Craving that island life but don’t have the bucks to pay the island life price tag?
South Africa has many a beach that would not only trick your Instagram followers, but also your own brain into believing that you’re lounging around on some idyllic, tropical island.
READ: Sleepy coastal towns where you can have the beach all to yourself
From the green and gold of the Wild Coast to secret beaches on the Garden Route to a lagoon’s still Grecian waters, there’s a South African beach out there for you ready to play the part of Seychelles, Mauritius or even Cyprus.
And you don’t even have to work your imagination too hard.
ALSO SEE: Indian Ocean escapes: Beach-busting holidays for South Africans
Hluleka Nature Reserve
Wandering through the palm trees onto warm sand, the Wild Coast beaches at Hluleka offers a jaw-dropping sight, almost more beautiful than an island destination.
Dwesa Nature Reserve
Another picture-perfect Wild Coast destination, the beaches stretch on forever over glistening blocks of rock that almost looks man-made.
WATCH: Add the bumpy roads of the Wild Coast to your SA must-go list
One of the top diving destinations in the world, Sodwana’s beach stretches on forever with a chill vibes that epitomises that island life.
Lovely rock pools and a reef that’s easy to snorkel in what forms part of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, you might just forget that you’re on South Africa’s mainland and not one of Mozambique’s islands.
READ: Learning to swim like a fish in Sodwana Bay: What you should know about doing your PADI certification
While the water might leave you freezing, the Cape Town beach remains one of our most beautiful spots, with boulders that look almost like Anse Lazio Beach in Seychelles.
On the shores of the Langebaan Lagoon inside the West Coast National Park, the still, clear waters replicate the serenity of the waters surrounding Indian Ocean islands.
WATCH: #CapeSecrets: Langebaan like you’ve never seen it before
A very popular ‘secret’ beach in Knysna, the drive and steep walk to this quaint spot is quite isolating – just like a deserted island.
Another long drive to nowhere, this protected beach in De Hoop Nature Reserve offers a different kind of island feel – a rocky outcrop somewhere in the South Atlantic Ocean.
WATCH: From sand dunes to fynbos, veld and vlei: The rapidly changing landscape of De Hoop
Once the popular haunt of nudist beachgoers of KZN (there’s still a drawn-out battle over this legality), Mpenjati’s beach is still a beautiful replacement for the beaches of Reunion.
Stretching into our beach-loving neighbour Mozambique, the sandy beach of Kosi Bay has lazy days awaiting those looking to dip their toes into an island holiday.
WATCH: Road-tripping Mozambique: From camping with wild elephants to watching the sun set over dhows
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