There’s nothing like a beach holiday to ease tired muscles and frayed nerves, to bronze up the skin and bleach the hair…

And, in South Africa, we’re spoilt for choice. Our coastline stretches for an incredible 3 200 kilometres, and is home to so many exquisite beaches that it may take a lifetime to get to them all.

But, when the December holidays hit, many of these beaches are overrun with local families and international visitors who want to take advantage of the warm water and sizzling sunshine – from Umhlanga to the West Coast, and everywhere in-between.

It’s not hard to understand why. But, when all you need is a break from the crowds and a little peace and quiet to read a good book to the sound of crashing waves, you may want to head out to some of these lesser-known and quieter beaches:


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Hole in the Wall and Coffee Bay Beaches (Eastern Cape)

Although these are, technically, two different beaches, you probably won’t go to the one without going to the other. Both in the Transkei, these beaches are wild, beautiful, and seldom (if ever) busy. The coastline is unspoilt, and the waves are acclaimed amongst surfers. There are also quaint Xhosa villages along the coastline, which really give you a taste of the Eastern Cape and its culture.



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Buffels Bay Beach (Western Cape)

This beach is in the Cape Point Nature Reserve (just outside Cape Town) and has a number of tidal pools, a pretty sandy area on which to tan or read, and grassy lawns that are perfect for picnics or a short cycle. When you’ve cooled down, drive through the reserve to see the fynbos, baboons and the massive variety of bird species. Then, head to Cape Point, where the views are nothing short of breath-taking.

Pringle Bay (Western Cape)

Ideal as a weekend getaway from Cape Town, Pringle Bay is scenic, dramatic, and utterly serene. The little town is flanked by mountains and the ocean. Look out for penguins and, between June and December, whales too.



Noetzie Beach (Garden Route)

Noetzie has become famous for its castles, which are built right on the doorstep of this beautiful, sandy beach. But, the beach itself is pristine and the waters are temperate, thanks to their being in the Indian Ocean. Noetzie is in Knysna, and only about 25 minutes from Plettenberg Bay.


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Sardinia Bay (Eastern Cape)

Affectionately known as Sards, this magnificent beach is fairly close to the city centre of Port Elizabeth. Still, it is massive, laden with white sands and huge dunes, which are lapped by the warm turquoise of the Eastern Cape seas. Dogs and horses are welcome.

The beach stretches as far as the eye can see, making it the ultimate for a gallop on horseback, or an irresistible romantic walk. It is only about 15 to 20 minutes from Summerstrand, which is home to many of the more popular swimming beaches of the Eastern Cape.

Sardinia Bay Port Elizabeth


More quiet beaches

In addition, here are some more of the beaches that promise a little solitude this summer:

  • Preekstoel Beach (West Coast, Western Cape)
  • Water’s Edge (Simon’s Town, Western Cape)
  • Zinkwazi Beach (KwaZulu-Natal)
  • Gonubie Beach (Eastern Cape)
  • Umzumbe Beach (KwaZulu-Natal)
  • Elands Bay (Western Cape)
  • Uvongo Beach (KwaZulu-Natal)
  • Boggoms Bay (Garden Route)
  • Keurboom Strand (Garden Route)


To make the most out of your seaside summer vacation, visit to book accommodation. Find villas on the beach, B&Bs in small towns, guesthouses in the countryside, hotels for added convenience, or self-catering apartments that you can just lock up before heading out for a day on the beach.

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