10 Best Beaches in Cape Town

Discover the best beaches in Cape Town.

Between some of the world’s oldest mountains and two breathtakingly beautiful coastlines, Cape Town’s beaches attract millions of visitors every year.

South Africa’s capital was even named the second best beach city in the world by the Lonely Planet. But with so many options, what are the best beaches in Cape Town and why?

Before we take a look at the best beaches in Cape Town, let’s get familiar with the concept of Blue Flag status.

Blue Flag Beaches

The Blue Flag is a certification by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), a non-profit NGO. Beaches, marinas and sustainable boating tourism operators with Blue Flag status meet certain criteria, including  standards for quality, safety, environmental education and information.

In 2015 more than 4000 beaches and marinas globally were awarded the Blue Flag. 66 of them are flying in South Africa, including a few on some of Cape Town’s most beautiful beaches.

But now without further ado … *drum roll* …

Here are the 10 best beaches in Cape Town (from a local’s perspective)

Bloubergstrand

Boubergstrand beach

Out of all the things to do in Cape Town, spending a day on Bloubergstrand’s beaches should be high up on your bucket list. This place in the northern suburbs of the Mother City is the world’s kitesurfing capital.

On a windy day, you can not only watch lots of kites in the sky but also take kitesurfing lessons yourself. Trust me – it will be an amazing experience you won’t forget.

Big Bay and Small Bay are great for swimming, surfing and SUPing. Afterwards, take a walk along the Blouberg beach promenade and enjoy the world famous view on Table Mountain, flanked by Devil’s Peak and Lion’s Head. Definitely stay for sunset.

Where to find it

  • Eden on the Bay, Otto du Plessis Drive, Bloubergstrand, Cape Town (West Coast)

The Crowd

  • Kitesurfers, surfers, tourists, families

Best for

  • Kitesurfing, surfing, SUPing, stunning photos, beach walks

Average water temperature

  • 13 (56°F) – 15°C (59°F)

Facilities

  • Public toilets, watersport equipment rentals, plenty of restaurants and shops

What to Bring

  • If you have got any water sports equipment, bring it! Keep in mind, the Atlantic is icy cold, even in peak season, so don’t forget your wetsuit. If you’re not the active type, pack a blanket a some wine and enjoy one of the most stunning sunsets you’ve ever seen!

Good to know

  • If you travel to South Africa in January/ February, you can watch the King Of The Air, an annual competition between the best kiters in the world.

Book Accommodation in Bloubergstrand

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Camps Bay

Camps Bay Beach

Lined by palm trees and overlooked by Table Mountain and Lion’s Head, Camps Bay beach is a must-visit destination in Cape Town.

The white stretch of sand by the Atlantic ocean is a popular spot not only for sunset- but also for people-watching. This is truly a place to see and be seen.

Being one of the most visited beaches in Cape Town, Camps Bay beach also has Blue Flag status.

Where to find it

  • Camps Bay Beach, Victoria Road (M6), Camps Bay, Atlantic Seaboard, Cape Town (Atlantic Seaboard)

The Crowd

  • tourists, influencers (sigh), families, locals, couples, dog walkers, joggers

Best for

  • Sunsets, sunbathing, all kinds of activities (volleyball, Frisbee, beach bats, jogging), stunning photos, people watching

Average water temperature

  • 14°C (57.2°F) in August – 18°C (64.4°F) in February

Facilities

  • Public toilets, parking, umbrellas for hire, plenty of restaurants, bars and shops

What to Bring

  • Bring a beach towel, sunscreen, your favorite beach clothes, a Frisbee and your camera.

Good to know

  • Immediately to the north of Camps Bay beach and only separated by a few rocks lies Glen Beach. It is considered a surfer’s haven and another great spot for sunset picnics.

Book Accommodation near Camps Bay Beach

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Clifton Beaches

Clifton Beach

Located in the heart of Cape Town, Clifton’s beaches are very popular among locals and tourists alike.

Not without a reason they are also referred to as the ‘French Riviera of South Africa’. The turquoise waters and white sands ensure an unforgettable postcard-like day for all beach bums.

Each sandy stretch attracts different crowds and no matter what you are looking for – you will find it on Clifton’s beaches.

Clifton 1st beach is frequently visited by locals that live in the nearby apartments, Clifton 2nd is popular among the LGBTQ community, and 3rd is your place to be if you are looking for beach party vibes (mainly with 20-something year olds).

Clifton 4th is the biggest and most popular beach, as the waters are calm and the beach is overlooked by lifeguards. It furthermore has Blue Flag status.

