Clifton Beach

One of the best beaches in SA

Clifton’s swanky beach area consists of a series of four beautiful white granitic sand beaches, called First, Second, Third and Fourth Beach; each separated by falls of granite boulders, well protected from the notorious south-easterly wind and pleasant enough to tempt you in for a swim. A fifth beach, before First Beach, called Moses Beach (so-called because of the papyrus plants that grow along it), appears and disappears as the sand is washed in and out with the seasons.

With Camps Bay and Bantry Bay as neighbours, the beaches are havens for international hipsters and jet-setters and the area is filled with eclectic eateries, sparkling nightlife and rich culture.

A popular spot for surfing, Clifton can be accessed by steep walkways leading down to the various beaches.

First Beach

The strongest surf is at First. It is a favourite among the surfers and volleyball players – a true playground for the sportive among us.

Second Beach

Second beach is populated by students playing beach volleyball and beach bats.

Third Beach

Third beach is family-friendly and popular with the 20-somethings as well as the gay crowd.

Fourth Beach

While each of Clifton's beaches shine in their own right, Fourth Beach was voted one of the best beaches in South Africa and has Blue Flag status. It is the perfect family beach, and has excellent facilities including public toilets, change rooms and places to buy cold drinks and snacks. Umbrellas and deck chairs are also available for rent. There is always a good crowd and a distinct vibe. With the Atlantic Ocean temperatures hovering around frigid, you're there to see and be seen - and not so much to swim. The beach is wide and clean, reflecting the brilliant African sunshine off white sand and throngs of tanned bodies making it the most populated and glamorous venue of the four. Yachts like to anchor off Fourth beach, especially on summer weekends.

La Med

For a change of scene stroll over and ogle the beautiful people at one of Cape Town’s best outdoor bars and clubs, the popular restaurant La Med, which overlooks the beach and whose lawn is a popular landing spot for area paragliders.


All the beaches are safe for swimming, with only two shark attacks ever recorded, one in 1942 and one in 1976. Be warned however that the Atlantic ocean is chilly, no matter what time of year you visit!

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


Finding parking along the M6 during the height of summer 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.

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