Cape Town Beaches: 7 Best & Most Beautiful Ones (With a Map)

The beaches in Cape Town are among the most scenic in the world!

The Mother City has a diverse and fantastic selection of beaches along the Atlantic and Indian Ocean coastlines to please everyone. Each of them has its unique charm and distinctive attractions.

Whether you want to walk on soft white sand, admire a jaw-dropping landscape, swim with penguins, surf, take a yoga class, boost your Instagram account or even soak up the sunshine completely undressed, you can do it all on the Cape Town beaches.

With so many options to choose from, in this post, I want to share with you not only the best beaches in Cape Town but also the most beautiful ones.

Best Cape Town Beaches
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Some of the most popular tours in Cape Town

The 7 Best Beaches in Cape Town

1 – Clifton Beaches 1 – 4

Located in the affluent homonymous neighbourhood, this secluded collection of four beaches named 1st to 4th Beach are naturally divided by outcrops of granite rock and boasts powdery sand, crystalline turquoise water, gigantic boulders and stupendous views.

First Beach attracts glamorous locals from the nearby luxury apartments, while Second Beach has a young party vibe.

Clifton Beaches, Cape Town, South Africa
Second and First Clifton Beaches.

Third Beach, previously one of the best-known gay beaches in Cape Town, is now the home to all tribes, including the LGBTQ+ community, and has the imposing Lion’s Head as a backdrop.

Clifton Third Beach, Cape Town, South Africa
Third Beach

While Fourth Beach is a Blue Flag family-oriented beach with amenities including toilet facilities, cold outdoor showers and a restaurant at the small parking area.

Clifton Fourth Beach, Cape Town, South Africa
Fourth Beach

There are friendly vendors wandering back and forth selling cold refreshments and ice lollies as well as chairs and umbrellas for hire.

What I like most about the Clifton beaches is that they are the most sheltered in Cape Town, protected from the notorious southeastern wind, have a good vibe and provide beautiful views.

If you’re in Cape Town for the summer, you can’t miss them! Although the water is very cold (between 12 – 16C).

2 – Camps Bay Beach

When we think about Cape Town beaches, Camps Bay is one of the first that springs to mind.

Featuring soft white sand, crystal clear turquoise water and a palm-lined strip that boasts boutique hotels, fashionable stores, restaurants, rooftop bars and trendy beach clubs, Camps Bay is the heart of Cape Town’s beach scene.

To top it all, Camps Bay is backed by the monumental Twelve Apostles Mountain range, which makes it not only one of the most beautiful beaches in South Africa but the whole world.

Camps Bay Beach and its white soft sand, blue water and the Twelve Apostles Mountain in the background, Cape Town, South Africa
Camps Bay entices a wide range of people but is mostly frequented by families and groups of friends.

There are public restrooms, umbrellas and chairs for hire, a playground and plenty of space to lay your towel on the sand or grass underneath the trees.

The combination of majestic peaks, white sand and greenish-blue water is truly breathtaking and leaves me completely in awe.

I loved Camps Bay Beach the minute I set eyes on it!

Make sure to stop over regardless of the season!

Pericles Rosa wearing a green and yellow hat sitting on a bench in front of Camps Bay Beach in Cape Town, a beach that has white soft sand, crystal clear blue water and is backed up by the Twelve Apostles Mountain
I never get tired of this view

3 – Boulders Beach

If you’re looking for Cape Town beaches that provide unique experiences, Boulders Beach should be at the top of your list.

This soft sand and crystal-clear water beach is known worldwide for being home to a large colony of endangered African penguins and the only place where you can get close to these cute animals.

The sheltered beach with inlets between ancient boulders has wheelchair-friendly boardwalks that allow visitors to observe its famous inhabitants whilst protecting their nesting and chicks.

people on an elevated boardwalk watching the penguins on Boulders Beach, Simon's Towm, South Africa
Boulders Beach is such a unique beach!

But Boulders isn’t just a place to watch the penguins, it’s also a family-friendly beach where kids can climb over the boulders, explore the pools and swim in its calm and relatively warm waters.

I’ve never been closer to penguins in their natural habitats than I was at Boulders Beach! There are thousands of them, from 2000 to 3000, and they are all waddling freely, swimming and even mating in front of you.

three penguins wadding freely at Boulders Beach, Simon's Town, South Africa
They are so cute and funny, aren’t they?

