Beach living with an aura of glamour, the Atlantic Seaboard includes some of Cape Town’s most exclusive suburbs and is all about the dramatic ocean and mountain views.
Dubbed “Cape Town’s Riviera”, with Camps Bay its St Tropez, the Atlantic Seaboard has its own take on Mediterranean chic that is purely South African in style. It’s the dramatic scenery with villas and architecturally designed houses scaling the slopes of the mountain looking out at stunning views towards the sunset that earn it its moniker. The Atlantic Seaboard has an air of exclusivity and glamour, with its beaches sheltered from the worst of the wind, and it’s known as the place to be seen for jetsetters and socialites during Cape Town’s long summers.
The Atlantic Seaboard starts off in urban mode: Sea Point is a cosmopolitan melting pot, with people from all walks of life mingling along the promenade. For artist and resident Lucie de Moyencourt this is a big part of its appeal. “I love the beautiful views of the city and sea and mountain, that it is multicultural, multi-income, and pedestrian: everyone walks, runs or cycles around here. I am also in love with shared public spaces, and the Sea Point promenade as well as the Company’s Garden in town are the most successful examples of this for me.”
There’s more of a rarefied air as you curve around the steeper slopes below Lion’s Head to Bantry Bay and Clifton, where property prices are some of the highest in Cape Town, and private villas and luxury apartments line the rocky mountainside above the four sandy beaches, which are numbered rather than named. First Beach is the place for the body beautiful, with volleyball players, surfers and sunbathers. Fourth Beach has Blue Flag status and is family-friendly. Once you’ve descended the steep steps from the road above all four beaches you’ll find Second and Third beaches; popular for sundowners and sunbathing. Once the sun sets, the residential suburb, which has little in the way of restaurants or shops, is returned to affluent peace and quiet as the in-crowd head off to the trendy restaurants and night spots of Camps Bay or Sea Point.
With its palm tree-lined beach and cafe society buzz, Camps Bay has a glamorous aura in the summer season, but underneath the glitz it retains its family-friendly feel. Growing up here, Karen Scher remembers her family house always being filled with friends, hanging out after spending long hours on the beach. “The beach is still a fun place for kids and it’s lost none of its natural beauty. It has become touristy, but, in a way, that’s part of its charm.”
The beauty of the scenery is what attracted Verena Neumayr-Howes to settle here three years ago. “To open your window every morning and see what is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and then make a cup of coffee in the kitchen with a view of Lion’s Head and Table Mountain is just incredible. And I will never, ever tire of the glorious sunsets.”
With an active toddler in the family, the beach is part of everyday living. “We love Glen Beach as it’s a bit secluded and less windy, and my husband takes his board out if the surf conditions are good. Most tourists don’t know about it so it feels like a local insider tip.” And there are plenty more facilities for families: the park behind the Bay Hotel, a local library with free story hour, and the sports fields for soccer. As far as schools go, Camps Bay Prep has a good reputation and older kids travel all the way from Sea Point and further afield to attend Camps Bay High School.
“The location is great as it has a village vibe but it’s close to the CBD and the Waterfront,” continues Verena. “It’s an ideal spot for everyone, from sports fanatics and party animals to couples and families. There is a lovely community spirit that makes living here very agreeable.”
Leaving behind Camps Bay and its adjoining suburb of Bakoven, the coastal road winds through unspoiled fynbos with stunning views of mountain and ocean. Passing the Twelve Apostles Hotel (which is the place to go for glamorous sundowners and fine dining) you eventually reach Llandudno, a seaside village that is one of the more exclusive suburbs of Cape Town. Llandudno is the choice for those who prefer a quiet life with no restaurants or shops, no street lighting, just unspoiled wilderness, a beautiful beach and endless mountain views.
Wherever you choose to settle on the Atlantic Seaboard you are guaranteed stunning scenery, gorgeous sunsets and an enviable outdoor lifestyle enjoying some of Cape Town’s best beaches and mountain hiking right on your doorstep.
Eat like a local
- Kleinsky’s Delicatessen – the best bagels and breakfasts
- La Perla – Italian neighbourhood vibe with great views
- The Codfather – the freshest seafood cooked to order
- Baked Bistro – great breakfasts
- Rumbullion – al fresco lunches on the lawns
- The Leopard Bar at Twelve Apostles – glamorous sundowners
- Properties listed for sale in the Atlantic Seaboard comprise approximately 10% of the total sale listings in the Cape Town area.
- Approximately 10% of the interest (views) in properties for sale in the Cape Town area is attributable to properties listed for sale in the Atlantic Seaboard.
- Properties listed for rent in the Atlantic Seaboard comprise approximately 27% of the total rental listings in the Cape Town area.
- Approximately 17% of the interest (views) in properties for rent in the Cape Town area is attributable to properties listed for rent in Atlantic seaboard.
Median asking prices for Atlantic Seaboard properties
R4,298m - For a typical property (two-bedroom flat)
R9,33m - For a property in a complex
R5,95m - For a flat
R17,14m - For a house
Median monthly asking prices for Atlantic Seaboard rentals
R19,200 - For a typical rental property (two-bedroom flat)
R44,000 - In a complex
R15,500 - For a flat
R38,800 - For a house
Property types for sale
3% In a complex
Property types for rent
4% In a complex
Buying in the Atlantic Seaboard
The monthly bond repayment to purchase a typical property in the Atlantic Seaboard, namely a two-bedroom flat, with the median asking price of R4,298m is R40,767 per month over 20 years at prime of 9,25% with no deposit.
Take a journey through the Atlantic Seaboard here:
This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.