Where to find it

  • Clifton 1st, 2nd, 3rd and Clifton 4th Beaches, Clifton, (off M6 Victoria Rd), Cape Town (Atlantic Seaboard)

The Crowd

  • Locals, tourists, families, couples, LGBTQs

Best for

  • Sun tanning, swimming, beach walks, sunset picnics, stunning photos

Average water temperature

  • 14 – 18°C (57.2 – 64.4°F) in peak season (November to March), 11 – 13°C (51.8 – 55.4°F) in off-season

Facilities

  • On Clifton Fourth, you will find public toilets, outdoor showers, umbrella and chair hire, a small parking area and a restaurant.

What to Bring

  • Your beach towel, a snack and reading material or whatever else you need for entertainment (volleyball, Frisbee, etc.)

Good to know

  • The four beaches are naturally separated by boulders and rocks, yet, you can easily take a stroll across all of them. Go for a walk and see which one you like best.

Book Accommodation in Clifton

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Fish Hoek Beach

Fish Hoek beach

Fish Hoek beach is a very popular destination for families, as it is known to be one of the best beaches in Cape Town for swimming.

The flat, warm waters of the Indian Ocean make this location safe and pleasant for swimmers – the young and the old.

Its picturesque length of 1.5 km and the Blue Flag status add to the list of reasons why Fish Hoek beach should be on your itinerary.

By the way, if you still have enough energy after a full beach day, hike Jager’s Walk, a trail above the beach that offers a bird’s eye view on the ocean. Whale sightings are very common here!

Where to find it

  • Fish Hoek, False Bay Coast, Cape Town

The Crowd

  • Families, young children, couples

Best for

  • Swimming, beach walks, sunset picnics, a day with the family, dog walking.

Average water temperature

  • 14.5 °C (58.1°F) in August – 19.3 °C (66.7°F) in February

Facilities

  • Shops and restaurants, swimming facilities, parking.

What to Bring

  • A large blanket, a nice picnic and some beach towels will make for a great beach day with the whole family.

Good to know

  • Dogs are allowed on one end of the beach front but are prohibited in the area with restaurants and a playground further down.

Book Accommodation near Fish Hoek Beach

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Diaz Beach

Diaz Beach

Looking for a location for the perfect date?

Well, you’ve just found it. Located in Cape Point, a promontory at the southeast corner of the Cape Peninsula, Diaz Beach is a secluded, romantic beach.

The white sands surrounded by dark jagged rocks and the deep blue Atlantic create a dramatic scenery.

Diaz Beach is for hikers to explore. There is no actual road and you cannot drive directly to the waterfront.

It will take between 20 and 30 minutes until you’ve reached the secluded sands by foot and at least 40 minutes to get back up.

Where to find it

  • Diaz Beach, Cape Point, Cape Town (Atlantic Seaboard)

The Crowd

  • Locals, tourists, couples

Best for

  • romantic beach walks, picnics, enjoying nature, surfing, body boarding

Average water temperature

  • 20 to 24°C (68 to 75°F) in January and 16 to 18°C (61 to 64°F) in August

Facilities

  • There are no facilities on the beach.

What to Bring

  • Comfy shoes for the hike to the beach, a picnic, maybe your surfboard and definitely your special someone.

Good to know

  • While your are in the area, make sure to explore more of the Cape Peninsula. There are a couple of beautiful hiking trails and you can easily spend a few days exploring this magnificent piece of nature.

Book Accommodation near Diaz Beach

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Muizenberg Beach

Muizenberg Beach

Out of all the best beaches in South Africa, Muizenberg is surely the place to go if you love surfing (or want to get into it). The water is relatively warm, the waves are consistent and there is lots of space.

Not the surfer type?

No problem. Muizenberg is also a great spot for swimming and sunbathing! And obviously for marveling at its colorful beach huts, a throw-back to the “bathing machine” of the 1800’s.

By the way, this beach is another proud owner of the Blue Flag.

Where to find it

  • Beach Road, Muizenberg, Cape Town (False Bay)

The Crowd

  • Surfers (beginners and pros), families, groups of friends, tourists

Best for

  • Surfing, surfing, surfing! And sunbathing, swimming, or just spending a beach day with the family.

Average water temperature

  • 19.3°C (66.7°F) in February – 14.5°C (58.1°F) in August

Facilities

public toilets, water sports equipment rentals, restaurants and shops, parking

What to Bring

  • If you enjoy surfing or want to get into it, bring your board! (There are many affordable rentals directly by the beach front in case you don’t have your own board.)
  • Some cliffs in the area are furthermore very popular for rock climbing. (If this information is getting you excited now, bring your equipment!)

Good to know

  • Muizenberg is a popular spot for Great White Sharks. But don’t worry. Even though only few incidents have occurred, there is a shark spotter program in place to protect all swimmers and surfers during the summer months.

