Things to do in Hermanus
The Overberg offers a host of activities including a wine route ,water sports, mountain biking, horse riding, paint ball, canopying, 4 wheelers, and Shark Cage Diving.
Hermanus has many fine restaurants and coffee shops ,fabulous shops and boutiques, , art galleries, museums and open air craft markets.
Activities include wine routes, hiking, biking, paintball, horse riding, quad biking and mountain walks in the Hemel-En-Aarde Valley.
In and around Hermanus you can enjoy bird watching, cliff walks, whale watching, beaches, shopping in the many and varied shops and boutiques, fabulous restaurants, kayaking, canoeing, abseiling, sand boarding, jet skiing, kite surfing, paragliding, and White Shark cage diving in Gansbaai.
Hermanus is home to some of the finest beaches in the world. There are several beaches from which to choose, Grotto being possibly the most popular with it’s picturesque mountain backdrop and expansive powdery white beach sand. In addition see the following:
- Grotto Beach
Blue Flag beach status stretching for kilometres. Dutchies restaurant, a play park, lots of parking and excellent ablution facilities make this a favourite beach amongst the holiday makers. Grotto beach is situated towards the Voëlklip side of Hermanus.
In the village of Hawston, magnificent beach, picnic & BBQ areas. Voëlklip Ablution facilities, good surf spot and great sun tanning.
- Kammabaai also known as Nanny’s Beach
Great surf spot, picnic and BBQ areas. Definite family favourite.
Rock pools, great snorkelling
- Onrus Beach
Great body boarding & surfing, very safe swimming.
- Breakfast Bay
Situated at Vermont. Good picnic spot, sheltered beach. Very popular with sand boarders.
Hermanus is a birdwatcher’s paradise. It is the fastest growing ecotourist commodity in the world and Hermanus and its surrounding areas are a twitcher’s paradise. Few other areas can offer fynbos, mountain, coastal, river and estuarine habitats in such compact terrain with such easy access.
Contact Mike Ford 028 316 4790.
- Fernkloof Mountain biking trail
- Eastcliff cycling track
Hermanus has the most fabulous selections of restaurants and eateries to choose from. If you’re looking for something quick and easy or a long leisurely lunch there’s something to please each and every palate. Click HERE for a list of restaurants in and around Hermanus.
There are many fishing spots in and around Hermanus and they accommodate all kinds of fishing; from river fishing in the lagoon, to fly fishing in the numerous stocked dams in the area. You can also go salt water fishing on a hired boat, or off the pier in the New Harbour or straight off the rocks. There are people who will organise day trips for keen anglers. Permits can be obtained from the post office at R55. Please make sure you have a copy of the regulations before you begin!
Fly fishing is becoming increasingly popular.
Contact Louis Day on 082 555 8317.
Festivals and Events
There are numerous festivals happening through out the year, and these events always attract hordes of people. So if you don’t like crowds, stay away but if you enjoy a bit of festivity take note of the events listed below. The dates vary from year to year and can be obtained from the Tourism Bureau on 028 312 2629
- Sandbaai Kalfiefees (baby whale festival)
- Hermanus Whale Festival
- Hemel-en-Aarde Mountain Run
- Sandbaai Fish Bash
- Hermanus Mountain Bike race
- The Wildflower Festival (Our favourite!)
Hermanus has some of the nicest walks ever, but remember always be sure to take water, sun block and a warm jacket. Even if the weather seems warm it can change at any time. It is always advisable to walk with a friend rather than walking alone, and leave your valuables at home.
We have 15 kms of spectacular cliff paths with wonderful viewing benches for the not so energetic and over 50KM of mountain trails for the more energetic amongst you. The cliff path begins just above the Grotto Beach parking area and goes all the way to the New Harbour with a small break between Mollergren Park and Protea Road, where you will have to walk along the road for 800 meters. The paths are well surfaced and parts of it are wheelchair and pram friendly.
No bicycles are allowed on the cliff path.
The mountain trails are best accessed from the info kiosk at the Fernkloof Nature Reserve, turn at the traffic circle at Voëlklip (turn left if you are coming from Hermanus town side; right if you are coming from the direction of Stanford).
Personalised tours can be arranged.
For more information contact Percy from Percy Tours 072 062 8500.
Surfing & Swimming
Please refer to the Beautiful Beaches toggle for more information.
Whale watching does take pride of place amongst tourist attractions as there’s nowhere else in the world where land based viewing is so conveniently layed out. The Cliff Paths offer excellent vantage points to view the whales as you sit on one of the many benches strategically placed along the paths for visitors to relax and take in the splendour of Hermanus.
Take a guided tour of the local Abalone cultivation plant which exports Abalone worldwide.
Easily organised by experienced charter companies.
Contact: Blue Wave Charters – 028 388 0034
Hermanus Golf Course
Kleinbaai Golf Course
Tel: 028 – 384 1441
- Cape Nature Conservation
off 7th Street (the main road through Voëlklip) up 17th Avenue
Tel: 082 729 7776
- Cloud’s End Riding Centre
082 351 6565
- Arabella, Equestrian Horse Centre
Kleinmond, Ysterklip Farm
Contact Matt or Sarah
Tel: 083 362 1046
- Horse Trail Safaris
Tel: 082 729 7776
- African Horse Company (Stanford)
Tel: 082 667 9232
- Fernkloof Farmer’s Market (Fernkloof Nature Reserve)
From 07H00 to 11H30 every Saturday Morning
Famous for fresh vegetables, cheeses, breads, preserves and more. Enjoy a delicious breakfast and on occasion a Marimba band or some other form of entertainment will occupy you.
