10 things to do in Hermanus

Hermanus is about a 1.5 hour trip from Cape Town and is renowned worldwide for being a fabulous spot to see Southern Right Whales. It is also a stone’s throw from the Hemel en Aarde wine region and offers visitors to the Cape a chance to experience some of South Africa’s beautiful beaches and hospitality. Here’s our pick of things to do in Hermanus.

Harbour House, Hermanus

Harbour House, Hermanus

1. See the whales

Peak whale watching season is September-October. You are almost guaranteed to see whales during this time and also the months on either side. A walk along the coastal cliff path provides many great viewing opportunities and for those looking for more adrenaline there are kayak tours, although everyone is careful to stay a safe distance.

Watch the whales, Hermanus

2. Walk on Grotto beach

One of the best things about Hermanus is the number of beaches there are to explore. Grotto is the longest and although everyone has their own favourite, this is the beach where you will feel the expanse of the bay and get some great exercise. You can also stop for a drink or coffee at Dutchies.

Dutchies Grotto Beach

Grotto Beach: photo taken by Dutchies Restaurant

3. Swim in the Marine pool

Just off the coastal path, near the town and below the Marine Hotel is the Marine tidal pool. It is open for everyone to take a dip and it’s beautifully clean, and big enough to swim lengths. Take some shoes (you may want to swim in them as there are some sea urchins) and remember we didn’t say it was warm!

4. Have lunch at Creation

Not far away from the town of Hermanus is the Hemel en Aarde Valley (Heaven and Earth), which is home to some of the best vineyards in South Africa. Creation is a favourite – the menu is inventive; the view amazing and there is even a family room so the kids can enjoy it too.



5. Go to market

Every Saturday there is a market in Hermanus. Expect great coffee; local produce and a buzzing atmosphere. You will also get the chance to buy both fresh ingredients and some lovely gifts to take home. Open 9am to 1pm.

The Hermanus Market. Image by Cape Markets.

The Hermanus Market. Image by Cape Markets.

6. Take a hike

The nearby Fernkloof Nature Reserve is well worth exploring for those who love flora and fauna and the great wide open. There are three dams, a waterfall and exceptional views. Ask a local for their advice before setting off.

7. Play golf

Love your golf? Then Hermanus is a must-visit. Head to Arabella for a round or two or stick to the Hermanus Golf Club (27 holes). Booking ahead is advised.

Golf at Arabella

Golf at Arabella

8. Go mountain bike riding

Start at the Hemel en Aarde Village and choose a mountain  bike route that suits your level of experience (there are very tricky ones and ones suitable for the novice). A permit is required and you can find out all the info here.

Mountain Biking in Hermanus. Image by Hermanus Adventures.

9. Drive to Stanford

Stanford is a small village a few kilometers away from Hermanus but it is well worth the visit. It’s full of character, there’s a great brewery to pop into and some quaint restaurants and shops to stop in at.

Mosaic Retreat

Mosaic Retreat

10. Stay somewhere amazing

From the Birkenhead House Hotel to the Mosaic Private Sanctuary, there are so many superb places to stay in Hermanus. Some offer a family holiday you will never forget and others a 5* romantic getaway or the chance just to switch off and unwind.

Birkenhead House, Hermanus

Birkenhead House, Hermanus

Don’t miss the once in a lifetime opportunity to see the whales and explore the region. Get in touch and book your trip to the Cape and Hermanus – we would love to create a special itinerary for you.

About the Author
Richard is the Founding MD of Greatest Africa & Richard Hilton Vineyards. He lives in Somerset West with his wife and two daughters. He is passionate about the Cape, travel, global wines, wine education and sharing his experiences of this beautiful country that he calls home.

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