A sublime mountain backdrop defines the South African suburb of Strand. Rugged Hottentots-Holland Mountains loom high over the beach, while the twisted peaks of the Table Mountain Chain rise in the distance, on the opposite side of False Bay. Located a 45-minute drive out of the city centre, Strand has one of the Cape Town’s best beaches and its warmest waters, making it popular with locals and visitors throughout the year.
Everything in Strand revolves around the beachfront, where restaurants and shops gaze over almost five kilometres of white sand. False Bay is sheltered, so the Strand waters are a few degrees warmer than elsewhere in the city, something that’s revered by locals. Informal traders have created small markets in car parks along the beach, their colourful stalls selling everything from wooden souvenirs to soft drinks and sun hats. Close to the beach is a mini golf course, waterpark and an Olympic-sized swimming pool. The beach is separated into distinctive zones with surfers filling the section around The Pipe and families congregating in a safe swimming area known as the Golden Mile.
Travel out of Cape Town and Strand is almost the last suburb before the spectacular Sir Lowry’s Pass over the mountains. There is no public transport over the pass, but buses and shared taxis travel in the opposite direction towards the city. Strand is also the last station on the railway line heading south-east of Cape Town.
Tourists have been enjoying Strand since the 18th century when it was a coastal getaway for people living in Cape Town and nearby Stellenbosch. Strand is the local Afrikaans word for “beach”.