1. Whale Watching
There is nothing as inspiring as seeing a creature of 40 tons heave its massive body out of the water in a graceful leap or seeing a mother whale teaching her young calf to slap the water surface with its flukes. Standing on the side of a boat and clearly meeting the gaze of a whale's eye as it lifts its head above the water allows you to experience nature unrivalled. Hermanus offers the best land based whale watching in the world and for the closest of whale encounters, there’s nothing to beat a boat-based whale watching trip. Whale Watching in Hermanus
2. The Whale Crier
This unique character blows a kelp horn to alert everyone to the whereabouts of the whales during the season, from June to December. You'll find him on the seafront, dressed in a white shirt, black pants, boots and a jaunty hat - always ready to stop and talk about the whales, have a photograph taken and lead you to the best viewing spots. Modelled on the town criers of the United Kingdom, he is one of a kind in the world! Hermanus Whale Crier
3. Walking the Cliff Path
This unique path gives everyone access to the seafront almost the entire length of the town - 12km from the New Harbour to Grotto Beach. Walking the Cliff Path is a "must-do" for spectacular views, coastal Fynbos, natural rock pools and finding fishing spots. It leads you past little coves for sunbathing, benches all along the way for resting, allows for whale watching and just the pure pleasure of being on the cliff tops or down on the sand all the way staying alongside the sea. Walking & Hiking Trails in Hermanus
4. Fernkloof Nature Reserve
The beautiful Fernkloof Nature Reserve holds an astounding 1600 different species of plants, 111 bird species and 50 km of paths to walk, hike and stroll along. The Reserve serves up endless hours of fun where you can lie in the sun on the grass, sit on a bench, scrutinise insect life, focus on birds, spy on the baboons, leap into a mountain pool or sleep under the stars. You can also study the specimens in the herbarium, buy plants from the nursery, have a picnic, stand on top of the mountain and learn all about rare trees and natural healing plants. Fernkloof also caters for the blind with trail signs marked in braille and a garden to explore. The Reserve is truly an experience in itself and showcases the very best of Hermanus. Nature Reserves in Hermanus
The dream of a beach with swathes of long white sand is realized with the numerous beaches in Hermanus. A popular one is of course the Blue Flag Grotto Beach. The beaches here have lifesavers on duty, good changing rooms and showers, chairs and umbrellas to hire. There is also a play park for children, lots of parking and even picnic areas with braai facilities to ensure a fun day at the beach for all.
Take your pick from Langbaai, Voelklip or Onrust River alongside the lagoon to enjoy a day of swimming, sunbathing or body surfing.
And then there are dozens of lovely little sheltered coves to hide away for a day in the sun and a cool, refreshing dip in the sea.
For those with a talent for surfing head to Voelklip or Bay View. Voelklip is a favourite with local surfers as the waves are often perfect and there's a nifty little current that takes surfers out to the back with the minimum of effort where Bay View is for the braver. Onrust beach is a good alternative for surfers when the wind flattens Voëlklip. Beaches in Hermanus
6. Hemel-en-Aarde Wine Route
Vineyards benefit from proximity to the sea and the ensuing cool maritime breezes. The topography also makes Route 320 in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley a most beautiful wine growing area with mountains on either side and views of the ocean in the distance. The quality of the wine produced here is legendary with some of the country's top Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blancs being produced along Route 320. Wine tasting and a variety of restaurants that cater for all tastes make this a spectacularly worthwhile destination. Wine Farms in Hermanus
7. Hermanus Golf Club
The 27-hole course is ranked 42nd of the Top 100 courses in the country (Golf Digest) and, lying nestled between mountain and sea, is one of the most beautiful courses to play. The Fynbos gardens, the challenges of a course constructed on a mountainside and the resident troop of baboons give the Hermanus golf course a very special character. Golf Courses in Hermanus
8. Art Amble
The natural and intellectual environment of Hermanus has inspired artists for years and dozens of art galleries make a cultural detour through the town compulsory. Artworks portray the seascapes, fishermen, beaches and characters in the form of creations in shells and sculptures in bronze. The Art Amble is an easy walk through the central part of town and a fascinating "tour" of a great variety of talents. Big names, new names, old and known names are all on exhibit and many of them in quaint spaces worth a visit in their own right. Visit artists at work in galleries and studios further afield in town as well. Art & Culture in Hermanus
9. Old Harbour and Market Square
Once the townsfolk gathered to welcome the fishermen back to shore and assist with the gutting, filleting and cleaning of the fish in the Old Harbour, the heart of Hermanus. It is still the heart of town but it beats to a different rhythm today - a happy rendezvous for both residents and visitors. The Old Harbour is a tranquil and delightful spot to watch whales, have a dip in the sea, have a picnic or go kayaking into the bay. Above it people throng around open-air restaurants, shop at craft markets, watch the whales and generally have a delightful social time on Market Square and Village Square. Harbours in Hermanus
10. Events and Festivals
Hermanus draws both local and international tourists with their many annual events and festivals. The Hermanus Whale Festival is one of the most popular as it is the only eco-arts festival in South Africa that celebrates the arrival of the Southern right whales. It normally takes place during the peak of whale watching season and includes music, art, markets and environmental activities. Then there is the Kalfifees that is a cultural celebration of theatre, music and panel discussions. Other events include the Hermanus Wine and Food Fair, the Hermanus Flower and Eco Fair, the Hawston Sea Festival, Hermanus Adventure Week and more! Events in Hermanus