best beaches in cape town

South Africa is the first country outside of Europe that has been awarded with Blue Flag status on its beaches. Blue Flag is an international accreditation given to beaches for its excellent standard of environmental management and amenities.  As of this date, South Africa has over 40 beaches with Blue Flag status, and seven of them are in Cape Town alone. And this is the reason why Cape Town beaches are among the most sought in the world; not only because of its international awards but also because of its natural beauty and the endless activities that these beaches provide to tourists and local visitors. So here’s a guide for the best beaches in Cape Town:

1. Clifton Beach

best beaches in cape town

This world renowned beach has been considered one of the best beaches in the world by Forbes and Discovery Travel Channel. Aside from this title, Clifton beach received their Blue Flag status in 2004, indicating a high environmental and quality standard. Clifton is also known as affluent area in Cape Town and normally frequent by rich locals.

This beach has 4 sets of coves separated by boulders and named as Clifton 1st Beach, 2nd Beach, 3rd Beach and the 4th Beach.

Best For:

Each Beach offers something different for all types of crowd. For First Beach, it is known as the surfing ground and so a lot of local surfers frequent the place. While the Second Beach is popular for students who play beach bats and other ball games on them beach. The Third Beach is popular for gay people so don’t be surprise to see a lot of gay couple in the area. The 4th beach is more all type of crowds; from yuppies, trendy people, small families and tourists.

best beaches in cape town

Fun Fact:

The beach water is colder in the summer than winter. It is because the South Easterly wind pull away the warm surface water in the summer and replace it with freezing Atlantic water from the depths of the Peninsula.

How To Get Here:

You can either take an Uber from the city center or take a MyCiti bus from Civic Center to Camps Bay then Camps Bay to Hout Bay. Make sure to alight at Clifton 4th Beach.

Entrance Fee: free

HOTEL RATES IN CLIFTON: AGODA | BOOKING.COM

2. Boulders Beach

best beaches in cape town

This rocky beach is located in Simon Town, about 46 kilometers from Central Business District. People come here for one reason – and that is to see the penguins. These African penguins are highly endangered and can only be found in few penguins colonies in the world.

The beach is quite small but it’s ideal for swimming due to its warmer water and weaker waves. There are also view decks for easier viewing of penguins . A word of caution though, penguins are cute but they can be quite stinky and can be quite aggressive.

Best For:

It’s ideal for swimming children due to the boulders protecting the beach from wind and large waves.

best beaches in cape town

Fun Fact:

African penguins are known as jackass penguins because of their donkey-like bray.

How To Get Here:

Rental car or Uber

Entrance Fee: 70 rands per adult and 35 rands per kid

HOTEL RATES IN SIMON: AGODA | BOOKING.COM

3. Blouberg Beach

best beaches in cape town

This beach is located in Bloubergstrand, another suburb in Cape Town. If you want a white beach that doesn’t seem to end  and with the most impressive view of Table Mountain, then Blouberg beach is for you. This beach is very popular with locals and I’m lucky that I’m one of those locals as this beach is only few meters from my apartment. You’ll find lots of activities here; from kitesurfing, surfing, swimming and even just to enjoy the sunset.

This place has lots of good restaurants and bars around so if you find yourself famished after an intense water sports, you’ll have lots of options to choose from.

Best For:

Several water sports, picnics with your loved ones or friends and simply enjoying the view of the beach and Table Mountain.

best beaches in cape town

Fun Fact:

Most of the pictures of Table Mountain that you have seen from the post cards are taken from Blouberg.

How To Get Here:

Take an Uber or a MyCiti bus from Waterfront VA or Civic Center to Dunoon and alight in Table View station. From Table View, take a bus that goes to Big Bay or any bus that passes Marine Circle station. From Marine Circle station, you can walk to the beach.

Entrance Fee: Free

HOTEL RATES IN BLOUBERG: AGODA | BOOKING.COM

4. Camps Bay Beach

best beaches in cape town

There’s a local saying in Cape Town that if you want to be seen, then you must go to Camps Bay. Camps Bay is another affluent area in Cape Town famous for its million dollar houses in an impressive setting: Twelve Apostles in the background and the Atlantic Ocean at the front. It is also one of the trendiest places in the city with its hip and wide selections of bars, shops and restaurants in the beach area.

The Camps Bay beach itself is a view to behold with amazing white sand, boulders and rock formation and with imposing Twelve Apostles in the background. A lot of locals and tourists frequent this place as it’s very accessible from the Central Business District.

Best For:

Hanging out with family and friends,  beach ball games and if you just want to be seen.

best beaches in cape town

Fun Fact:

Camps Bay Beach is one of the 7 best beaches in Cape Town and one of the 44 beaches in entire South Africa that received Blue Flag status once again this year.

How To Get Here:

Take Uber or MyCiti bus from the city center that goes to Camps Bay.

