While Cape Town’s most popular beaches are well worth the hype, there are plenty of under-the-radar gems that locals would prefer to keep a secret. Some are tucked away in plain sight, while others are remote and hard to reach – but all of them make for a blissful beach day away from the crowds. Here are three of our personal favourites.
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Bali Beach and Beta Beach
If you are Camps Bay based but feel like a quiet beach day away from the buzz, head to neighbouring Bakoven instead, which has a series of secret coves and pools. Hidden between boulders are two idyllic, tucked away spots that feel like a slice of private beach heaven – Bali Beach (also known as Robyn’s Beach) and Beta Beach. To reach Bali Beach, it’s best to simply walk along the coast from Camps Bay tidal pool, and then descend some steps to the sparkling cove below. Beta Beach is further ahead, and can be accessed from Beta Road – once parked, simply follow the signs.
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.
This magnificent, unspoiled beach in the Cape Point Nature Reserve is a sprawling stretch of white sand flanked by turquoise water and dramatic 200m high cliffs. 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. Usually deserted, you might only find cheeky baboons as companions (hide your belongings) while you watch surfers hitting the clean 6ft shore break. As tempting as it may be, the turbulent water makes swimming here a risky endeavor. Instead, walk around the cliff at the very end of the beach to check out the resident seal colony.