In 1487 a group of Portuguese mariners under one captain Bartholomeu Dias packed their bags and set sail from Portugal in search of a sea route to India. Several months (and a few less teeth) later they rounded the Cape of Good Hope and, much to the irritation of the local Khoikhoi, pulled in for fresh water at a picturesque inlet, which they promptly christened Aguado de Sao Bras (Watering Place of St Blaize). And so Mossel Bay eventually came to be. Thanks to an ugly industrial façade, punctuated by the billowing Apartheid-era Mossgas project, the town doesn't exactly say, 'take me baby!' However, once you've pierced the messy shell and worked your way to the historic centre overlooking the harbour, or spread a towel on the long adjacent beach, or strolled the rocky coastline at 'The Point', Mossel Bay isn't a bad place. Seriously. Top this with an interesting museum complex, a decent restaurant or two, and a fine golf course, you might linger a little longer than expected.