favourite-beaches-to-visit-cape-town

My 14 Favourite Beaches to Visit near Cape Town

Cape Town is known for having some of the best beaches in the world. Best of all, there are so many to choose from and each is uniquely beautiful. In this post though, I share my favourite beaches to visit near Cape Town.

Life’s Just Beachy in Cape Town

Whether you are looking for family-friendly fun, a walk on the wild side or simply, a peaceful day at the beach, it’s hard to go wrong with these stunning beaches.

From Struisbaai to Cape Point, here are my 14 favourite beaches to visit near Cape Town.

My 14 Favourite Beaches to Enjoy near Cape Town:

1) Camps Bay Beach

camps-bay-beach-cape-town-south-africa

Camps Bay Beach is arguably the most easily recognisable and famous beach in Cape Town. Does this make it the best? Many would say yes and while I adore Camps Bay Beach, I also often find it too crowded for extended beach visits.

Things to See:

camps-bay-beach-cape-town-day-trip

What can’t you see from Camps Bay beach is a better question. This beach, with its pristine soft, white sand, chunky granite boulders dotted here and there and incredible ocean-meets-mountain views is picture-perfect.

The beach is ideal for sun lovers, families, tourists and beachgoers in general.

The icy Atlantic Ocean and surrounding mountains, famous Twelve Apostles mountain range and Lion’s Head, make it truly memorable with its beach setting.

camps-bay-beach-favourite-beaches-to-visit-cape-town

Camps Bay is a glamourous, affluent suburb that draws locals and international visitors alike to its gorgeous shores.

And Camps Bay Beach is edged by Victoria Road, which overflows with top restaurants, local bars and glitzy hotels.

It does get very busy on weekends and holidays and the Atlantic waters are normally too cold for most to really brave. Still, Camps Bay Beach is iconic and one of those places that everyone should visit in Cape Town.

Facilities:

Toilets, waste bins, life guards (normally on duty here) and hawkers/vendors selling goods like drinks, ice-creams and snacks.

There are also some great ocean-facing restaurants, bars and hotels a stone’s throw away.

Where:

Victoria Road, Camps Bay, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.

 

2) Clifton 1-4 Beaches

clifton-beach-favourite-beaches-to-visit-cape-town

It is safe to say that, after Camps Bay Beach, Clifton’s stunning quartet of beaches are perhaps the most glamourous and famous.

Personally, I love Clifton more than Camps Bay Beach. Maybe it’s the secluded walk down through beach-facing homes or the way Clifton’s beaches offer a sheltered haven of Mediterranean-style bliss.

Whatever the reason, Clifton 1-4 are special city beaches and if you are craving a quieter but no less beautiful Atlantic Seaboard set of beaches, they are ideal.

Things to See:

clifton-beach-cape-town

Aside from gorgeous, at times almost aqua waters, smooth sand, chunky granite boulders and impressive mountain views, Clifton’s beaches offer plenty of people watching too.

There are often sports like beach volleyball, photo shoots and other interesting things on the go here.

Clifton’s four beaches are each unique too, separated by little more than boulders and a few stairs.

Clifton 4th is arguably the most popular spot among families and beachgoers while Clifton 3rd is considered one of Cape Town’s popular gay beaches. It is also pretty popular among the city’s younger crowds. I have also seen outdoor beach sports enjoyed here.

Clifton 2nd, which begins to get smaller, is ideal for suntanning or relaxing on the beach with a good book. Again, it’s also quite popular for beachsports.

clifton-1-beach-cape-town

Finally, Clifton 1st is the most secluded and the smallest in my view but I like it. It is great for taking dogs off-leash and it is normally the least crowded spot.

Facilities:

Clifton 4th has the main beach facilities. These include toilets, outdoor showers and umbrella- and chair-hire.

There are also lifeguards on duty and vendors/hawkers selling goods like cooldrinks, snacks, ice-cream and more.

Where:

Clifton, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.

 

3) Bloubergstrand Beach

bloubergstrand-favourite-beaches-to-visit-cape-town

Bloubergstrand is one of the most memorable, picture-perfect beaches in Cape Town.