Book Accommodation in Muizenberg

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Shark Bay

There is no better place to learn kitesurfing than Langebaan’s turquoise, shallow and (relatively) warm lagoon.

If kitesurfing is not your thing, just come to soak up the views, suntan and spend a beach day with family and friends.

Afterwards, head to Main Beach, watch some pro kiters do their thing and enjoy the sunset while having dinner in one of the restaurants right next to the beach front.

Where to find it

  • Langebaan, Cape Town

The Crowd

  • Kitesurfers (including lots of beginners), families, couples, groups of friends

Best for

  • Kitesurfing, swimming, a day with the family, scenic photos

Average water temperature

  • Shark Bay reaches up to 24°C (75°F) in summer, which makes it much warmer than most of the other beaches by the Atlantic in Cape Town.

Facilities

  • There are public toilets with showers by the parking lot above the Lagoon.

What to Bring

  • Your kitesurfing equipment! Or a nice picnic (as there are no restaurants and shops directly by the seaside), some entertainment (a good book, Frisbee or a volleyball) and your beach towel.

Good to know

  • Shark Bay has got its name from its harmless sand-sharks. Don’t worry, you don’t have to fear Great White horror movie scenes when coming here.

Book Accommodation near Shark Bay

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Llandudno Beach

Located between Hout Bay and Camps Bay, this Blue Flag beachfront is surrounded by large granite boulders and overlooked by mountains in the background.

Even if you’re not into swimming, surfing or sunbathing (but given that you are checking out this list with the best beaches in Cape Town, I bet you love at least one of these activities), just come for the views!

No refreshments are for sale, so bring a nice picnic and spend the whole day on Llandudno Beach.

Where to find it

  • Victoria Road, Llandudno, Cape Town (Atlantic Seaboard)

The Crowd

  • Surfers, families, tourists

Best for

  • surfing, wave watching, exploring

Average water temperature

  • 19 to 22°C (66 to 72°F) in January – 14 to 16°C (57 to 61°F) in July

Facilities

  • public toilets, parking

What to Bring

  • A beach towel, your surfboard, and a hoodie for windy evenings.

Good to know

  • On days with high waves, watch Mother Nature doing her thing from a vantage point – find a comfy (and safe) spot on one of the giant rocks and enjoy the show.

Accommodation near Llandudno Beach

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Boulders Beach

Boulders Beach

Boulders Beach is known to be one of the best beaches in Cape Town for obvious reasons: It is home to a colony of African penguins.

Yes, you can actually hang out on the beach with the seabirds!

The first individuals settled between the rocks on the white sands in 1982. Today, Boulders Beach is home to a few thousand penguins.

Where to find it

  • Kleintuin Road, Simon’s Town, Cape Town (False Bay)

The Crowd

  • tourists, families, couples

Best for

  • swimming, penguin watching, exploring, a day with the family

Average water temperature

  • 16°C (60°F)

Facilities

  • public toilets, parking

Good to know

  • In order to access the beach, you will be asked to pay a small conservation fee. If you don’t want to pay money however, you can just take a walk on one of the boardwalks that starts from the parking lot. You will be able to spot some penguins from here, as well.

Entry Times:

  • 7am – 7.30pm (December -January)
  • 8am – 6.30pm (February -March/ October – November)
  • 8am – 5pm (April – September)

Accommodation near Boulders Beach

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Long Beach, Kommetje

Long Beach, Kommetje

As you might have guessed, Long beach in Kommetje is a very long stretch of sands.

That is also why this beach is popular for long walks, especially with dogs. If you walk far enough (to Noordhoek Beach) you might spot the Kakapo, a well preserved shipwreck from 1900.

Another good reason why Long Beach has made it on the list of best beaches in South Africa is this location’s excellent surfing conditions.

Where to find it

  • Surfway Road, Kommetjie, Cape Town (Atlantic Seaboard)

The Crowd

  • dog walkers, families, couples, tourists, locals, surfers

Best for

  • surfing, sunbathing, dog walking, sunset watching

Average water temperature

  • 8 – 10°C (46 – 50°F) in January and 13 – 17°C (55 – 63°F) in August.

Facilities

  • public toilets, water sports equipment rentals, restaurants and shops, parking

What to Bring

  • Surfboard, sunscreen, your dog and a good book or a beach ball.

Good to know

  • The stretch between Noordhoek and Kommetjie has seen an increase in criminal activity in recent times. To be on the safe side, the beachfront is best visited during daytime.

Accommodation near Long Beach

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I hope you enjoyed reading about the best beaches in Cape Town, maybe you’ve even been inspired?

Let me know in the comments sections below if you know of a beach that you think is worthy to be on this list 😉

Further reading:


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