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Blue Flag Bikini Beach

October 18, 2013

bikini beach 2The popular Bikini Beach in Gordon’s Bay, about 15 minutes’ drive from my guest house, Penny Lane Lodge, has once again been awarded the prestigious Blue Flag status.

Bikini Beach is reputed to have received its name from the bikinis worn by female students from nearby University of Stellenbosch, for whom this beach has been special. This pretty little beach lies at the foot of the Hottentot’s Holland mountain range. We always recommend to guests, particularly in December and January, when other local beaches can be quite windy.  Tucked up against the Gordon’s Bay harbour wall, Bikini Beach is nicely sheltered from the southerly winds which blow during these months.

With its safe and sheltered bathing Bikini Beach is a popular destination for locals and overseas visitors alike. The beach is sandy, the water is warm, and everyone is very friendly. Lifeguards are on duty during the Blue Flag season (December to March) and although there is limited parking close to the beach, there is sufficient parking a short walk away.

bikini beach blue flag

There are some good restaurants within a short walk from the beach with the nearest, Harbour Lights, being located in the adjacent Gordon’s Bay harbour area where excellent seafood can be enjoyed. Away from the beach itself there are a few seaside shops and a shady grove of trees all within an easy stroll.

You will also find an enormous second-hand book store, Bikini Beach Books, which has a huge range of books, in excellent condition and at bargain prices.  Books are piled up throughout this old beachfront house which seems to go on for ever.  The store even has its own very friendly ginger cat!

bb books

blueflaglogoA Blue Flag is an international eco-label awarded annually to over 3650 beaches and marinas in 44 countries. The status indicates that the beaches are clean, have adequate ablution facilities and parking, are environmentally sound, are safe and secure to visit, and adhere to international safety and tourism standards. The accreditation is awarded for one season at a time, and if conditions deteriorate at the beach, it can be withdrawn.

South Africa was the first country outside Europe to win Blue Flag accreditation for its beaches. Cape Town presently has the most Blue Flag beaches, with a total of eight beaches awarded the full Blue Flag status. All Blue Flag beaches have their water tested every two weeks to ensure that the quality meets international standards.

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