Horseshoe Bay, famous on postcards, photos and prints, has long been our most popular public beach and has played host over the decades to countless tourists who love its wide curve of pink sands and expanse of water stretching out to a far horizon. Edged on each side by Aeolian rock cliffs, breeding places for our longtail gulls swooping in and out of rocky crevices, the ocean here is stunning. So the popularity of this beach is understandable since it has something for everyone. If you’re a keen swimmer, you can quickly reach the deeper water and have a good workout swimming laps from end to end. At low tide, you can easily swim out to the inner reef and enjoy excellent snorkelling. In breezy weather you can take a surf board to ride the waves or on calmer days glide over the water on a stand-up paddle board.
As is typical of our south shore beaches, rip tides can sometimes occur so we appreciate the daily lifeguard service here during the summer season.
The western end leads to a smaller, more sheltered cove, Port Royal, locally known as the “baby beach” because it is ideal for small children.
In the high season, especially on days cruise ships are docked in our harbours, Horseshoe’s popularity can mean the beach is packed with fluttering umbrellas in a medley of colours and tourists soaking in the sun. The recently renovated facilities here also add to the popularity. They include bathrooms, showers, lockers and changing rooms, a bar and an outdoor restaurant. For a less-crowded experience, it’s best to avoid cruise ship days or to come before ten o’clock in the morning before the throngs make their way down the hill from South Road to the car park and the beach’s entrance. Early in the morning during the summer season the beach is raked.