Cape Town lies on the 34th latitude south, which makes it climatically comparable to Casablanca and Los Angeles. It is, nevertheless, considerably cooler in Cape Town, because of the Atlantic Ocean west of the city and the cold Benguela current which brings water temperatures down a fair bit. The water on the eastern side of the city is much warmer though, where the influence of the Indian Ocean is noticeable. Because the warm Agulhas current turns south at Cape Agulhas, the water is subtropically warm only north of Cape Agulhas.
The nicest beaches on the Atlantic side are in Camps Bay, Clifton, Llandudno, Hout Bay, Noordhoek and Kommetjie. Milnerton, Table View and Bloubergstrand also have wide and long sandy beaches. However, the wind often blows strongly there. The most attractive beaches on the Indian side are in Simon's Town, Fish Hoek and Muizenberg. The beaches further east, in the Strandfontein area, should be avoided for safety reasons. Only in Strand (near Somerset-West) is it safe again. Beautiful beaches and warmer water can be found on the Overberg coast, especially in Hermanus, De Hoop and Arniston.
Due to the strong winds, the beaches at the Cape usually have a strong surf, ideal for surfers and bodyboarders. The Cape area is generally known to be shark-safe, although at times some sharks have been spotted near the False Bay coast.
Cape Town has a Mediterranean climate. In summer (December to April) it is usually pleasantly warm with day temperatures between 25 and 32 C-degrees. There is often a strong wind blowing from the south-east; the famous South-Easter or "Cape Doctor". It hardly ever rains, but when is does, only for a short time. Winters are wet and cool, but temperatures don't often sink below 10 degrees Celsius.
Top left: A lifesaver holding watch at the Strand beach. Top right: Clifton Beach: one of the most popular beaches right in town. Bottom: The beach of Muizenberg on the Cape Peninsula.