Named by the Portuguese explorer Manuel de Perestrelo in 1575, St Francis Bay is situated mid way between Knysna and Port Elizabeth. It is a haven of peace and tranquillity, popular with shell collectors who come in search of the rare Indo-Pacific shells washed ashore. This thriving village offers two golf courses (one of which is a links course designed by Jack Nicklaus), a number of shops, restaurants and cafés, a canal system with a marina and a fishing port. The whole west end of the village is built around a man made canal system used for water-based activities. The canal has two entrances into the Kromme River Estuary, which offers good sheltered swimming. There are plenty of options for relaxation or activity in and around St Francis Bay. The emphasis is on outdoor living, with lots of sunshine and unspoilt surroundings. A walk along the beach to Shark Point will lead you to the shipwreck of the “Genesis”, a 70ft yacht that is one of many wrecks along this coastline. Explore Seal Point Nature Reserve, a coastal reserve with a number of marked trails to wander, whilst enjoying the ocean views. The more energetic can take on the walk across the Sand River dune system or tackle the “Two Harbours” walk. With more than 170 species of birds in the area, St Francis is also a great location for bird enthusiasts.
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