Happy summer solstice! My favorite season is officially upon us, well those of us in the Northern Hemisphere anyway and for a lot of people that means taking a vacation and what’s a popular summer activity while on holiday? The beach of course! Now, I’m not a fan of spending all day on a beach, let alone just one, so I prefer to beach hop and if you only have a few days in town and want to experience more than one beach then this is your perfect guide on doing so.
Just under a 30-minute drive from the city center, you’ll find Muizenberg beach in the charming beachside suburb of Muizenberg. With warmer waters than you’ll find at Camps Bay or Clifton Beach, this is the perfect location to begin your beach day. The waters are calm, making for a pleasant swim or you can take the opportunity to surf, as there’s an active surfing scene at the beach. Colorful bath huts, reminiscent bathing boxes in Brighton Beach, in Melbourne, line the sands at the beach.
Unlike the bath boxes at Brighton, these huts are open, so if you needed a private space for a quick wardrobe change, etc, you’ve got it. Plus they make the perfect backdrop for some images.
Sandy Bay Beach
What’s the best way to get an even tan? In the nude, of course! If you are a nudist like me, or you’re finally willing to give it a try (hey, you are on vacation after all) then your next stop should be Sandy Bay Beach, the city’s only official clothing-optional beach.
Getting here can be a bit of a task and if you’re up for a bit of a scenic downhill climb over some rocks, then enter from the southern end of Llandudno. Alternatively, you can enter from the northern end of Hout Bay. This is the route I took on my most recent visit in April.
The trail from the parking bay is easy to spot and you’ll be walking about 15-20 minutes until you see the beach. It’s well worth the trek to get there in my opinion as it’s more of a secluded beach and on a sunny day, you can get your nude bliss on.
And even if you aren’t planning on stripping to your birthday suit, the experience of being at one of the only nude beaches on the continent is worth it.
Located in one the wealthiest neighbourhood in Cape Town with homes overlooking the ocean, Clifton Beach has a trendy beach scene popular with locals and international visitors alike. The beach is divided into four sections by granite boulders, each accessible via a flight of stairs from the main road.
I usually go to Clifton 4th beach which is set against the backdrop of Lion’s Head mountain. White sands and secluded pockets where some women choose to go topless, Clifton is one of those beaches to be seen at that exudes just a bit glamour.
Camps Bay Beach
Camps Bay is another affluent suburb in the city where you’ll find one of the most popular beaches in town, Camps Bay Beach. Set against a gorgeous backdrop of Table Mountain’s Twelve Apostles, this white sand beach has earned a Blue Flag status, a marker from the global Foundation for Environmental Education that signifies that certain standards for quality, safety and environmental education, along with other criteria are being met.
On a hot summer day, you’ll find plenty of people on the beach, locals and tourists alike, engaging in a host of activities from volleyball to Frisbee, sunbathing and more.
Don’t be surprised if you barely see anyone swimming, as the waters are notoriously cold!
If you are ending your beach day at Camps Bay and would like to enjoy a beautiful beach sunset but over cocktails and bites, then I would recommend Chinchilla Rooftop Café & Bar.
With chic décor, large rooftop space and great service, this swanky spot has now become a new favorite of mine in Capetown. I recommend calling ahead to make a reservation as seating can fill up rather quickly. Order a few drinks, sit back and revel in the sun setting over the Mother City.
Note about the weather:
South Africa is in the Southern Hemisphere, which means their winter season happens during our Northern Hemisphere summer, so from mid-April to late September, expect average temps of 65f and below, with 16% per cent chance of rain on any given day. If you are going during the warmer months of December to March, expect a daily average of 74f But hey, this is Capetown, a city known to experience all four seasons in one day, so just be prepared. Have a fun day at the beach and let me know if this has been helpful!