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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.