A Guide to Cape Town Beaches Based On Your Personality
Cape Town’s delicious summer season is just around the corner and with it brings a myriad of happy folk from all over the country and the world coming to visit our white sandy shores. With the crowds come a commingling of individuals looking to soak up the South African sun in their own unique way. Don’t know which beach to perch your toosh on this summer? No worries, we’ve selected some of the finest Cape Town beaches for every personality type.
A Guide To Cape Town Beaches Based On Your Personality
We narrow down some of the classic white sandy Cape Town beaches for every kinda holiday-goer.
The Good-Time Charlie
Let’s face it, for you, holidays are a break to let loose and you want to utilise your free time to show up and throw down. You want to mix, mingle and make merry with your little slice of holiday – and we’ve got the fezzy beach just for you.
Camps Bay Main Beach
This is the social hub of Cape Town’s seaside during summer. The long white sandy stretch of beach offers plenty of space for you and your crew to hop, skip and run around in the sun. Camps Bay main beach is also host to numerous interactive volleyball tournaments sponsored by Savanna and hosted by Caprice for some competitive ball-bashing, drinking and bikini standoffs.
Opposite the shoreline splendour is the Camps Bay strip, which is strewn with countless establishments for you to peruse and booze at to your bar-hopping-hearts content.
When you’re done soaking up the scorching sun, you can stroll over to one of the many cafes, restaurants, bars or clubs – and don’t forget Caprice on Sunday, babes!
The Social Media Influencers
You’re looking for the best beach for the backdrop of your next Instagram photo shoot with plenty of equally gorgeous people around your surrounding snap-worthy scene.
Clifton 4th beach is the beach to be seen. The Clifton beaches are famous for their brilliant blue seas and white sand, interconnected along the Atlantic seaboard between Sea Point and Camps Bay. You’ll find the quintessential bright yellow brolly’s dotted along this beach and in and amongst the beachgoers will be a harmonious hum from the beach vendors offering you a lolly to make you jolly or perhaps a water for your daughter.
The gorgeous backdrop of the Twelve Apostles mountains, the stunning beach bungalows and turquoise sea afloat with snazzy yachts all make for a picture perfect beach setting.
Here you’ll happen upon numerous impromptu photo shoots and copious gorgeous girls and boys frolicking around showing off what their mama’s gave them.
The Hip Kids
If huge crowds and mainstream stuff isn’t your vaab, then the popular Cape Town beaches like Camps Bay and Clifton aren’t going to be your cuppa tea. If you want to be surrounded by young, artistic and interesting millennials, Bakoven and Beta beaches are your best bets.
Bakoven and Beta Beaches
These are the Goldilocks beaches of Cape Town – not too busy, not too empty – and this is where all the cool kids hang out. These beaches are always filled with a melting pot of young trendy and friendly-folk with gorgeous boulders perfect for climbing, lying on and exploring. You’ll be hard-pressed to find beaches with more creative diversity, 60s attitude and young individuals covered in tattoos.
They both also sport nice little bays perfect for classic Cape Town 10-second dips in the freezing ocean aqua.
The Mother of Doggo’s
You’ve got some fur babies and your beach time means bringing them along for the fun. There’s nothing quite as frustrating as taking your doggo to the beach and seeing a no-doggo’s-allowed sign.
For those who have the absolute fortune of owning a gorgeous fluff ball, you’ll know the unsurpassed delight it gives you to watch your fur baby propel themselves up and down the shoreline in complete psychotic ecstasy.
While many beaches don’t condone such behaviour, you’ll be happy to know that some Cape Town beaches accept your crazy mongrels for who they are meant to be – free! Until they need to be fed, then they are your responsibility again.
Glen Beach, Granger Bay, Sunset Beach and Clifton 1st
Glen Beach is a popular choice of beach for families, pooch-owners and surfers for its lovely semi-secluded bay, which is perfect for swimming too. This beach is right next to Camps Bay main beach and offers somewhat of a respite from the busy goings-on of main beach and Clifton. Clifton 1st, however, also allows full doggy-access off the leash.
Sidenote to those who want to surf – unless you’re a seasoned surfer, rather stay away from this spot which is dutifully protected by locals who take no nonsense from kooks! See further down for our best beaches for surfing.
Mouille Point and Sea Point are also great spots to take the pups for walks and playtime on the beach. Granger Bay and Sunset beach are both just off of the promenade, which makes them easy to pop down to on your daily doggy-walk. There are also plenty of little rockpools along these beaches for your floofs to explore.
If you and your fluff ball want to get out of the city, head on over to Hout Bay main beach or Kommetjie long beach for your beach excursion with your best bud.
Babes on Boards
If your ideal beach day involves renting some boards for your activities on the water, then you’ll be pleased to know that Cape Town offers some sublime locations for ocean activities.
Surfers Corner, Big Bay and Beyond
If you’re looking for a chilled spot to test out your surfing legs, your best option is to hop in your car and make your way to Surfers Corner in Muizenberg or Big Bay in Blouberg. Muizies is the best spot for those wanting to learn how to surf or go for a SUP. The long and gentle waves are ideal for beginners or those looking for a relaxed surf, plus the water is warmer and slightly more bearable in these parts.
You can rent a board and wetsuit from the lifestyle shop for R120 bones.
