I know that I’m very biased, but I think Cape Town is one of the best places you can possibly be during summer. The city truly comes alive at this time of year – the Christmas lights twinkle away, the shopping centres are a flurry of activity, the roads become completely insane and the beaches disappear under a carpet of towels, people and umbrellas. Going to the beach is definitely one of the highlights of a Cape Town summer. Luckily, our city is home to dozens of gorgeous beaches – there’s always something to suit anyone at anytime. Since beach days are definitely upon us, I thought I’d round up some of CT’s best beaches into this convenient guide – I hope it’s helpful for visitors and locals alike!
If you’re looking for the perfect sundowner/evening picnic spot, Clifton 4th beach or Llandudno are great options. Clifton 4th is pretty sheltered from the wind, making it ideal for picnics ‘cause nobody likes sandy snacks! Sunsets at this beach are also pretty magical, which is why it’s my personal fave for evening visits. Although Llandudno is less sheltered, it offers more space, less people and epic sunset views. This beach is also dog-friendly after 6pm during the summer months so you can bring your furry bestie along with you.
On those boiling hot wind-free summer days, you can’t go wrong with a trip to Camps Bay or Clifton. Super picturesque and home to all the necessary amenities, there really is something special about munching on a granadilla lolly while tanning or braving the ice cold water when the heat becomes unbearable. These beaches do fill up very quickly though and can become pretty packed, so if you’re like me and you prefer to avoid crowds, Water’s Edge beach in Simon’s Town is almost unbeatable. Absolutely beautiful, very hidden and ideal for swimming, Water’s Edge is my all time favourite beach in Cape Town. I couldn’t recommend it more!
If Cape Town’s infamous summer wind is howling, the relatively sheltered Danger Beach is the place to be. Located in between St James and Kalk Bay, this little stretch of sand is protected by a train track, meaning it’s a pretty reliable beach spot. Do be careful though – it’s called Danger Beach for a reason! The currents here can be rather strong, so don’t wade in too deep.
Although not technically a beach, Dalebrook tidal pool is the perfect spot for a dip. When it’s boiling hot and you’re keen to avoid the business of the popular beaches, tidal pools are a winner – especially this one. If you can muster up the energy to pull yourself out of bed early, a swim at Dalebrook is such a great way to start the day… followed by breakfast in Kalk Bay of course.
Oudekraal beach is amazing for a full day adventure. Home to picnic tables, shady spots and several cute little beaches, Oudekraal has everything you need in order to set up camp for the day. Just make sure you head there early, otherwise all the good spots will be gone.
If you’re into surfing or you’d like to give it a go, Muizenberg is the place to be. Home to a plethora of surf shops offering lessons as well as perfect beginner waves, Muizenberg is a surfer’s paradise. This beach is also on the warmer coast – which is always a plus – and is home to plenty of cafes and restaurants.
Kid friendly and home to an African penguin colony, Boulders Beach is great for family outings and swimming. Don’t let the ‘hype’ or the entrance fee put you off – this little sheltered paradise is popular for a reason. The penguins always make the trip worthwhile, but my favourite thing about this beach is the clear, semi-warm water. Again, I’d advise heading through early during peak season as Boulders does rake in the crowds.
The water is pretty nippy at Noordhoek beach, but it’s an amazing walking option – and it’s dog-friendly too! Also known as Long Beach, this massive sandy stretch is my favourite place for a beach walk. It’s super spacious, not often crowded and usually not thaaaat windy – what else could you need?
If all you’re after is a warm(ish) swim and an ice-cream, Fish Hoek beach is so underrated. This spot holds a lot of nostalgia for me – I’ve had some of the best swims here! Although it has lost a bit of its cleanliness and charm over the years, you can’t beat a dip and a soft-serve (with a flake) at Fish Hoek.
For that famous Table Mountain view, Blouberg beach is the place to go to. Brilliant for walks, photos and sunsets, Blouberg is also a popular kite-boarding spot – it’s always scattered with dozens of multi-coloured kites on windy days.
I can’t wait for my first proper beach day of the summer! What’s your favourite beach in Cape Town?
*All photos taken by the wonderful Luke Bell.