There truly is nothing like being sun-kissed, salty-haired, beached-out, and sandy-toed while spending the day on one of Cape Town’s stunning beaches. In fact, there’s ONLY one thing that could make your blissful Mother City beach day even better, and that is soaking up the glorious Cape sunshine on one of the best secret beaches in Cape Town.
Home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, the Mother City is the ultimate beach lover’s paradise. Besides her glorious array of globally acclaimed beach stunners like Camps Bay, Clifton Beach, and Boulders Beach, Cape Town boasts the most sensational hidden beach gems, which are every bit as magical as they are magnificent.
We have searched high and low to find you the most beautiful secret beaches in Cape Town and surrounds.
Here are the top hidden beach gems and best secret beaches in Cape Town to ensure your Cape Town beach bucket list is filled with all the Mother City beach bliss, beauty, adventure, secret spots, hidden treasures, discoveries, and sweep-you-off-your-feet views Cape Town has to offer.
Happy secret beach exploring, Cape Town!
#Bali Beach & Beta Beach | Bakoven | Cape Town
- Location: Bakoven Beach | 3 Twenty Steps St, Bakoven, Cape Town
- Best time to visit: Low tide is best for maximum beach space.
- Cost: Free
We’re starting our list of best secret beaches in Cape Town strong with two of the Mother City’s most beautiful hidden beach gems – Bali Beach & Beta Beach! If you’re eager to escape the large beach crowds & constant city buzz, head straight to Bakoven. Located between Llandudno and Camps Bay, Bakoven boasts a series of stunning secret coves, beautiful rock pools, kelp forests, large granite boulders, and a breathtaking view of the Twelve Apostles mountain range and Atlantic Ocean. Its sheltered and serene setting makes it the ideal beach escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Hidden between Bakoven’s giant boulders you will find two idyllic, tucked away beachy spots that feel like a slice of private beach heaven (and who knows, they might be exactly that) – Bali Beach (also known as Robyn’s Beach) and Beta Beach. The best way to reach Bali Beach is simply to walk along the coastline from Camps Bay tidal pool, and then make your way down a few steps to the sparkling cove below. Beta Beach is situated just a little further ahead and can also be accessed from Beta Road – once parked, simply follow the signs.
Besides being two of the most beautiful hidden beach gems in Cape Town for enjoying a relaxing day of soaking up the wonderful Mother City sunshine, Beta Beach & Bali Beach, along with their large granite boulders, are also two of the best secret sunset spots in Cape Town – talk about a double hitter! Hey, we told you we’re starting our list of top secret beaches in Cape Town with a BANG! So, if you happen to find yourself at either of these beautiful Cape Town beaches at sunset, prepare yourself for quite a spectacular show.
- Location: Between Seaforth and Boulders Beach, Simon’s Town.
- Best time to visit: It is best to visit this secret beach during Cape Town’s good weather days, especially if the wild southeaster is whipping up the other beaches in False Bay.
- Cost: Free
Located right next to the popular Boulders Beach and its beloved African Penguin Colony, Water’s Edge is by far one of the most spectacular secret beaches and hidden beach gems in Cape Town (it’s certainly one of my personal favorites). Completely hidden from the masses, this is one secret beach you wouldn’t know even existed unless you had the local inside scoop.
So, how exactly do you reach this slice of beach paradise? From Boulders Beach and its famous African Penguin Viewing Site, continue walking along the path until you see a small wooden gate. Although at first sight it may seem like you shouldn’t go any further, completely ignore this initial instinct, open the gate, and head on through. Trust us, you’re about to discover one of Cape Town’s best kept beach secrets.
Continue making your way down the nature path until you start seeing the beach. Once at the beach, you will need to climb down and over a few rocks (all part of the adventure) and voilà, you’ve arrived!
Water’s Edge is a beautiful, sheltered beach oasis boasting large granite boulders, crisp white sand, and turquoise ocean waters. As its located right next to Boulders Beach, there’s a very good chance (in fact, about a 99.9% chance) that you’ll spot several African Penguins, strolling along the coastline and beach, weaving their way between all the beach goers, as well as swimming alongside you in the ocean.