Boulder Beach is one of Cape Town’s main attractions and can be easily combined with a visit to Cape Point. I recommend this tour which has very good reviews and prices.

4 – Muizenberg Beach

It’s one of the most recognized Cape Town beaches because of its brightly coloured Victorian beach huts that are a reminder of Muizenberg’s history (these were installed in the 1800s so that ladies could change their clothes and discreetly enter the water).

This long white-sand warm water beach is surrounded by towering peaks and is considered to be one of the best places in the world to learn to surf because of its consistently good waves.

the colourful wood beach huts of Muizenberg Beach in Cape Town, South Africa, and in the background people surfing and a colossal mountain
Muizenberg, one of the warm beaches in Cape Town, is considered South Africa’s surfing birthplace.

The last time I was at Muizenberg Beach, I was surprised because even though people told me it’s good for swimming, I saw a shark flag on the beach.

Although False Bay, where Muizenberg is located, is a popular spot for Great White Sharks, few incidents have occurred since the Shark Spotters Program started in 2004.

Shark spotters are positioned at elevated points along the Cape Peninsula, using polarized sunglasses and binoculars to scan the water for sharks.

Colour-coded flags, based on water conditions, are used to inform swimmers about their safety. When a shark is seen, a siren is sounded and a flag is raised on the beach, signalling to the swimmers to leave the water and only return when the appropriate “all clear” signal is given.

A sign on the wall showing the flag warning system for sharks that's used on Muizenberg Beach, Cape Town, South Africa
Flag warning system displayed on the beach.

Surfers and families flock to Muizenberg to enjoy its warm water. But they are not the only ones…

Because of its vivid photogenic beach huts, Muizenberg is an Instagrammer’s paradise and the perfect scenery for film and commercial shoots.

The water was indeed warm, 23C but the flag was black, indicating poor spotting conditions. So I decided to relax a little and take some pictures for my Instagram.

Pericles Rosa wearing a yellow and green hat, sunglasses and blue shorts in front of some colorful wooden beach huts in Muizenberg Beach, Cape Town, South Africa
I’m sure you have seen these beach huts before 😉

5 – Hout Bay Beach

Located in the prestigious suburb of Hout Bay, this is one of the largest beaches in the city, at almost 1 km long.

The protected bay surrounded by dramatic mountains, soft sand dunes and calm water, attracts visitors and locals alike, especially families and surfers.

Hout Bay Beach is perfect for long walks, horse riding, kayaking, swimming, playing volleyball, cricket, etc. If you want a more meaningful experience for your body, mind and soul, you can join one of the free yoga classes.

There’s a public restroom and plenty of space to lay down your towel and sunbathe, but there aren’t chairs and umbrellas for hire, nor much shade, either.

I spent a half morning on Hout Bay during the high season and the beach was very quiet and a bit windy.

Pericles Rosa wearing a  white hat, sunglasses and blue shorts admiring the view of the top of a hill at Hout Bay Beach, Cape Town, South Africa
Hout Bay is very beautiful, especially from the viewpoint where you can admire all its splendour.

A visit to Hout Bay cannot be completed without visiting its harbour. There is an excellent popular craft market, souvenir shops, fish & chips restaurants, and seals all over.

In fact, you can go snorkelling with seals from Hout Bay Harbor or take a boat trip to Seal Island. Book your ticket online and in advance!

6 – Sandy Bay

During my endeavour to find the best beaches in Cape Town, a Capetonian friend recommended Sandy Bay to me.

The secluded cove of Sandy Bay comprises a long stretch of beaches inter-spaced with large granite slabs.

Because of its remote location, south of Llandudno tucked away from the city centre, the beach is only accessible via a 20-minute walk along a path from Sandy Bay Parking.

two people walking on a path surrounded by trees to Sandy Bay Beach in Cape Town, with a beach and a mountain in the background

This unspoiled white sand beach with deep blue water is set amid jagged peaks and sand dunes covered with pristine fynbos (South African native vegetation).

Sandy Bay is perfect for those who like wild and secret beaches, but also to tan and bathe completely naked, as it is the one & only nudist beach in Cape Town.

I went to Sandy Bay Beach during the week and despite the high temperatures of January, it was practically deserted. It was a bit windy, but I found a great spot near some rocks to protect me from that, and the sun.

This gorgeous beach is mostly frequented by old gay men, but there are also a few straight couples.

