Experience the pulsating heart of Cape Town’s beach scene at Clifton Bay Beach. Soak up the sun alongside a heady mix of tourists and the city’s beautiful people. Marvel at the views of rugged mountain peaks, including 2,195-feet (669-meter) tall Lion’s Head and the Twelve Apostles. Watch the luxury yachts bobbing in the piercing blue water of the Atlantic Ocean and gaze in awe at spectacular sunsets.
Clifton Bay Beach sits around a glorious bay and is comprised of four beaches separated by granite outcrops. Walk between each to discover their individual charm. Take a refreshing swim in the cool water and play beach sports such as soccer and volleyball. Lifeguards are on duty during the summer months and protect bathers from the strong ocean currents. Behind the beach is a residential stretch known as “Millionaire’s Row,” home to some of Cape Town’s most expensive real estate.
At the northern end of the bay is Clifton First Beach, a popular hangout for local beachgoers. The rolling waves make it a revered surf spot, too. Set in the heart of the bay are Clifton Second Beach and Clifton Third Beach, whose location at the center of the cove provides shelter on windy days. The former attracts a predominately young crowd while the latter is a favored retreat among the city’s LGBT community.
Clifton Fourth Beach, a designated Blue Flag area at the bay’s southernmost tip, throngs with hip beachgoers and families alike. Rent sunbeds and umbrellas from the vendors. Find changing facilities and restrooms. Watch open-air screenings of surf movies during December’s Wavescape Surf Film Festival.
Clifton Bay Beach is a 15-minute drive from Cape Town’s city center and a 5-minute drive from Camps Bay. Access to the beaches is via staircases that lead down from Victoria Road. Parking can be difficult to find during the busy peak season. Public buses stop on the road and connect with nearby suburbs.
Accommodation is available at beach-facing hotels, self-catering apartments and villas. Book early during peak season and be prepared to pay high rates for this sought-after location.