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By Kim 22 January 2020

The Best Beaches in Cape Town

Here we’ve provided our guide to Cape Town’s best beaches, whether you’re looking for a relaxing day walking along South Africa’s beautiful coast or hoping to visit the top beach for observing penguins.

Cape Town is very fortunate to boast an array of beaches in different shapes and sizes, including ones that are superb for swimming, sporting, sunning, surfing, and wildlife spotting. Having just returned from an extensive trip to South Africa, YZ expert Kim lists the Mother City’s finest beaches and explains why you should visit them below.

If you’re considering a holiday to Cape Town yourself, why not take a moment to cherry-pick the ideal beach spot for you? Let us know which is your favourite, and we’ll be sure to fit it into your tailored trip.

1) Camps Bay: best for sporting and a sunset cocktail!

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Camps Bay Beach hums with activity from both locals and excited visitors – it’s the place to be if a combination of beach volleyball, beach bats, and touch rugby is your thing. Sit on the grassy banks or hire a plush recliner with parasol and take in the bustling atmosphere. Time spent on the beach is well paired with a cocktail or seafood platter available from one of the many friendly cafés, bars, or restaurants found on the promenade.

2) Boulders Beach: best for wildlife and, if you’re brave enough, a dip in the ocean!

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A Cape Town highlight for many is visiting the African penguins! Home to a colony of roughly 2,000 endangered African penguins, Boulders Beach is one of the few places in the world where you can see these seabirds in their natural environment. Access into the habitat is controlled and an entry fee is necessary, but the cost is well worth the pristine beach-and-wildlife experience that comes with it. And if you’re brave enough, a dip in the ocean is unbelievably refreshing! (Boulders Beach has the warmest waters of all the beaches in Cape Town.)

3) Muizenberg Beach: iconic colourful beach boxes and surfers’ haven!

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Head down to this beach at sunrise and take on a surfing lesson with a local expert or enjoy a morning coffee-and-pastry while watching the surfers on the waves. Known as the surfer’s hub, Muizenberg Beach is also renowned for its colourful wooden change rooms – this is a famous setting for photographers.

4) Clifton 1–4 beaches: the ‘sunning capital’

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These four beaches are separated by huge granite boulders, forming four unique coves. All are framed with views of the Twelve Apostles Mountain Range and Lion’s Head. This makes for a spectacularly picturesque setting, fantastic for a day of sunning or enjoying a picnic. Afterwards, tuck in to a delicious meal accompanied with ocean views at The Bungalow Restaurant, a short walk from the Clifton beaches.

5) Beta Beach at Bakoven: sheltered from the wind and away from the crowds

One of Cape Town’s smaller beaches yet picture perfect with its white sand, giant boulders, and crystal-clear calm waters, Beta Beach is the ideal spot for spending a day out in the sun. It tends to be a quieter beach, so if you’re keen to get away from the crowds this is the beach for you.

6) Blue Flag beaches: safe, clean, and fun

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Cape Town has the highest number of Blue Flag beaches in South Africa. This is a status given by the Blue Flag organisation to a beach that has excellent safety, cleanliness, amenities, and environmental standards. You’ll be pleased to know that, of my five favourite beaches listed above, three were awarded the Blue Flag status for the year 2019. These are Clifton 4th, Camps Bay, and Muizenberg Beach.

If you’re looking for exciting things to do while staying in Cape Town, why not take a look at our guides below: