The water may be colder on the Atlantic side of the Cape peninsula, but the beaches are definitely hotter. An upmarket and well-toned crowd gathers here, for sun and sand during the day and sundowners by night at beachfront bars. Clifton’s four adjacent, numbered beaches (which stretch between Bantry Bay and Camps Bay) are almost always protected from the strong southeasterly winds; Clifton First and Second attract a mix of sun-worshipping types, including the young, sporty set; Third has more of a gay and lesbian slant; and Fourth, granted Blue Flag status by the eponymous eco-coastal organization, is a family beach. Just south is Camps Bay, one of the city’s longest sandy beaches, lined by restaurants and bars that heat up as the sun goes down. Farther south is more remote, secluded Llandudno, where the large boulders and sweeping crescent shape invite romantic strolls.
Insider Tip: Although parking at Llandudno can be difficult, it’s worth the hassle; come later in the afternoon for more plentiful parking and magnificent sunsets.