Cape Town is famous for its white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, crashing waves, and the wildlife that roams around its coast. We’ve brought together a collection of the best Cape Town beaches to give you your pick of summer fun spots to enjoy, be it for surfing, diving, swimming or sun tanning.
Camps Bay Beach
Camps Bay Beach is the ideal place to start. With crystal blue waters, stretches of white sand, and rock pools hugged by smooth boulders flanking both sides, it’s a picturesque cove for the whole family to enjoy. Just past the sand is a boulevard of upmarket cafes, bars, restaurants and boutique shops, the perfect place to grab a cocktail or ice cream on a hot Summer’s day. It’s perfect for surfing, swimming and suntanning, and it’s well known as the place to see and be seen amongst celebrities and trend-setters.
Another beach nearby offering the same luxury is Clifton Beach, four coves divided by boulders that are made up of the same warm sands and cool blue waters. Trendsetters and the bronze beach-goers frequent this sunny spot, wearing only the latest eco-friendly fashion. Pets and families are welcome, and Clifton makes for the perfect beach to swim, surf and tan while enjoying the boulevard of bars and restaurants.
Boulders make the above beaches secure and picturesque, but another secluded beach surrounded by the security of boulders is Llandudno Beach between Hout Bay and Camps Bay. Quieter than its neighbouring beaches, with less parking, it’s popular amongst surfers and windsurfers. Swimming isn’t advised, as the waters can be cold and treacherous, but there are always lifeguards on duty.
If you’re more interested in surfing and other water sports, Muizenberg Beach is famous for its radical waves, warmer waters, ice cream parlours and vast expanse of beach. Pull-on your wetsuit in one of the many colourful bathing boxes and head out onto the water to enjoy steady, gently breaking waves, it’s the best place to learn how to surf. When the wind picks up it’s also an ideal place to go kitesurfing. But keep an eye on the lifeguard’s flag, as shark spotters are quick to get surfers out of the water when the big fish swim by.
Kalk Bay & St James Beach
Along the same stretch of coastline closer to Muizenberg are another two family favourites, Kalk Bay and St James Beach. Within walking distance of one another, both beaches offer large walled tidal pools, where the water is warmer and the waves are only beyond the wall, constantly filling the pool with fresh water. The relatively shallow water and plenty of gentle sea life make this an ideal spot for children to explore and swim, and there’s plenty of soft sand or smooth rocks for adults to sunbathe on.
For those looking to blow their hair back further, Bloubergstrand Beach is famous as a windsurfing spot. With long straight stretches of rough sandy beaches, rock pools teaming with aquatic life, and a stunning view of Table Mountain across the bay, the lack of shelter allows for the perfect windy conditions for surfers and kite surfers alike. The water is cold, so be sure to bring a wetsuit!
Right next door is Big Bay and the smaller sister beach, Little Bay. Little Bay is sheltered from large waves and predatory fish by rocky islands, making it perfect for families and body-boarders looking for some fun at the beach. While Big Bay is popular amongst surfers and windsurfers. Enjoy drinks, pizza and ice cream at the many local hotspots along the beach while gazing out at the ocean.
If you’re looking for a place to take a scenic, leisurely stroll along the beach, Noordhoek Beach is the perfect place. With long beaches and white sand, there’s plenty of opportunity for horse riding along the beach, and spotting seals and shipwrecks along the way. If you’re the sporty type the waters are windy enough for windsurfers to enjoy. The waters are rough, so it’s not recommended for swimming.
Fish Hoek Beach
Families and beginner surfers will probably find that Fish Hoek Beach is their favourite spot. The safest beach in Cape Town, the Indian Ocean waters are warmer, with soft sand and small waves to practice surfing on. It’s spacious, and perfect for swimming. It’s also pet friendly, so you’ll often see a dog running along the beach or catwalk beside the beach. There are plenty of stores along the beach if you’re looking for ice cream or a snack.
Another location perfect for families is Boulders Beach, home to thousands of African penguins. This secluded beach is surrounded by boulders, offering crystal clear waters and pure soft sand. Swimmers shouldn’t be surprised to see a penguin sunbathing nearby or even swimming not far away. Along the boardwalk visitors can get right up close to penguins for pictures, watching them thrive in their natural habitat. It’s a must-see for kids and adults alike.
These are the best beaches in Cape Town for families, swimmers, and water-sports enthusiasts. Take a tour along the West Coast, Atlantic Seaboard, or the Southern Peninsula on a hot summer day, you’re certain to enjoy your day in the sun.