While witnessing these glorious endangered marine life species so up close is nothing short of remarkable – right up there with the very best of them – it is of utmost importance that you respect these extraordinary ocean beings at all times and abide by the rules and regulations laid out.
In addition to African Penguins, keep a look out for other great marine life sightings while enjoying an amazing beach day at Water’s Edge.
Water’s Edge is a great family-friendly option. Keep the kids busy for hours hunting for starfish in the rockpools. On the side of the beach you can also set up for the day under the trees or relax on the granite boulders. It is also perfect for swimming, snorkeling, diving, and picnicking.
#Platboom Beach | Cape Point Nature Reserve
- Location: Cape Point Nature Reserve
- Best time to visit: 6am – 6pm (October – March); 7am – 5pm (April – September) | While the Cape Point Nature Reserve is open all-year-round, Cape Town’s summer and spring months are the best times to visit Platboom.
- Contact details: 021 780 9204 | [email protected]
While the renowned Cape Point Nature Reserve boasts several secluded and remote beaches, Platboom Beach is by far the most unspoilt and untouched secret beach of them all.
Platboom Beach’s wonderfully wild unapologetic beauty is almost unparalleled. In fact, once there, you may feel like you’ve escapes to a whole new world entirely. Boasting crystal-clear water, a magnificent setting, beautiful surroundings, sensational views, a stunning shoreline ideal for undisturbed and serene strolls, mesmerizing chalk-white dunes and rocky outcrops perfect for exploring, Platboom Beach is definitely one-of-a-kind.
Access runs past Dias Cross, though some recommend the north-south hike from Gifkommetjie (a 4km route). With captivating coastal views and an abundance of pristine surrounding fynbos and some fauna wondering about, especially ostriches and baboons (whatever you do, DO NOT FEED THEM), this white expanse of sand on the western side of the Point is largely deserted, making it one of Cape Town’s most unchartered secret beaches.
As Platboom Beach is very exposed, it’s a great spot for both kitesurfing and windsurfing – however, it is strictly reserved for skilled and experienced professionals. Swimming is not recommended. This is primarily due to Platboom’s extreme seclusion. That being said, you can definitely wade a little and have some fun in the cool Atlantic Ocean waters. It is also a popular spot for birdwatching, picnicking, and photography.
**Where it’s hidden: Some 4.9km from the heart of Cape Point Nature Reserve (after passing the Buffels Bay turn-off, take the next right turn to Platboom Beach / Dias Beacon).
Visit the Cape Point Nature Reserve website for more information.
#Diaz Beach | Cape Point Nature Reserve
- Location: Cape Point Nature Reserve
- Best time to visit: 6am – 6pm (October – March); 7am – 5pm (April – September) | Be sure to arrive early to make the most of your time as well as to avoid the wind.
- Contact details: 021 780 9204 | [email protected] | 086 110 6417 (emergency number)
The beautiful Diaz Beach is another one of Cape Point Nature Reserve’s stunning secret beaches. While Diaz Beach is certainly more popular than the secluded and unchartered Platboom Beach, it is still one of Cape Town and Cape Point’s top secret beaches and hidden gems, unlocked and discovered only by a select few of Cape Point Nature Reserve’s numerous daily visitors. Deemed one of Cape Town’s most beautiful beaches, you’d expect beach lovers from far and wide to be flocking to this spectacular secret beach, but, perhaps the reason why Diaz Beach has remained largely untouched, undisturbed, and unspoilt is thanks to the massive effort it takes to get there.
Accessed by foot down a series of wooden steps, it will take you about 20 minutes to reach the bottom – but it’s well worth the trip. This magnificent, unspoiled beach in the Cape Point Nature Reserve is a sprawling stretch of white sand flanked by turquoise water and dramatic peaks and 200m high cliffs. Located literally at the tip of Cape Point (on the western side), the stunning setting, beyond beautiful surroundings, and sweep-you-off-your-feet views will without a doubt render you speechless.
Usually deserted, you might only find cheeky baboons as companions (hide your belongings). While you will undoubtedly be tempted, swimming is not allowed at Diaz Beach due to its wild and strong rip currents. Instead, walk around the cliff at the very end of the beach to check out the resident seal colony. Skilled, experienced, and incredibly brave surfers and bodyboarders are however drawn to its hollow barrels and may well take the daring risk to experience it for themselves.
