Filter by Listing Categories
Coffee Shops
High Tea
New Category
Pet friendly (eat)
Wheelchair friendly (eat)
Ocean Adventures
Train Rides
Animal Encounters
Art & Galleries
Bird Watching
Cigar Tasting
Conferences Venues
Family Fun & Entertainment
Game Farms
Gin Tastings
Guided Tours
Horse riding
Law firms
Local Businesses
Pet friendly (experience)
Rainy Days
Real Estate Agents
Spa & Beauty
Tour Guides
Tour Operators
Weddings Venues
Wheelchair friendly (experience)
Wine tastings
Bed & Breakfast
Boutique Hotel
Game Farms (Stay)
Hotels & Resorts
Pet friendly (stay)
Wheelchair friendly (stay)

Tourist Route – Station 1


Tour Guide Tips and Information: Station 1

Read the Seafarers Story on the pedestal or below.

You are standing in Market Square the hart of commerce in the olden days. The tourism office is located across the street where you can find all the tourist information and help you need to enjoy the Mossel Bay area. All the attractions in this area can easily keep you entertained for a whole day. The Dias Complex, which houses the Dias Museum in the Barry Building (1847) and Munro Cottages (1831), is located to your west along Market Street and a must see. The Town’s House and Market House (1879), is located to the east in Market Street, which is not only beautiful stone buildings but also house various small business with locally produced products and souvenirs. Walk down to the Waterfront area along Church Street and enjoy waterfront related activities: boat trips, fishing charters, snorkeling, various restaurants, takeaway food and the harbour sights. Walk further west from the Waterfront area to Santos Beach and enjoy one of the best beaches in South Africa with restaurants, beach amenities and the Santos Pavillion a historic building constructed to serve the beach area.


In 1486 King Joao II of Portugal commissioned Bartolomeo Dias to explore a route from Portugal to India around the Cape of Good Hope. A severe storm diverted the ships around the Cape of Good Hope and, by pure luck, Dias made landfall in Mossel Bay in 1488. The bay offered shelter and a small, but reliable, spring of fresh water just off the beach. Dias named the bay Aquada de Sao Bras – the Bay of St Blaise.

In 1497 King Manuel I of Portugal tasked the experienced Vasco da Gama to sail to India via this new route around Africa. With a fleet of two carracks (one caravel and a support ship), da Gama reached Mossel Bay in November 1497 where he erected a padrao – a stone cross.

Initially the early seafarers had an uneasy relationship with the local Khoi herders but, in the end, it proved a mutually beneficial relationship. In addition to water, the Portuguese could stock up on fresh meat and repair their ships without the threat of being attacked. The Khoi, on the other hand, valued the metal and exotic products that the Portuguese could provide.

In 1500 Pedro Alvares Cabral sailed the same route as da Gama with a fleet of 13 ships. One of his captains, Pedro d’Ataide, disembarked at Mossel Bay to leave a message in a sailor’s boot at a large milkwood tree near the beach. By 1501 Joao da Nova had found this letter in the boot – and this is how the milkwood tree became the first “post office” in southern Africa.

Seeing the abundance of mussels, Paulus van Caerden, a Dutch admiral in service of the Dutch East India Company, named the spot Mossel Bay in 1601.

With Mossel Bay proving a real haven to berth for fresh water, shelter and exchanging messages, the route around the Cape was firmly established and paved the way for trading and the establishment of an outpost.

Suggestion… go and experience the life-size replicas of the caravel and the padrao at the Dias Museum Complex.

To the next station

Proceed to Station 2 ( 130 m) by walking south up the hill in Church street. Station 2 is located next to the large tree on the corner of George/Bland and Church Street. You will pass several tourism related businesses and historic buildings; The old Standard Bank (1902), Mayer & Co (1857) and Urk House 1904.

Share This