Cape Town, which is situated on a peninsula, is surrounded by beautiful beaches. Not only do these beaches have lengthy stretches of white-gold sand, but they also have a stunning natural backdrop of towering mountains and rocks. The beaches in Cape Town are without a doubt some of the greatest in South Africa, but even if the water sparkles a dazzling blue and turquoise in areas, don’t expect it to be warm.
Because the current here comes straight from Antarctica, the beaches along the Atlantic Coastline, including the famous Camps Bay and Clifton Beaches, are never warm. However, people still go to them for sunbathing, walking, and brief toe dips in the freezing sea. There is fantastic surfing here all year, but you’ll need a full body wetsuit.
The water is slightly warmer on the False Bay side of the peninsula, and people swim and surf there, but they are often still wearing full body suits. Even though these aren’t the types of beaches where you can spend hours floating in the sea, they are some of the most beautiful in the world and well worth a visit. Check out our list of the greatest beaches in Cape Town you can visit with your family or alone.
Beaches In Cape Town
Camps Bay is vying with Clifton for the title of best beach in Cape Town. The only reason Clifton is ranked second is because it provides a little more protection from Cape Town’s notorious wind. Camps Bay, which is just around the corner from Clifton, is also a Blue Flag beach.
The beach is big and wide, and it’s easy to get to, though parking might be tough on summer weekends when it’s quite crowded; take public transportation or an Uber instead to avoid having to worry about finding a parking spot. It is located directly across the street from a number of restaurants and cafés, making it convenient to get a bite to eat in between sunbathing periods. The Twelve Apostles and Lion’s Head are also visible from Camps Bay.
Beta Beach at Bakoven
Beta Beach at Bakoven is approximately a kilometre down the road from Camps Bay and features calm blue oceans set against white sand. The water here is normally wave-free, but it is still on the Atlantic coast, so anticipate it to be bone-chillingly cold.
Locals love this beach because the views of Lion’s Head are breathtaking, and it’s frequently used for picture shoots. Beta Beach’s sunsets are also worth seeing. Most nights, the sun appears to set right into the ocean in front of you, creating a blazing tableau of shifting colours.
The beaches of Clifton are Cape Town’s most tony and stylish, consisting of four breathtakingly magnificent white-sand beaches flanked by polished granite cliffs known as the Twelve Apostles. These beaches, which are accessible via steep sets of stairs off the main road about six kilometres from the city centre, are overlooked by some of the city’s most expensive real estate. Each one is nestled in its own cove and shielded from the wind by massive boulders, making it ideal for sunbathing.
Each beach has its own distinct atmosphere and is named after the order in which they are experienced when travelling from Cape Town. If you’re looking for some peace and quiet, go to First Beach. It tends to be less congested. If you’re travelling with a dog, it’s also dog-friendly off-leash. Under the correct conditions, this beach provides good surf and attracts bodyboarders on hot summer days. Second Beach draws a younger crowd and hosts a summer volleyball tournament.
Clifton’s LGBT beach, Third Beach, is available to everyone. The beach is usually less crowded than others and has a lively vibe.
Fourth Beach is the largest and trendiest of the Clifton beaches, attracting a diverse range of visitors including families, groups of friends, and couples. It also has the coveted Blue Flag distinction, which is given to places that have excellent water quality, safety, and environmental management. It also boasts views of Lion’s Head, Cape Town’s second most iconic mountain.
The cool, eccentric, and captivating Boulders Beach, located along the bustling False Bay coastline just past Simonstown, has grabbed the hearts of beach lovers all over the world. Boulders Beach has established itself as one of the most sought-after beach spots for anyone visiting Cape Town, having been named the 62nd most beautiful beach in the world by Flight Network on their World’s 100 Beach list. Large granite boulders, a beautiful swimming bay, rockpools, and a gorgeous backdrop may all be found here. It’ll be almost as if you’ve escaped to your own little beach paradise.
A visit to Boulders Beach is made even more memorable by the adorable and charismatic colony of African Penguins who have made the beloved Boulders Beach their home. Boulders Beach, where you can actually spend the day on the beach with these cool Cape Town seaside natives, is home to an exceptional African Penguin Viewing Site as well as Boulders Beach itself. It’s no surprise that a trip to this stunning beach had become one of the most popular things to do in Cape Town for both locals and visitors.
