Things to Do in Hermanus
Come eyeball to eyeball with a Southern Right whale, glide off a mountain and soar with the birds, race along a knife-edged mountainside, dive deep into an underwater treasure trove, discover a vibrant arts and culture scene, sip on some of the finest wines in the Overberg…no matter the adventure you are certain to have an unforgettable time in Hermanus!
Kayak on the open sea and there is a possibility you could get close and personal with a Southern Right whale. The whales are as curious about us as we are about them so don’t be surprised if they start nosing around you. It is a whale watching experience for the truly adventurous! Pick up a kayak and guide at the Old Harbour any time of the year for a seaside view of the town and a waterside encounter with the marine world. For a toothier encounter you can go shark cage diving at Gansbaai (a neighbouring town). It will give you a rush like no other as the king of the ocean brushes past. If close encounters are not your thing then you can go sailing on the sea or lagoon. Take a yacht, windsurfer, kite, boat, skis or board to brace the wind and water.
It is another world beneath the blue of the ocean. Dive through kelp forests, explore coral reefs, chase shoals of fish through wrecks and gullies and discover the fascinating undersea landscapes. If you feel like embracing a more primal style of diving then attempt to bag your dinner and go spear fishing. Two diving schools in the New Harbour offer training with some local advice and rent out equipment.
A convenient rip current alongside Voëlklip rock takes avid surfers and body boarders out to the back line in a wink and waves can vary from 2’ to 6’ depending on the conditions. This is always a favourite spot for surfers and a good place to meet locals for more inside information. Wave Jumping or sailing is better on the wide expanses of Grotto Beach where there is plenty of space to manoeuvre. For those looking to simply lounge in the sun, why not head to Hermanus' white sandy beaches - many of which hold Blue Flag Beach status!
Clamber through Fynbos, forests and up rock faces to some of the highest peaks in the Fernkloof Nature Reserve. Aasvoëlkop is 900m, Mosselberg is 800m and Babylonstoring is the highest peak in the range at 1100m (but you require permission from farmers to tackle it). There are 50km of trails in Fernkloof alone. Stop to let the adrenalin slow down and survey the magnificent views of the bay or have a drink from a clean mountain stream. Exploring the surrounding nature reserves of Hermanus is an experience not to be missed. The office in Fernkloof Nature Reserve has the maps.
Power your way along exciting mountain bike trails that thread through vineyards, fynbos and forests from sea-level up to 600m. If you want the same views but need more speed then take a quad bike for a bit of throttle. The tourism office will have details of current, open trails.
Get harnessed and see the forest from a new angle on a tree-top canopy tour. It is quite exhilarating to zip through the high trees on a canopy slide in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. However, if you prefer something a little more tranquil simply go on a wine tour through the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. The wine farms boast some of the best Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with many other blends that have gained national and international recognition.
Running over the edge of the mountainside with a paraglide attached to your back is one of the most breath-taking leaps of faith! The steep, smooth take-off slope offers the ideal launch pad and the thermals that pushes up against the mountain are among the best for paragliding in the Cape. Spend a morning gliding above Hermanus like a bird.
Abseil down the cliffs in the centre of town where the 20m high Gearing’s Point rock face offers a perfect challenge and a ready audience. In the even that this is not set up and you would like a greater challenge, there is always the opportunity to abseil down a mountainside. However, if going down isn’t your thing and you would rather rock climb up the cliffs then it can be done. Between the two harbours in Hermanus there are some good rock faces to climb up.
With the amount of exhilarating activities combined with an events calendar that should be in everyone's diary, a renowned golf course, trendy nightlife and outstanding wine tasting, you will never be at a loss for things to do in Hermanus!
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