Our Cape Town beaches

Fishermen on Fish Hoek Beach near Cape Town

Cape Town beaches
The coastal region on the eastern flank of the Cape Peninsula is known as False Bay. This is the Indian Ocean coastline and some of the most popular Cape Town beaches are to be found here.

False Bay? An odd name you may think! It was a term used by the seafarers in the 17th century when they sailed in, thinking they had reached the bay of the Cape of Good Hope. Of course they had landed on the wrong side of the Peninsula..

If you're driving south out of Cape Town you'll find that many road signs point to Muizenberg. This is not surprising because this well known beach resort, situated on the western flank of the the Cape Peninsula, has been one of the most popular Cape Town beaches for many years, with easy access by vehicle or train from the city.

From here the coastal road passes through quaint seaside villages, lively fishing harbours and sheltered bays backed by typical Cape mountain scenery, on towards the Cape Point Nature Reserve, eventually doubling back across the spine of the Peninsula.

Muizenberg Beach Western Cape

Muizenberg Beach
This well loved sandy beach features a concrete pavilion, putt putt course and swimming pool. The sea is relatively well behaved here and the temperature of the water is more bearable than at the Atlantic beaches due to the warming influence of the Indian Ocean currents. The area is exposed to the weather and occasionally at the mercy of gusts of southerly winds.
It is popular with surfers.

Life savers watch over the swimmers and safe bathing zones are marked with flags. From here long stretches of sand extend far eastwards along the coastline towards another well known seaside resort - The Strand.

Find a place to stay at Muizenberg Muizenberg accommodation

The gentle waves at 'Muizenberg Corner' are popular with youngsters, and ideal for those learning to surf or bodyboard. To get the lowdown on surfing in Cape Town and South Africa go to: Wavescape

Cape Town Beaches

Fish Hoek Beach Western Cape

Fish Hoek Beach
This is a family favourite among the Cape Town beaches. It's situated at a well known residential area which was used as a trading post a century ago.
Fish Hoek's picturesque location in a cove offers one of the more sheltered and safer Cape Town beaches, with convenient access by road or train. There is a playground for the kids, and refreshment facilities close by.

Lifesavers are on duty here as well as security personnel. The area is popular for beach and water sports.

I like Jager's Walk, a paved walkway which meanders along the rocky southern end of the beach, overlooked by a bright cluster of houses clinging to the hillside. If you stroll along here as far as Sunny Cove, you might be lucky to catch a glimpse of dolphins, or even a couple of Southern Right whales frollicking in the bay.

Find a place to stay at FishHoek FishHoek accommodation

Boulders Beach Simonstown

Boulders Beach
This picturesque corner of the Cape coastline is situated about 2kms out of the centre of Simonstown towards the Cape Point Reserve. The region falls within the Cape Peninsula National Park and is an established African Penguin colony, attracting visitors from far and wide. An entrance fee of R15 ($2 approx) is levied on beach goers, the funds being used for conservation of the penguins and terrain. Boulders Beach Simonstown page

Wooden walkways have been constructed to enable penguin watchers to move about the area without disturbing the penguins, and wardens are on hand to advise on penguin etiquette where necessary.

A small section of beach adjoining the penguin colony, surrounded by huge boulders and characterised by calm pools of sea water, is reserved for humans. The area is popular with families and - largely due to the entrance fee and the resident penguins - considered to be somewhat exclusive.

The beach does become rather crowded on hot days - but then you have the option of visiting the area after office hours thereby avoiding the fee. There are ablutions facilities, curio shops and restaurants nearby.

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Simonstown accommodation

Strand Beach Western Cape

The Strand
The coastal town known as Strand is 45kms out of Cape Town. The beachfront is well known and has become very popular with locals and holidaymakers over the years. As such it can become rather busy on summer weekends and public holidays. The beach is relatively safe for bathing, and is but a short distance from parking and shops.

There is little shelter from the elements on this stretch of beach, so when the South Easterly wind is gusting, as it likely to do at times, you may prefer sitting in your car. A convenient family choice if you don't mind the distance compared with the other Cape Town beaches, and enjoyable on a hot calm day if you like lots of beach company.

Find a place to stay at Strand Strand accommodation

Gordon's Bay Western Cape

Gordon's Bay
The atmosphere on this picturesque beach when I last strolled there, was carefree. People enjoying themselves on the sand and in the surf. Gordon's Bay is a holiday and retirement community situated in a sheltered cove on the north eastern False Bay coast, about 10kms from Strand. The village was originally established as a fishing post in the 17th century by the Dutch.

Gordon's Bay beach is now a busy town offering holiday accommodation and there is a caravan park nearby. From here the coast road winds around the shoreline towards Cape Hangklip and Kleinmond. The area is easily accessible and has a beach resort appeal to it which makes it popular. It is split into sections separated by rock outcrops and backed by a meandering concrete walkway. There is a large convenient parking area and lots of shops and restaurants.

Despite its close proximity to Strand, Gordon's Bay beach appears less crowded at peak times and is more laid back in its appeal. FishHoek beach is probably the closest by comparison, but the beach front at Gordon's Bay is more spacious, modern and upmarket.

In terms of facilities nearby, the appeal of the beach and the nearby mountain scenery, Gordon's Bay tops my list of the various Cape Town beaches to visit on a summer's day. Despite the disadvantage of the distance from Cape Town which is in the region of 70km, it is a trip worth considering.

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Gordons Bay accommodation

More great Cape Town beaches on the Atlantic coast.

Here are some more accommodation ideas: Cape Town accommodation

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