The four Clifton beaches are adjacent to one another and are known for their white sandy and aquamarine – though very cold – water

Home to Millionaire’s Row, fashionable Clifton is known as Cape Town’s St Tropez, and its four beautiful beaches attract holidaymakers in their droves.

Yachts floating on a turquoise ocean, white, sandy beaches and beautiful bodies all make up Clifton’s reputation as the French Riviera of South Africa.

The gorgeous sea-facing apartments of Clifton are said to be some of the most sought-after real estate in the world. This snazzy little suburb offers spectacular ocean views and is close to not one, but four spectacular swimming beaches.

All the beaches are safe for swimming, although be warned – the Atlantic waters are chilly, no matter what time of year you visit! A popular spot for surfing, Clifton can be accessed by steep walkways leading down to the various beaches.

Granite outcrops divide the beaches into four quite distinct areas, namely First Beach, Second Beach, Third Beach and Fourth Beach.

First Beach is a favourite among the surfers and volleyball players – it’s a veritable playground for the muscled among us. Second and Third beaches are family-friendly and popular with the 20-somethings as well as the gay crowd. Fourth Beach is the perfect family beach, and has excellent facilities including public toilets, changing rooms and places to buy cold drinks and snacks. Umbrellas and deck chairs are also available for rent. Blue Flag status has been awarded to Fourth Beach for adhering to stringent international environmental standards.

Lifeguards are on duty during peak season and on the weekends, and swimming is relatively safe – although one should never underestimate the undertow.

During the height of summer, finding parking along the M6 can be a nightmare so it’s a good idea to take the shuttle from your hotel, or make use of the regular buses that run along this stretch of coastline and service both Clifton and Hout Bay from the city centre.

Accommodation is available at numerous apartment buildings and villas in Clifton, but make sure you book early – particularly if looking for space during peak season. Contact Cape Town Tourism on or +27 (0)21 487 6800 for assistance in sourcing the best accommodation to meet your requirements.

There are a set of four Cape Town beaches, known as Clifton 1, 2, 3 and 4. Photo courtesy of Gary Bembridge

The sea at Clifton is an aquamarine colour. Photo courtesy of coda

Clifton 2nd beach at sunsent. Photo courtesy of coda

WESSA Blue Flag

A Blue Flag is an international award given to beaches, boats and marina’s that meet EXCELLENCE in the areas of safety, amenities, cleanliness and environmental standards. The strict criteria of the programme are set by the international coordinators of the Blue Flag campaign in Europe.


Melkbosstrand’s 7km-long stretch of white sand beckons visitors to slip off their sandals and enjoy a stress-relieving stroll.


Home to Millionaire’s Row, fashionable Clifton is known as Cape Town’s St Tropez, and its four beautiful beaches attract holidaymakers in their droves.


This laid-back seaside town on the shores of False Bay comes alive in season, with holiday-makers crowding its streets as they make their way down to what is perhaps Cape Town’s nicest swimming beach.

Bikini Beach, Gordon's Bay

Situated at the base of the Hottentots Holland mountains on the False Bay coast, the pretty village of Gordon’s Bay is a relaxing holiday spot.



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