The luxury, self-catering villa of Whale Huys makes for a restorative and rejuvenating getaway. Here's why.
A Typical 9-Day Stay @ Whale Huys
Day 1: Relaxation
Arrive at our self-catering accommodation in the afternoon, and enjoy a chilled glass of wine on the deck while watching the sunset over the ocean. Book the shark boat for the next day. It’s a good idea to do this early in your stay or even before you arrive, as depending on weather conditions boats may not go out every day.
Gansbaai Adventure arranges exciting tours in the area, from quad biking, sundowner flights and horse riding to cheese tasting, bread-making and whale watching. So, day one might be a good day to call in and make arrangements for the week.
Day 2: Adventure
Make an early start for shark cage diving or whale watching boat tour, which usually begins around 6 am. These boats leave from Kleinbaai (about 10 minutes by car), and the half-day tours take you to Dyer Island (inhabited by thousands of seals), and through ‘shark alley’. Bring a warm jacket, as it can be cold on the water. It’s also advisable that you take a seasickness pill in the morning as a precaution, as idling on the swells gets to even the strongest of stomachs! Return to Whale Huys holiday home in the afternoon and enjoy it relaxing by the pool.
Day 3: Culture
Visit Elim village, a World Heritage Site that was founded by Monrovian missionaries in the 18th century. Even today, residents still live their lives according to the religious principles the village was founded upon. From there proceed to the artists’ village of Wolvegat. Visit the local galleries and enjoy a local lunch.
Day 4: Nature and Adventure
Book a half-day or day tour with the African Horse Company, and ride through the unspoiled dunes and beach of the Walker Bay Nature Conservancy. Alternatively, meander through the fynbos-covered hills leading to the Bodhi Khaya, a Buddhist retreat built on a 217-hectare farm that dates back to 1791.
Feeling extravagant? Splurge on a 5, 6, or 7-course dinner at Springfontein Wine Estate in Stanford. The former Michelin star chef’s changing menus never fail to surprise and delight.
Day 5: Nature and Marine Mammals
Go for a hike on the path leading from Whale Huys self-catering accommodation, and learn about the local fynbos vegetation at the Fernkloof Nature Reserve just before Hermanus. You could even follow one of the hiking trails in the Kogelberg Nature Reserve in the Hottentots Holland Mountains (entrance near Kleinmond). From there, proceed to Betty’s Bay to see the Stony Point Penguin Colony.
Day 6: Libations and Souvenirs
Tour the wineries of the Hemel en Aarde Valley. Visit the lovely tasting temple of Ataraxia and have lunch with a view at the La Vierge Wine Estate. You can have bottles sent back home at Wine Village in Hermanus, the largest wine shop in the Southern hemisphere (located at the end of the road from the Hemel and Aarde Valley). Visit the crafts market near the waterfront in Hermanus for traditional African souvenirs. Return to your holiday home for a delicious braai (barbeque)!
Day 7: Nature and Vegetation
Visit Platbos and learn about the Overberg’s indigenous forests from François, an expert on the subject. Just down the road, visit Flower Valley to learn more about the local fynbos and proteas. The Western Cape is the smallest, but most diverse floral kingdom on the planet.
Lunch at one of the small cafes in Baardskeerdersbos, and continue on for a hike in De Hoop Nature Reserve, or for a more relaxed afternoon, visit one of the Cape Agulhas wineries in the afternoon. Black Oyster Catcher has some award-winning white wines.
Day 8: Water Active
Kayak on the lagoon or Klein Rivier in Stanford. Have a picnic at the cheese farm in Stanford and visit Raka or one of the other Stanford Valley wineries.
Day 9: Chill
Enjoy a relaxing day at your holiday home in Whale Huys. Reading a book or just enjoying the sea view. Have a relaxed lunch at one of the local restaurants in Stanford (our favourites are Mariane’s, Graze (organic and homegrown), Havercrofts and Mosaic farm - book in advance as they are not open every day and are often full when they are open).
Spend a relaxed afternoon scanning the ocean for signs of activity from the comfort of your self-catering accommodation - you may well see the seals, dolphins that regularly pass by the coast in front of the house. Enjoy a traditional South African ‘braai’ (bbq) on the deck.
These are just a few ideas. Remember to check if there are any cultural or art festivals going on, you can information about many of these on Xplorio.