- Market Square – Central Hermanus
From 09H00 to 14H00 Weekends (Some stalls operate throughout the week)
Crafts, curios, gemstones, clothing, Township art etc
- Hermanus Pietersfontein Boeremark/Farmers Market (Hemel-en-Aarde Valley)
From 08H00 – 14H00 Saturdays
Cheeses, olives, wine, oils, organic vegetables, breads, home bakes, preserved meats etc
Enjoy a delicious breakfast while you shop for your favourite delicacies.
- De Wet’s House Photo Museum.
Once the School House, situated near the Dutch Reformed Church, it was dismantled and moved, brick by brick to Lemm’ Corner (the Market Place) in 1986. 028 313 0418
- The Whale Museum is situated behind the Market Place. This museum displays a skeleton of a southern right whale. Lots of whale information, touch screens and other artefacts.
- The Whale Show
This unique audiovisual presentation is shown daily at the museum which will make this experience even more memorable. Nigel Ashton, using his paintings and scientific illustrations, will take you below the surface and bring you face to face with these magnificent ocean travelers, telling the story of their fascinating underwater lives, with a special focus on the visiting southern right whales and whale identification. Shows are at 10h00, 12h00 and 15h00.
- At the old harbour:
Old Harbour Museum. Efforts are being made to restore the remnants of the original old fishing boats which were used by local fishermen between 1955 and 1961. The museum contains several exhibits depicting the history of the fishing and whaling industry in the area.
Fernkloof Nature Reserve (Fynbos)
There is no other recorded place on earth where as many different species of fynbos can be seen growing in such close proximity as in the Fernkloof Nature Reserve. A total of 1474 species have been collected and identified to date. Fynbos is endemic to the Western Cape and can be seen in abundance along the famous Hermanus Cliff Paths.
082 499 0209
- Nam Paintball VIET EXPERIENCE
Tel: 072 552 4847
Soar with the birds.
- Clinton Lerm
083 517 3635
- Quad Adventures (guided nature trails)
Guided quad bike tours for young and old.
Tel: 082 597 4720
With several wrecks in the Hermanus and Gansbaai areas, scuba diving is popular with dives varying in depth from 9m to 40 m. Reefs are accessible by boat but experienced divers will guide you to shore entry points. Scuba diving can be done at Hermanus and nearby Gansbaai. There are several wrecks that can be explored and various reefs ranging in depth from 9m to 40m. Most reefs are only accessible by boat, but shore entries are possible at certain points.
Shark Cage Diving (Gansbaai)
White shark cage diving and surface viewing has become one of South Africa’s biggest tourist attractions in the past few years with most of the White Shark Dive operators working out of Gansbaai, just a few minutes’ drive from Hermanus.
This is a must see and and you’re not obligated to cage dive, boat based viewing of these maginificent creatures is fascinating. See the colony of Jackass Penguins on Dyer Island and the enormous colony of seals at Geyser Island on your day out with one of the professional dive operators.
White Shark Cage Dive Operators leave from Kleinbaai harbour (Gansbaai) daily subject obviously to prevailing weather conditions.
The village is a feast for shoppers. With the most interesting little shops, speciality stores, boutiques and the craft market including the farmers market at the Hemel-En-Aarde valley which is held on a Saturday, there’s something to please even the most discerning shopper.
Take a tour into a South African Black Township. Walking tours are offered daily to the Zwelihle Township.
Hemel-en-Aarde Valley Tucked into the folds of the Glen Vauloch Mountains on the outskirts of Hermanus, lies the picturesque Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. It is here that wine lovers can treat themselves to a unique wine tour among some of the southernmost vineyards in Africa, with only the Cape Agulhas vineyards being further south. Bouchard Finlayson estate is situated in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley 6km from the Sandbaai intersection of the R43 and R320 roads.
Other wine farms in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley:
- Hermanuspietersfontein Vineyards
- Whalehaven Wines
Tel: 028 – 316 1633
- Southern Right
Tel: 028 – 312 1318
- Hamilton Russel Vineyards
- Bouchard Finlayson
Tel: 028 – 312 3515
- La Vierge
- Newton Johnson Wines
- Creation Wines
Tel: 028 – 212 1107
- Ataraxia Mountain Vineyards
- Dispore Kamma Boutique Winery
- Raka Near Stanford on the R326
- Stanford Hills Vineyard
- Mount Babylon
- Beaumont (Botriver)
- Wildekrans Wines (Botriver)
- Hemel-en-Aarde Village (At intersection of the R43 and the R320)
The Hemel-en-Aarde Village is situated at the Main Road and Sandbaai intersection. Restaurants in the Hemel-en-Aarde Village complex, our very own Village Restaurant, B’s Steakhouse and Incredible Fish, will supply sumptuous meals.
You can also explore the myriad of shops in the Hemel-en-Aarde Village. Season’s Restaurant, Southern Art Ceramics, The Village Farm Stall, Ralph Walton Jewellery Design, Walker Bay Nursery and Sylvia Smith’s Gallery.
Whalehaven is situated only 150 metres from the intersection on the Caledon road.
Hermanuspietersfontein Cellars are located very close to Whalehaven. Do pop in to their taste room. Experience 16 of the best of South Africa’s Sauvignon Blancs. Avail yourself of the opportunity to taste and compare the differences between regions and wine making styles. They are open to cellar tours.