**Where it’s hidden: Follow the gravel footpath from the main car park at Cape Point Nature Reserve, which then swings right and becomes a wooden boardwalk.
#Olifantsbos | Cape Point Nature Reserve
This small secret beach, tucked away on the north-western side of the Cape Point Nature Reserve, is edged by wild fynbos, and offers blissful beach lovers and avid adventurers & keen explorers the incredible opportunity to discover at least three shipwrecks, which bears testament to the ferocity of the infamous Cape of Storms. It is also a marine protected area and has a nearby shallow lagoon, which is a major draw for a host of wonderful coastal birdlife to the area.
In addition to Olifantsbos being one of Cape Point’s best-kept beach secrets, it also boasts a variety of exciting secret pleasures! From great birdwatching (and sometimes the occasional bontebok sighting too), and several well-marked & exhilarating hiking & walking trails (including the Shipwreck and Sirkelsvlei hikes), to delightful beach walks along its pristine shoreline, and breathtaking surrounding views – a trip to Cape Point’s Olifantsbos Beach is most definitely worth your while.
#Preekstoel | West Coast National Park
- Location: West Coast National Park | between Yzerfontein and Langebaan.
- Best time to visit: 7am – 7pm (September – March); 7am – 6pm (April – August) | In spring, this region comes alive with colourful wild flowers.
- Contact details: 022 772 2144 | [email protected] | [email protected] | 072 873 6453 (emergency number)
Cape Town’s West Coast is known for its irresistible beauty, flourishing fynbos reserves, charming fishing villages, charismatic coastal towns, pristine beaches, superb seafood, incredible nature reserves, and so much more. Cape Town’s west coast is also home to the sandy shores of Kraalbaai, located in the renowned West Coast National Park on the Langebaan Lagoon. This part of the beach is named after the preekstoel (preacher’s pulpit in Afrikaans), which is a rock formation that juts out of the shallows near the water’s edge. This iconic rock formation creates a bit of shelter while you relax in the shallows next to it.
The famous Kraalbaai beach is also known for its long 25km stretch of beach, pressed up against rugged rock formations, along with its calm lagoon waters sparkling in every shade of blue imaginable.
Cape Town’s west coast offers beach lovers a completely different experience compared to the Mother City’s more “commercial” beaches such as Camps Bay and Clifton Beach. Its calm and warmer lagoon waters make it the perfect spot for snorkelling, fishing, kayaking, and swimming, with the length of the beach being ideal for long beach walks and sunset strolls.
While you are not permitted to braai on the beach itself, there are plenty of designated braai and picnic spots you can make use of. As it gets pretty busy pretty early, its best to get there bright and early if you’d like to claim your spot. The sought-after Kraalbaai is also where you will find the famed west coast houseboats.
**Insider Extra: To add a bit more adventure to your west coast Kraalbaai beach day, on the ocean side at nearby Tsaarsbank, there’s a 1.8km trail leading to a rusty old shipwreck.
**Where it’s hidden: Off the R27 between Yzerfontein and Langebaan; it’s 21.3km from the park entrance gate to Kraalbaai.
Visit the West Coast National Park website for more information.
- Location: Simon’s Town, access via Bellevue Road.
- Best time to visit: On a calm day, when there’s no swell. It’s relatively sheltered from the wind, but it can get pretty rough and tough when there’s a strong southeaster blowing.
- Cost: Free
Tucked away behind the golf course in Simon’s Town along the vibrant False Bay coastline, surrounded by giant granite boulders – creating a wonderfully sheltered swimming area – and boasting plenty of fascinating rock pools teaming with a colorful array of sea life dwelling between and among them, Windmill Beach is by far one of the best secret beaches in Cape Town.
Often described as ‘the lesser-known sibling of Boulders Beach’, yet very similar in appearance, Windmill Beach is definitely a beloved local favorite when it comes to secret beaches in Cape Town. Since it’s right around the corner from Boulders Beach and its famous African Penguin Colony, you’re bound to see some playful, cute, and charismatic tuxedo marine life visitors swimming about and strolling around. It is an absolute glorious sight!
