There are so many different beaches in Cape Town that it may be tough to figure out where to start. This guide will give you an overview of your beach options and help you pick out the best spot for your beach day!
Clifton Beach – 200° views, few amenities, can be crowded, protected, cold water
Clifton’s beaches offer some great views of Cape Town’s urban coastline. There are four different Clifton Beaches, each separated by large boulders. Generally, Clifton 1st and 2nd beaches are less crowded than Clifton 3rd and 4th. If you are driving to Clifton you can try to park in the public lot by Clifton 4th Beach. To access the other Clifton beaches we recommend that you park along Victoria Road and walk down one of the many stairways to the beach. All the beaches can get crowded on the weekends and holidays so plan accordingly. There are no business establishments here so you will have to pack everything you need for the day. If you do get hungry you’ll always find a few guys walking up and down the beach selling drinks and ice cream but that’s about it.
Camps Bay – 360° views, many amenities, crowded, protected, cold water
Camps Bay is the place to see and be seen. If you’re coming from the City Centre, you will continue on Victoria Road past the Clifton Beaches to Camps Bay, a beachside neighborhood filled with posh restaurants and trendy bars. Camps Bay is probably the busiest beach in Cape Town and you’ll see a diverse mix of beach goes– families, friends, soccer (football) lovers, all enjoying the wide stretch of sand. The thing we love most about Camps Bay is that there is a view in every direction. You can watch the waves crash on the shore in front of you or turn around and take in the sights of the 12 Apostles. If you’re like us and you prefer quieter beaches, we suggest walking over to Glen Beach, which is separated from Camps Bay Beach by a boulder formation on the north side of the sand. You’ll often find many surfers in the water, but far fewer people on the land.
Llandudno Beach – 360° views, no amenities, quiet, semi-protected, cold water
Just 15 minutes south of Camps Bay, you’ll find the picturesque neighborhood of Llandudno. Llandudno has a great strip of beach, nestled between large boulder formations. There are no commercial businesses here so you’ll have to bring everything you need with you. There isn’t a whole lot of parking here either so finding a spot can be a bit challenging. However, the lack of parking keeps the beach quiet and uncrowded. There are public restrooms and lifeguards, but little else. One visit to Llandudno and you’ll easily see why it’s one of our favorite beaches in Cape Town!
Nordhoek Beach – 250° views, some amenities, quiet, unprotected, cold water
Noordhoek Beach makes up the northern portion of Long Beach, a jaw-droppingly long, 5-mile stretch of white sand beach to the south of Chapman’s Peak. If you like beach walks, this is your spot. You can walk for hours and you may not see another person! If you are interested in horseback riding on the beach you can try that out here as well! If you want to skip all the action and find a quiet spot to read, you’ll surely find your own patch of sand here. There’s a small gathering of shops and restaurants nearby on Beach Road. Check out the Red Herring if you’re in the mood for good pizza. Coco Bean offers light fare, good coffee and a quiet garden to sit it in. This little area is also home to the Aegir Project Brewery if you’re craving a cold one!
Kommetjie Beach – 200° views, some amenities, quiet/family, protected, cold water
The sleepy surf town of Kommetjie, located on the southern portion of Long Beach, offers gorgeous views of Hout Bay and Chapman’s Peak. The public beach is quite protected and you’ll find several families sprawled out across the sand. This is the perfect place to lay for the day with your book, uninterrupted, or even hop in the water for a surf. Kommetjie Surf Shop is one of the only surf shops in the area and you can rent boards and suits from them and walk directly the beach from their shop. One thing we love about this beach is that it has one of the cleanest beach bathrooms we have ever seen.
Boulders Beach – 360° views, many amenities nearby, crowded, well protected, warmer water
Simon’s Town is home to one of the few African Penguin colonies in the world. Most people will go to the main visitor center and pay an entrance fee (70 ZAR or $5.20) to view them from the boardwalk. However, a few minutes down the road you can pay the same entrance fee to Boulders Beach where you can swim amongst the penguins! Spend the day relaxing on the beach and watching the penguins waddle around. The parking lot for this entrance is at the end of Bellevue Road. You can use Boulders Beach Lodge and Restaurant as your map marker. Space is limited and when it’s high tide there isn’t much beach real estate, so make sure to arrive early in the day. If you are hungry after the beach you can always pop into Simons Town and eat at one of the many cafes or restaurants that line St. Georges Street.
Muizenberg Beach – 200° views, high amenities, crowded, protected, warmer water
Known as Surfer’s Corner, Muizenberg is famous for its waves and the iconic multi-colored changing houses that line the beach. If you want to learn how to surf, Muizenberg is one of the best spots in South Africa. We recommend booking a lesson through Gary’s Surf School. The staff at Gary’s is super friendly and the equipment is in good condition. The water at Muizenberg is significantly warmer than the Atlantic facing beaches but, don’t be fooled, it’s still pretty chilly. If you’re in the mood to just lounge on the beach, it might be a bit crowded and hectic for you. However, if you’re looking for action and you like “people watching” this will be the spot for you. Plus, if you’re hungry, Beach Road, the main strip parallel to the beach, has ample eating and drinking options.
Bloubergstrand Beach – 300° views, many amenities, crowded, protected, cold water
Bloubergstrand is about 10 miles north of Cape Town. The beach offers amazing views of the city of Cape Town across the bay. Blouberg’s beach strip spans the entire town so you have plenty of beach space to choose from. We recommend heading to the Big Bay. While slightly commercialized, we enjoyed the options offered at Eden on the Bay, a small beachfront outdoor mall complex. You have a beautiful sandy beach in front of the complex, a grassy area just behind the sand, and restaurants and bars to sip sundowners at as the day fades. We recommend checking out Moyo. Although it’s a bit touristy, some of the outdoor seating is built over water so you can soak your feet as you dine – that was a major selling point for us!
Bonus: There you have it! An overview of Cape Town’s main beaches. There are few hidden beaches we have skipped over. If you are looking to get away from the crowds, check out some of our favorite secret beaches:
Check out the map below for all the beaches named in this post!