Cape Town, well more the Western Cape, offers an extensive choice of beaches which one could explore, but they all have one similar characteristic; the water will be freezing at (nearly) any beach you choose to go to.
Although one might prefer to visit the beach during the Cape Town heat in the summer season, during the rest of the year the beaches act as a landscape for walks up the coast and a breath of fresh air from the bustling city.
Starting from the rocky shore of the east coast, and working away around the peninsula and up the west coast, we begin our journey:
MUIZENBURG beach is renowned as one of the major surfing spots in Cape Town. It has been known as one of Cape Town’s family beaches, and it is where almost every Capetonian learnt how to surf.
From Muizenberg, we go down to ST JAMES Tidal Pools. This is usually quite a crowded space during the summer seasons, but DANGER BEACH is close by and is much quieter and visited more frequently by the locals
Continuing down the coast, we arrive at FISHHOEK beach, which is known to be popular with families, and with young surfers. Starting at the southern end of this beach strip, there is a great walkway which hugs the southern end of the bay. It’s a great walk especially during whale season, and includes some tidal pools to splash around in.
Next up is the beach known for its penguin residents, BOULDERS beach. Huge boulders protect this beach (hence the name) and is also a popular tourist attraction in the Western Cape.
The coastline onwards to Cape Point is quite rocky but offers amazing diving and snorkelling areas (especially in winter). The Cape Peninsula National Park covers most of the southern tip of the Western Cape, and there are some spectacular little beaches within the park.
Still on the eastern side,BUFFELS BAY has some safe tidal pools and some stunning beaches. Continuing along the point on to the western side, PLATBOOM BAY and OILIFANTSBAAI are quite popular for their beaches and is more accessible to walk for miles along the coast.
SCARBOROUGH is located just outside the national park, and with its quaint appeal it also contains interesting rock pools, serene walks. A day trip to Scarborough is well worth it as the little village contains a few restaurants and minimal facilities.
A bit further up the coast lies LONG BEACH, which ‘belongs’ to the small village of KOMMETJIE. This beach is also quite a popular surfing spot for the locals, but a walk all the way to NOORDHOEK beach is highly recommended as you are then at the foot of Chapman’s Peak.
Still around Chapman’s Peak area comes the HOUT BAY Harbours and its beach. It is a great family beach and is popular with horse riders and dog walkers.
Cape Town’s (un)official nudist beach, SANDY BAY is next up the coastline. The only way to reach Sandy Bay is through a walk from Llandudno beach.
LLANDUDNO beach is also one of Cape Town’s residential areas. Protected from the mountain and the ocean-view-facing houses, Llandudno is hidden away from the buzz of the city and is a great (yet still freezing) spot for the local surfers.
Further up the west coast is BAKOVEN beach, a “beach with lovely big rocks on which sun-worshippers drape themselves with glorious abandon”.
Next door to Bakoven is one of Cape Town’s most popular beaches; CAMPS BAY beach. Although it is not protected from the south-east wind, Camps Bay manages to attract locals and their families, and many tourist groups which come to Cape Town. Having a row of palm trees backing the beach and a strip of Cape Town ‘hot-spot bars, clubs, and restaurants’, it is a main attraction for tourists and Cape Town elites.
Secretly tucked away from the chaotic-attraction of Camps Bay, GLEN BEACH is a perfect little enclave which also offers the locals a sweet surf.
Right next door to Camps Bay and Glen Beach is a strip of, another, famous beach hangout, CLIFTON beach. With its four different beaches – namely 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th beach – Clifton has become one of the most fashionable beaches in the world, and the different ‘styles’ in swimming gear varies tremendously depending on which beach you choose to chill on. With its white sand and its crystal aqua coloured seas, people from all over the world flock there to show off their trendy styles and ‘6-months-in-advanced-worked-out’ bodies.
Along the coast, we pass SEA POINT and MOULLIE POINT beach, which is more for exploration than a casual tanning session. The V&A Waterfront begins shortly after that, too.
A bit further up, we reach MILNERTON beach which offers the usual sun tanning/walking/swimming activities, and a stunning view of the Mother City from a different angle.
Continuing up, we finally reach BLOUBERGSTRAND, where windsurfing and kite surfing are often witnessed on the beach of Big Bay (still in Bloubergstrand)