Hermanus has a long and varied coastline that boasts a wide variety of beaches. From secluded sunbathing coves to life-guard-manned bathing beaches and long stretches of creamy white sand, you will be spoilt for choice. The pristine beaches are interrupted by the high, rocky cliffs in town centre but eventually flatten out at Sandbaai, but there are some small coves and tidal pools to cool off in.
Hermanus boasts two Blue Flag Beaches at Grotto beach and Hawston beach, which is a sign that visitors can expect a clean and well cared for environment, changing facilities and lifeguards on the beach. At both beaches there is parking, a little restaurant and a picnic area for day-trippers. Hawston is a magnificent stretch of sand as one can walk all the way along the beach to Kleinmond if the mouth of the Bot River is closed. As spectacular as the scenery and waves are however, precaution is advised because of its dangerous currents so swim only when lifeguards are on duty. The waves breaking off the back point make it a good surfing destination as well.
Voëlklip beach has grassy verges above the sand, providing an almost sand-free sunbathing opportunity. The beach is one of the safest on the coastline and it is very popular with both young and old. Alongside Voëlklip Beach is Kammabaai, a great family beach that has a lovely picnic and braai area under Milkwood trees. However, it has a strong current that makes it a favourite with surfers and body-boarders who use the current to take them out to the breaking waves at the back. Both these beaches have parking areas and public toilets.
Another favourite beach along this section of coast is Langbaai, a smaller beach confined on either side by rocky low cliffs that have the effect of funnelling good body surfing waves into the cove.
Sandbaai beach is protected by a rocky ledge that provides calm pools at low tide for children to swim in. Changing facilities and parking make it easily accessible and popular with families. Excellent diving and snorkelling conditions are found just beyond the rocky ledge.
The Onrus River exits into the sea in a gentle stream from the lagoon at Onrus Beach. The lagoon and sea are flanked by a delightful stretch of white, sandy beach which is the playground for many holidaymakers and residents in summer. The sea bed drops sharply from the beach here, making swimming tricky and sometimes dangerous. It is a popular spot for surfers and body-boarders and a great rendezvous for the young.
One of the prettiest beaches is set among the sand dunes at Vermont. Breakfast Bay is more a cove than a beach but it is delightful to paddle and snorkel among the rocks and in the gullies.
Almost everyone enjoys the beach. It’s something about the combination of granular sand and the beating of the ocean’s waves against the defiance of land that quells the mind and sets one at ease. However, there are a myriad of different ways to enjoy yourself on the beach and Hermanus’ selection of gorgeous beaches will suit your holiday whims. Whether it be to take endless walks along kilometres of beach, soak up the rays of sunshine or dive into water and attempt a barrel you will find the perfect spot.
*Please Note: The sea can be extremely rough at times and it is always best to consult locals on conditions and swim where lifeguards are on duty.