Discover and explore some of Cape Town’s most magical & magnificent hidden gems and coolest secret spots this holiday season.
Home to renowned landmarks, stunning natural wonders, and sought-after attractions like Table Mountain, Robben Island, Cape Point, the V&A Waterfront, Chapman’s Peak, and So much more, it’s no surprise Cape Town is one of the top travel destinations in the world.
But, beyond its striking beauty, acclaimed landmarks, and top global travel destination status, there is far more to this vibrant and vastly diverse city than meets the eye. When you dive a little deeper, explore a little longer, and wander a little further you will discover a treasure chest of hidden gems and secret spots that will undoubtedly have you falling head-over-heels in love with the one-of-a-kind Mother City. Here are 5 top hidden gems in Cape Town, all of which deserve a prime spot on your secret Cape Town bucket list.
#1 Beta Beach
Beta Beach in Bakoven is one of Cape Town’s best kept beach secrets. Hidden between Camps Bay and Llandudno, Beta Beach is a small, intimate beach boasting large granite boulders, beautiful rock pools, kelp forests, and a stunning view of the Twelve Apostles mountain range and Atlantic Ocean. Its sheltered and serene setting makes it the ideal escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Besides being one of the most beautiful hidden gems in Cape Town for enjoying a relaxing day of soaking up the glorious Mother City sunshine, Beta Beach and its large granite boulders is also one of the best secret sunset spots in the city.
#2 Chapman’s Peak Look-out Cave
While Chapman’s Peak Drive has been declared one of the most magnificent marine drives in the world as well as one of Cape Town’s top tourist attractions, few people are aware of the various hidden gems scattered along this captivating coastal road. One being the Chapman’s Peak Look-out Cave. But, as with most of Cape Town’s hidden gems, you must be willing to wander a little bit off the beaten path to find it. Don’t you dare chicken out now – adventure awaits!
**How to get there: Make your way along Chapman’s Peak Drive until you reach the famous Chapman’s Peak Lookout Point. This is where the real adventure begins! As it is positioned just below the pass, you’ll need to climb over the railing. Carefully make your way down the mountainside until you find the Look-out Cave. Once there, it’s time to sit back, relax, and soak it all in. Besides being one of Cape Town’s top hidden gems, it is renowned for being one of the city’s most magnificent secret sunset spots – there truly is nothing quite like it.
An extra bonus is that there is enough space to enjoy a picnic and a few sundowners paired with one hell of a view. What more could you possibly ask for?
#3 St James Tidal Pool & Coastal Walk
While Cape Town has no shortage of incredible tidal pools (read our post Cape Town’s 19 Amazing Tidal Pools to make sure you visit them all), the St James Tidal Pool is undoubtedly one of the best. Not to mention a real fan-favorite among the young and young at heart.
How to get there: Situated close to the Muizenberg station, you will need to cross over the train tracks and follow the winding concrete path that meanders along the coast. Once you’ve reached your desired destination, a refreshing dip in the cool St James tidal pool waters is an absolute must! It really is the perfect Cape Town summer holiday activity for the whole family.
Besides the not-to-be-missed St James Tidal Pool, the St James coastal walk, which stretches between Muizenberg and St James, sure gives the Sea Point promenade a run for its money. Once known as Cape Town’s Golden Mile, this stunning walkway boasts sensational views right throughout.
As the vibrant False Bay coastline is known for its plethora of thriving marine life, be sure to keep a look out for some thrilling sightings of Cape Town’s beloved ocean locals – African Penguins, dolphins, whales, and of course the wonderful Cape Fur Seal!
The path is concreted the entire way and begins just behind Muizenberg’s railway station (It is highly recommended that you park up that end, rather than at the beach).
Feel free to enjoy the St James coastal walk barefooted (if you so desire), but, as a word of warning, the fishermen tend to leave their tackle on the path whilst fishing just out in front of it, so make sure you’re extra vigilant.
While taking a stroll along the ever-beautiful St James coastal walk is a fantastic and fun time for all regardless of the time of day, the very best time to do this walk is during low tide.
#4 Water’s Edge
Located right next to the popular Boulders Beach and its beloved African Penguin Colony, Water’s Edge is a spectacular secret beach and hidden beach gem. 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, approximately a 99.9% chance) that you’ll spot a few African Penguins swimming alongside you in the ocean as well as strolling along the coastline and beach, weaving their way through all the beach goers. It is of utmost importance that you respect these remarkable endangered species 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.
#5 The Clifton Ridge Rocks
The Clifton Ridge Rocks is another one of Cape Town’s most beautiful hidden gems and secret sunset spots wrapped up into one. While locals are reluctant to share this beloved hidden sunset gem with the rest of the world, how can we deny you the pleasure of watching the Mother City sun go down from this magical spot?
Where can you find it? At the end of The Ridge Road in Clifton, just before you think you’ve gone too far, you’ll stumble upon a small walkway that opens onto a little rock ridge. This is the spot! Once there, scout out the perfect spot, sit back, relax, and get ready to soak up all the magnificent sunset magic that’s about to come your way. Paired with a few sundowners, it’s pure beach sunset bliss!