Jeffreys Bay
Close to the ground.

GPS: S 34 02.958 E 024 55.371 | pop. 20,000 | elevation 21 m/69 ft

Beachgoers from around the world have flocked to Jeffreys Bay, or J-Bay as it’s fondly known, since the classic surf movie The Endless Summer put the region on the map in 1966. Billabong hosts a pro surfing competition here every year, but a temperate climate and the reliable curl of the Supertubes make this a surfer’s Mecca all year. You don’t have to know your way around a board to appreciate J-Bay’s gorgeous beaches or the casual cool permeating the town from the surf to the street. It’s the kind of place where a few days vacation might slip into a few blissful weeks if you’re not careful.

It doesn't matter whether you're a longtime surfer or have never touched a board in your life, a trip to J-Bay isn't complete without hitting the city's world famous waves. The Supertubes create consistently perfect curls on the rocky beach just off Pepper Street. If you're not sure how to start, check out the rental and instruction options below or ask the owners of your guesthouse or hostel-just about every accommodation in town has a favorite surf instructor they can set you up with. Outside of the city, dramatic sand dunes and long stretches of beach are ideal for sandboarding and romantic horseback rides.


Billabong

Billabong rents surfboards and wetsuits. Boards are R30/hr or R150/day with a R200 deposit. Wetsuits are R20/hr or R400/day with a R100 deposit.


J-Bay Surf Museum

J-Bay Surf Museum is a decent-sized display on the second floor of the Quicksilver store that explains the history of surfing, J-Bay, and of course, surfing in J-Bay.


Jay Bay Sandboarding

Jay Bay Sandboarding will provide instruction, a board and polish before letting you loose on the dunes just outside of Jeffreys Bay.


Papiesfontein

Horseback riding on the beach can be arranged at Papiesfontein.


J-Bay Wind

Wind and Kitesurfing lessons are available through J-Bay Wind. It only takes a couple of lessons to be able to hold your own on a board.


Fountains Mall

Fountains Mall is a large shopping complex with cinemas, a Pick 'n Pay, Woolworths and a variety of clothing and home décor shops.


Surf Village

Surf Village is just steps from the beach and should be your first stop if you want to kick-start your surfing career. The main draw is the Billabong factory store, but there are a variety of smaller one-off boutiques to complete your beach-bum image. The retail Billabong store also rents surfboards and wetsuits.


Budget

Surfpackers

Surfpackers is a finely appointed backpackers with ocean views, right in front of the Supertubes. The small building of self-catering dorms and doubles feels more like a vacation house than a hostel, and the kitchen and communal spaces are airy, bright and very modern. Surfers and beach bunnies alike will feel spoiled by this upmarket setting for a budget price.


Island Vibe

Island Vibe is J-Bay's most famous backpackers, and with good reason. The hostel sprawls on a rise over the sand dunes and ocean, and offers a wide range of accommodation and activities. Dorms, campsites and two-person "shacks" are available for those on tight budgets who want sea views; the newer beach house and guesthouse are for "flashpackers", those who want swankier amenities with a higher price tag. Onsite surf lessons, a very reasonable restaurant and full moon beach parties are available to guests only.


Jeffreys Bay Backpackers

Jeffreys Bay Backpackers is a clean, brightly colored backpackers centrally located just behind downtown J-Bay. The hostel is a solid choice for its super-friendly staff and close walking distance to restaurants, shops and the beach.


Jeffreys Bay Caravan Park

Jeffreys Bay Caravan Park is a large grassy campground right in front of the beach. It's a gorgeous location for pitching your tent, and has a playground, bathrooms, showers, hot water, electricity and braais.


Cristal Cove

Cristal Cove is a simply furnished surfer's haven on the beach, right near the Supertubes. This is a no-frills backpackers with self-catering apartments, best for those who want to surf all day and talk surf all night.


Peggy's Place

Peggy's Place is a rustic house set somewhat oddly in an otherwise suburban neighborhood. This is a spacious and worn kick-back place that neo-hippies will appreciate, but urbanites and surfers may find better accommodation closer to town.


Mid-range

Guesthouses and self-catering apartments and houses in Jeffreys Bay are plentiful and what is listed here represents only a fraction of options available in town. Don't be afraid to bargain with accommodation providers, particularly out of high season.


Dreamland

Dreamland is a gorgeous thatched a-frame beach house just a few feet from the sand, with prime views of the Supertubes. Huge windows and sliding doors facing the ocean, luxuriously appointed bedrooms and a generous deck make the four self-catering rooms in this house an absolute delight. The largest of the rooms is especially romantic, with a downstairs living room and kitchen and loft bedroom with private deck and open-air bathroom.


