Cape Town hosts some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Stunning turquoise waters and white sandy beaches attract an abundance of visitors to its shore each year. The most popular with locals and tourist alike are Clifton and Camps Bay. Llandudno beach is a hidden gem and definitely worth a visit.
The seawater along the Atlantic Seaboard is freezing and not for the faint hearted. The water is a little warmer on the False Bay side where the beaches can be a little less crowded. The shallow waters make these beaches family friendly and great for swimming. The Cape Peninsula separates the two oceans with Table Bay on the cold Atlantic Ocean side and False Bay on the slightly warmer Indian Ocean side.
Blue Flag is an international award given to a beach for its excellence in the areas of safety, amenities, cleanliness and environmental standards. Blue Flag beaches can be located at Clifton 4th, Camps Bay, Llandudno and Muizenberg.
ATLANTIC SEABOARD BEACHES
Trendy Clifton is one the most popular beaches in Cape Town and is conveniently located 5km from the CBD. This is a spectacular white sandy beach and perfect for everyone. There are four coves and the beaches are called 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th.
Clifton 4th is the most popular and where the bathroom facilities are located. Protected from the famous Cape South Easterly wind this is the perfect option for any day. Be prepared to climb a few stairs but it is well worth it. You can rent umbrellas and deck chairs and there are vendors selling ice cream, snacks and drinks on the beach. If the water is too chilly for you there are showers on the beach to cool you down. Parking is available but limited. Lifeguards are on duty. This is a Blue Flag beach.
Camps Bay Beach
A little further along the road from Clifton Beach you will find Camps Bay Beach, 7km from the CBD. Positioned below the spectacular Twelve Apostles, which forms part of Table Mountain, you will find this gorgeous, long white sandy beach. This is an ideal family beach and popular with locals and tourists in the summer. Umbrellas can be rented. I find the best time to visit this beach is in the morning before the wind picks. There is a selection of restaurants on the promenade next to the beach for when you feel peckish or need an ice cream, smoothie or cocktail. Parking is limited. Lifeguards are on duty. This is a Blue Flag beach.
Llandudno Beach is undoubtedly one of Cape Town’s finest beaches, surrounded by large granite boulders and overlooked by mountains. Famous with locals and surfers this hidden gem is a magnificent beach to visit and a wonderful setting to watch the sunset. There are stairs leading down to the beach from the small car park. Swimming can be challenging with strong currents and icy waters. Parking is very limited but this ensures the beach is never crowded. A great option to access this beach would be to arrange a taxi to transport you there and back. Located 17km from the CBD. There are no cafes so come prepared with drinks and snacks. Lifeguards are on duty. This is a Blue Flag beach.
Located 25km north of the CBD in Table Bay this long, white sandy beach offers the best views of the majestic Table Mountain. If you are looking for the ultimate photograph of Table Mountain across the bay this is where to head. This beach is popular with kite surfers as it is often windy but there are rare summer days where you can enjoy this beach wind free.
FALSE BAY BEACHES
Boulders Beach in Simon’s Town
Protected from the wind by large granite boulders and rock pools make this a great family beach and the water is also slightly warmer. This is where the adorable African penguin colony is located and you can have the fortunate and unique experience to swim with these adorable birds. There is an entrance fee as it is located in the Table Mountain National Park but the beach is well maintained and it is worth the experience. Click here to read more
This long, white sandy beach, decorated with colourful beach huts, is a great family beach with warmer water and extremely popular with surfers. Next to the beach there is a selection of restaurants and surf shops where surfboards can be hired and surf lessons can be arranged. There is plenty of parking available. Lifeguards are on duty. This is a Blue Flag beach. At the nearby Muizenberg Pavilion you will find mini golf, a water slide and an outdoor swimming pool.
St James Beach
Located on the way to Simon’s Town this charming family-friendly beach is colourfully decorated with beach huts. It can tend to get a little crowded in summer as it is not a very big or wide beach and is popular with locals. There is a great tidal pool, perfect for children.
Fish Hoek Beach
Fish Hoek Beach is located 45 minutes from Cape Town over Ou Kaapse Weg. This long, white sandy beach is popular with locals and families, and is an ideal place to take the kids for a swim with calm, protected waters. There is a restaurant located on the beachfront. Lifeguards are on duty.
ATLANTIC PENINSULA BEACHES
Located 35km south of the CBD at the end of Chapmans Peak Drive you will find Noordhoek Beach. This long, white sandy beach stretches over 8 kilometers and is popular for horse riding, kite surfing and surfing. There are many horse riding schools in the area where you can arrange a guided beach ride.
Found in the small village of Kommetjie approximately 45 minutes drive from Cape Town you will find this beautiful, long white sandy beach popular with families and surfers due to its epic waves. It is also known as a hot spot for kite surfing and windsurfing.