The Western Cape is famous for it wide, white sandy beaches; and a holiday in Cape Town is not complete without enjoying them. Clifton, Llandudno and Camps Bay are sheltered from the south-easterly wind (the prevailing summer wind, affectionately known as the "Cape Doctor") and are perfect for soaking up the sun. Dolphin Beach in Tableview is jam-packed with Kite-surfers in summer, while Sunset Beach is windsurfer territory. Penguins have made Boulders Beach at Simonstown and Betty's Bay their homes. Beginner surfers like Muizenberg whilst the pros are to be found at Outer Kom and the madmen at Dungeons. The cold Atlantic Ocean sweeps the west coast, while the warmer Indian Ocean skirts the Western Cape's southern beaches. As you travel east from Cape Point, the sea temperature gradually warms up. If you're not bothered by cooler waters, then try one of the beaches on the west. Running from north to south there's 16-mile beach at Yzerfontein, Elandsbaai, Dwarskersbos, Langebaan, Melkbos, Big Bay, Table View, Dolphin beach, Sunset Beach and Milnerton.
The Western Cape coastline is dotted with shipwrecks. Here's one of the oldest which can still be viewed. The RMS Athens, which ran aground off Greenpoint in the gale of 1865, with all souls on board being lost.
Here's some footage of Sunset Beach:
Camps Bay beach is situated just south of Cape Town, on the Atlantic ocean. The beach road is known for its vibey nightlife, and is home to a series of outstanding restaurants.
Big Bay, Bloubergstrand, has a couple of iconic restaurants next to it (Ons Huisie and the Blue Peter) from which to watch the sun set and frolic in the waters - time your visit for low tide so that you can walk to the little island.
Clifton 1, 2, 3 & 4
Long Beach, Kommetjie
The Kom, Kommetjie
Olifantsbospunt, Cape Point
Diaz Beach, Cape Point (not really a recreational beach, has a lot of steps which need to be climbed, but wonderful for watching the waves hammering down on the sand, and feeling the vast expanse of the African continent on one side and open oceans to the south)
In False Bay, you can choose between:
Buffels Bay, Cape Point
Bordjiesdrift, Cape Point
Millers Point, Simon’s Town
Frank’s Beach, Simon’s Town
Windmill Beach, Simon’s Town
Foxy Beach, Simon’s Town
Boulders Beach, Simon’s Town
Seaforth Beach, Simon’s Town
Long Beach, Simon’s Town
Fish Hoek Main Beach
Kalk Bay Beach
Danger Beach, St James
Bikini beach (Gordons Bay)
Travelling further east, you are spoilt for choices:
Cape Town boasts 40 surf-breaks within an hour's drive. Muizenberg is great for beginners, Outer Kom is where the pros go. Glen Beach & Llandudno are popular, and lunatics go to Dungeons in Hout Bay. Further up the Garden route is the famous Jeffrey's Bay with its perfect waves.
Popular spots are Langebaan (an hour's drive from Cape Town up the west coast) and Dolphin Beach.