A 10-minute walk southeast from Cat Ba Town, the three Cat Co Cove beaches boast the nearest sand to town, although rubbish in the water can be problematic some days. Cat Co 3 is the closest, with a blink-and-you-miss-it sliver of sand. From there a walking trail, cut into the cliff, offering gorgeous sea views, winds its way to Cat Co 1 dominated by a rather ugly resort, then onwards to the pretty white-sand swath of Cat Co 2 .
You can also walk straight up the hill to Cat Co 1 and 2, or take the tourist 'train' (basically an oversized golf cart; 10,000d) that trundles over the hill during the summer months.
Watersport gear like kayaks and windsurfers are available to rent at Cat Co 1 and 2. Note that on summer weekends the beaches get packed and litter can be a problem.
Other beaches on Cat Ba Island include Cai Vieng, Hong Xoai Be and Hong Xoai Lon.