Summer is in the air! Can you feel it? The days are getting longer, the air warmer and the south easter is starting to blow. While Cape Town can be windy during the summer months, we do still get those gorgeously calm days where the sun is shining and the wind isn’t blowing- on those days we hit the beach! We are absolutely spoiled for choice with amazing beaches all around Cape Town. As a self-proclaimed beach bum I do consider myself someone to know a thing or two about the best beaches in Cape Town. My ideal me-date is a sunny afternoon, my book and one of Cape Town’s best beaches. Below is my ranking for the 8 best beaches in Cape Town.
1. Llandudno Beach
Number one HAS to be Llandudno beach. I grew up in Hout Bay and went to Llandudno Primary and so this was my local spot. It is a beautiful white sandy beach with crystal clear (and very icy) waters. Llandudno beach is surfer’s paradise so you’ll find a very laid-back surfer crowd here. The beach is also family oriented and perfect for a game of beach bats on a sunny Sunday or a summer sunset picnic.
Climb up onto the rocks for a beautiful sunset spot. If you’re feeling adventurous you can climb over the rocks to the far left hand side of the beach and follow the path beneath the milkwoods to the rock jumping spot known as funbox. You can also paddle out here from the shore.
While swimming at Llandudno you’ll need to keep an eye out for the strong rip tides. Always be sure to swim between the flags of the lifeguard on duty.
Llandudno is a bit further for everyone to get to so you’ll often find it is less crowded than the Cliftons and Camps Bay on a hot day.
2. Bakoven & Beta Beach
Bakoven & Beta Beach come in at a close second for me for the Best Beaches in Cape Town. Bakoven is the rocky beach on the front side with the NSRI boats, Beta beach is the beach cove to the right of Bakoven with a sandy beach which looks out to Lion’s Head. Both are lovely for a secluded sun tanning spot. Space is verrrry limited on these beaches meaning they’ll fill up fast on a busy beach day. Bakoven is perfect for a windy day as the beach is very sheltered. Enjoy exploring the flat bay snorkeling or paddle boarding, or just soak up some rays with a good book. I find this is a great solo beach mission spot.
3. Long Beach, Noordhoek
Long Beach at Noordhoek is another absolutely stunning Atlantic beach. On a stunning day the water is a brilliant blue and you have views all the way to Chapman’s Peak and Hout Bay. This is a lovely long white sandy beach perfect for long beach walks and having space to yourself when chilling on the beach. Surfer’s come and enjoy a wave at the Hoek (far right corner of the beach) and you’ll see many dog-walkers. Long Beach is also a lovely sunset spot.
Clifton is made up of a collection of four different beaches. Each beach has it’s own vibe and crowd. Clifton 3rd is my favourite of the four beaches. It is a little bit quieter and the crowd is less pretentious than 4th. Clifton 4th is busiest of the Clifton beaches and attracts lots of groups of young people (the imagey kind). Clifton 2nd is a smaller spot popular for modeling shoots, Clifton 3nd attracts members of the LGBTQIA+ community, while Clifton 1st is much quieter with families and dog-walkers. The down-to-earth part of me really doesn’t want to like Clifton because it’s so “basic” and popular but the beaches really are lovely and the conditions are wonderful for swimming. There are little to no waves at Clifton 2nd, 3rd and 4th making swimming far more enjoyable than at wavey Llandudno and Long Beach. If you’re looking for a solo beach mission during the week and want to be safe on a beach with enough people then make your way down to Clifton 4th. You will definitely not be alone.
Oudekraal is a gated beach that is part of Table Mountain National Park. You’ll pay an entrance fee to enjoy this secluded beauty. There are many little bays and coves to explore and enjoy on your visit to Oudekraal. The boulders provide a natural bay with very few waves, making it perfect for swimming. You’ll have stunning views of Lion’s Head and the Twelve Apostles from Oudekraal. Oudekraal is very close to the freediving site Justin’s Caves. Read my blog post of the best freediving sites in Cape Town here. There are also a number of braai sites where you can enjoy a braai with an ocean view. The entrance fees are as follows:
Conservation Fees for 1 November 2020 to 31 October 2021
|South African Citizens and Residents (with ID):||R35 per adult per day
R15 per child, per day
|SADC Nationals (with passport):||R70 per adult per day
R35 per child, per day
|Standard Conservation Fee (Foreign Visitors):||R140 per adult per day
R70 per child, per day
6. Boulders Beach
Boulder’s Beach is a tourist favourite but it should also be on your local’s list for when the wind is howling. Boulders is wonderfully sheltered making it a perfect beach spot on a windier day. You’ll also get to make some penguin friends!
The entrance fees for Boulders Beach are as follows:
Conservation Fees for 1 November 2020 to 31 October 2021
|South African Citizens and Residents (with ID):||R40 per adult per day
R20 per child, per day
|SADC Nationals (with passport):||R85 per adult per day
R42 per child, per day
|Standard Conservation Fee (International Visitors):||R170 per adult per day
R85 per child, per day
7. Cosy Bay
Cosy Bay is an up and coming trendy beach spot along the Atlantic Seaboard. It’s become popular among a laid-back younger crowd seeking a quiet chill spot. It is also the entry point for the freediving sites Sandy Cove and Strawberry Rocks so you’ll find the place crawling with divers on a good vis day. There is a small beach with coarse, dark sand but there are also many rocks to sit on around the cove. Bring your mask and snorkel, your favourite floatie and explore the bay.
8. Camps Bay
Finally, Camps Bay beach. This is a very popular spot amongst the tourists as it is easily accessible from the main road and has many restaurants and bars in close proximity. Camps Bay has always seemed like the French Riviera or Venice Beach of Cape Town for me with all the palm trees, glitz and glam. The beach is nice enough with great views of the mountains around. There are however, many hawkers and people selling things which is a bit of a turnoff for me. Come here for sunset and have your Col Caccio pizza delivered to you on the beach!
For more Cape Town adventures why not check out my blogs on Tandem Paragliding in Cape Town, Cape Town Cafes That’ll Give You All The Bali Vibes, Best Sunset Spots in Cape Town, Best Tidal pools in Cape Town, The Bo-Kaap, Lion’s Head Full Moon Hike or my Top 10 Hikes in Cape Town .