It may have a total area of less than 20 square kilometres, but Hermanus remains one of South Africa’s favourite holiday retreats for both locals and international tourists. As such, it has plenty in the way of things to do and see to cater to these visitors, while retaining a cosy seaside resort ambience, which the locals love. In addition, it is only about 1.5 hours’ drive from Cape Town and its international airport, making it accessible and conveniently situated.
Although there are countless activities and attractions in and around Hermanus, this town remains renowned as one of the world’s top whale-watching spots. Therefore, visitors are encouraged to go on one of the whale-watching tours between July and December. During this time, Humpback and Southern Right whales are most prolific, and can be seen breaching, spyhopping and lobtailing in these chilly waters. Naturally curious, they may even come to within a few metres of the boat, while the guide provides valuable insight into these majestic giants, their habitat and their lives.
But, these ocean waters are not only home to marine mammals; there are also a number of sharks inhabiting their salty coolness. Shark cage diving is sure to get the adrenalin pumping as you come face-to-face with these powerful hunters, while protected by a sturdy metal cage. Great white sharks are often the ones to approach the cage, providing a really exciting experience.
Being situated in the Western Cape, Hermanus is close to the Cape Winelands. However, it produces some fabulous wines too. The Walker Bay Wine Route begins at Benguela Cove and takes visitors through the picturesque Hemel-en-Aarde (Heaven and Earth) Valley. A number of notable wine farms (including Bouchard Finlayson and La Vierge) are amongst those along this wine route.
The beaches of Hermanus are gorgeous. They include:
- Onrus Beach – the lagoon here is particularly suited to young children and toddlers as it is calm and the waters warmer than those of the sea. This is also a popular surfing beach
- Langbaai Beach – this is a small, secluded beach that promises great swimming conditions
- Grotto Beach – as one of the biggest beaches in the area, this is great for families and groups of friends that want to spend a day sun-tanning, swimming, picnicking and playing ball. There are ablutions and restaurants nearby.
- Kammabaai – this beach is ideal for families as the water is shallow and there are plenty of facilities in the vicinity.
Due to the scenic surrounds and the fabulous summer weather conditions, Hermanus is a popular destination for those that love to be outdoors. Adventure sports abound and will certainly make your stay here even more exciting and memorable. Whether you want to paraglide, dive with sharks, quad bike, kayak, zipline over the tree canopy, mountain bike or SCUBA dive, Hermanus is equipped to accommodate you.
The Fernkloof Nature Reserve has a number of hiking and walking trails that are safe and well-marked. This reserve is situated in the Kleinrivier Mountains, which overlook Hermanus. The vegetation ranges from coastal scrub to forests and fynbos. The visitors’ centre has some of the more interesting plant species on a permanent display, which is both fascinating and beautiful.
Other attractions in Hermanus and its immediate vicinity include:
- The Kleinrivier Cheese Farm
- Wonderland Cafe is ideal for children as it is equipped with a playground, miniature train & rides.
- The Hermanus Golf Course, boasting 27 holes.