Cape Town has a lot of beaches! Each beach feels like it could be in a different country, and that is what makes Cape Town and its beaches so special! With so many incredible beaches to choose from in Cape Town. We decided to put together a comprehensive guide to some of our favourites.
Top-down view of Clifton beach
Before we get into the details, it is important to understand Cape Town's weather and the types of beaches we have.
If you look at Cape Town from above, you’ll see how Table Mountain is set at the heart of the city. Besides looking epic, this creates diverse microclimates and landscapes. Combine this with 2 Oceans (the Cold Atlantic and ‘Warm’ Indian Ocean) and you get a vast variety of beaches across the City of Cape Town.
The Wind in Cape Town
The main factor when choosing a beach in Cape Town is wind. Summer can get windy in Cape Town. Luckily Table Mountain nature reserve (Table Mountain, 12 Apostles, lions head and signal hill) provides shelter from the wind at certain beaches, specifically when the common South Easter/ SE / Cape Doctor is blowing.
A side note: The SE is nicknamed the Cape Doctor as it cools Cape Town down and blows away all smog and pollution.
Capetians will use different beaches for different reasons, although all can be good in certain conditions.
The Best Website for checking the wind in CAPE TOWN is Windguru
1) Clifton Beach (1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th beach)
Clifton is the best beach in Cape Town if you are looking for a day on the beach. Set against the backdrop of the 12 Apostles, white sandy beaches meet turquoise waters and beautiful people. Clifton is breathtaking. Just look at the image below.
Sun-tanning (bring sunscreen, the sun is hot)
Day on the Beach
Arguably one of the best beaches in the world
Parking is a mission, use Uber if possible.
Bit of a walk down the stairs
Clifton can get crowded
Clifton has 4 beaches; 4th beach is the biggest and closest to the parking and unofficially the family beach. 2nd and 3rd beaches get a little smaller and where you will find the younger crowd. There is no rule, but friends, singles and couples will generally be on the 2nd and 3rd beach, and families will be on the 4th.
Great for sunset picnics.
Clifton is sheltered from the wind. (Very rare in Cap Town)
2) Camps Bay Beach
Camps Bay is super popular, it's fairly similar to Clifton with an incredible backdrop, however, it catches a bit more wind and doesn’t have that same exclusive feeling that Clifton gives you.
Day on the Beach
Surfing at Maidens cove (sometimes)
Cocktails, Restaurants and Shops
Parking can be hard to find
Gets very crowded
Can get windy
Locals will hardly ever spend the day on Camps Bay beach. If you're looking for a close beach to tan, head to Clifton, Bakoven or Llandudno.
Camps bay beach is more known for sundowners, and cocktails that overlook the beach.