Plettenberg Bay is a stunning coastal town, renowned for the pristine azure waters and long stretches of white sand. In fact, these beaches are the jewels of Plett, the drawcard that lure visitors back year after year for the warm waters of the Indian Ocean and the gorgeous weather of the Garden Route.
Some beaches are better for surfing, while others are ideal for swimming; some are popular amongst kite-surfers, while others are better for those who love to sit on the rocks and watch the wild waters at play. The biggest challenging facing visitors is deciding which beach they want to spend the days on, soaking up the sun and feeling the cool sea spray on their faces.
Here are Plett’s three top beaches
This is a fantastic family beach that is just below the famous Beacon Isle Hotel. There’s plenty of sand on which to suntan, play ball games, or build sandcastles, and this beach has relatively safe swimming waters. There are ablutions, a number of restaurants just metres from the sand, lifeguards and vendors. There are also good waves for surfers, but the beach is ideal for kayaking, body boarding, stand-up paddling, and boating too. Every year, between July and December, this part of the South African coast comes alive with migrating humpback, southern right and killer whales. Boat-based whale-watching tours are a must for visitors.
Hobie Beach is on the same stretch as Main Beach, but just a little further down. Although small, it is perfect for body boarders and surfers wanting to test their skills at one of South Africa’s hottest body boarding surf breaks, The Wedge.
The shores that run from the Beacon Isle down to the magnificent Robberg Peninsula are called the Robberg Beach. This beach is flanked by opulent mansions on one side and the rich beauty of the ocean on the other. There are a number of idyllic swimming spots here, as well as inviting sandy stretches that are a delight to stroll along. Riptides mean that swimmers should stay within the demarcated swimming areas at all times and should not swim here when there are no lifeguards present. There is an ablution block at Robberg 5.
This beach is famous for the bottlenose dolphins that love swimming close to the people in the water, just as curious about their human visitors as we are of them. It is also an ideal spot for new surfers to practice and learn.
If the waves are big or the water is very cold, stay out of the sea at Robberg Beach as this spells dumpers, bluebottles and jellyfish.
The Keurbooms Lagoon Beach
The gorgeous lagoon mouth is best enjoyed from the inviting sands of the beach here. Because of the tidal differences, the beaches ranges in size from a small strip of sand to a much larger area that is perfect for ball games and sunbathing. The river is clean and transparent despite its brown colour, which comes from the high tannin content of the water. This is perfect for families with little ones as the water is shallow and calm. The lagoon is also wonderful for canoes, ski boats, and stand-up paddle boards. There is a public toilet available for visitors to this beach.
Other beaches that are near Plett include Keurbooms Beach, Arch Rock Beach (bordering the exquisite Tsitsikamma) and Nature’s Valley Beach.