Port Island forms part of Port St Francis, one of the few privately owned working harbours in South Africa. Visitors can watch squid, hake and pilchard vessels off-load their daily catches and occasionally a cheeky otter trying to steal an easy meal off the docks.
There is a fantastic selection of restaurants to choose from, most specialising in seafood that promises to be as fresh as it is tasty. Choices are as varied as a quick take-away or coffee, to a lingering candle lit dinner for two. Sampling the calamari in this part of the world is highly recommended as it goes from fishing line to dinner plate in the flash of an eye.
A few small retail outlets round off the offerings.
Port St Francis is flanked by the two scenic villages of Cape St Francis and St Francis Bay, each only a few minutes’ drive away. The area also forms part of the Cape Floral Kingdom, one of the world’s great centres of terrestrial biodiversity and abundant in fragrant and stunning fynbos (indigenous bushland).
Cape St Francis offers a natural outdoor playground with numerous walking trails through indigenous reserves and one of the best stretches of sandy shoreline in the region. It is also home to the historic Seal Point Lighthouse that occupies the most south easterly tip of Africa. Surfing and kite surfing are popular activities here as is discovering the pristine and rocky Wild Side, famed for its little shale beaches and spectacular views of the setting sun.
St Francis Bay is slightly more urban yet still retains a small village vibe, with a collection of retail outlets, grocery stores and restaurants. Here surfing is also a popular pastime while the unique canal system provides the perfect setting for a leisurely boat cruise. The nearby Kromme River is ideal for most water sports and a popular playground for holiday makers.
Suggested Locations For Day Trips
With Port Island as your base, we recommend taking some time to explore the treasures of the greater Port St Francis area. While the list below contains a few of the highlights, there are countless little gems tucked away amid the tranquil surrounds. Half of the beauty of a holiday in the Eastern Cape is discovering the magic of the lessor known, so take some time and be sure to explore.