Unveiling the Top Beaches Cape Town Has to Offer

Whilst you are undoubtedly spoilt for choice when visiting Cape Town with the vast selection of beaches you could go to, we decided to create an Insider’s Guide for foreign travelers. Whether it’s taking part in an array of water sports that you are into, or simply beach bumming along our magnificent coastline, we have just the thing for you.

The Atlantic Ocean is undoubtedly colder, yet somewhat just as beautiful. We would go as far as to say we have some of the top beaches in the world.

Okay, yes, the water is cold (anywhere between 14-20°C /57.2-68°F), BUT now with the latest trend in health benefits that come from cold water immersions, more and more locals and tourists flock to the water’s edge.  An influx of people can be found in tidal pools and dotted along the beaches over the warmer months of the year.

Watersports include, snorkeling and freediving (diving whilst holding your own breath) and scuba diving are known to be outstanding in the South African Marine Reserves.  You can quite simply set up an affordable guided tour to take you into the kelp forest and show you the world that awaits you underneath the water’s surface.  Experiences can be somewhat similar to swimming in a large aquarium.

 

South African waters are known to be some of the most exquisite and piercing turquoise blues. Often completely transparent from above when the wind and the tides and the swell are just right.

  • January, February, March and December have a rather pleasant water temperature.
  • On average, February has the warmest water temperature with 20°C/68°F.
  • On average, August has the coldest water temperature with 14°C/57.2°F.

 

BLAAUWBERG

 

 

This beach is an iconic beach quite simply for its long stretch of beach but mostly for its unforgettable view of Table Mountain in the backdrop.  You are bound to find a ton of kite surfers (due to the windy nature of the area) and an abundance of waves surf. It is one of the havens for kite surfers from all over the world to have the most fun in the swell.

Should kitesurfing not be your thing, it is just as exquisite to take a long walk along as it is close to nearby restaurants and bars. Pop into your closest local surf shop to get some more info on spots and renting gear.

The locals will be more than happy to guide you and share the stoke.

Table Mountain officially claimed its title in the Wonders of the World and for good reason.  Known for her majestic size and shape, which is transformative depending on where you are looking at her from in the city. Each view gives you a completely different experience. The locals will often reference the mountain as a directional aid.  The term, towards or away from the mountain is commonly heard when receiving directions from local South Africans, so use her as much as possible to aid you in exploring and navigating this beautiful city. 

 

Saunders Beach Cape Town 

SAUNDERS BEACH is located in Sea point itself.  It boasts Saunders Rock Tidal pool, which is a popular spot for those looking to enjoy their cold-water immersions and or hang out for sundowners and a picnic.  It has a little bit of the city buzz in the air when you walk down the steps to a snug beach surrounded by boulders and a swimming beach on the right with the tidal pool tucked into the rocks on the left.

Beta Beach and Bakoven Beach

BETA BEACH and BAKOVEN BEACH are the boutique beaches of Cape Town’s high society.  The areas that surround these two beaches are rather affluent and you are considered exceptionally lucky to have the novelty of waking down from your accommodation should you live in these parts.  Known for topless tanners, however can get somewhat crowded over peak periods due to them being so snug.

We would recommend you consider visiting out of peak times and or weekends.  The views from Beta beach are exquisite and rather unique.  You look over large boulders dotting into the ocean out onto Lion’s head and signal hill in the backdrop.  This spot can make for the perfect Instagram ready holiday caption shot.

CLIFTON; which is broken up into Clifton 1, 2 and 3 are all spectacular. Brace yourself for white powdery beach sand on each of them, umbrellas with girls suntanning, people playing volleyball and dogs playing along the water’s edge and boulders sprawled along the shoreline.

However, we must warn you, the water is crisp yet comes with an array of health benefits: 

  • Elevated mental health by releasing endorphins in the brain
  • Stress adaptability
  • Reduced muscle inflammation and pain
  • Improved circulation
  • Increased metabolism
  • Improved skin and hair health
  • Enhanced recovery from physical activity

We would recommend you at least try it once!

If you are thinking what we are thinking then yes, a cold water plunge after a long day of shopping or hiking in the Mother City will do your body a world of wonder.

Remember, these three beaches are a mere 20 min drive from Century City Hotels.

CAMPS BAY BEACH is known to be a popular beach for many and you will find everything from volleyball and dog walkers to travelers sipping on cocktails from the camps bay strip just above it.

The most alluring aspect of this beach is the convenience of the camps bay strip of restaurants and bars.  You have a handful of exquisite restaurants and bars to choose from, everything to fit your budget.  Consider a gelato on a hot summer’s day or a sexy cocktail whilst watching the sunset through the palms. Camps bay will not fail to disappoint.

Should you not be used to swimming in waves higher than your knees, opt for a plunge in the Camps Bay Tidal pool instead, it will give you a rather tranquil Mediterranean water type of experience.

Llandudno Beach Cape Town

 

LLANDUDNO BEACH, found in the Llandudno bay, a glorious spot for surfers and beach bums alike. It has an open beach span that really offers some more exclusivity in comparison to some of the other beaches earlier on in this article. Not much further to drive, but well worth the wait.

Further along the coast along the notable Chapmans Peak drive you will head down to some of the southern tip beaches which provide somewhat more exclusive offerings starting with Noordhoek beach, Kommetjie beach and lastly Scarborough beach.  

Noordhoek Beach Cape Town

NOORDHOEK BEACH

Known for its vast, baron-like openness, this beach is very special and the view from Chapman’s peak drive as you approach it is something to behold.  You will get an idea of what you are getting yourself into, an immense open space allowing you stillness and time to breathe.  The water will be chilly so make note to go when the wind is low and the sun is up.

