Cities with beaches offer some of the finest travel experiences imaginable. The combination of city culture and sandy relaxation is akin to a 2-for-1 holiday deal. But before you pick your destination of choice – and there are plenty of options out there – it’s worth having a closer look at the beaches available to you. You may well find that the country you’re interested in visiting has several cities with beaches, but which one offers the best of both? Barcelona or Malaga? Sydney or Melbourne? South Africa is no different, with several cities offering excellent beach retreats. Let’s take a closer look at Cape Town’s finest:

Clifton Beaches: Located a short distance from Cape Town’s centre, Clifton Beaches is perhaps the city’s most famous beachside spot. Actually a collection of four beaches, this sprawl of sand offers visitors all the important bits: easy access, sunshine, beautiful sand and a pretty view. It’s downside? It’s on the Atlantic side so you might want to take your wetsuit if you fancy getting in the water…

Camps Bay: For a more European vibe, head to Camps Bay. This stunning spot – which is hugely popular with tourists – attracts plenty of locals too, courtesy of its picture-perfect features. Whether you’re a lover of palm trees and golden sand or prefer the drama of the looming mountain range, this beach has the wow factor. Add to that a wide range of al fresco dining options just off the beach itself and you’ve got yourself a pretty spectacular daytrip.

Boulders Beach: Ever wanted to see a penguin on a sandy beach? Yes, we’re being totally serious. The enigmatic African Penguin calls Boulders beach home and this large colony is more than happy to pose for tourists. The beach itself lies on the False Bay side, so the warmer water – and not to mention decent waves – will be a draw for those interested in surfing and/or bodyboarding. Once you’ve seen the penguins, naturally… Bear in mind this beach is drive out of the city.

Muizenberg: While not the prettiest of our selection, Muizenberg is hugely popular on account of its length, it’s accessibility and its mellowness. If you’d like to try your hand at surfing but don’t want to concern yourself with barrelling waves, this is the beach for you. And just like Boulders, it boasts warmer water so you can leave that wetsuit behind when you head into the water…

Whatever beach you decide to head to and whatever it is you’ll be spending your time doing – surfing, picnicking, penguin-watching – do bear in mind that alcohol is banned from public beaches in South Africa. If you’d like a holiday drink during your time by the sea ensure you pick a spot next to one of the many restaurants and bars that tend to hug the coastline here. But who needs booze when the surroundings are so stunning anyway?