Not to add, it’s one of the few sites on the planet where you can get up up and personal with the charismatic African Penguins. In every aspect, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
You may visit the popular African Penguin Viewing Site, where you can witness these tuxedo cuties in their natural habitat, as well as the gorgeous Boulders Beach, by paying a nominal conservation entrance fee.
Muizenberg Beach embodies the surf’s up, salty hair, and sun-kissed beach vibes to a tee! Muizenberg Beach, located along the magnificent False Bay shoreline, has quickly become one of the Mother City’s most popular beaches. It is without a doubt one of the best beaches to visit in Cape Town. Muizenberg is one of the city’s top blue-flag swimming beaches, and it’s the ideal spot for a fun-filled beach day with the whole family. Muizenberg Beach is famed for the famous Muizenberg Beach Huts, popularly known as the colourful Muizenberg Bathing Boxes, in addition to its cool laid-back beach vibe. Which has become one of Cape Town’s most ‘Instagrammable’ spots.
Muizenberg is known for its laid-back surf’s up attitude to life, in addition to its sought-after beach status and colourful beach huts. It’s no wonder that Muizenberg Surfer’s Corner is regarded as one of the city’s best surfing destinations. It’s also one of the greatest beaches in Cape Town for people learning to surf. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that everyone should put on their bucket list when visiting Cape Town.
Plus, even if you’ve never rode a wave before, the whole family can enjoy the thrill of surfing! Muizenberg Beach is not only the ideal surf site for beginners, but it is also one of the most popular surfing destinations for local and international surfers. This excellent Cape Town beach has something to offer everyone.
Another of the Mother City’s wonderful local hidden beach jewels is the magical Llandudno Beach. It is without a doubt one of the best beaches in Cape Town for beach lovers from all over the world. Llandudno Beach is a wonderful beach retreat located roughly 20 kilometres south of Cape Town, on your route to the coastal town of Hout Bay and Chapman’s Peak Drive. Despite the fact that it is a little off the usual path, it has quickly become a favourite among local beachgoers.
Llandudno is pure beach nirvana, with big granite rocks, azure ocean seas, magnificent serine surroundings, and a soft sandy cove. Llandudno Beach and its gigantic granite boulders have been dubbed one of the city’s most spectacular secret sunset places, in addition to enjoying a glorious beach day packed with beauty and relaxation in a more calm and private beach setting. Watching the sun set over the Mother City from this gorgeous seaside site is an unforgettable experience. It’s also a great spot for a romantic picnic or a few sundowners with pals.
Llandudno is also one of Cape Town’s best surfing beaches, attracting surfers from all over the world.
If you enjoy kitesurfing, head to Blouberg Beach. It’s one of the top kitesurfing spots in the world, as well as one of the best kitesurfing beaches in Cape Town.
This does mean, though, that it can get windy there, so be prepared, especially if you’re coming with little children.
If the wind is high and the sand is whipping about you, it’s not the best time to relax in the sun. One of the other reasons to go here is to see Table Mountain from a completely different (and arguably better) perspective across Table Bay.
Milnerton Beach – West Coast
Milnerton Beach is known for the lighthouse that guides boats into the scenic Table Bay. It is loved by locals and tourists alike for its surroundings. This beach offers stunning views of the mountain, exquisite sunsets, and a palm-fringed lagoon, making it ideal for photo opportunities. Milnerton should also be on the list for surfers, since the waves here often bring enormous crowds, with summer surfers rushing down on a Wednesday morning to race into Big Bay. Some daring swimmers may even want to take a plunge in the sea, which is slightly cooler on this stretch of the coast but ideal for a refreshing ocean swim.
It’s probably one of Cape Town’s most underappreciated beaches, with warm, swimmable water, plenty of space, adequate facilities, and parking for 600 cars. It is popular with people of all ages, from retirees to their grandchildren, and is known for its “golden-oldie” sunrise swimmers. With “wilder” Clovelly Beach tucked away in the far corner, where dogs are allowed, you get two beaches for the price of one. It’s a great beach for lengthy walks, beach games, sandcastle construction, and sunbathing. Find rocks to bask on along Jager’s Walk (on the hill) or, if you’re daring and a good swimmer, plunge off into the sea. Drifters Café serves retro-style soft-serve ice cream, while C’est La Vie, just across the tracks, serves outstanding coffee and pastries.
