Welcome to Hermanus
Where in the world can you wake up and watch a whale breach from your bed?
When sitting at a restaurant about to devour a delicious meal, don’t be surprised when everyone drops their cutlery with a yelp of glee and rushes to the edge of the balcony for a closer look at the frolicking whales. They are a sight not to be missed!
Even some conference rooms that overlook the ocean can be spoilt with the sights and sounds of the Southern right whales. During peak whale watching season they simply become part of the seascape in this delightful seaside resort.
Hermanus is about breathing fresh ‘champagne air’, drinking crystal clear mountain water, watching marine life from your hotel bedroom or restaurant table, visiting the richest Floral Kingdom on earth and satisfying your palate with exquisite food. The seaside town has the unique charm of a luxury destination in an almost pristine environment.
Standing on top of the mountain overlooking Hermanus, like the shepherd Hermanus Pieters did more than a century ago, it is easy to see why he chose this as his flock’s summer grazing destination. He was soon joined by fishermen who lived off a rich harvest of fish. However, it was the ‘champagne air’ that earned Hermanus an international reputation as the Riviera of the South, attracting visitors from Europe and further afield from the late 1800’s to this day.
You can walk along the coastline over cliff tops, pristine beaches and coves for the full length of the town. This unique walkway, known simply as the Cliff Path, is a meandering walk that hugs the seafront from New Harbour for a distance of about 12km. It provides idyllic cliff-top spots with a birds-eye view of the whales and benches to sit and appreciate the coastal Fynbos. Intimate coves provide quiet sunbathing escapes and long, sandy beaches beckon the beach comber.
Today residents and tourists agree that it is the most spectacular of coastal resorts. Cradled between mountain and sea, Hermanus offers every outdoor adventure you could imagine. On land there are 1600 species of fynbos and more than 200 species of birds, most of which are on the Fernkloof Nature Reserve. The coastline is filled with kelp forests nurturing abalone, crayfish and other marine life while further out to sea the seasonal visits of Southern right whales, Humpback whales and dolphins contribute to Hermanus being one of the primary eco-destinations. You can do anything from mountain climbing to deep sea diving with a great selection of other outdoor activities to choose from.
The resident population has grown to around 50 000 people, many of them younger businessmen and women who have chosen quality of life over the fast-paced living of the city. The economy is driven largely by tourism and visitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to restaurants and accommodation. Little lanes with a treasure of quaint boutiques and shops link main roads in the heart of the village, encouraging leisurely browsing and buying.
Hermanus is about living life for every memorable moment, so breathe in the crystal clear air and take long beach walks by moonlight or laze all day on the sun-kissed sand. Outdoor enthusiasts can take strolls along mountain paths or hike for days through mountain ranges. Water babies can surf, swim, sail, dive, kayak and watch whales from rocky outcrops or boats. Foodies can dine in style in classy restaurants or picnic on a wine estate. No matter your taste for life, the adventures await your discovery.