10 awesome hidden beaches in and around Cape Town

Sometimes you need to be a tourist in your own city – and if that city is Cape Town you are in luck! The Western Cape boasts a stunning selection of beaches up and down the coastline with the Mother City having some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. There are beaches that have something to offer everyone, but sometimes the summer seasonal crowds can be overwhelming. So if you want to avoid the crowds and still drink in the scenery, why not try these more tucked away beaches that can be found in and around Cape Town.

1. Beta Beach – Bakoven

This small and sandy beach is just off the beaten track of Clifton. It has a great view of Lion’s Head and the Twelve Apostles and is generally pretty empty, especially on weekdays. It is quite small though so it doesn’t take much to get crowded. That being said, it’s quite sheltered and the view is breathtaking.

2. Dalebrook Beach – St James

Situated right in between St James and the ever popular Kalk Bay strip is Dalebrook beach, an often overlooked beach in the False Bay area. Dalebrook is home to a shallow tidal pool and a sandy strip behind the rocky shoreline, where rock pools and ocean views make for interesting exploring. Perfect for a relaxing family day out.

3. Smithswinkel Bay – False Bay

Just a short drive past Simon’s Town you will find Smithswinkel Bay, but only if you look! This magnificent beach is hidden down a flight of stairs and needs a good 15 minutes of walking to reach. If you are fit and able, it absolutely is worth the trek. The water is calm and perfect for snorkeling. Pack a picnic and spend the day.

 beaches in Cape Town

4. Platboom Beach – Cape Point Nature Reserve

When visiting the Cape Point Nature Reserve you simply can’t skip Platboom beach. It is home to unspoiled white sand dunes, crystal clear water, and endless ocean views. Being located in a nature reserve also means that there is plenty of bird and ocean life around. You could easily spend a whole day picnicking, walking and exploring the coastline. African beauty at its finest.

5. Sunset Beach – Blouberg

Sunset beach is a local secret that needs to be explored. Too crowded with kite surfers at Blouberg beach? Just a hop, skip and a jump away is Sunset beach. It has a stunning view across the bay of Robben Island and Cape Town nestled under Table Mountain. With its westerly facing position and the long open stretches of white sandy beach, Sunset Beach is ideal to take in a sunset or two. It can get windy though, so check the forecasts before you spend the day.

6. Glen Beach – Camps Bay

You wouldn’t think that right in the middle of the Camps Bay would be a good place to find a hidden beach, but you’d be wrong. Right in between Camps Bay Beach and Clifton lies Glen Beach. Even though it’s a popular surf spot it remains relatively uncrowded even in the summer months. It’s also quite sheltered and is great for stretching out and soaking up the sun.

 beaches in Cape Town

7. Water’s Edge – Simon’s Town

Another one of the best-hidden beaches in Cape Town is in Simons Town. Behind what looks like a garden gate is Waters Edge. Right next door to the better known tourist hotspot of Boulders beach you can even sometimes see penguins basking on the rocks. It’s sheltered and has a kelp forest that breaks the waves and makes for easy swimming. A short walk up the beach you can find rock pools to explore while you take in the view. Shade is limited though so bring an umbrella.  

8. Diaz Beach – Cape Point Nature Reserve

This magnificent beach is only accessible by foot off a pathway that leads from the main parking area. Diaz beach, surrounded by dramatic cliffs and exquisite views, truly is breathtakingly beautiful. The downside though is that this is not a swimming beach. The current here is quite dangerous but if you are open to some on foot exploration and want to enjoy some beach eye candy this is the beach for you.

9. Queens Beach

Seapoint seems like another suburb that you would steer clear of when finding a hidden beach, but tucked away off the famous Seapoint promenade and a stone’s throw away from the Sea Point public swimming pool is Queens Beach. It’s a 5-minute walk to a virtually windless and serene beach – lovely for any tourists in the area looking to get away from the crowds. The ocean here is however very cold, so if you plan on swimming you might want to bring a wetsuit.

10. Buffels Beach – Cape Point Nature Reserve

Buffels Beach is a true Blue Flag beach and is an exciting one for South Africans as it has several braai facilities. It’s not only about the braai though – swimming, surfing, sun-tanning, snorkeling, fishing and canoeing can all be enjoyed here too. Plan to spend the day because you’ll likely want to spend more time in this gorgeous setting.

Where’s your favourite beach? Spill the beans and tell us where your best secret beach is in the comments.