Places to visit in Hermanus
Southern Right Whale Charters
The town of Hermanus offers the best land-based and boat-based whale watching in the world. Southern Right Whale Charters depart from the New Harbour and navigate the marine-rich waters of Walker Bay. Trips take place in a purpose-built catamaran.
Watching whales while out on a boat provides plenty of scope for visitors to get up close and personal with the giants of the sea. Southern Right Whale Charters firmly believe in keeping an ethical distance from the whales. Guests can also spot southern right whales, cormorants, Cape fur seals, and Bryde's whales.
Cliff Path Trail
The Hermanus cliff path is located just in front of the guest house and stretches across 12 kilometres of rocky coastline. The walk is well-maintained, safe and an absolute must-do for visitors. The biodiversity along the cliff path is incredible. The path offers the best land-based whale watching in the world, and there are benches located at strategic viewpoints. Watch whales from the path, enjoy a trail run or just soak up the wonders of the Fernkloof Nature Reserve. Don’t be surprised to spot huge groups of daisies (rock hyraxes) darting back and forth.
Hermanus Country Market
This is a small market with a lot of soul. Where good friends meet, eat, and buy beautiful things...
There is an array of fresh organic produce, home made delicacies, artisan breads, probiotic yoghurts, hand made cheeses, home smoked fish, happy hen eggs, wheat-free bakes, a whole variety of arts & crafts, as well as live music, plants and all things that are good for your health and happiness!
The market has been going strong since 2006, and is situated at the Hermanus Cricket Club. it is every Saturday between 08:00 and 12:00
The picturesque Grotto Beach in Hermanus is a Blue Flag beach, renowned for its endless stretch of sandy beach and calm oceans. The beach is ideal for families, relaxed holidaymakers and an active crowd. Hugging an 18 kilometre stretch of coast from the Blue Flag area to the hamlet of De Kelders, Grotto Beach is just perfect for runs and lengthy beach hikes. An undulating mountain range serves as the backdrop to this endless beach. From swimming to suntanning, this beach is a major drawcard for locals and internationals alike.
Hemel & Aarde Valley
The Hemel en Aarde Valley is the epicentre of Hermanus’s wine tasting route and is one of the most scenic destinations in the Overberg. The route winds it way from just outside Hermanus, all the way into the heart of the mountains and countryside. Dotted along a stretch of meandering road are wineries, gourmet restaurants, delis, and spectacular viewpoints. In Dutch, Hemel-en-Aarde means “heaven and earth”, which comes as no surprise given that the valley is famous for its uninterrupted views of mountains, sea, and sky. Don’t miss seeing this unique side of Hermanus.
Hermanus Wine Hoppers
This unique experience is very popular with wine lovers and offers an unforgettable way of experiencing the wineries of the Hemel-en-Aarde valley. This is a hop-on-hop-off style experience where guests are driven around in safari style game viewers. The Hermanus Wine Hoppers offers a variety of different routes, and each vehicle goes in a constant loop up the valley and back. Some of the wineries offer lunch platters, while others have beautiful deli sections. For wine connoisseurs, the Hermanus Wine Hoppers is the perfect experience.
Fernkloof Nature Reserve
The Fernkloof Nature Reserve is a protected reserve in the fynbos-rich Kleinrivier Mountains above Hermanus. Encompassing 1 800 hectares of mountain, the reserve is characterised by a variety of protea species and array of fauna. Throughout the reserve, there is a network of over 60 kilometres of hiking trails with varying degrees of difficulty. The uninterrupted arresting views of the coast from the mountain trails is well-worth the trek up the mountain. Spot the iridescent Cape sugarbird, klipspringer, mongoose, and dassie while traversing the reserve.
Old Harbour Museum
The town’s infrastructure is built around the old harbour area, which is a provincial heritage site. Established in 1972, the Old Harbour Museum is now a tourist attraction for lovers of ancient history. The harbour is actually one of two fishing harbours in the world that remains in tact. The town was built around the old harbour area, and has since spilled out along the coastline. The old harbour area still remains a hive of activity and is easily identifiable by the old wooden fishing boats guarding the museum’s entrance.
Romantiques Bygones and Collectables is a quirky collectibles store with unique finds from across South Africa. The shop is owned by a group of friends, each passionate about something unusual. Old books about Africa, an imposing red display of Coca Cola memorabilia through the years, and array of farming equipment are just a few of the random items on sale. A visit to Romantiques and a browse around this eclectic shop is a must.
The well-established Hemingways bookshop is located in a small historic cottage on Victoria Square and carries an enclave of literary genres. The bookshop has the atmosphere of a bygone era, and one of the owners is a published author. There are two cats guarding the entrance to Hemingways who spend their days lounging around on the porch, adding to the cosiness of the shop. Hemingways is featured in may international city guides and has certainly earned its place as one of the top quirky bookshops to visit in South Africa.
Penguins at Stony Point - Betty's Bay
Betty’s Bay is a small coastal village located about 40 minutes outside Hermanus, en route to Cape Town. Although outside of the town, it’s worth making an effort to visit the penguin colonies at Stony Point. This section of Betty’s Bay is the breeding ground for jackass penguins and the rocky outcrops are often covered in penguins. Visitors can see the colonies swimming in the sea and nesting in the shrubbery. A wooden walkway snakes its way around the edge of the breeding grounds, providing plenty of scope to view the penguins.
Harold Porter National Botanical Gardenn - Kleinmond
The cascading gardens of the Harold Porter National Botanical Garden is where visitors can view the splendour of the Cape’s coastal fynbos. Situated 30 minutes outside Hermanus in Kleinmond, the gardens are well-worth the visit. There are a myriad of hiking trails and walking routes in the Harold Porter National Botanical Garden, each carefully mapped out to take advantage of the views. The gardens encompass a varied terrain comprising deep gorges, relict forests, coastal dunes, majestic waterfalls and deep mountain pools.
Hermanus Golf Club
Hermanus Golf Course is situated at the foot of the mountains and offers magnificent views of both the ocean and mountain. The 27 hole golf course is in excellent condition and has several interesting holes. Wildlife can be spotted while playing the course, and it’s not uncommon to see grysbok and other antelope while teeing off. Each hole is cocooned by indigenous flora. A fully-stocked pro-shop, modern clubhouse with bar, driving range, and putting green are just a few of the amenities at Hermanus Golf Club.
Eco Marine Boat Trips
The eco marine boat trips are ideal for the whole family and take about 90 minutes in total. The gentle boat ride navigates its way around the Walker Bay coast in search of marine life, particularly southern right whales. En route, visitors can spot pelagic birds, dolphins and Cape fur seals. The ocean trips run from February to May which is during the height of whale watching season. Each boat trip is run by a SATOUR qualified guide who has in depth knowledge about marine life.
Horse Riding on Pearly Beach
Pearly Beach is a long stretch of sugar-white beach situated roughly 60 kilometres from Hermanus. The beach is ideal for long outrides, and tours include beach trails and farmlands, dune forests and a swim with the horses during season. Avid horse riders can also arrange special occasion outrides, one of which is the sundowner and champagne trail. There are also full moon trails, fynbos trails, and a wine tasting and horse trail. There are a range of horses available, each with their own story.