The water is shallow and sheltered by big boulders, which makes Windmill Beach a safe swimming area that kids absolutely love, especially if a few African Penguins happen to flop, stroll, or swim by. This vibrant and inviting secret beach is great for swimming, exploring, picnicking, sunset watching, and sunbathing (on the sand or giant boulders). If you’ve however done enough sunbathing for the day, there are several tree-shaded spots for you to sit back, relax, and cool down.
That’s not all! Since the reef contains such a vast and remarkable diversity of marine life, Windmill Beach is a very popular snorkeling and diving spot (ideal for novices). It is also a great spot from which to launch a kayak and go ocean and marine life exploring. If you’re keen to stretch your legs, discover and explore your surroundings, and see some more African Penguins in their natural habitat (and possibly some Cape clawless otters too), take a stroll along Burgher’s Walk, which follows the coast to Boulders Beach parking lot.
**Where it’s hidden: Accessed via Bellevue Road, off the M4 (which goes to Boulders); turn right into Links Crescent and follow it to the end.
#Queens Beach | Sea Point
While the hip & happening seaside suburb of Sea Point is best known for its famous Sea Point Promenade and several bustling beaches, including Sea Point itself, Rocklands, Granger Bay, and Saunders beach, there are several small beaches, with one hidden beach gem in particular, to be found in and amongst the hustle and hype – believe it or not. Tucked away off its famous promenade, at its southern most end, is the lovely, yet somewhat forgotten & overlooked, secret beach known as Queens Beach. Located a mere 5-minute stroll from the popular Sea Point swimming pool, Queens Beach offers beach lovers a quiet, secluded, serene, and wind-free beach escape where you can sit back, relax, and soak up all the glorious Mother City sunshine your heart desires.
In addition to it being one of Sea Point’s best-kept beach secrets, Queens Beach also boasts what the locals call a “big and mushy” break for surfers, plus a stunning stretch of white sand to sunbath & laze on and, for families with kids, a wide array of rock pools filled with starfish and tons of interesting shells as well as plenty of large rocks and boulders for kiddos to clamber over.
While there are no lifeguards, the swimming is generally safe. Like all Atlantic seaboard beaches, however, the Benguela current means the water temperature is what can only politely be called cold. Although in summer, when temperatures hit the upper 30s, locals prefer to call Atlantic seaboard swims “refreshing” rather than “refrigerating.”
Located right across from the 12 Apostles Hotel & Spa and just beyond the highly sought-after and widely renowned Camps Bay Beach, right where the giant boulders are, is another one of Cape Town’s stunning secret beaches – Cosy Beach. Often referred to by locals as Oudekraal Beach’s ‘little sister’, Cosy Beach offers beach-goers the same stunning scenery, spectacular views, and shallow water (perfect for taking a refreshing dip) than Oudekraal, just without the extra entry fee and braai facilities. It’s safe to say that Cosy Beach both looks and feels like a magical discovery right from the moment you arrive.
To get to Cosy Beach, from the busy road, you must make your way down a steep wooden staircase tucked alongside the concrete embankment – this will lead you right to your desired destination. In addition to its secret and serene location, Cosy Beach boasts a stretch of golden sand, turquoise ocean water, magnificent views, and a true escape from all the noise and constant action. This stretch of the Atlantic is truly pristine, and the giant granite boulders scattered around the beach not only creates a more intimate and tranquil setting but ensures calmer waters in this little cove and slice of beach paradise. As an extra bonus, Cosy Beach is also sheltered from the wind, plus, the trees that line the back of the beach provides additional shade from the often-harsh Cape Town sun.
In addition to enjoying a relaxing, blissful & sun-kissed beach day on one of Cape Town’s beautiful secret beaches, Cosy Beach is also great for picnicking, taking a dip in the crystal-clear waters, as well as exploring the maze of boulders (which stretch out deep into the water). This makes a kayak adventure a great option too, especially for exploring!
- Where it’s hidden: On Victoria Road out of Camps Bay, after about 4km you will spot the sign and small parking area. (If you pass the 12 Apostles Hotel, you’ve gone too far.)
