Whale watching and watersports, nature reserves and hiking trails, handicraft and food markets all make this whale watching destination very popular.
Hermanus is one of the world’s finest land-based whale watching destinations and a lively resort town that preserves the charm of a fisherman’s village. Situated along Walker Bay and backed by mountains, several factors contribute to the town’s appeal: Natural scenery, a mild climate, adventure sports and a close proximity to Cape Town.
No visit to Hermanus would be complete without experiencing the majestic sight of the southern right whale. Large numbers arrive from June to November to mate. Walk along the cliff tops to viewpoints, including Castle Rock and Sievers Point, or join a boat tour to get within touching distance. Learn more about the giant mammals at the Whale House Museum.
Go to the Old Harbour to get a feel for Hermanus as a fishing village. A small museum exhibits fishing heritage artifacts and displays local marine life in a variety of aquariums. Stroll around the quiet town streets to find independent art galleries and clothing boutiques, jewelry and handicraft shops. Visit the weekly markets to shop for original artwork and one-of-a-kind crafts and to sample locally-produced food and wine.
The long stretch of beach at Hermanus offers solitude to walkers and sunbathers while the ocean and nearby Klein River Lagoon present abundant water-based activities, such as kayaking and surfing. Nearby Fernkloof Nature Reserve is a delight for lovers of nature and adventure. Hike or cycle some of the 37-mile (60-kilometer) network of trails. Observe over 90 bird species and countless plant varieties. Relax with a picnic and admire the mountain and sea views. For a bird's-eye view of Hermanus and Walker Bay, take a tandem paragliding flight.
Wine connoisseurs will appreciate the chance to visit the bodegas of the Hermanus Wine Route, where you can take cellar tours and enjoy wine tastings. Drive along Shaw’s Pass, a scenic mountain road that connects Hermanus with the town of Caledon.
Hermanus is located 71.5 miles (115 kilometers) southeast of Cape Town. Rent a car to make the journey and to enjoy the surrounding wine region and spectacular coastal scenery.