Supertubes Guest House

Supertubes Guest House is a clean, neatly appointed guesthouse just steps from the Supertubes. The house has a small private self-catering double, and two bedrooms in the main house that can sleep six people. The master suite has a view of the ocean from its private deck. While not directly on the water, the house has a pretty and spacious backyard and its location can't be beat.


Dirkie's Dream

Dirkie's Dream are self-catering apartments just steps from the beach and the Supertubes. The house has both two and three-bedroom units with ocean views and are spotless, well outfitted and great for groups or families. Across the street and by the same owner Albatros (R825) is a deal with three bedrooms, a porch with ocean views, a braai, patio and small pool.


Savoy Hotel

Savoy Hotel is the only hotel in J-Bay. It's conveniently located in the center of town, and is attached to a restaurant and one of the more popular bars in the area, but the rooms are dark and in need of updating.


Top-end

Khaya Zinza

Khaya Zinza is a 5-star luxury villa with three suites overlooking the Subertubes. The villa is self-catering, with fireplaces and private balconies facing the sea. Both the location and modern room decor are stunning, and the house also has a spa with a steam bath and massage therapist on call.


Dio dell Amore Guest House

Dio dell Amore Guest House is a grand villa on a rise just outside of town. Just a two-minute walk to a secluded beach below the house, rooms here are spacious and decorated with old-world details, and many boast balconies and expansive views of the ocean. At the time of review, the villa was in the process of transforming some of their suites into self-catering flats and licensing a restaurant and bar.


In Food

In Food has an organic, varied and extremely fresh menu heavy on the fruits and veggies. Breakfast on their large wraparound porch, plus an expertly executed cup of coffee, is a delicious way to start your day. Live music every Saturday at 2pm makes for great late brunch entertainment.


The Greek

The Greek is just a block from the beach and feels like a little slice of the old country with a bright white and blue dining room that overlooks the sea. Choose between local seafood specialties or hearty Greek classics, or start off your day here with a delicious breakfast pizza and cappuccino.


3 Fat Fish

3 Fat Fish has perfected the surf-shack-meets-fine-dining experience. In the fresh monochromatic dining room, patrons enjoy beautifully prepared seafood, meats, and gourmet pizza. Out on the deck, candles twinkle across the whitewashed picnic tables.


Kitchen Windows

Kitchen Windows is consistently regarded as one of the best restaurants in town for its fresh, saucy and perfectly prepared seafood and meats. The rustic dining room is cozy at night, but be sure to get there before the sun goes down to catch one of the greatest ocean views in J-Bay.


The Restaurant on Pepper Street

The Restaurant on Pepper Street, hidden just below street level in the cul-de-sac in front of the Supertubes, is gaining a reputation for being one of the best restaurants in town. It boasts a wide array of seafood dishes and a surprisingly tasty selection of vegetarian options, which they will pack up as takeaway if you're staying at a guesthouse nearby.


Wax Café

Wax Café is a loved local eatery and coffee bar known for its creative sandwiches, salads and casual bites. The café has wifi and in the evenings it opens its second-story Moroccan lounge for drinks.


Sunflower Coffee Shop

Sunflower Coffee Shop is a casual café and coffee bar in the middle of downtown J-Bay. The intimate eatery is a local favorite for its light meals and people watching on the street-side terrace, and on Friday nights it draws a crowd for its braais and dinner specials.


Portofino Café

Portofino Café is a dark wood paneled Italian restaurant with the nicest street-side terrace on Da Gama Road. Opt for a handmade pasta dish with a decadently rich sauce and you won't be disappointed.


The Mexican

The Mexican boasts a prime location in the center of town and the tagline, "You're either Mexican or Mexican't." Unfortunately, the restaurant falls under the latter, so we suggest you ask for extra hot sauce at one of the many other delicious options in town.


The Lounge

The Lounge is just a few blocks from the Supertubes, making it a laid-back watering hole for the young surfer set. Sink into a slouchy couch, or snag a spot on the deck for the live Afrikaans music that local bands play several times a month.


Sovereign Sports Café

Sovereign Sports Café is a loud and messy college-style hot spot with enough pool tables and space on the dance floor to keep party-hungry beachgoers happy. It periodically also hosts balloon drops and other themed events, usually advertised on the walls outside the front door.


Triton Pub & Diner

Triton Pub & Diner and Bruce's next door are part of the Savoy Hotel and favored haunts by locals. Though the bar and pool tables aren't much to look at, they draw a healthy crowd, especially on occasional karaoke nights.