False Bay Beaches

False Bay Beaches are popular with locals as they are warmer than the Atlantic beaches (by 3-4 degrees) and are great swimming beaches

Western Cape Tourist AttractionsThe False Bay Beaches

The False Bay coastline 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 and the waters are often filled with surfers.

Where? On the False Bay Coast, Cape Town

When? Open daily.

Overnight? See False Bay accommodation, Cape Town

Beaches here are popular with locals as they are warmer than the Atlantic beaches (3-4 degrees) and are great swimming beaches. Most are manned by lifeguards and shallow waters extend quite far out so that swimming and paddling are relatively safe.

Muizenberg, very popular during its heyday in the '60s and '70s, is where every surfer learns to cut his teeth and one of the most racially integrated beaches in Cape Town. Synonymous with the colourful beach huts that make their way onto picture postcards of Cape Town, this very long beach can get pretty busy during peak season but the waves are not too powerful and there are other facilities here such as put-putt courses and water slides so that it never feels crowded.

St James Beach is not very wide or big and it can get rather crowded in summer, but it offers a delightful tidal pool which is great for children. During high tide big waves can break against the tidal pool wall. A similar tidal pool can be found in Kalk Bay (Dalebrook Pool), just a little further down the main road. Danger Bay Beach, nearby, is much quieter and tends to be used by local residents.

Fish Hoek beach is very popular with pensioners and families and its calm waters offer plenty of space for games, swimming, walking and exploring. The walkway that hugs the right hand side of the beach makes an enjoyable Sunday afternoon stroll and is a good place for spotting whales that come right into the bay during season. Clovelly Beach adjoins Fish Hoek beach on the far left hand corner of the beach and tends to be used by young surfers.

Glencairn beach is great for swimming and sunbathing or for spotting great whites, which shouldn’t deter you from the waters as there is more chance of being killed by a falling coconut in Thailand than by a shark in South Africa!

Just past Simons Town is Boulders beach, synonymous with the population of African Penguins who have decided that this beach is their home. This is a paying beach and one of the best swimming beaches in Cape Town. It lies in a small cove and is protected from the wind by giant granite boulders. A boardwalk past the main beach takes you to the penguin beach, although they do pop over to visit you around the boulders.

En route to Smitswinkelbaai (Smitswinkel Bay) one passes Windmill beach - just past Boulders and also fairly well sheltered from the wind with shallow waters that make it perfect for families - and Froggy Pond and Miller’s Point, a couple of little beaches. Smitswinkelbaai is practically inaccessible and right next to the Cape Point Nature Reserve. Reached only by foot, it is worth the effort to get there. The bay here is popular for snorkelling, diving and fishing and the water is calm and great for swimming. Views are fantastic as the mountains are virtually to the back of the beach and one overlooks False Bay.

The beaches of the Cape Point Nature Reserve are well worth a visit. Not only do you have the beauty of the reserve itself but Diaz beach is secluded and peaceful and well away from the crowds with spectacular views. It takes some doing to get there as there’s a climb on the way back but it’s worth it. Buffelsbaai has a safe tidal pool whilst Platboom and Olifantsbos are the more popular beaches within the reserve. There are a number of other small beaches and the sand stretches for miles, beckoning one to walk.

With magnificent views of the Helderberg and Hottentots Holland mountain ranges, the northern shores of False Bay offer the beaches of Macassar, Monwabisi, Mnandi - a beach with blue flag status - and Strandfontein (not to be confused with the Strandfontein of the Cape West Coast). These beaches are close to the suburbs of Kayelitsha, Macassar, Philippi, Tafelsig, Langa, Gugulethu and Nyanga. These beaches are rather wild looking and a favourite haunt of fishermen. They are exposed to the elements and if the wind blows in Cape Town, it really blows here.

Running the length of the R310 Baden Powell Drive from Muizenberg, a slower but definitely more scenic alternative when travelling north from Cape Town, these beaches blend into each other with no defined boundaries and are part of the Wolfgat Nature Reserve, which protects the rapidly declining strandveld and dwarf coastal fynbos.

Featured False Bay Beaches

Boulders Beach

Where? Simons Town
Enjoy a day lazing at Boulders Beach and see the world famous penguin colony. Take a dip in the warmer waters of the Indian Ocean and find yourself swimming with the Penguins. Just remember this area is a sanctuary for them and they...

