There is a wealth of quaint beach villages along both the east and west coasts of South Africa that offer some amazing places to stay if you are looking for a quiet, secluded escape from the city.
Here are our top picks for the best beach cottages to head to for a laid-back, relaxing weekend getaway.
The best beach getaways
West of the Moon – Churchhaven, Cape West Coast
Churchhaven is the ultimate getaway if you just want to swim, bird-watch, and relax and West of the Moon is the perfect place to do just that.
Nestled in the West Coast National Park, the charming whitewashed cottage boasts a rustic beach feel with weathered décor and a vintage touch. Designed to mirror an original West Coast fisherman's cottage, the cozy abode has low doorways, small windows with red and green window frames, and a thatched roof.
The cottage is a stone's throw away from the Langebaan lagoon and has a lovely veranda with daybeds and loungers for lounging in the sun and soaking up the views.
The cottage sleeps six people and has hot running water and electricity, and an outdoor braai area with a grid. There is no television, but you can enjoy hiking, cycling, or kayaking in the surrounding nature reserve.
The Beach Hut – Paternoster, Cape West Coast
Paternoster is pure "Weskus" and an idyllic seaside oasis for getting away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Set on the northern side of Mosselbank, the Beach Hut is a quintessential coastal cottage with white-washed walls and nautical-themed décor and is wonderfully secluded, so you'll only see sea, sand, and sun.
The enchanting cottage has three beautifully decorated guest rooms and antique touches and a sea-facing lounge has comfy furnishings and a large fireplace for getting cosy on blustery evenings.
Two toy-filled lofts will keep the kids busy, there are three televisions for lounging on the couch, and a surfboard and mountain bikes are available for active guests to use.
Thalassa – Simon's Town, Cape Peninsula
Simon's Town is full of charm and close enough to town for a quick weekend getaway. Tucked amongst fynbos on a mountain between Simon's Town and Cape Point, Thalassa (meaning "sea" in Greek) is a beautifully refurbished clapboard fisherman's hut with a chic farmhouse feel.
Three bedrooms are comfortably decorated with antique touches and a large kitchen with sash windows is ideal for self-catering. Boasting breathtaking views over False Bay, the cottage has a little deck with a weber and is a short walk from Pyramid Rock, which is one of the only areas in the world where you can swim with docile cow sharks.
Summerhill – Blombos, Garden Route
The Garden Route has so many amazing places to stay but Summerhill in Blombos is a special little spot.
Surrounded by vast tracts of fynbos between Cape Agulhas and Stilbaai on the Southern Cape coast, the secluded lodge overlooks a long, white sandy beach that you'll have all to yourself.
The lodge has contemporary décor with wooden floors, pastel furnishings, wicker chairs, and comfy couches, and floor-to-ceiling glass doors in the lounge offer panoramic 90-degree ocean views. The lodge sleeps six adults and four kids and there is no television so it's a true get-away-from-it-all spot.
Oyster Box Beach House – Kenton-on-Sea, Sunshine Coast
A stone's throw from the water's edge in Kenton-on-Sea on the Sunshine Coast, the Oyster Box Beach House offers a luxurious seaside getaway with charming personal touches.
The house has contemporary décor and deluxe treats like customised bottled water, handmade bath salts, mohair blankets, electric blankets, and heated towel rails, and 100% cotton Mungo bath towels.
A large gas and stone fireplace and plush couches make for evenings of relaxing in front of a crackling fire, but the pièce de résistance is the huge outside deck with a splash pool, loungers, an oval hanging chair and a braai and spectacular views of the Bushman's River mouth and the ocean.
Shack on Supers – Jeffrey's Bay, Eastern Cape
Jeffrey's Bay is all about sand, sea, super waves, and surfing and it's a fantastic spot to escape and surf your heart out.
Shack on Supers is the quintessential surfer's shack with incredible views over Supertubes beach from two lovely wooden decks. Surrounded by dense thickets of milkwoods, the double-level, ramshackle, treehouse-style cottage has cosy wooden interiors and comfy furnishings. It's definitely the kind of spot for barefoot beach living without a care in the world.
Little White Beach Cottage – Ballito, Kwazulu-Natal
A few hundred metres from Willard Beach in Ballito, the Little White Beach Cottage is just that and more.
Living up to its moniker with gorgeous white exteriors set against the verdant backdrop of lush tropical palms and sheer white interiors with a beach-chic feel, the cottage is a tranquil, laid-back spot for soaking up the beauty of the Kwa-Zulu Natal coast.
A wooden veranda has a hammock swaying between the trees where you lie and watch vervet monkeys playing in the palms above or keep an eye out for migrating whales.
Sea Cottage – Sheffield Beach, North Coast, Kwazulu-Natal
Set right on Sheffield Beach, Sea Cottage is one of two gorgeous little cabin-style retreats with nothing else around them except the sand and sea. The cottage is simply furnished with coastal-themed décor, open-plan living spaces, and sliding doors that open up to let the incredible views in.
A covered patio is a perfect place to kick back and unwind while the waves lull you into relaxation.