Some of the best beaches in the world are given the accolade based on the ‘wow’ factor of crystal clear waters and palm trees, yet South Africa has some of the lesser known best beaches in the world that rival paradise. One only has to look as far as Cape Town or Plett to find pristine beaches that give stiff competition to the coasts of some of the most luxurious destinations (like the Amalfi coast in Italy or the bays of California). We’re going to break down the factors of a ‘best beach’ and see how the sandy shores of Plettenberg Bay compare…
What makes a beach one of the best beaches in the world?
Plettenberg Bay is known for its temperate climate. This means the weather sits within a ‘goldilocks’ zone – not too hot, nor too cold – just right! Plett is known for hot summers and mild winters. In fact, compared to the icy winters of Europe, one could say that Plettenberg Bay has summer all year round. The best beaches in the world are know for sunshine and hot weather. The climate in Plett is one of the most temperate in the world and it has very consistent weather patterns throughout the year. Summers stretch from October through to March and Winters still see many warm sunny days; just the nights are cooler. Summer temperatures rise to 27°C (that’s 80,6°F); sometimes mid-thirties Celsius (mid-nineties Fahrenheit).
Ocean Temperature & Currents
The Indian Ocean waters of Plett are warm compared to the cold Atlantic Ocean. The warm waters of the Mozambique current meets the equally temperate Agulhas current that runs past Plett. The waters of Plett are ideal for cooling off after sunbathing and the waves provide perfect surfing or boarding conditions. (Read our article on tips for ocean swimming, which highlights all you need to know about Plett’s waters). All round the waters of Plett definitely meet the standards of the best beaches in the world.
With perfectly golden beach sand, Plettenberg Bay has pristine beaches ready to rival the best beaches in the world and delight any holiday maker. Is there enough sand to build a castle, you ask? Yes! Most of Plett’s beaches have no hard pebbles in sight, just perfect quality beach sand for comfortable sun-bathing and leisurely walks. Plett has an array of beaches that suit family vacationing too. Your pets will love it, with the waves crashing and then ebbing gently at the shore edge. Plett’s beaches often also have a crop or two of rocks or large boulder rocks along the back of the beach or the sides of the beach. Dogs love to jump up and explore these rocks, while children can also play in the shallow rocks and explore for small marine creatures (be aware that all rocks become slippery when wet).
Spectacular sunsets are just one of the many highlights of Plettenberg Bay. The surrounding vegetation and wildlife of Plett (and Knysna too) is an ecologist’s dream. Fynbos (a world unique variety of plants and flowers in South Africa) reaches up to the beaches with shrubbery and lush foliage. Beautiful birds of the region are also readily spotted in the area and above the ocean in the blue sky overhead. The distant cry of Seagulls is heard over the sounds of the waves, making for a blissful holiday soundtrack.
If that’s not enough to make it one of the best beaches in the world – Plett beaches offer the change to catch a glimpse of dolphins frolicking in the surf (as well as the majestic whales that grace the region during July through September). Frequently these huge creatures loll mere meters from the shore, making them clearly visible. There are many holiday makers that have seen whales breaching the surface and ‘playing’ in the ocean at Plettenberg Bay; a life changing event. This video shows these magnificent dolphins and whales enjoying the waters of Plett!
The Fun Factor
A beach is no fun without being suitable for beach activities. In addition to swimming and sunbathing, there are a vast array of things to do at the beach in Plett. Snorkelling, surfing, paddle-baording and riding boogie boards are extremely popular. Plett Main Beach has lifeguards on duty. (Be careful swimming at the Robberg Beach, as there are no lifeguards on this public beach and ocean currents are strong). At night in Plett, peer out to see if you can catch a glimpse of the glowing phosphorescence known to occasionally create electric edges to the waves.
Smell the sea and feel the sky, let your soul and spirit fly. – Van Morrison
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