Unlike Noordhoek beach, KOMMETJIE BEACH is easily accessible from the parking area and has a unique view of Chapman’s Peak all the way through to Hout Bay as a backdrop. It provides more than enough space for everyone to relax and enjoy themselves.

Kommetjie is known for its surf spots and has moved from being referenced by the locals as a fishing village to now being referenced as a surfing village.

Scarborough Beach Cape Town

SCARBOROUGH BEACH

This is one of our favorites and is enjoyed by plenty of foreign visitors, especially popular with German and Dutch tourists alike.  The area is very proactive and future forward when it comes to its stance on nature conservation and various community initiatives to work towards being more sustainable and environmentally friendly.

The beach itself is painstakingly beautiful in its simplicity with a handful of local coffee shops and vegan restaurants close by. Our favorite is to pack a picnic basket with goodies purchased from the Scarborough Hub, pick up a coffee and set up an area at the beach for the morning to enjoy the views, catch some rays and even sometimes a wave or two (yup – there is surf here too!).

 

Diaz Beach Cape Town

If you are wanting an unforgettable experience when it comes to raw, rough wild landscape, Cape Point Nature reserve offers a very pleasant walk down to DIAZ BEACH. This would be high on our recommendations for the active, outdoorsy adventurer type traveler.

This would be a beach for those keen individuals that enjoy challenging themselves and pushing the limits on experiencing something completely new and quite different, so if that sounds like you then we couldn’t recommend this highly enough.

Note there is an entrance fee to enter the reserve itself.

Sure, the cable car can take you up to the top of Cape Point and is undoubtedly beautiful and very popular for tourists, however Diaz beach is often something that tourists overlook and we would like you to have all the options when making your decisions on beaches to explore.

We must however warn you that swimming here can be risky, noting there are no life guards on duty. The waves can get remarkably big and you can only get in at certain times, completely at your own risk.

This is also a sneaky surf spot for when the surf is looking flat everywhere else.

Recommended for highly experienced surfing and bodyboarding only.

The magnitude of the rock face below the coast line once you get down (what feels like a 300-step footpath) is breathtaking.  It oozes with raw, wild and the untamed landscape that is very unique to the Cape and possibly one of the best views out there.

If you enjoy freediving or spearfishing, Cape Point has some spots that are truly epic and you can get more information on these when visiting Great White in Fish Hoek or contacting a local surf and dive shop.

Cape Point is home to some secret surf spots for the most advanced surfer, so be sure to speak to the locals for the scoop on where and when to get in.

Smitswinkel Bay Beach Cape Town

Driving back from Cape Point making your way along the False Bay side of Cape Town (South East), you will arrive at a secret spot called SMITSWINKEL BAY (Smits). Smits is known for its limited and controlled growth, preserving its natural beauty and exclusivity.  Making it a unique experience for any local or tourist to visit.

It consists of only around 22 houses​​ and this type of low-density development is part of what makes the area unique and so sought after. It offers an exclusive, remote and abundantly tranquil environment away from the bustling city life.

This area is valued for its unspoiled natural beauty, which has been a key factor in the management of its development. The locals takes pride in the emphasis on maintaining the natural environment and the only way down to the bay is either on foot down a narrow foot path or by boat along the shoreline.  Wear comfortable shoes on the steep hike down.  This option is for you if you are adventurous at heart and everything but a tourist trap, also it is quite a decline down and takes some time to get there.  Remember, with this Insiders-guide, we share local spots you won’t find in your generic travel guide to Cape Town.

 

If you carry on along the same road, further down heading back up to the city, you will find beaches drizzled along the False Bay coast.  Some of our favorites are WINDMILL BEACH, known for its snorkeling, it’s a free option before Boulders which is one you pay to enter.

BOULDERS BEACH is worth the trip, as you get to see real life wild penguins.

They are so adorable to watch and it’s comical to sit and or swim whilst observing them in and out of the water.

Beautiful rounded boulders cover the bay and it’s a great way to spend the morning, day or afternoon. Be sure to remember these are wild animals and petting and touching them is not advisable.

MUIZENBERG BEACH

Known for its surfing appeal, it’s a beautiful strip beach that is dotted with surfers in the water.

It is named “Surfers Corner” for good reason. It’s a fantastic beginner’s surf spot and has a few surf shops renting boards and gear to choose from.

Lessons can be arranged if you are needing a little more guidance and Lifestyle Surf Shop offers “Mom’s on Boards” every Tuesday where they sponsor moms to get in the water and surf, an event encouraged to uplift women.

Regular shark spotters, ample amount of people and consistent waves make it the ideal spot for the world of beginner surfers. Gentle sets roll onto the shore like clockwork.  Although False Bay is notorious for sharks, according to Shark Spotters Project the only attack in Muizenberg was last dated back in 2004 and another at Sunrise beach in 2006.

The shark spotters are on duty and alerts will go out by blasting their sirens and send out alerts on social media as and when a shark is spotted from above. This is a safety precaution to put you at ease whilst surfing in the water, so the only thing you have to worry about is having fun and getting your form right so that you can stand up and ride those waves.

A FINAL WORD
Now that we have done a full 360 and taken you through some of our most favorite beaches, you can pick and choose which beach you think would be best suitable for you.

We hope the Insider’s Guide to some of these secret spots as well as some of the more popular gems find their way into your travel itinerary.

We feel that there are few things more opulent than waltzing back into your air conditioned hotel room after a long day adventuring the most pristine beaches Cape Town has to offer whilst getting kissed by the African sun.

If you are looking for a family friendly hotel in Cape Town, Century City Conference Centre and Hotels offers convenience at your doorstep.