Western Cape Tourist AttractionsThe Cape Town Beaches
The Mother City has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and something to offer everyone. It is no surprise that South Africa was one of the first countries outside of Europe to earn blue flag status for some of her beaches - there are three on offer in and around Cape Town.
Where? Cape Peninsula, Western Cape, South Africa
When? Open daily.
The blend of 2 oceans (the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean) and hence 2 different styles of beach, divided by a 1000m high peninsula, leaves Cape Town an unrivalled holiday destination.
The west side of the Cape Peninsula, on the Atlantic Ocean, has a very definite style of beach. This is where the more fashionable set go to see and be seen, particularly along the Atlantic Seaboard, also known as Cape Town’s "Riviera", which stretches from the V&A Waterfront on the north shore of Table Mountain up as far as Hout Bay and is connected by one of the most picturesque, scenic drives along Victoria Road.
Beaches here enjoy longer sunshine hours, incomparable sunsets and more protection from the "Cape Doctor" (Cape Town’s infamous south easterly) than the False Bay side of the Cape peninsula. There is a spectacular selection of unspoilt beaches with seas that are usually 3 to 4 degrees colder than the Indian Ocean but this doesn’t seem to worry anyone soaking up the sun against the backdrop of blue skies and white sands.
North of the Atlantic Seaboard are the beaches of Blaauwberg and Table Bay. These sport the picture-postcard views of Cape Town over Table Mountain and Robben Island and tend to be more popular with locals, particularly kitesurfers. Beyond Hout Bay, beaches such as Noordhoek and Scarborough are less frequented but no less beautiful, rather they’re where the locals can get away from the crowds.
The east side of the peninsula, on the warmer Indian Ocean, is generally more laid back and not as frenetic as the Atlantic coastline, although in peak season these family oriented beaches can still become pretty busy. These beaches are favoured by locals who live in the southern suburbs of Cape Town who don’t need to drive far to get to a beach.
False Bay is a huge arc that curves from the Helderberg beaches on the east side of the bay to Cape Point on the west end.
Some argue that the closer beaches are to Cape Point the colder they are but the general rule of thumb for beaches on the Indian Ocean is that they’re three to four degrees warmer than the Atlantic beaches. These are great swimming beaches. Most of them are manned by lifeguards and shallow waters extend quite far out so that swimming and paddling are relatively safe.