Offering breathtaking views across Table Bay towards Table Mountain, Bloubergstrand is a Insta-worthy beach if ever there was one.

I especially love this beach at sunset; it is pure magic every time. Bloubergstrand Beach is certainly one of the best spots in the Mother City to enjoy a spectacular sunset display.

Things to See:

blouberg-sunset-western-cape

Aside from the obvious, impressive scenes of Table Mountain in the distance, Bloubergstrand Beach is a gorgeous, long beach with a really lovely shoreline.

In addition to its beautiful views of Table Mountain, Bloubergstrand also allows you to see Robben Island from afar.

This beach is loved for long walks, kite- and wind-surfing and even white mussel collecting.

It isn’t really a good beach for swimming but it is fairly popular among families for special outings and fun sandcastle builds.

Bloubergstrand Beach is also wonderfully positioned, as it is a hop, skip and jump away from a selection of fast food joints, ocean-facing restaurants and popular bars.

bloubergstrand-beach-favourite-beaches-to-visit-cape-town

While the beach can get busy on weekends, I have never found it overly crowded.

The only slight drawback to this beach is that it is exposed to the elements so it is always pretty windy here.

Facilities:

bloubergstrand-cape-town-beach

Aside from a few perfectly positioned benches around the general vicinity and decent parking space, Bloubergstrand does not really offer many facilities at the beach itself.

But with the restaurants and cafes nearby, you have options if you need the loo or want a bite to eat.

Where:

Bloubergstrand, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.

 

4) Boulders Beach

boulders-beach-cape-town

Another world-famous, much loved Cape Town beach is Boulders Beach, otherwise fondly referred to among locals as ‘Boulders’.

Boulders falls within the Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) and is therefore a protected beach with paid entry. (Although parts of the walkways, with the exception of those in the nearby penguin visitors’ centre, are free to enjoy.)

Boulders Beach in Simon’s Town is uniquely home to an adorable, yet endangered African penguin colony.

boulders-cape-town

With wonderful walkways, viewing spots inside the visitors’ centre (entry fees here are separate from the beach) and man-made penguin nests along the fencing, Boulders allows visitors to safely view and enjoy the penguins.

If you visit the paid-for, extremely family-friendly Boulders Beach itself, you may even be lucky enough to swim with the penguins.

boulders-beach-boardwalk-penguin-nest

Please just keep an eye on your children around them. Their personal space needs to be respected as this is their habitat, not yours. Please do not touch the penguins.

Things to See:

boulders-beach-favourite-beaches-to-visit-cape-town

Aside from the obvious highlight of seeing penguins so close and personal, Boulders also offers some fun, chunky granite boulders, secluded patches of unspoilt beach and warmer swimming in beautiful, aqua-coloured waters.

Boulders is a sheltered beach that is especially safe and child-friendly so between visiting families and tourists, the beach often gets busy.

However, there is a cut-off on the number of daily visitors so you need to get there early, especially in summertime, to avoid missing out on a beach visit.

Click here for daily conservation rates to visit Boulders Beach.

Facilities:

boulders-beach-cape-town

Boulders Beach offers the aforementioned penguin viewing spots and walkways, which always bustle with visitors jostling for a good shot of the penguins.

There are also some nice facilities, including a solid bathroom area, at the beach itself.

Boulders is also close to some local shops and carts, selling everything from ice-cream to fluffy penguin toys, as well as some eateries too.

Where:

Simon’s Town, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.

 

5) Diaz Beach

diaz-beach-cape-town

This gorgeous, secluded and wild beach is situated within the Cape Point Nature Reserve. It is honestly one of my favourite beaches on earth.

Diaz Beach lies hidden amid towering cliffs. To reach it, it is about a 20-minute walk (one-way) from the main visitors’ centre.

From there, you descend down a pretty lengthy wooden staircase but the reward at the end is worth every step.

diaz-beach-cape-point-favourite-beaches-cape-town

This beach is easily visible from various parts of Cape Point but not many visitors realise you can actually walk down to it.

