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A Local's Guide to Beaches In Port Elizabeth


By Christina Makochieng

I never realised how lucky I was to live by the sea till I didn’t anymore. I think it’s easy to take things like that for granted when you’re so used to them being there all the time. I don’t spend as much time as I’d like to at the beach  because of how busy life can be sometimes, but whenever I do make a point of going, I remember why it’s so important to. The ocean really does have the power to heal and the power to erase all your worries, even if only for a moment. 

If you ever happen to visit the seaside city of Port Elizabeth, South Africa, for the first time and are unsure of where to go, here is a list of beach spots that are worth checking out.

Sardinia Bay 

Sardinia Bay is without a doubt the city's most popular beach and it's not hard to see why. If you're looking for endless expanses of coastline, sand-dunes tailor-made for sand-boarding or the perfect spot to have a picnic with friends while catching a sundowner, this is the place to be. 

Hobie Beach 

Home to one of the city’s most prominent features, Shark Rock Pier, Hobie Beach is a great spot if you're looking to have a stroll after hanging out at The Boardwalk or at beach-side restaurants such as Blue Waters, Barney's or Angelo's. The view from the pier is truly something special. 

Kings Beach 

Kings Beach is a good choice if you're looking to escape the crowds but best to avoid at the height of summer when locals and non-locals flock to the area. It's also a good go-to if you'd like to check out the city skate-park. 


This darling little seaside village just outside of the city centre is great for anyone looking for a quiet escape. Schoenmakerskop's rugged, seemingly untouched beauty will take your breath away. The name is Afrikaans for 'shoemaker's hill'. 

Cape Recife 

Although an entrance fee is required to enter, this nature reserve is so worth the visit. The Cape Recife lighthouse makes a stunning backdrop in photographs and you're guaranteed to have the beach all to yourself during most of your visits. The reserve is home to beautiful wildlife, landscapes and walking trails. 

Maitland Beach  

Maitland Beach, or ‘Maitlands’ in short, is another spot that lies on the outskirts of the city, but so worth the drive out. Maitlands is also another spot great for sand-boarding. If you're looking for a largely undisturbed, pristine beach area to spend your afternoon enjoying, then look no further. 

Kini Bay

Only 15 minutes outside of the city, Kini Bay is known for its lush, green vegetation, remote beaches and an undeniable charm. Beaches like the ones you'll find here will make you forget about the rest of the world for a while. 

Pollock Beach

I saved the best for last. The best in my humble opinion, anyway! More commonly known as Pipe Beach, this has to be one of my most favourite beaches in the entire city. It's simple, but beautiful. The gorgeous rock-pools, the view during sunset and seeing all the surfers out when the conditions are good make it a winner in my book. It's also home to one of PE's oldest, most popular eateries, Something Good Roadhouse. If you’re a fan of watching surf events as well, Pipe beach is the annual venue of the Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing and the Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro.

Port Elizabeth isn’t as well known as it’s west-coast counterparts, but hopefully this list will give you a reason to visit regardless.



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