Somerset West : South africa


What It Is Like to Retire in Somerset West

Somerset West is a small town and retirement center 30 miles east of Cape Town at the top of False Bay. One person quipped that if you put a roof over this town it would be the world's largest retirement community - there are that many retirement homes and developments. It is in a great area close to beaches, the mountains, and joined to Cape Town by the N2. This is a wine growing area. The town is overlooked by the Helderberg Mountain (meaning "clear mountain"), a part of the Hottentots-Holland range of mountains. The colonial farm of Vergelegen (Dutch: "remotely situated"), is an 18th-century farmhouse built in the historic Cape Dutch style by Willem Adriaan van der Stel, governor of the Cape. It is now owned by the Anglo American Company and has been restored to its former grandeur. Vergelegen is one of the country's top vineyards and wine producers.

Where to Retire in Somerset West and Home Prices

There are a number of inexpensive developments set up for retirees, as well as apartments and townhomes in the area. Average prices are about $100,000.

What Is Special about Somerset West

It is a small town with pretty views of the mountains above. Plus easy access to the sea. There are plenty of recreation opportunities such as golf, lawn bowling, cycling, etc.

What Is Not Special about Somerset West

It is a small town and although close to Cape Town, traffic can be very difficult.

Who Will Like Retirement in Somerset West

People looking for a low key environment in wine country with access to a big city.

Local Economy Is Driven by

Retirement, tourism, and agriculture (fruit and wine) are drivers of the economy.

Climate and Physical Environment

The climate is mild year round. It might get into the 40s in July and low 70s in January. The town is 30 miles from Cape Town and not far from neary Stellenbosch. Somerset West lies in the Helderberg Basin, surrounded by an amphitheatre of mountains, between the Cape Winelands and False Bay.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

There are many restaurants and wineries in the area, including very fancy ones at Vergelegen.


The crime rate is low in this suburb.

Medical Facilities

Helderberg Hospital provides medical care, although for more serious matters Cape Town is very close.


The automobile is going to be your primary mode of transportation. The main road, the N2, comes through town.The Cape Town International airport is very close.

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