The beach lies at the tip of Cape Point, on the west, and you feel a bit like Robinson Crusoe exploring an uninhabited island because civilisation feels very far away. Especially if you are fortunate enough to momentarily have the beach all to yourself, as we once did.

diaz-beach-cape-point-favourite-beaches-to-visit-cape-town

Due to the dangerous off-shore currents and wild waves that froth and crash here, it is not a swimming beach. But it is a stunner that makes for wonderful photo opportunities and breathtaking beach views.

Things to See:

Aside from the encircling, 200-metre-high cliffs, towering boulders rising from white, smooth sands, pristine stretch of beach (edged by gorgeous, though untamed waves), visitors can enjoy a lovely boardwalk down to the beach from the visitors’ centre.

This provides you with a leisurely, yet picture-perfect stroll and some pretty stunning surrounding views of the beach, icy Atlantic Ocean and the vastness of Cape Point wilderness in general.

The beach is free to visit but visitors must still pay the usual reserve entry fees.

Facilities:

cape-point-diaz-beach

No beach facilities, except the wooden staircase that leads down to the beach.

However, the Cape Point visitors’ centre (some 20 minutes’ walk from the beach) has bathrooms, eateries and curio shops.

Where:

Cape Point Nature Reserve, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.

 

6) Fish Hoek Beach

fish-hoek-beach-favourite-beaches-to-visit-cape-town

Fish Hoek Beach is perhaps one of the most underrated Cape Town beaches but I love this False Bay gem.

It is not only a safe, family-friendly beach, with a long, lovely stretch of shoreline – but I love the surrounding mountain views, beautiful land-meets-ocean vistas and nearby amenities this beach offers to young and old alike.

The beach is spacious so even if it is busy, you can normally find a good spot to yourself.

Things to See:

fish-hoek-beach-jagers-walk

Aside from impressive views, Fish Hoek Beach has the excellent Jager’s Walk near at hand. This picturesque, colourful walkway edges the ocean and houses and provides a wonderful, scenic stroll.

Fish Hoek Beach is a stone’s throw from local restaurants, cafes and shops, so it well-situated too.

The beach’s warmer Indian Ocean waters makes for easier swimming too – without freezing to death.

A section is also popular among dog walkers apparently. Just remember to clean up after your pooch. 

fish-hoek-beach

Facilities:

Aside from the lovely, ocean-facing Jager’s Walk boardwalk (locally known as the ‘catwalk’) and cheery, colourful benches, nearby cafes and restaurants, Fish Hoek Beach offers bathroom facilities, nearby kiddies’ jungle gym/play area and colourful change houses.

There are also usually lifeguards and sharkspotters on duty. There is apparently also a shark barrier off-shore.

Parking may also be paid-for now but this wasn’t the case when I visited in late 2016.

Where:

Fish Hoek, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.

 

7) Kogelberg ‘Secret’ Beach

kogelberg-nature-reserve-beach-favourite-beaches-to-visit-cape-town

Kogelberg Nature Reserve is a place of natural wonder so it’s no surprise to learn that, aside from its gorgeous natural flora and fauna, unique hiking- and MTB trails, eco-friendly accommodation and stunning scenery, this special Overberg reserve is also home to its very own secret beach.

palmiet-river-trail-kogelberg

Although the beach is definitely one of the smaller ones on this list, it is no less impressive. Especially if swimming in crystal waters, discovering hidden rock pools and unearthing a little stretch of beach after a long, yet blissful hike appeals to you.

If you hike the Palmiet River Trail, you will discover this unique little beach and trust me, it is worth finding, if only for its uniqueness.

Things to See:

proteas-kogelberg-nature-reserve

Aside from a host of indigenous, highly beautiful Cape flora, stunning mountains and rolling hills, rock pools and crystal waters flowing from the Palmiet River and even some wildlife spotting if you are lucky – the hike to this secret beach offers incredible beauty for all ages to enjoy, as it is a family-friendly outing.

Along the way, there are swimming spots marked out by signs but keep going until you reach the secret Kogelberg beach because it is worth it.

This small beach, with its soft white sand and chilly, yet deliciously refreshing clear waters is a wonderful spot to enjoy a secluded dip in the heart of Cape Nature.

palmiet-river-trail-beach

Facilities:

Although there are no facilities at the beach itself, Kogelberg Nature Reserve offers a ticket centre, toilet facilities, on-site, eco-friendly accommodation and more.