The contrast between the white sand, the green vegetation and the blue sky with the towering mountain as a backdrop is just spectacular!

a man sunbathing on the white soft sand of Sandy Bay Beach, Cape Town, South Africa
Is there a better place to uncover yourself?

Sandy Bay Beach is completely untouched, so there aren’t amenities or lifeguards. Make sure to bring water, a towel (there’s a large stretch of sand), an umbrella (no shade) and a chair. The sea is cold though.

7 – Bloubergstrand Beach

Situated in a suburb along the Table Bay shores, 15 km north of Cape Town city centre, Bloubergstrand is a long white sand beach on the Atlantic Ocean, very popular with kites- and windsurfers.

In fact, the bay on the west side of Bloubergstrand, known as Big Bay, is one of the world’s best kitesurfing destinations.

The long and flat sandy beach is great for sunbathing, running, walking, flying kites and especially admiring the most beautiful view of Cape Town.

From Blouberg, you can take in the two emblematic symbols of the Mother City: the colossal Table Mountain, one of the new 7 Wonders of the World, and Lion’s Head, an iconic piece of Cape Town topography.

Bloubergstrand Beach with the Table Mountain and Lion's Head in the background, Cape Town, South Africa
This view is to die for. Isn’t it?

Because Blouberg isn’t shielded by a mountain range, thus it can be very windy and unpleasant. And this was exactly what happened during my last visit. I could barely walk on the beach without being buffeted by the strong gusts.

So, when you visit Boulbergstrand Beach, don’t forget to check the weather forecast, and bring towels and an umbrella.

There are public bathrooms with many shops and restaurants nearby. And if you feel adventurous, you can even take some kitesurfing lessons.

This is my list of the 7 most beautiful and best beaches in Cape Town and when you’re in the city make sure to visit some of them.

I created a map below so you can have a better idea of the exact location of each.

Extra Tips for Visiting Cape Town Beaches

– If you’re looking for a restaurant after visiting Clifton Beaches, my recommendation is The Bungalow, a stylish restaurant with an ocean-view terrace. It’s also nice for sundowners.

– Camps Bay can get crowded in the summer, especially on the weekends. To beat the crowds, head to the nearby Glen Beach.

– There are a good number of rooftop bars in Camps Bay and my favourite is the brand-new Baptiste, which has a nice pool and incredible views.

– After Muizenberg, head to Kalk Bay, one of the trendiest neighbourhoods in Cape Town. It’s just 20min on foot.

– There’s a conservation park fee that you have to pay to visit Boulders Beach. It’s R 190 (US$ 10) per adult and R 95 (US$ 5.00) per child.

– Boulders Beach has three different sections and the part where you can swim is located on the opposite side to the one with the boardwalks. If you want to swim, make sure to come at low tide, as beach space depends on the tides. 

– Do not touch and feed the penguins when you visit the beaches.

– There were some rape cases on Sandy Bay in the past, but apparently, it’s safe now. Even so, be careful and avoid going alone.

– I recommend that you don’t go to Bloubergstrand if the southeastern wind is blowing strongly. Unless you want to go to watch the sunset, which is extraordinary, by the way.

– Always bring a sun blocker, hat, towel, sunglasses and plenty of water no matter which beach you go to.

– Be safe and be brave when getting into the water. It is cold in most of them, but it can feel very nice.

Safe travels and enjoy Cape Town.

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More content that might interest you:

Planning a Trip to Cape Town

Where’s Cape Town?

Cape Town is a port city on South Africa’s southwest coast, on a peninsula beneath the imposing Table Mountain (check the exact location here).

How to Get to Cape Town

You can get to Cape Town by car, bus, air place and cruise ship.

There are flights by all the major airlines from around the world to Cape Town International Airport and you can find the best deals at Skyscanner, that website that I use, trust and recommend.

Best Time to Visit Cape Town

Cape Town is a year-round destination, but December, January and February are the best time to visit its beaches thanks to the excellent weather conditions.

If you want to skip the crowds and high accommodation prices, you can visit Cape Town during the shoulder seasons (from March to May and September to November). The weather is still good this time of the year.

Where to Stay in Cape Town?

I stayed at V&A Waterfront Luxury Apartments and loved it. If you’re looking for a place to stay where you can access easily most of the beaches mentioned here, I also recommend:

Cape Town Tours That I Recommend

Have you been to South Africa? What do you think of my list? Let me know in the comments below 😉

Travel Planning Resources For every booking made through my site I donate US$ 1 for a charitable organization.Safe travels ☺

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