- Location: Blaauwberg
- Best time to visit: Anytime the weather’s good. Make sure you stay for the spectacular sunset.
- Cost: Free
A lesser-known hidden beach gem to Bloubergstrand, Big Bay, and Melkbosstrand along the Cape west coast, hidden in an upmarket suburb, away from the day-tripping hordes, Sunset Beach is everything you can imagine and so much more. Boasting a long white sandy shore, crystal clear ocean water, and one of the absolute best vantage and view points of the world-renowned Table Mountain, how could you possibly resist paying this captivating Cape Town secret beach a visit?
As its name suggests, the BEST time to see and experience Sunset Beach in all its picturesque glory is at sunset – that is the true magic of Sunset Beach! There is nothing quite like seeing one of Cape Town’s sensational sherbet-coloured sunsets set the sky alight in a magnificent display of colours over the vast Atlantic Ocean and tall-standing Table Mountain than from Sunset Beach itself. Of course making long sunset strolls along its white sandy shore, sunset beach picnics, and good ol’ sunset watching from just about anywhere on the beach one of the top things to do at Sunset Beach.
Besides its beach sunset magic, Sunset Beach offers beach lovers a great beach escape any time of the day. Sunset Beach is perfect for picnicking, sunbathing, sandcastle building, soaking up the glorious Mother City sunshine, swimming, surfing, bodyboarding, beach bats, and everything in between. Sunset Beach is also rated as the third best windsurfing spot in the world after Hawaii and New Zealand – Undoubtedly attracting an epic local and global windsurfing crowd to its shores.
**Where it’s hidden: Between Milnerton and Table View. Turn left into Ocean Way off the R27, then into Bay Beach Avenue; there are parking lots at the end of any of the five side streets leading to the sea.
- Location: Camel Rock Road, Scarborough
- Best time to visit: Any time the weather’s good. Be sure to check the wind forecasts.
- Cost: Free
- Contact details: 021 712 7471 (My Activity permits)
Situated between Noordhoek and Kommetjie, approximately 60-minutes from the city of Cape Town, is where you’ll find this tranquil slice of beach paradise – Scarborough Beach. Completely clear of crowds and visited only by the locals and avid surfers (or the occasional celebrity chef looking for a place to pick mussels), Scarborough Beach is perfect if you’re looking to enjoy a serene, relaxing, and blissful beach day in Cape Town.
The long stretch of pristine white sand fringing turquoise ocean waters, against a wild mountain backdrop, is a vision of idyllic seclusion and coastal beauty – it will almost feel like you’ve escaped to a stunning, secluded, and idyllic location you may never want to leave. In addition to its unapologetic and unspoilt beauty – largely owed to the locals taking excellent care and pride in their environment – and its white sand shore and turquoise waters, Scarborough beach boasts a sensational ocean and mountainside view as well as several interesting rock pools, ideal for exploring.
As the Cape winds get pretty wild and incredibly strong here, Scarborough beach is a great spot for windsurfing and kite-flying. While you may be tempted to take a dip in the chilly Atlantic, it is important to note that the sea is prone to rip currents in this area. This means it may be best to avoid swimming altogether or merely dip your feet in cool ocean waters.
Scarborough Beach is also known for its beautiful sunsets over the ocean and is also one of the best dog-friendly beaches in Cape Town, so feel free to take your dogs along for some ocean fun. As the beach falls within Table Mountain National Park, dog-walkers require a Level 1 My Activity permit, which costs R320.
**Where it’s hidden: Off the Main Road (M65) in Scarborough, turn into Camel Rock Road and head to the parking lot at the end.
Sister to False Bay’s Muizenberg, Kalk Bay, St James, and Danger Beach, Dalebrook the tidal pool and beach locals keep to themselves, and for good reason. Go in the morning, ducking under a little subway under the railway line to access the golden stretch of sand. Sheltered and almost never crowded compared to the more sociable St James tidal pool, its manmade concrete walls allow waves to break over its edge, keeping the swimming experience safe – and making it a lot of fun, too. We highly recommend a stop at Dalebrook Café for a coffee and pastry, perhaps followed by a trip to quaint Kalk Bay for lunch.
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