holidaymakers on Route72. Set on the warm Indian Ocean, with kilometres of sand dunes in both directions, Port Alfred is a magical little town which offers a taste of everything.

There's the beautiful marina, the Kowie River Estuary and the lagoon. All these make a great choice of holiday for anyone who loves watersports, fishing enthusiasts, surfers, scuba diving and canoeing.

Port Alfred’s history is closely linked with the 1820 settlers.  A monument on the side of the Kowie where the settlers crossed the river and a church with settlers’ gravestones are a just a few attractions in the town.

The friendly village atmosphere and beautiful climate make it the perfect place to visit.  The unique arched bridge which crosses the Kowie River in Port Alfred provides a landmark for all those visiting or passing through. Each evening, the bridge is lit up with a wonderful display of multicoloured lights for all to enjoy.  This is especially a delight watching from the banks of the Kowie or on a boat with a glass of wine in your hand.

As mentioned, the town is popular with surfers and scuba divers. A visit to the Dive and Adventure Centre provides all the information and services on offer in the area. The golden beaches and huge sand dunes provide great sand-boarding opportunities for the kids and relaxing long walks for the adults. Port Alfred town also has a real mix of shopping facilities including small antiques shops, art galleries and lovely restaurants.

If flying is your thing, then Port Alfred doesn’t disappoint. The world class No 43 Flying School founded on a WW1 airstrip in Port Alfred has the finest flying school teaching facilities in the Southern hemisphere.

There are some marvellous hikes available including beach hikes. You could always enjoy a fabulous horseback ride along the pristine beaches via the Milkwood dune forests. For golfers there are two excellent 18 hole golf courses – the Fish River Sun Golf course designed by Gary Player and the Royal Port Alfred set against the backdrop of the Indian Ocean.

Things to do in Port Alfred

  • East Beach – for surfing and walking. Dune Boarding
  • West Beach – for fun.
  • Kelly’s Beach – a blue flag beach
  • Rosehill Shopping Mall
  • 43 Air School – one of the best air training schools in the world
  • Royal Port Alfred Golf Course – with views of the Indian Ocean
  • Boat trip up the Kowie River
  • Deep Sea Fishing

Events in Port Alfred during the year

  • Mad Hatter Golf Tournament – Royal Port Alfred Golf Course in May
  • Bathurst Agricultural Show in April
  • Fish River Marathon – From Fish River to Port Alfred – in July
  • Intervarsity Rowing Races – September
  • Interschool Rowing Races – December
  • Settlers Marathon – An Ultra Marathon that takes place between Grahamstown and Port Alfred in May

Where to eat in Port Alfred

  • Links Coastal Inn - 14 Wesley Hill - Tel: 046 624 2345
  • The Wharf Street Brewery Pub and Bistro - Located at 18 Wharf Street close to the Kowie River. Inside dining experience with good food ranging from Lamb Shanks to Currys to Pizzas. Good wine selection or try their very own home brewed beers. (Contact: +27 (0)46 624 4947)
  • Guidos - West Pier - Tel: 046 624 5264
  • Ocean Basket - Van der Riet Street - Tel: 046 624 1727
  • The Thistle Restaurant - 19 St Andrews Road - Tel: 046 624 1379
Our blog articles on Port Alfred:
Port Alfred - A photo essay
Port Alfred celebrates 125 years in 2014