More info and contact details: Boulders Beach

Buffels Bay Beach

Where? Cape Point
The location of Buffels Bay's beach is magnificent and the numerous tidal pools offer an opportunity for your little ones to explore. The beach is preceded by green lawns, which are great if you love the beach, but hate the sand! The lawns roll...

More info and contact details: Buffels Bay Beach

Clovelly Beach

Where? Clovelly
Clovelly Beach in Fish Hoek is well known by locals and is a favourite spot for an early evening stroll or relaxing on the beach in the early morning. The beach became well known in international media in 2011 when a British man was bitten...

More info and contact details: Clovelly Beach

Diaz Beach

Where? Cape Point
Diaz Beach is found at Cape Point and is a secluded, magnificent and very romantic beach. You will need to be relatively fit in order to get there as the walk takes at least 20 minutes to get down to the beach and about double that to get back...

More info and contact details: Diaz Beach

Fish Hoek Beach

Where? Fish Hoek
The beach is stretched over a large area and so you will always find plenty of space to enjoy your surroundings. The bay at Fish Hoek beach offers great swimming facilities and the warm Indian Ocean makes the waters even more inviting. It...

More info and contact details: Fish Hoek Beach

Fishermans Beach

Where? Simons Town
You will find the sandy shores of Fishermans Beach between the Simon’s Town Golf Course and the very well known Boulder’s Beach, which is home to many penguins and is extrememly popular with locals and tourists. If you’d prefer something a little...

More info and contact details: Fishermans Beach

Glencairn Beach

Where? Glencairn
Glencairn beach is a great spot for whale watching in season and the resident shark spotters keep visitors up to date with the activity in the water. Enjoy a long stroll on the beach or simply enjoy the serenity the beach offers. Children will...

More info and contact details: Glencairn Beach

Maclear Beach

Where? Cape Point
Cape Point is where you will find one of the best secluded beaches around, Maclear beach. Weave your way down the footpaths amongst the Fynbos and down to the beach where you will find soft welcoming sands. The views from Maclear beach are...

More info and contact details: Maclear Beach

Miller's Point

Where? Simons Town
Miller's Point lies roughly 5 kilometres south of Simon's Town, beyond Boulders and Seaforth, on the coastal road that heads to Cape Point. At this stage of the journey there isn't much between the mountain and the sea but the road, and a...

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Muizenberg Beach

Where? Muizenberg
Miles and miles and then some more miles of white sand, with swells and swells and then some more swells of gently breaking sets means that this is the ideal beach to start learning how to get from horizontal to vertical in one ocean motion...

More info and contact details: Muizenberg Beach

Olifantsbos Beach

Where? Cape Point
If you are after more than just a beach, you have found it. Olifantsbos Beachis a stunning little beach situated right next to Cape point nature reserve. Surrounded by nature with breathtaking views, Olifantbos beach is not a spot to be missed...

More info and contact details: Olifantsbos Beach

Platboom Beach

Where? Cape Point
Platboom Beach is a lovely beach along the coastline nestled in the Cape of Good Hope Nature reserve where you are likely to spot many different animals roaming the beach and an abundance of birds. Kite surfing and windsurfing are very popular...

More info and contact details: Platboom Beach

Seaforth Beach

Where? Simons Town
Seaforth is the 'freebie' version of Boulders beach - more than a few of the penguins venture across here from Boulders Beach, particularly early morning and evening. It lies closer to Fish Hoek than Boulders, and has only Waters Edge beach...

More info and contact details: Seaforth Beach

Smitswinkel Bay Beach

Where? Simons Town
The Smitswinkel Bay Beach can be found, although not that easily as it isn’t very easy to access, just past Simons Town and next to the Cape Point Nature Reserve. You will only get to the beach on foot, so this is not suitable if you’re not...

More info and contact details: Smitswinkel Bay Beach

St James Beach and Tidal Pool

Where? St James
St James Beach and tidal pool is the subject of postcard perfect holidays. The epitome of shore side charm with a chorus line of brightly coloured wooden beach huts featuring primary coloured roofs and doors deliberately mismatched to...

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Waters Edge Beach

Where? Simons Town
This off the beaten track beach is one of the local secrets. Head off in a southerly direction from Southforth beach, Simonstown (i.e. veer right when the grassy verge behind the restaurant is in front of you), and you'll find the path and sign...

More info and contact details: Waters Edge Beach

Did you know?

Cape Town’s beaches are amongst the cleanest and most beautiful beaches in the world.

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