The reserve is also relatively close to Kleinmond – and to Betty’s Bay too – so you can stop over in one of those towns for supplies and food before or afterwards.

This little beach is free to visit – you do need to pay to enter the reserve and all hikes require permits

Where:

Kogelberg Nature Reserve, R44 (between Kleinmond and Betty’s Bay), Western Cape, South Africa.

 

8) Kraalbaai Beach

kraalbaai-beach-west-coast-national-park

Found within the glorious natural haven that is the West Coast National Park, quite close to Langebaan, Kraalbaai is like the beach of dreams.

With the Langebaan Lagoon’s gorgeous, safe aqua waters, dreamy houseboats floating in the distance and a wonderful array of on-site facilities, this is one of the best beaches in Cape Town… if you don’t mind not being near the ocean per se!

kayaking-kraalbaai-west-coast-national-park

The beach can be accessed by driving through the Park. It is found just before you start heading towards the Postberg section (which is only open during August and September for the annual wildflower season).

Edged by the beautiful, tranquil Langebaan Lagoon, Kraalbaai is a beautiful, family-friendly beach ideal for all ages.

Things to See:

west-coast-national-park-preekstoel

Well, if you mean other than the many amazing offerings within the West Coast National Park, then Kraalbaai itself offers a glorious stretch of soft, clean beach, excellent braai facilities at Preekstoel, the Kraalbaai Information Centre and more.

There is also the uniquely shaped granite boulders found at Preekstoel, which is arguably my favourite part of the beach.

preekstoel-west-coast-national-park-favourite-beaches-to-visit-cape-town

The safe waters here lend themselves well to family-friendly swimming, water sports (including kayaking, kitesurfing, snorkelling, waterskiing, fishing and more) and generally, a great day at the beach.

Facilities:

preekstoel-braai-spots

Braai spots near Preekstoel, Kraalbaai Information Centre and toilets.

Inside the reserve, there are also an excellent array of picnic spots, viewing points and even the Geelbek Restaurant if you fancy a light meal. The nature reserve also has lovely accommodation offerings too.

The beach itself is free to visit but you will need to pay the daily conservation fee to enter the nature reserve

kraalbaai-west-coast-national-park-favourite-beaches-to-visit-cape-town

Where:

West Coast National Park, West Coast, Western Cape, South Africa.

 

9) Langebaan Main Beach

langebaan-main-beach-favourite-beaches-to-visit-cape-town

Langebaan’s main beach is another glorious, family-friendly beach. With a long, peaceful stretch of shoreline, soft, clean sand and beautiful ocean views, this West Coast beach makes for a fun outing or quick beach stop.

You can get a pretty decent walk in here and it is both fun and romantic, especially for couples who enjoy quiet beach walks.

The beach is also very popular for water sports, so if that appeals to you, you will love Langebaan Beach even more.

Things to See:

langebaan-beach

Apart from the beautiful beach setting and views, this beach is popular for water sports, including kayaking, kitesurfing and more.

Families especially love this beach because it has safe, shallow waters, great, unspoilt beach sand and is close to Langebaan’s amenities.

Facilities:

langebaan-main-beach-west-coast

The beach is across from a selection of restaurants, cafes and little boutique stores, making it ideally situated and central.

I don’t think there are bathroom facilities specifically for the beach but I could be wrong.

Where:

Langebaan, West Coast, Western Cape, South Africa.

 

10) Long Beach

long-beach-kommetjie-favourite-beaches-to-visit-cape-town

Tucked away in Kommetjie, Long Beach is one of the most popular surfing beaches in Cape Town.

And, as its name suggests, this lengthy, beautiful beach is also great for uninterrupted beach walks. In fact, you can actually walk all the way to Noordhoek Beach.

Edged by turquoise waters, this clean, sugar-white beach is a really lovely offering on all fronts and enjoys great views of the majestic mountains that encircle it.

