Not just your classic sun, sand and sea; our shores have all this and more to offer without needing to hop on a plane. Why pump gallons of fumes into the sky when a beautiful coastline is within driving distance from you? There is something for everyone, from the tan-tastic to the avid hikers. Get your towels ready, because SA wins the beach contest hands down.
Clifton Beach, Western Cape.
A hit with the movie stars, the white-sand wonderland of this coastline is loved for its visual beauty and tranquillity. Perfect for those who seek a relaxing atmosphere, the pure cotton-like sand is sure to soothe your senses and ease your mind of day-to-day stresses. With four slightly varying beaches to choose from, you’ll be able to find a secluded spot for sunbathing, or picnic in the festive afternoon sunlight. However, be warned of the icy-cold Atlantic water. A boat ride may be on the cards, but don’t expect to do much swimming (unless you like a chilly dip!)
Umhlanga Rocks, KwaZulu-Natal.
Warm sea and fantastic weather all year round, this beach is a fail-safe option. Activities include surfing, boogie-boarding, swimming, rock pools, a magnificent pier and beautiful boardwalk to round off the day.
East London Beaches, Eastern Cape.
The beach culture here boasts many attractions. Orient Beach is most popular for swimming due to the gentle waves and easy to access changing facilities. Best for families as shops and conveniences are nearby, including a refreshment stand which means you don't need a big beach bag for food and drink. The black rocks of Eastern Beach make for amazing photo opportunities, and are fantastic for those intrepid explorers who get bored of lying stationary in the sun. Romantic beach walks can be taken down the Nahoon and Gonubie beaches, particularly beautiful at sunset.
Cape Vidal, iSimangaliso Wetland Park.
Perfect for those looking for more sights than a blue horizon of boats and scattered swimmers, marine life can be spotted in the waters of this stunning KwaZulu-Natal beach. Even humpback whales can be seen in October. One of the finest beaches of South Africa, this the place to get close to nature as you can snorkel in the low tide and explore the many rock pools of the long stretches of coastline.
Bloubergstrand, Western Cape.
The name derives from Blaauwberg, a mountain close by, and literally translates to ‘blue mountain beach’ in Afrikaans. Bloubergstrand offers some of the most spectacular and breath-taking views in the world, as sights like Table Mountain and Nelson Mandela’s 20-year prison, Robben Island, can be seen from the shore. If you get chance to go, take the time to watch the sunset from this magnificent natural spot. You won’t forget it.
Noetzie, Garden Route.
A hidden gem, this small getaway beach is known for its three romantic castles. Residents like to tell tales of them belonging to pirates and smugglers, but really they are just holiday homes. But don’t despair, this does not break the magic that is the natural beauty of the place. What’s incredible about this Western Cape treasure is its pristine surroundings, un-conquered by the fast-food stands and umbrella-flags of tourism. Rich in natural attraction; forested hills, hypnotic lagoons and warm-toned rocks make this beach a picturesque paradise.
Feel inspired by our South African beach breaks? Why not check out our South African travel packages page for specially tailored holiday packages? If you have any more to add or want to connect with us on Facebook or Twitter - please get in touch! We love to hear your input.