To facilitate the decision process, we have created a (probably highly biased) overview on our favourite neighbourhoods – suffice to say, you cannot go wrong with any of them!
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The Bay is indeed a photogenic beauty, with lavish sea-view mansions dotting its hills, a glorious Twelve Apostles mountain backdrop that seems almost super-imposed, rolling waves reminding beach goers of its wild beauty, and vivid sunsets that are second to none. This is where the young and beautiful hang out, working on their tan or playing beach volleyball, before browsing the many shops on the promenade and heading to a rooftop bar or restaurant for sundowners and dinner.
This compact area is all about beach life, with its four secluded, inter-connecting beaches, simply named 1st through 4th, accessible via a flight of stairs. Each attracts its own type of crowd, from locals and those in search of quiet beach time (Clifton 1st), to young beach sports fans (Clifton 2nd), and families (Clifton 3rd). The biggest, Clifton 4th, teases with crystal-clear turquoise waters, yachts floating on the horizon, and a toned beach posse who seems to feel most comfortable clad in tiny bikinis (or even topless – Clifton is one of only a handful of beaches in Cape Town where you can dare to bare).
Sea Point and its newly buzzing restaurant and shopping scene is just around the corner, with the pristine beaches of Clifton only a short walk away. And if you are looking for more active pursuits – Bantry Bay also offers direct access to the ever-popular Lion’s Head hiking trail.
Fresnaye is one of the Mother City’s most fashionable and exclusive residential areas. Its setting on the slopes of Lion’s Head, between Sea Point and Bantry Bay
Another Cape Town hotspot vying for your attention, Fresnaye is one of the Mother City’s most fashionable and exclusive residential areas. Its setting on the slopes of Lion’s Head, between Sea Point and Bantry Bay, makes it another superb accommodation option, with sweeping views of the Atlantic, Table Bay and Robben Island. Like Bantry Bay, Fresnaye offers a wonderful sense of peace and quiet – while being only a skip and a hop from both Sea Point and the V&A Waterfront, as well as a short drive from the glamorous beaches of Clifton and Camps Bay.
Talking of beaches – if you prefer yours to be on the pebbly, quieter side, make sure to check out Saunder’s Rock Beach and Queen’s Beach at the top end of Sea Point. Small but picture-perfect, these lesser-known sunbathing spots are perfect for a quick dip in the water. And if you are into running, cycling, inline skating, skateboarding… (you get the picture), the 11km-long Sea Point Promenade is your sweet spot.
Drive along Victoria Road from Camps Bay and you will happen upon one of Cape Town’s most private and secluded neighbourhoods, Llandudno. Accessed by only one road, the suburb’s residents are fiercely protective of their hood, and regard it as something of a coastal town – there are no streetlights or shops of any kind. Those bagging accommodation in this highly exclusive cove can laugh in the face of beach goers desperately looking for parking spots, which are like gold dust pretty much any time of year. Llandudno’s magnificent, unspoiled beach is an Instagram dream, popular with both couples and families seeking fun in the sun.
Staying in Llundadno also means that you are in close proximity to bohemian Hout Bay, Cape Town’s iconic Chapman’s Peak Drive, and the picturesque Constantia Valley (hello wine tastings and fine dining), with Camps Bay an easy five-minute drive the other way.
Wine estates are a dime a dozen here, the only real issue is which ones to choose – you could literally spend days hopping from one tasting to the next, sipping your way through whites, reds and MCC’s good enough to rival any European varietal (in the name of research, we have taken it upon ourselves to test as many as possible, and can vouch for their quality). Then there is the food – from award-winning fine dining restaurants to harvest tables, artisan food markets and lush vineyard picnics, the Winelands offer some of the Cape’s best dining experiences.
Elgin, Western Cape