Things to See:

long-beach

You can enjoy watching the surfing (something which always keeps me interested) – or if you prefer, take a walk to Noordhoek Beach. Along the way, you can see the SS Kakapo shipwreck, which dates back to the 1900s.

But honestly, Long Beach is great just for sitting and admiring the local scenery.

The beach is also popular for dog-walking, beach sports, swimming (if you can brave the cold Atlantic waters) and sunbathing.

Sadly, the beach is quite exposed so it gets pretty windy – but if you can brave the wind, the views and overall setting are sublime.

Facilities:

imhoff-farm-kommetjie

There aren’t facilities near this beach really but it is nestled close to the houses, some of which can be rented out as Airbnb or holiday accommodation.

Kommetjie itself has a few nice shops and restaurants, cafes so you can enjoy a good meal or shop for supplies at one of those.

Where:

Kommetjie, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.

 

11) Oudekraal Beach

oudekraal-beach-favourite-beaches-to-visit-cape-town

Another gorgeous Atlantic Seaboard beach is Oudekraal Beach, which lies a short drive outside of Camps Bay proper. I absolutely adore this beach and consider it one of the best beaches in Cape Town for so many reasons.

Oudekraal Beach offers a secluded beach, cove, granite boulders made for exploring and some of the best braai- and picnic-spots in the Cape.

It makes for a wonderful family day out, especially if you want to enjoy a good meal in the sunshine.

Things to See:

oudekraal-beach-cape-town

With its unrivalled mountain- and ocean-views, gorgeous aqua-coloured waters, excellent picnic- and braai-facilities and peaceful setting, Oudekraal Beach offers plenty to see.

I also love that it is hidden in the heart of nature so you feel removed from the city when you visit this beach haven.

Historically, Oudekraal has always been a popular beach (it has also played a vital role in Cape Town’s cultural heritage) and after visiting, I could easily see why!

Facilities:

oudekraal-beach-picnic-braai-spots

Although Oudekraal Beach is not free to visit, as it falls within the Table Mountain National Park, the entry fee is minimal and so worth it.

Oudekraal offers glorious picnic- and braai-spots, shaded picnic spots with patches of lawn, bins and toilet facilities too. There are no lifeguards on duty here but this beach is pretty safe as far as swimming goes.

It can get pretty crowded in summer so it is advisable to get there early, especially if you wish to secure a picnic bench or braai spot.

Note: No alcohol, free-standing gas braais or gazebos are allowed within Oudekraal.  

Open season is from 1 October- 31 May; closed season is from 1 June – 30 September. However, this site is open weekends and public holidays irrespective of the season.

Where:

Table Mountain National Park, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.

 

12) Platboom Beach

platboom-beach-cape-point-favourite-beaches-to-visit-cape-town

I consider Platboom Beach to be Cape Point’s most deserted beach – and honestly, I am crazy about this wild, somewhat secret beach.

Platboom feels so far removed from everything (even more so than Diaz Beach, if that’s possible) that you feel like the only people on earth… and it is idyllic.

The beach seems small at first, with little more than wild grass and endless, smooth sands but the more you walk, the more endless it seems to be as the dunes stretch out before you, disturbed only by the crash of the waves or ostrich prints in the sand.

platboom-beach-cape-point

According to Cape Point, you can actually spend the whole day exploring this remote, desolate beach and scarcely see another human. This was our experience too because, apart from one car that left shortly after we arrived, we had this secret, wild place all to ourselves.

Things to See:

platboom-beach-deserted-tree

This beach offers dreamy views and an endless horizon. The many sandy banks and soft dunes break up the scenery nicely.

You may often see animal tracks in the sand – we saw ostrich prints – and it is said that baboons and ostriches both are known to wander this beach. So if you don’t mind an unexpected animal encounter (please be careful), this beach is made for secluded, romantic beach walks.

platboom-beach-cape-town-favourite-beaches

Facilities:

As there are no lifeguards and it is very remote, swimming is definitely not advised here.

The beach doesn’t really offer much in the way of facilities but there is a humble bathroom and small parking lot nearby.

For eateries and other facilities, visit Cape Point’s main visitor centre.

platboom-cape-point-beach

Where:

Cape Point Nature Reserve, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.

