One would be hard pressed to find a reason not to fall in love with the port city of Cape Town. It has one of the most idyllic settings - nestled between and around the ocean and mountains. The iconic Table Mountain rises 1,086 above the city and has served as a mariner's landmark. On a clear day, the flat-topped mountain is visible 200km out to sea.

The so-called "Mother city" has an abundance of contrasting activities from lounging on the Atlantic seaboard's popular beaches to exploring the vividly painted area of the Bo-Kaap. Hout Bay is a hub for fishing, especially tuna and crayfish, and the historical naval base at Simon's Town has a fascinating past.

The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront is a great location for shopping, and is also host to the Two Oceans Aquarium, depicting sea life from the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Long Street has long been a place of bustling nightlife and there is a wealth of museums in the city to discover. The Western Cape area is renowned as a wine-producing area, and there are tours available along the 'wine route'.

Cape Town has distinct Malay influences, reminiscent of days when the spice route travelled via its shores. There are also many foreign people who have made Cape Town their home, and the result is a hybrid of cultures in a cosmopolitan city.

Cape Town had its first inhabitants as early as 100,000 BC, when hunter-gatherers roamed the Cape Peninsula. After the arrival of European sailors in 1652, it became a haven for sailors who travelled along the African coast on the spice route to India.

The city has also played an important role in contemporary South African history. Robben Island was used as a prison for political prisoners as early as 1898, but became famous as the place of incarceration for the Rivonia Trial accused, which included Nelson Mandela.

Cape Town has been the legislative capital of South Africa since 1910. The Houses of Parliament, still in use today, were built in 1885.

Cape Town has produced many of South Africa's top recent internationals such as Shaun Bartlett, Benni McCarthy and past heroes such as Albert Johannensen and David Julius, who played top football in Europe.

Cape Town has also produced three of South African football's most exalted figures. Quinton Fortune signed to Manchester United in 1999. He was soon followed by his former Bafana Bafana coach Carlos Queiroz, who is now the assistant manager to Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United. In 2006, Fortune made the move to Bolton Wanderers.

Benni Macarthy has enjoyed international success, winning the UEFA Champions League with FC Porto under the leadership of Jose Mourinho. He also won a Portuguese top flight Golden Boot. He currently plays for Blackburn Rovers, where he finished as the Premiership's second leading marksman in his first season in England.

Sean Bartlett played for FC Zurich in 1998 and then made the move to Charlton Athletic in 2000. During his tenure at Charlton, he helped the club consolidate their position in the English top flight. He is the most capped Bafana Bafana striker, and has scored the most goals for his country.

Hellenic were the first Cape Town side to win a championship in 1971, soon followed by Cape Town City. In 1995, Cape Town Spurs swept the board and did the double, claiming the league and knockout cup crowns. All three clubs have since folded.

Ajax Cape Town and Santos, champions in 2002, continue the keep professional football alive in the city. Ajax Cape Town is an affiliate of Ajax Amsterdam and has scouted many talents who made the move to Amsterdam, including Steven Pienaar, Gabriel Mofokeng and Stanton Lewis.

Vasco Da Gama is a small football club started in 1980. Despite its size, the club has produced a wealth of Bafana Bafana national team players. Goalkeeper Andre Arendse, midfielder Thabo Mngomeni and forward Shaun Bartlett played for the club, as did David Nyathi, who was selected for the FIFA World XI and turned out in Switzerland, Turkey and Spain.