Oudekraal Beach, a long-time local favourite, is another of Cape Town’s best beaches. Oudekraal Beach, situated between two of Cape Town’s most magnificent beach stunners, Camps Bay and Llandudno, has established itself as not just one of the Mother City’s most popular beaches for locals and visitors alike, but also a perfect site to have a typical South African braai. It’s a terrific area to spend a fun day out with the family, with great braai facilities and a variety of beautiful picnic spots. All the while taking in the breathtaking views.
Oudekraal Beach is one of Cape Town’s more sheltered beaches, with spectacular views and braai amenities. It’s the perfect beach spot for families, with enormous granite boulders and rockpools strewn about. Kids can have a blast on the beach while you sit back and enjoy.
One of Cape Town’s paying beaches is Oudekraal Beach. It will, however, be well worth every penny.
Long Beach, Kommetjie
Kommetjie, a beautiful beach village, has become one of the Mother City’s most popular tourist destinations. It has a lot to do with the gorgeous Long Beach. Lengthy Beach is one of Cape Town’s top beaches, with a long expanse of white sand, crystal clear turquoise sea, and unashamed visual beauty. Long Beach is by far one of Cape Town’s finest surfing hotspots, thanks to its outstanding natural beauty and laid-back beach feel. It has a reputation for attracting a hip surfing community, with surfers from all over the world flocking to Long Beach to experience the legendary waves firsthand. Longboarders, kneeboarders, bodyboarders, and stand up paddleboarders all love the waves at Long Beach. Allowing everyone to participate in the Long Beach ocean enjoyment.
Long Beach, in addition to being one of the best surfing sites in the city, is the ideal location for a fun-filled family beach day. Long Beach is the ideal beach for sunbathing, sandcastle building, surfing, or taking a beautiful sunset stroll along the beachfront.
Glen Beach is one of Cape Town’s most picturesque beach retreats, nestled amid enormous granite boulders. Big boulders separate this secluded stretch of sand from Camps Bay’s northern edge. Despite its proximity to two of Cape Town’s most popular beaches, Camps Bay and Clifton Beach, Glen Beach is significantly less busy. Offering beachgoers a picturesque getaway for a relaxing day of soaking up the Mother City sunshine. Glen Beach is encircled by massive boulders, providing excellent protection from the ferocious Mother City winds. This allows you to have a full day of enjoyment in the sun without being blown away by the wind. Glen Beach is pure beach pleasure, with breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and the famous Twelve Apostles mountain range.
This jewel of a beach in Cape Town is also a top surfing area in the Mother City. Glen Beach, known for its beach-break surfing, has become a popular destination for both local and international surfers.
Hout Bay Beach
The breathtaking Chapman’s Peak Drive is the finest way to get to Hout Bay, a suburb of Cape Town. The 7.2-kilometer route between Hout Bay and Noordhoek travels along the Atlantic coast and is one of the most beautiful ocean-facing drives on the planet; if the view appears familiar, it’s probably from a car commercial.
The beach, which is almost a kilometre long and backed by sand dunes, is located between the cliffs of Chapman’s Peak and the Hout Bay Harbour. The beach is rather large in places and is cut in half by a tiny river that is easily crossed. Families flock to Hout Bay Beach, which is also dog-friendly. There is a stable nearby, and horseback riders can often be seen riding down the shore.
Mouille Point Beach
Mouille Point Beach, located between the city centre and Camps Bay, is ideal for an afternoon stroll. Granger Bay is a popular urban beach that is easy to get to and has plenty of parking (something that is harder to find around Camps Bay or Clifton). There are benches along the promenade that runs along to the sand, and in the distance, you can see Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned. If you’re travelling with children, they’ll enjoy playing in Mouille Point’s tidal rock pools. There are a variety of restaurants and cafés along the promenade, and the sunsets are spectacular. If you enjoy running, this is a great place to do so.
St. James Beach
St. James Beach on the False Bay coastline is roughly a 15-minute walk from Kalk Bay’s shops and restaurants. The little beach is ideal for families since it has shallow rock pools that are warmer than the open ocean for the kids to bounce around in. The beach is also protected from the elements, such as the wind and large waves. St. James, like Muizenberg, features a picture-perfect row of multi-colored wooden beach huts that are popular settings for social media photo shoots. Kalk Bay, a historic harbour and little village about 30 minutes’ drive from downtown Cape Town, is a favourite local day-trip destination.