 

13) Scarborough Beach

scarborough-beach

This Atlantic-lying beach is another that I consider to be sorely underrated. This beautiful, somewhat wilder Cape Town beach is very rarely busy (so you can almost have the beach to yourself at times), offers a breathtaking place on the rocks to enjoy a stunning sunset and has interesting little tidal pools and rocks made for exploring.

I love Scarborough Beach; it’s such an effortlessly lovely beach, with a nice stretch of white shoreline and great ocean views. I especially love how it even has some nice rocks, which are perfect for sitting on.

The beach is smaller than some but quietly makes a big impression on visitors.

Things to See:

Scarborough Beach offers an interesting selection of rock pools, rocky outcrops and scattered patches of beach so it is a pretty diverse beach.

The mountain and ocean views from this beach are also excellent.

Best of all, Scarborough Beach is perfect for viewing a memorable sunset (or sunrise).

Facilities:

There are no facilities at the beach to speak of (although there are restaurants and cafes quite nearby) and this beach is not really ideal for swimming, as there can be rip currents off-shore but it is a pretty popular little spot for surfing and bodyboarding.

This small beach is also dog-friendly but please remember to clean up after your dogs.

Where:

Scarborough, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.

 

14) Struisbaai Beach

struisbaai-harbour-favourite-beaches-to-visit-cape-town

Struisbaai Beach, situated near the Struisbaai Harbour, was the beach of my childhood in the Cape and it will secretly always be my favourite Western Cape beach for this and so many other special reasons.

Although Struisbaai is a few hours’ drive from Cape Town, this Overberg town is worth exploring for a day outing or extended stay.

As for its beach, well, it is like a scene straight out of the Greek Isles, with its mesmerising, warm aqua waters, soft, idyllic stretch of beach and fun, harbour-side attractions near at hand.

Things to See:

struisbaai-beach-cape-overberg

The beach itself has interesting little rock pools (I have seen everything from fish to starfish to a small octopus in them), a wonderful array of seashells (if you are a seashell collector like me) and peaceful views of the surrounding town harbour and ocean.

The harbour makes for an interesting place too, with its many fishing boats, jet skis and catches of the day.

Nearby, there are also some lovely, beach-facing eateries, ice-cream trucks and a fish shop to enjoy.

struibaai-harbour-western-cape

Struisbaai’s beaches are also edged by lovely boardwalks, which allow you to soak up more of the town’s dreamy views and charm.

Another nearby attraction is the Agulhas National Park, wherein you can find Cape Agulhas, the southernmost tip of Africa. This is famously the spot where the two oceans, Indian and Atlantic, meet. It’s definitely worth visiting if you are in Struisbaai.

Facilities:

struibaai-harbour

This beach doesn’t have any on-site toilets or change facilities (we always just change by the car) but there are a selection of lovely restaurants nearby.

Struisbaai is famously a holiday destination, especially in summertime, when this charming Overberg town heaves with holidaymakers and beachgoers.

As such, the town has plenty of holiday homes and beach houses that can be rented out. There is also a camp site/caravan park quite close to the beach.

Where:

Struisbaai, Western Cape, South Africa.

 

In Closing

diaz-beach-cape-point-nature-reserve

Although Cape Town and its surrounds offers so many other gorgeous beaches besides – these are just a few of my favourite Cape beaches near Cape Town… Are there any you would add to this list? 🙂

 

COVID-19 Disclaimer:

Please understand that COVID-19 and lockdown may affect beach opening times, activities and facilities.

Please also be responsible and abide by all COVID19 rules and regulations. This includes wearing a mask, sanitising, staying home if you feel unwell and practicing social distancing. 

Author: Tamlyn Ryan

Content writer by day and blogger by night, Tamlyn Ryan passionately runs her own travel blog, called Tamlyn Amber Wanderlust, from her home base of Cape Town, South Africa. And, despite a national diploma in Journalism, in her free time, Tamlyn’s preferred niche remains travel writing.

Tamlyn is a hopeless wanderer, equipped with an endless passion for road trips, carefully planned, holiday itineraries and, above all else, an innate love for the great outdoors.

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