Summer, however, can be tricky with the wind in Muizenberg. Check the wind direction and make sure you don’t have any pesky south easterlies otherwise you’ll have onshore winds and no fun times will be had on your board. If this is the case, head on over to Big Bay in Bloubergstrand which sports the same long and gentle waves and welcomes the southeasterly winds. The water here, however, is quite literally arctic.
For those of you a little more skilled on a surfboard, we have some more Cape Town beaches with advanced surfing spots to test your tenacity. Check out Dunes, Llandudno, Long Beach Kommetjie, Crayfish Factory or Scarborough Beach for some more intermediate/profesh material.
The Agoraphobes (phobia of crowds)
If large crowds of people give you the willy-wobblies, fret not as there are numerous gorgeous beaches that offer a quiet escape from the hoards of holiday-goers. Sometimes you just want to sunbathe in peace without strangers running amok kicking sand on your beautiful clean towel. Lucky for you, Cape Town is blessed with many not-so-secret but lesser known shores to enjoy in peace.
Cape Point Beaches, Windmill Beach and the West Coast National Park
Cape Point has a number of unspoilt beaches that stretch as far as the eye can see. It’s also the most south-westerly corner of the continent so you’re sure to be as far out of everyone’s way as humanly possible.
There are a number of sweet stretches of sand along Cape Point’s shores and what makes them so unique is that most of them feel untouched. So much so that you could spend the entire day walking some of the beaches and not see another soul. The drive into Cape Point Nature Reserve also allows you to peruse the indigenous West Coast landscape of the mountains, with plenty of flora and fauna to inspect.
The most popular of the lot is Diaz Beach and, while it is the most popular, it’s still barren in comparison to most of Cape Town’s other beaches. Diaz Beach is unequivocally one of the most serene seaside settings in the whole of Cape Town.
The gorgeous high cliffs and turquoise water give a sense of serenity and foreignness.
If you’ve ever visited Cape Point, you would have seen this beach from the high point of the lighthouse. While there may be thousands of eyes on this beautiful beach every hour from afar, the 20-minute walk down and subsequent 40-minute walk up tends to deter most tourists from venturing down to this beach. So more often than not, you will have this beach to yourself to enjoy for most of the day.
Other quiet Cape Town beaches worthy of visiting are Windmill Beach in Simons Town and some of the lagoon beaches in the West Coast National Park.
The Adrenaline Junkie
You love to feel fire in your veins and the best use of your holiday is grabbing life by the horns, reins or perhaps a kitesurfing bridal. You can’t think of anything worse than spending your holiday perched in one spot on the beach, you need to be out in the action with the ocean water spraying into your eyes – nice!
Kite Beach, Doodles, Big Bay & Langebaan Lagoon
Bloubergstrand is home to some of the best Cape Town beaches for kitesurfing with ample perfect wind conditions and heaps of space. It’s home to the aptly named Kite Beach as well as Doodles and Big Bay, which are all prime kitesurfing spots. You’ll find a number of kitesurfing schools that offer camps, group lessons and one-on-ones if you’re wanting to learn, and according to the teachers, you’ll be up and at ‘em in no time with professional instruction.
Another great kitesurfing spot for beginners is Langebaan Lagoon which has beautifully warm and crystal clear blue water that’s usually flat and favourable for beginners. This technically isn’t a beach but it’s technically fed with sea water so it technically still counts.
For those with a fear of getting lost at sea, a lagoon is an ideal spot to learn.
The Happy Family
Nothing brings the family together quite like being at the beach. As a kid, beach days were the best days and they always involved a gazebo, multiple cooler boxes, the essential beach chairs for mom and dad, boogie boards, frisbees, bat and ball and multiple bodies scattered across the beach buried in the sand.
Oudekraal, Llandudno, Noordhoek Beach, Dappet Se Gat
Considering the above, having large families often means there are a few tiny tots and energetic kids that need entertaining and plenty of space to go full-tilt without causing havoc to other beach-goers. Your ideal Cape Town beaches are those with ample sandy-stretches for beach games and suitable settings for the whole fam.
Llandudno is just outside of Cape Town on the route to Hout Bay and is home to a superb beach for the whole fam with so much space and rocks for the kids to explore. Oudekraal beach is another super popular spot for families thanks to their picnic spots, sweet beaches and braai areas so you can take your cook up over the coals to the seaside.
Noordhoek Beach has to be one of the best family Cape Town beaches with an expansive stretch of sand over 8 km long. Here, your kids can run wild like rampant lunatics while you watch from afar. You can also take long strolls to the shipwreck on the other side of the beach or if you’re feeling adventurous, you can go horse riding along the shoreline – yeeha!
If you’re feeling up for a drive, Dappet Se Gat, next to Kogel Bay beach, is one of the best beaches around Cape Town. This beach is easily missed and requires some navigation down a relatively short path off the R44, but when you reach the bottom you will be singing praises to the heavens for blessing the earth with this beautiful beach. Huge spaces, ample coves for exploration, warmer water and high cliffs that offer shelter from the wind are the ingredients for a smashing day at the beach for the whole fam.
Now that you know all of the famous Cape Town beaches and which one to slot yourself into this summer, make sure you take ample care of your skin with these Summer Skincare Tips.