The cosmopolitan fishing village and resort of Hermanus lies only 1½ hours drive from Cape Town. It is the whale watching capital of the world, with stunning coastal scenery to boot. Secluded sandy beaches are backed by velvety mountains covered with exceptional fynbos vegetation. The wild flowers are particularly enchanting and walking trails follow the coastline – ideal for whale-watching – or take you into the mountains.
Whale watching can be conducted on land, on the miles and miles of coastal path, by boat or even from the air.
The more adventurous can enjoy whale-watching boat cruises and shark cage diving at nearby Gansbaai. More relaxing pursuits on a holiday in Hermanus would be browsing through numerous arts and craft shops or enjoying the panoramic views of Walker Bay whilst dining alfresco at one of the many restaurants and cafés overlooking the bay.
The Fernkloof Nature Reserve has some superb fynbos vegetation with peak flowering time around September to October. Visit the Botanical centre and take one of the many walking trails up into the mountains.
In addition to the beauty of the surrounding areas, Hermanus has gorgeous hotels you can choose from. Choose between luxury boutique lodges (such as Lavender Manor, Mosselberg on Grotto or Harbour House Hotel), or one of the five star hotels such as Birkenhead House or The Marine Hotel. We also love the luxury country retreats such as Grootbos or Mosaic Lagoon Lodge both near Stanford.
- Whale watching from the coastal path
- Fernkloof Nature Reserve
- Wine-tasting in the Hemel en Aarde valley (Hamilton Russell & Bouchard Finlayson)
- Whale watching boat cruises
- Sunset boat cruises
- Aerial flights for whale watching
- Visit the Birkenhead micro-brewery for a beer tour and tasting
- Relax on one of the many beaches, ideal for swimming and surfing
- Shops, art galleries and great choice of restaurants
As its bay is protected from the devastating south-easterly winds, Gansbaai is a natural harbour for fisherman. Closeby are the pristine Dyer and Geyser islands – both nature reserves that can be visited by boat. Geyser Island hosts a colony of more than 30,000 Cape fur seals and Dyer Island is primarily a bird sanctuary with penguins, cormorants and other species.
Gansbaai has also established itself as the Great White Shark capital of the world and various great white shark viewing/diving operations are active here. Most shark sightings take place in the so-called ‘shark alley’ – the channel between the two islands.