Clifton Beaches: top-ranked beaches in Cape Town, South Africa

Clifton Beaches: top-ranked beaches in Cape Town, South Africa

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Clifton is an exclusive residential area, home to the most expensive real estate in South Africa. Its fancy houses, which are nestled on cliffs, have panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean.

It has 4 beaches (Clifton 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th) that provide locals and tourists with amazing spots to sunbath, do a picnic, and play sports as volleyball and football. 

clifton beaches - cape town - south africa


  • Discovery Channel: in 2003 and 2004 Clifton was rated as one of the Top Ten Beaches.
  • Forbes: in 2005 and 2006 it was rated at number 8 in the Top 10 Topless beaches in the World.
  • Blue Flag Status: has this international symbol of quality for beaches that meet a standard of excellence in the areas of safety, amenities, cleanliness, environmental information and environmental management.

I just went with my friend Lily from Brazil and we had an awesome time. Let me share with you the three things you have to know before your visit: it’s location, the main characteristics of the four beaches and the activities you can enjoy there.

clifton beaches - cape town - south africa
clifton beaches - cape town - south africa
clifton beaches - cape town - south africa

1. Clifton beaches: Location

Clifton is located in the west of Cape Town, it is neighbored by the suburbs of Camps Bay (also one of my favorite spots on Cape Town, you can read more in the post Camps Bay Beach: have fun & chill in Cape Town, South Africa) and Bantry Bay.

How to get there?

  • By car: you can take an UBER and easily get to Clifton. It’s located 10 to 15 minutes away from Cape Town’s city center.
  • By bus: you can buy a MyCity bus card and you’ll be able to get there in around 30 minutes from the city center.
Clifton map
clifton beaches - cape town - south africa
clifton beaches - cape town - south africa

2. The 4 Clifton beaches

The four Clifton beaches are separated by falls of granite boulders but its very easy to walk between them. The four beaches are very popular to sunbath because they are well protected from the wind. The water, although chilly (12–16 °C), plays host to many watersports, mostly surfing.

Clifton 4th

This is the most populated and glamorous venue; attracting families and groups of friends who go there to sunbath, play music, and chill.

clifton beaches - cape town - south africa

Clifton 3rd

The smallest beach, is known as a venue for gay culture.

clifton beaches - cape town - south africa

Clifton 2nd

Is populated by students playing beach volleyball and beach bats. Also, you can see many children playing frisbee with their dogs or just running around.

clifton beaches - cape town - south africa

Clifton 1st

It is normally less crowded, this beach draws a mixed crowd of locals and surfers. It is overlooked by exclusive beachfront apartments.

clifton beaches - cape town - south africa

*Romantic spot

At the beginning of Clifton 1st beach there are big rocks with an amazing views of the ocean and beaches.

You can come with your significant other and chill over the top contemplating all the beaches and staying till the sunset. This area is usually more quiet and you’ll have a romantic and peaceful date.

clifton beaches - cape town - south africa

3. Activities


You can rent beach chairs and umbrellas for the day.

clifton beaches - cape town - south africa

Make a Picnic

You can bring a nice lunch and enjoy the day.Also, Vendors sell drinks, ice creams and snacks along the beach.

Alcohol is prohibited so beware that if a guard sees a bottle of wine, he/she will take it and drop it on the trash bin. 

clifton beaches - cape town - south africa

Play beach bats

There’s nothing easier and funnier than carrying your beach bats and playing in any part of the beach!

Watch the sunset

The colors of the sunset in Cape Town are amazing and Clifton is a great spot to chill with your friends and watch it.

clifton beaches - cape town - south africa

*Extra: the hidden path

If you arrive to Clifton 4th beach you can follow the wide path after the parking lot and cross the houses to arrive to a big rock area with amazing views of the beach.

I really loved Clifton, it’s a must-see place whenever you visit Cape Town!

clifton beaches - cape town - south africa
clifton beaches - cape town - south africa
clifton beaches - cape town - south africa

Are you interested in traveling around the world? In the Travel Section you can find detailed travel guides for different cities, touristic activities, recommendations, tips, and much more!

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  1. oyibougbo
    12/01/2018 / 11:37 PM

    Beautiful.. Cape town and Africa at large is indeed very beautiful… But you should know that your visist to Cape Town is not complete without visiting the penguins at Boulders Beach.. Hope you did visit Boulder beach, thats my favorite beach. You look really elegant, Nice pictures.

  2. 12/01/2018 / 1:07 AM

    Really lovely photos and suggestions. I would love to visit Capetown!

  3. 10/01/2018 / 7:21 PM

    I loved our visit to Cape Town. Didn’t visit this beach but it was an amazing vacation

  4. Nina Bashaw
    10/01/2018 / 1:24 PM

    Cape Town is one my bucket list places to go, I’ve heard fabulous thing about it. I loved all your photos, looks you had a great time!

  5. 10/01/2018 / 1:24 PM

    Oh how beautiful! I’ve never been to Africa but would love to visit these beaches. Looks incredible! Thanks for sharing!

  6. kelroot4
    10/01/2018 / 1:10 PM

    Stunning, it looked like you had a great time

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