Ask the concierge at your hotel which beaches are best to visit in Cape Town, and they will roll off names like Clifton, Sea Point, Muizenberg, Boulders, and Camps Bay. If you like crowds of beautiful people, well that’s your fancy. I prefer to visit one of these Cape Town secret hidden beaches I discovered on cycling trips while at school.
My Discovery of Cape Town Secret Hidden Beaches
First of My Secret Hidden Beaches: Queens Beach
The Sea Point Promenade entices strollers, joggers, and cyclists past famous beaches. Yet few stop to visit this gem of a little beach, except perhaps on New Year’s Day. It has starfish in pools for little kids, ‘big and mushy breaks’ for surfers, and soft, white sand for families to laze on all day long.
The water temperature is chilling in winter, like all Cape Town beaches, and decidedly bracing at the height of summer. Once in the ocean the main attractions are obvious. Choose gazing up at the Table Mountain massive with cable cars going steadily up and down. Or watch gallant paragliders hurl themselves off cliffs beneath colourful sails.
A Quiet Backwater Glen Beach Yet Close to Action
Glen Beach is the second of my Cape Town secret hidden beaches. It has a soft spot for me since I was born in a nursing home overlooking it. Glen Beach is at the northern extreme of famous, crowded Camps Bay Beach. It gets few visitors because it is separated by climbing boulders, and remote from hotels, restaurants and pubs.
To me, this is the best place in the world for being alone, letting dogs chase Frisbees, and climbing sand dunes baked in the sun and sliding down again. Its only near neighbours are beach shacks. Look up, and you see the Twelve Apostles mountain chain standing sentinel. There are great hikes up there I must tell you about.
Third of My Secret Hidden Beaches: Beta Beach
Most people visiting the Beta Beaches walk down from small luxury bungalows overlooking them. This truly is the playground of the rich and famous. But the beaches are public spaces and anybody may swim and suntan there. As you can see from the photo, these tiny stretches of sand nestle between giant boulders.
The large granite rocks have the effect of quieting the wind to breezes, and calming the ocean to sedate swimming spots. Best go there at low tide when there is more sand. And rise early in the morning if you expect a parking space. On second thoughts, leave the hire car at the hotel, and catch the bus that stops at all three of my secret hidden beaches. Then follow the sloping walkway between the bungalows to the sand.