Entrance Fee: Free

HOTEL RATES IN CAMPS BAY: AGODA | BOOKING.COM

5. Muizenberg Beach

best beaches in cape town
Muizenberg by Ganossi | CCO

Muizenberg is located in False Bay, Cape Town – known for its beautiful and miles-long white sand beach. This beach is also popular for international and local surfers and known as the beach with Instagram-ish colorful beach huts.

This beach is about half hour from the city center and it’s best to go here using your own vehicle. Unlike other beaches, the public transportation available in this area is quite limited.

Best For:

Beginners and advance surfing and just lounging around under the sun.

best beaches in cape town
Muizenberg Lake by ldejongh | CCO

Fun Fact:

Muizenberg is considered as the birth place of surfing in South Africa. This is also the first place where world-renowned author Agatha Christie learned to surf.

How To Get Here:

Take an Uber or rent a car.

Entrance Fee: free

HOTEL RATES IN MUIZENBERG: AGODA | BOOKING.COM

6. Noordhoek Beach

best beaches in cape town

Noordhoek is one of the most secluded beaches in Cape Town. It is also said to be one of the most protected because it’s backed up by National Park Protected wetlands. Which is also why it isn’t crowded and there are only few private houses in this area. Unlike other beaches in Cape Town where the bays are crowded by private homes and hotels.

Best For:

Due to its windy location and strong waves, Noordhoek is also one of the top surfing spots in Cape Town. A lot of locals and visitors do horse back riding in this beach. And occasionally, dolphins roam this place to show off.

best beaches in cape town

Fun Fact:

The wreck of Kakapo can be found here. It’s over 600 ton of schooner-rigged steamship on the way to Australia that accidentally docked at this beach. Due to bad weather and poor visibility, the captain of the boat thought Chapman’s Peak as Cape Point. They ploughed full speed and full blast to this wide expanse of white sand thinking they were still in a deep water. No lives were lost but they couldn’t get off the ship from the sands anymore. Up to this day.

How To Get Here:

Take an Uber or rent a car.

Entrance Fee: Free

HOTEL RATES IN NOORDHOEK: AGODA | BOOKING.COM

Thinking of visiting Cape Town and don’t know where to start? Check out our Ultimate Budget Travel Guide To Cape Town

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BEST BEACHES IN CAPE TOWN CAPE TOWN BEACHES best beaches in cape town

15 COMMENTS

  1. Cape Town, yes please! Met so many people from this city and they’re all amazing surfers! Need to get myself to this place! Thanks for sharing.

  2. These are absolutely stunning photos! Thank you for this post and the awesome facts and directions that accompany them. Cape Town is slowly creeping up on my list of places to go.

    • I would recommend staying longer than a month. Cape Town has lots to offer. I stayed there for almost 4 months and I still feel like it’s not enough. It’s beautiful every way and so diverse it offers something different for every type of traveller.

  3. Thats such a lovely post and so informative, I loved the way you have highlighted the fun facts, how to get there and what are the beaches famous for. being a travel blogger, such posts come in so handy when travelling to that destination, thanks for sharing

  4. I really like the way you have structured the entire post. I know what to expect everytime i am reading about a beach! My pick of the lot is Muizenberg beach cos one of my fav authors learnt to surf here. Though i wasn’t aware of the same!

  5. Boulder beach looks so cool! I didn’t know about Blue Flag status for beaches, so thank you for sharing that information. I’ll definitely look for that when I’m researching beaches in the future. Great tips!

  6. never knew about the blue flag status until i read ur article . I had visited south Africa some years back and boulder beach bought back memories , hopefully will take a look at ur article again when i go visiting SA

  7. These are very nice images! I loved the photo of the beach overlooking the table mountains, and the beaches with the colored huts (seen photos of this in australia too). I have been to Joburg, but not to Cape Town. I felt I should have spent a little longer, but there’s always a next time! Noordhoek seems my favourite for now 🙂

  8. The beaches of Cape Town are really exotic. But amongst all the Camps Bay Beach stands out for me. For, I have never seen such a patch of vvid greenery so close to a beach ever. I would love to visit here when I happen to go to Cape Town. Thanks for the tips on how to reach to each one of these and other details that you have included.

  9. Seems like beach hopping can be fun here. Blouberg beach has fascinated me a lot for its white sand and the Boulder beach for the penguins. I am yet to get to SA, definitely adding a couple of days more just to enjoy these beaches.

  10. Wow, these beaches are stellar, not mention spacious! I seldom go to the beach because they can get crowded pretty fast, and there’s usually a lot of activities going on at night. But in the occasions that I do, I make sure that I carefully choose where to go. I’ve been to Baler alone, by the way. 😀 So, anyway, Noordhoek is now high on my list. All I need was the word “secluded”. Haha. Happy travels, Christine! Thanks for dropping by my blog.

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