Hermanus, Western Cape, South Africa
In 1902 the village of Hermanuspietersfontein had its name shortened to a much more manageable, Hermanus, by the postmaster. Over the years the once small fishing community on the rugged South Cape coastline has steadily grown to become one of South Africa’s most well-known and loved tourist destinations. Hermanus is a vibey and trendy holiday hotspot that attracts thousands of visitors of all ages to its shores each year.
Driving directions to Hermanus depend on your preferred route and all the roads are well maintained, making for an easy journey.
There are many accommodation options in Hermanus that will suit everybody’s taste and budget which means this exciting travel destination is well within everyone's reach. Whether you need a bunk-bed in a local backpackers, a large self-catering holiday house or a luxury hotel room in a five-star hotel, Hermanus has it all.
A look back into the history of Hermanus shows us that this Overberg town has always been a popular destination for travellers. Not surprisingly, primitive man found a lot to like about Hermanus and the area around Walker Bay. The Khoisan nation foraged for meals along the fynbos covered cliffs, fished in the shallow rock pools along the coast and took shelter from the elements in the warren of caves in the area. The Hermanus coastline still bears testimony to this rich history in the form of the kitchen middens that lay scattered along the coast paths.
The cliffs overlooking Walker Bay are the perfect vantage point from where to view the famous Hermanus whales. Each year, Southern Right Whales travel thousands of kilometres from the cold waters of the Antarctic to give birth to their young and to frolic in the sheltered bay. This yearly event is revered by local residents as well as by the thousands of visitors who migrate from around the world to welcome their return to Hermanus. Whale season in Hermanus is a time of happiness and is celebrated by all at an event filled whale festival, which is held in their honour. Hermanus activities reach a peak during the festival with local art, culture and live music events being showcased.
Hermanus is the Riviera of the South Cape Coast and offers visitors a mild climate with a high percentage of sunny days throughout the year, regardless of the season. These pleasant weather conditions make Hermanus an ideal holiday base for outdoor activities and adventures. The blue flag accredited Grotto Beach in Voëlklip is one of the many safe swimming beaches that are also a favourite amongst those who love water sports. Surfers, bodyboarders, snorkel divers and SCUBA divers make the most of the perfect conditions above, and below the surface of the Atlantic ocean. Kayakers, yachtsmen and windsurfers will enjoy time spent on the Hermanus lagoon that links to Stanford’s, Klein River estuary.
The Fynbos covered mountain slopes that hug Hermanus all form a beautiful part of the Cape Floral Kingdom and include a protected area known as Fernkloof Nature Reserve. Here, you can enjoy unlimited amounts of fresh mountain air as you make your way along one of the many nature trails for hikers of all levels of fitness, and experience.
Bird lovers who flock to Hermanus with their binoculars and birding books stand a chance to spot an array of feathered beauties. Elegant Blue Cranes can be seen pirouetting in the untouched lagoons and African Hoopoes are a common sight in many a suburban garden where they ‘work’ the grass patches for a tasty snack.
The Hermanus Hemel-en-Aarde wine route is another highlight on the Cape Whale Coast’s epicurean map. Take one day or even three to leisurely explore the valley on a food and wine tasting extravaganza not to be forgotten. The Hermanus vineyards are home to some of the world’s top, award-winning wines and this is your chance to sample export quality reds, whites and rosé blends. Some of the Hermanus wine estates have tasting rooms with dining facilities. Here, top chefs create meals using the region's fresh fish, creamy cheeses and organic produce that are served with perfectly paired wines.
Hermanus caters to a wide variety of culinary tastes and the restaurants, bistro’s and coffee shops offer numerous high-end, fine dining opportunities as well as laid-back, café-style eateries that serve wholesome fair in a vibey atmosphere. Make the most of the fresh seafood that is served in many restaurants in Hermanus.
Those needing a thirst quencher can enjoy a pint of locally produced craft beer or sip a cocktail concocted with handcrafted Fynbos gin at one of the nightclubs and pubs in Hermanus.
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Discover the Top 10 Attractions that make Hermanus the hub of the Whale Coast Route.