If you're a resident or even an annual visitor to Gansbaai, you’ve probably noticed a tortoise or two crossing the road...
The Overberg with its combination of spectacular landscapes, untouched natural beauty and abundance of indigenous fauna and flora is quickly becoming a popular getaway to travellers and locals alike. A short 90 minute drive from Cape Town takes you to the bustling town of Hermanus known for impeccable whale watching in the winter months and its beautiful beaches in the summer.
Situated on the cliffs of Walker Bay with the Kleinriver Mountains as a backdrop, Hermanus boasts a number of white sandy beaches, two of which have been declared Blue Flag beaches.
This prestigious status is only awarded to beaches and marinas that meet the world-class standards. Established in France in 1985, the project includes 4000 Blue Flag beaches and marinas in 41 countries around the world. To receive this status the standards of excellence of the following must meet requirements:
- Water quality
- Environmental education and information
- Safety services
- Lifesaving standards
- Parking facilities
- Access for disabled
The high standards of the Blue Flag Project have been met by two beaches in Hermanus and here they are:
1. Grotto Beach
Probably one of the favourites in the area, Grotto Beach stretches on for a fair few kilometres from Voelklip to the Kleinriver Mouth with spectacular panoramic views over Walker Bay. The temperate water and seemingly endless stretch of sun-baked sand allow for lazy days spent soaking up the sun and endless fun for the kids. Parents and holiday-makers and rest assured as lifeguards are on duty from December to February and there is ample parking, clean ablutions, showers and braai (bbq) facilities available. Grotto Beach also has ramp access and there are special beach-going wheelchairs available for hire.
Grotto Beach is also known as a good “gust spot” which makes for great surfing, kite surfing and windsurfing. After a full day of fun in the sun, you can stop by Dutchies Restaurant located nearby to grab a bite to eat.
2. Hawston Beach
The small village of Hawston is located between Fisherhaven and Onrus River and offers some of the safest swimming on this stretch of coast. This slightly out of the way beach attracts fewer crowds and if you’re lucky you can even have the entire beach to yourself. Hawston Beach holds a number of walking boardwalks with interpretive signage about the vegetation and area, just be sure to stay on the paths. The beach also has a picnic and braai (bbq) area and an Olympic size swimming pool. Safety is also of utmost importance here and lifeguards are on duty from the 1st of December to the 31st of March.
Hermanus takes great pride in being a top holiday destination in South Africa and the beautiful beaches of the town holds true to that. It is for this reason that the Hermanus Beaches is one of the top attractions of the lively town along with their festive events, great shopping and various outdoor activities. So grab your towel and sunscreen and let’s head to the beach!