The Great Outdoors: Beaches and Hikes of Cape Town

Cape Town is known for being an incredible combination of both city and nature, as the silhouette of Table Mountain hovers over the urban landscape of the city below. Everyone in this city loves hiking to extreme lengths just to catch the sunrise or sunset, whether you are a visitor from abroad or a local squeezing in a bit of exercise during your week. But these hikes and high mountain tops aren’t the only way to catch a beautiful view of Cape Town; you can’t ignore the fact that The Mother City is surrounded by ocean everywhere you look.

Below we count down the top 5 beaches and hikes, each one providing just as majestic of a view as the next one, whether you are at the top of Table Mountain or on the beaches of Camps Bay.

Camps Bay is a seaside neighbourhood with a long stretch of beach, frequented by locals and visitors alike lounging on chairs and enjoying the cool Atlantic waves. The neighbourhood has plenty of shops and restaurants, providing a diverse range of cuisines, and is set against the backdrop of ocean sights, smells, and sounds. Camps Bay is popular amongst bike riders, beachgoers, and those keen for sundowners, as it is perfectly situated for a spectacular African sunset.

A bit more of a secluded cove, Clifton is naturally divided by rocks into four separate beaches. These beaches tend to be less crowded than Camps Bay but provide just as majestic and panoramic views of Lion’s Head and the 12 Apostles.

Muizenberg Beach is best known for its rows of colourful houses along the beach, used as changing shacks for the surfers that populate the beach. The relaxed surfing conditions make it easy for beginners to hop on a surfboard and ride the waves of Muizenberg. With plenty of coffee shops and fish and chips places, you are bound to work up an appetite after a day of surfing.

Lions Head is a notable mountain peak that adds to the skyline of Cape Town. The hiking trail is a winding, steep pathway that consists of ladders and chains. The trail is considered medium and takes an hour to complete one-way. Once you’ve reached the top, you’ll find yourself treated to panoramic views of Cape Town, Signal Hill, Camps Bay, and the Atlantic Ocean. Popular hiking times are during the summer seasons, for either sunrise or sunset.

The start of the Platteklip Gorge trail is located at the cable car station on Table Mountain. This trail is known as the most direct way to reach the top of Table Mountain, although it is certainly the steepest and most challenging. With the rough trek up the gorge, comes rewarding and sweeping views of Cape Town. The trail takes you into Platteklip Gorge, and up to the cable car station atop the mountain, where you can choose to take a cable car trip back down.

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