1. Clifton Beaches
Situated in one of Cape Town’s most sought-after and affluent suburbs, Clifton’s beaches are a favourite of locals and tourists alike and are arguably some of the best in the country. The soft white sand and majestic blue water are an unofficial playground for those looking to take advantage of those hot summer days and jolly holiday atmosphere.
Although Clifton’s beaches aren’t ideal for swimming, with water temperatures averaging 10°C (50°F), this doesn’t deter from their world-class quality; besides, diving into the icy sea doesn’t seem so bad on those exceptionally hot summer days. Step onto the soft, warm sand and hire an umbrella and chairs before making yourself comfortable near the sea, watching as the tide rolls in and out on the shore.
2. Camps Bay
Camps Bay is the best-known beach on the Cape Town coast. Both locals and visitors flock to this palm-lined strip for people-watching, to play beach bats or volleyball, walk their dogs or catch a tan while gazing up at the dramatic peaks of the Twelve Apostles range, part of Table Mountain. If the wind picks up, hop onto the Camps Bay strip to one of many trendy restaurants, cafes or fashionable bars where Cape Town’s beautiful people dine on seafood or sip chilled local wine. On peak summer days these restaurants spill out onto the pavements, creating a wonderfully laid-back Mediterranean ambience.
3. Boulders Beach
For a Cape Town beach with a unique twist, head to Boulders Beach. This soft-sand beach and slightly warmer sea is also home to a large colony of endangered African penguins. These endearing birds have become minor celebrities and visitors flock to watch them strut their stuff between the hulking granite boulders – a highly entertaining sight to see. Boulders Beach lies about 40 kilometers south of Cape Town, just beyond the naval base in picturesque Simon’s Town, which makes it a great stop on the way to or from Cape Point Nature Reserve. Best known for Penguin watching, family fun and safe swimming.
Muizenberg is probably Cape Town’s ultimate family-friendly beach, with its warmer water, Blue Flag status, and quaint and colourful Victorian bathing boxes. This beautiful stretch of coastline is popular with families, dog walkers and surfers. If you want to get some surfing lessons while on vacation in Cape Town, then this is the place. There are various companies operating from Muizenberg beach that offer surf lessons as well as surfboard and wetsuit rentals. This beach is best known for swimming, long walks, surfing and surf lessons.
This stretch of coastline is situated about 20 kilometers (12 miles) outside the city center and consists of a few different beaches – the most popular being the long Dolphin Beach strip, Small Bay and Big Bay. Big Bay is one of the world’s best kitesurfing destinations and hosts an international competition every year. Hence, it’s a great place to enjoy wind-related water sports as well as surfing. Small Bay offers a quieter atmosphere that’s better suited for families and sunbathers.If you want to take the quintessential, postcard-perfect photograph of Table Mountain, then head to Blouberg. This beach is best known for windsurfing, kitesurfing, and stunning views of Table Mountain and Robben Island.
6. Llandudno Beach
Just about 20 kilometers south of Cape Town heading towards Hout Bay, Llandudno Beach is where the locals go to escape the crowds at Clifton and Camps Bay. Located down a narrow windy road off the highway in a ritzy hillside neighborhood, it is a favorite for beach picnics; sunbathing; and, if you can brave the cold Atlantic temperatures, body boarding and surfing. Like other Atlantic coastline beaches, its westerly location means it gets gorgeous nightly sunsets. There are no restaurants or shops around this beach, so you’ll need to pack in everything you want to use for the day with you, including chairs, umbrellas, and snacks. The beach itself is wide and set in a cove filled with soft sand that is good for building sandcastles. Llandudno is popular with families, groups of friends, and couples alike. On summer weekends, it can get crowded, so arrive early for a good spot.
7. Hout Bay Beach
Hout Bay is a suburb of Cape Town that is best reached by driving the jaw-dropping Chapman’s Peak Drive. The 7.2-kilometer road runs along the Atlantic coastline between Hout Bay and Noordhoekand is one of the most stunning ocean-facing drives on the planet – if the scenery looks familiar, you’ve probably seen it in a car commercial. The beach sits between the cliffs of Chapman’s Peak itself and the Hout Bay Harbour and is almost a kilometer long and backed by sand dunes. The beach here is quite wide at points and is split in the middle by a small river that you can easily cross. Hout Bay Beach is popular with families and is also dog-friendly.
8. Long Beach
Cape Town’s longest beach is south of the city center in the suburb of Kommetjie on the Atlantic coast. At eight kilometers long, it is a favorite with active types and perfect for long walks on the powdery white sand. IThe surfing here is also top notch, although you’ll definitely need a wetsuit. Body-boarding is also popular at Long Beach. If you enjoy a good sunset, you’ll find daily explosions of colour at dusk.
9. Gordons Bay beach
Gordons Bay is the center of our very own mini Monte Carlo with the sea being framed by a backdrop of exquisite mountains. Its location is prime, 40 minutes drive from some of the best the Cape has to offer. Be it the vibrant living Cape Town boasts, Stellenbosch’s beautiful wine route, whale spotting in Hermanus or just lounging in Franschhoek, you’re spoilt for choice!
10. Sunset Beach
Sunset Beach is a chic residential area centered on its namesake beach, a popular spot for surfing, swimming, and kitesurfing, with sweeping views taking in Table Mountain and Robben Island. Grand mansions overlook the water, while upscale guesthouses dot tranquil inland streets. The area is also known for seasonal whale spotting, and pelicans inhabit the wetlands of nearby Table Bay Nature Reserve.