Clifton is an extremely popular destination in Cape Town. It’s known for its beaches, which are pristine, even if the sea is a tad cold, and its real estate, which is among the most expensive in the world. The luxurious houses are especially popular among foreign buyers who use their multimillion dollar pads as holiday homes, maybe visiting for three weeks of the year. To give you an idea of the demand for property, not to mention price, consider that in 2011, a single garage was marketed for R2 million ($221,634) and a double garage was marketed for R2.3 million ($254,996).
Clifton has four beaches and even though they are only separated by granite rocks, they each have a very distinct character.
First beach is popular among water sports enthusiasts. Surfers like it because it has the best waves of the four beaches, making it the place to be seen being seen. According to Cape Town Travel, it’s also popular with volleyballers, probably thanks to the soft white sand – and the surfer vibe.
Second beach is also popular with the young, trendy crowd, who gather to play volleyball, soccer, and cricket and lie around in skimpy costumes, looking pretty and soaking up the sun. The surf is not as good at second beach, so surfers tend to stay on the other side of the rocks.
For some reason, third beach has become a favourite among the gay crowd (Wikipedia and Cape Town Travel both say so, so it must be true). Unlike like certain sections of the general population, however, they aren’t known for their exclusionary behaviour, so feel free to pop on by.
Fourth beach is the undisputed family beach. It’s the beach that is most crowded during beautifully hot summer holidays. It’s where you’re most likely to see beach haute couture. By the time the waves roll down to fourth beach they’ve lost almost all of their momentum, so it’s perfect for safe swimming – if you can ignore the near freezing temperatures.
Fourth beach has also been awarded much coveted Blue Flag status, which means that it not only stands out aesthetically, but that it also has enviable environmental standards and exceptional safety standards.
If you need another reason to visit Clifton’s beaches, how about the fact that it is one of the few places in the Cape where the wind doesn’t blow. Well, let’s qualify that. The beaches are sheltered, so you won’t be bothered by the dreaded Cape Doctor – south-easterly winds so strong that they blow everything away.
Clifton is one if the shiniest jewels in Cape Town’s crowd. You don’t have to have lots of money to enjoy it, but a little lolly certainly helps.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Sandy Cosser spent years holidaying in Cape Town before making the excellent decision to make it her permanent home. She can recommend almost every beach along the two oceans, so be sure to include a couple in your exclusive tours.