Clifton Beach in Cape Town is one of the most popular beaches in the city. It was named after Henry Clifton, who owned the land on which the beach sits today, and once operated a coal mine there called New Caverns Coal Mine during the 19th century. The name of the beach has changed over time from Clifton’s Beach to Clifton-by-the-Sea and eventually to Clifton Beach as it’s known today.
There’s something magical about Clifton Beach. Maybe it’s the beautiful sand, the pleasant atmosphere, or even the iconic lighthouse located right at the end of the beach (yes, it’s a real working lighthouse). Whatever your reason, Clifton Beach is a top attraction on every bucket list and should be part of your itinerary if you plan on visiting Cape Town any time soon. Here’s everything you need to know about Clifton Beach!
Everything You Need to Know About Clifton Beach, Cape Town
The Best Time to Visit
Cape Town is a year-round destination but if you’re looking for the best time to visit, you may want to consider the seasons. The rainy season starts in November and continues through March with an average rainfall of 550mm (22 inches). The dry winter months are from June through September when we see an average of 150mm (6 inches) of rain. This means that November through March will offer higher chances for good weather with less crowds.
How to Get There
Clifton beach is easy enough to find – and it’s also close enough that you can walk there from the city center. But if you’re driving or going by public transport, you’ll need to head west of the city on R45. The best way to get there is by taking the Western Boulevard exit from the N2 highway. From here, it’s a short drive on the R45 and then take a left onto Victoria Road. This will lead you straight into Victoria Road Drive which will take you down towards Clifton Beach.
Pack sunscreen, sun hat and sunglasses. Stick with natural fabrics like cotton and linen, which are better for the environment too! Don’t forget your beach bag, towel and water bottle. If you have time before you go: pack a snack or healthy lunch so you don’t have to buy one when you’re there.
Where to Stay
There are many places to stay in the area of Clifton Beach. The options vary in price and luxury. For a budget-friendly option, you can stay at a hostel or an Airbnb. In this area, it’s not uncommon for there to be beachfront accommodations with private patios and pools available as well. If you’re looking for more luxury options with amenities such as spas and restaurants on the property, there are also plenty of those too.
Things to Do
Clifton beach is one of the best places for water sports in Cape Town. The beach is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. Here are some things you can do at this stunning beach:
- Swimming: As with any other beach, swimming is a popular activity at Clifton. Just be sure to stay within the designated areas as there are strong currents near the shore.
- Surfing: Surfers flock to this area because it’s known for having some of the best surf breaks around.
- Waves range from beginner-friendly to adrenaline rushes that only the most seasoned surfers can handle. When surfing here, keep an eye out for rocks and reefs along the coast line–you don’t want to get caught unawares!
Tips for Visiting
- When you are in Cape Town you should definitely visit Clifton beach. It’s a beautiful place with so much history and culture that can’t be found anywhere else.
- 2. The water is warm and crystal clear–perfect for swimming or just sitting on the beach and enjoying the sun
- 3. There are a ton of restaurants within walking distance from the beach as well as shops where you can find souvenirs or even buy your groceries for your trip back home
- 4. If you’re not feeling up for an adventure in the water then take a walk on the pier and see how many different species of birds you can spot
- 5. Remember to wear sunscreen–the sun is strong here!
NB : 1st Beach: Popular with locals and guests staying in the surrounding luxury condominiums, the off-leash dog-friendly beach is ideal for a tranquil day by the sea. If you feel like doing some body or board surfing, the current is just powerful enough to satisfy your inner surfer.
2nd Beach: A laid-back younger clientele, notably students, frequents this small bit of heaven.