Whether it’s for a weekend getaway or an all-week retreat, Hermanus is a popular Western Cape seaside town – here’s why.
What makes the area special:
- In summer, it’s a delightful beach town – in winter, there’s whale watching.
- The small-town atmosphere leads to a strong sense of community, with charming shops and cafés at the heart of the town.
- There’s a busy tourist industry but it hasn’t taken over the town – it’s still a lovely place to live during the week and out of season, with the busy weekends and holidays adding to the charm.
- The end of September marks the beginning of the Whale Festival, when things get busy. Streets are closed, there are stalls and music everywhere, and plenty of entertainment for young and old.
- International tourists love Hermanus for whale-watching, shark cage diving and paragliding, locals love the wine route, the amazing cliff path walk and the diversity of the people.
- There’s a mall opening for the first time at the end of this year – until now, residents have had to drive over the mountain to Somerset West for movies and mall culture.
Our favourite food in the area:
- The best cocktails and tapas at Dutchies
- Delicious breakfasts at Burgundy’s
- Small plates at Tapas in the market square
- Fresh seafood at Fisherman’s Cottage
- Café meals at Betty Blue Bistro
- The best views at Bientang’s Cave
- Pizza and pasta at Rossis
Our favourite local activities:
- Picking up delicious goodies from the Saturday morning farmers market
- Popping into the Whale Museum and Shark Museum
- Venturing out to sea on a boat or kayak from the New Harbour
- Visiting Romantiques vintage store to watch old movies on a reel projector
- Tasting wine along the Hemel en Aarde wine route
Our favourite nature highlights:
- Looking for whales from the cliffs or out at sea on a boat
- Mountain and cliff bird-watching
- Saying hello to dassies on the cliff paths
- The Fernkloof Nature Reserve has hikes filled with fynbos and spring flowers
- A visit to the Cornellskop Animal Wrangling Farm near Botrivier
“It’s a totally beautiful town, with the ocean close by, hiking in the mountains and a lovely wine route extending into the valley.” Silke Raudzus, resident.
Images: Jurie Steenekamp and supplied