Known as one of the cities with the best beaches in the world, many of Cape Town's beaches are right up there with the best of the best. But, there is one area where they fall just a bit short, and that is water temperature. Because the cold water can be a bit of a dealbreaker for many, plenty of visitors are curious about whether there are any warm beaches in Cape Town.
You'll be happy to know that actually, not all Cape Town beaches are as chilly as you might think. Because of the city’s unique location with much of the city split between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, where they meet at Cape Point, there are a number of beaches along the city’s eastern and southeastern coastlines that are influenced by the warm Indian Ocean.
Below, I’ve compiled a list of the 7 best warm beaches in Cape Town for those of you who are perhaps interested in taking a dip in the water rather than languishing by the sea shore! ;)
Take note though, that although these beaches are warmer than their colder Atlantic counterparts it’s not a huge difference, so don’t expect tropical temperatures!
On average, these beaches are about 2°C - 4°C warmer than the cold Cape Town beaches.
Also, for the absolute warmest water temperatures, you’ll want to visit between mid January to mid March.
Let's get into it!
Boulders beach is easily one of the city’s most iconic.
Known for being home to the cute black and white African penguins, Boulders offers a unique experience. It’s an absolute joy to relax on this beach, and watch groups of penguins as they make their way up and down the colossal boulders.
But don’t forget to take a dip! The water here is as calm as can be due to the beach being sheltered from the wind. This, together with the warm water, makes it a perfect beach for families with young kids. Just be sure to arrive early to secure your spot as Boulders is quite a compact beach.
Maximum water temperature: 19°C / 66°F
Another one of the warm beaches in Cape Town, Muizenberg is known for its famous colorful little beach huts, with a lovely long stretch of soft sand. This is a fabulous option for anyone from families to pro surfers. Not only that but Muizenberg has Blue Flag status as well, making it one of the more pristine Cape Town beaches. This is without a doubt one of the most popular warm beaches in Cape Town, and for good reason to!
There are also plenty of beachfront cafés if you’re in search of a bite.
But the real question is, how warm is it? And the answer is, pretty warm.
Maximum water temperature: 21°C / 70°F
Located in Simonstown, a little outside of Cape Town, Windmill beach is a great option for those looking for warmer water and a bit of tranquility. Like Boulders Beach, it’s also suitable for families thanks to the shallow water and almost nonexistent waves.
Windmill beach is known for its diverse snorkeling and diving opportunities. There are plenty of kelp forests and small reefs teeming with a variety of fish species. Just take note that there are no lifeguards at Windmill Beach so you won’t want to swim too far out.
Maximum water temperature: 20°C - 20.5°C / 68°F - 69°F
Fish Hoek beach is another of the warmest Cape Town beaches, and it’s located just north of Simonstown, making it a little closer to Cape Town. This is a lovely broad beach catering to a wide group of people with plenty of facilities, space and a lot of soft white sand!
It’s an excellent spot for a long walk as well, with Fish Hoek beach being about 1.5 km long. It’s also one of the Blue Flag Cape Town beaches.
Now, because Fish Hoek’s waters are warmed by the Indian Ocean, you can expect comfortably high water temperatures in the peak summer months. There’s also a little trail called “Jager walk” that starts at the southern end of the beach that takes you on a short journey through some rock pools and past some excellent bathing spots.
Unfortunately because of the warm water here, there’s generally a greater risk of sharks in the area. But if you’re visiting over the main summer months, this shouldn’t be anything to worry about as there are dedicated shark spotting and lifeguard teams on duty.
Maximum water temperature: 19°C - 21°C (66°F - 70°F)
Not a lot of people know about Danger beach, and that’s a good thing, for me and for you!
Just a short distance away from the St. James train station, this is another beach in the False Bay area, so the water is warmer than most Cape Town beaches.
Oh, and don’t be alarmed by the name. There’s nothing dangerous about Danger beach! It’s a calm beach perfect for a relaxing afternoon by the sea. And at Danger beach you won’t find too many crowds, making it one of the more secluded beaches near Cape Town.
Maximum water temperature: 20°C (68°F)
As the name suggests, this is the biggest beach in Gordon’s Bay, a beautiful little town just a bit out of Cape Town. If you’re planning a visit, we’ve also got a full article dedicated to the best beaches in Gordon’s Bay. Now, Gordon’s Bay Main Beach is the furthest beach on this list from the Cape Town city centre, but that doesn’t make it any less worth visiting.
It’s an excellent choice for a daytrip if you’re staying in Cape Town, especially if you prefer warmish rather than freezing water!
It can get quite full in December and early January but by late January and February, you'll hardly find a soul and the weather will still be warm. Just lots of sand and sea all for you.
There are no big waves either because of offshore reefs and the sea is shallow, so this is another good option for families with young kids.
Maximum water temperature: 19°C - 20.5°C (66°F - 69°F)
This is another quiet warm beach in the small town of Glencairn, also located in the False Bay area north of Simonstown. This beach is ideal for just about anyone and anything. Swimming, diving, walking, sunbathing, dog-walking. You name it. Glencairn beach is great for everything.
Oh, and did I mention windsurfing? Yep, you can do that here too.
During the high season, you’ll be relieved to know shark spotters and lifeguards are on duty. Always remember to check the colour of the shark flag before taking a dip.
Maximum water temperature: 19°C - 19.5°C (66°F - 67°F)
That wraps up our list of the best warm beaches in Cape Town. I’ve included a couple of commonly asked questions and answers below that might be of use.