Brimming with seaside activity, the relaxed coastal town of Hermanus is hugely popular with holidaymakers from around the world. Hugging the Walker Bay coast in the Overberg region, the whale-centric town of Hermanus is one of the most picturesque and charming destinations in the Western Cape. This iconic fishing town’s claim to fame is its staggering whale population that descends upon the bay during the calving season, making it one of the world's best land-based whale watching destinations.
Home to a myriad of eateries, cafes, and adventure activities, this tranquil town offers a host of things to do. Just a ten-minute walk along the coast, away from the bustling epicentre, is Hermanus Boutique Guest House - a serene whale watching accommodation option right on the shores of the bay.
Where is Hermanus?
Hermanus is a mere 140 kilometres from Cape Town and lies sandwiched between the fynbos covered Hottentots Holland mountains and the whale-filled waters of the Indian Ocean. The town centre is built around the historic old harbour which overlooks Walker Bay, while the Fernkloof Nature Reserve carpets the slopes of Hermanus's mountain backdrop.
A large craft market serves as the central point of the town, and is surrounded by a range of seafood restaurants and cafes. A few popular contenders include the funky Char’d Grill, Burgundy seafront restaurant and the elegant Pear Tree bistro. The town centre truly is a hub of vibrant activity, designed to keep all types of holidaymakers happy. Directly at the craft market, visitors to the town can book their whale-watching boat excursions, wine tours, and other activities.
Whale Watching in Hermanus
A major drawcard of visiting Hermanus, aside from soaking up the atmosphere, is to go whale watching. Hermanus is whale town! From July to November, the southern right whales flock to Walker Bay to give birth and copulate. It’s not only southern right whales that appear in the bay: the Bryde’s and humpback whales migrate through Walker Bay between May and December.
Marine lovers can wander down to the rocks and enjoy close-up sightings of whales. During the Hermanus whale season, a whale crier alerts the general public to the presence of whales, ensuring those sitting in a seafront cafe soaking up the vibe won’t miss a sighting. Hermanus is the only seaside town in the world that has a whale crier! A scenic coastal cliff path winds its way around the coast, offering spectacular views of the bay, beaches and cliff faces. This biodiversity cliff path extends for 11 kilometres from the new harbour to just before Grotto beach and is ideal for short walks, hikes and long trail runs.
Playing Golf in Hermanus
Playing golf in Hermanus is an incredible experience. Golfers can make their way round the scenic 27-hole course at Hermanus Golf Club, which has sweeping views of both ocean and mountain. The backline of the mountain frames the emerald green course, while the sapphire blue ocean provides provides an atmosphere of tranquility. Plenty of international visitors combine a whale-watching vacation with a golfing holiday to Hermanus, while enjoying a stay in the luxurious Hermanus Boutique Guest House.
Beaches in Hermanus
Hermanus has a network of beaches and bays, one of which has an acclaimed Blue Flag status. Popular for swimming, surfing, and its array of tidal pools, Grotto Beach is the most well-known and adored beach in Hermanus. Other enchanting beaches include Kammabaai and Voëlklip, both of which are family-friendly. Adrenalin based activities such as scuba diving, kayaking, and shark-cage diving hold great appeal for the die-hard adventurer.
For the more sedentary holidaymaker just looking to soak up the Hermanus beach vibe, a visit to Dutchies restaurant on the beach comes highly recommended. The new kid on the block is Fick’s Restaurant, a bustling open-air cocktail and tapas restaurant built around Fick’s tidal pool. Hermanus Boutique Guest House is conveniently situated across the road from Fick's.
Things to Do in Hermanus
- Shark cage diving in Gansbaai
- Golfing at Hermanus Golf Club
- Trail running along the 11 kilometre coastal cliff path Surfing at Voëlklip Beach
- Walking and exploring the long stretch of Grotto Beach
- Enjoy cocktails and tapas at the “Instagrammable” Fick’s Pool
- Whale Watching (land and boat based)
- Sea kayaking along Walker Bay
- Buy crafts at the village centre craft market
- Browse Hermanus farmer’s and country market on Saturdays
- Hike in the Fernkloof Nature Reserve
- Go diving in the Old Harbour
- Scenic drives
- Hop-on hop-off wine tasting tours in a safari-style vehicle
- Sampling gourmet cuisine at one of the many fine restaurants
- Visit Hemingway’s, South Africa’s quirkiest bookshop