This is a ‘working’ blog post and will be updated regularly. Visit it frequently for updates and feel free to make suggestions of your favourite places and activities in Hermanus and the Overberg. No ads, please.
In and around Hermanus
Find accommodation in Hermanus to fit your needs and then plan your holiday from the list below. Make sure to come for long enough, because Hermanus and the Overberg have is plenty to do!
Hermanus provides plenty opportunity for swimming, surfing, kite surfing (at the estuary at Grotto beach) and sunbathing on its large and small sandy beaches. Visit Grotto (kite surfing at the estuary at Grotto beach), Voëlklip (surfing), Langbaai, Kammabaai (surfing), Kwaaiwater/Mosselrvier (picnicking), Onrus (surfing)
Restaurants in Hermanus have exceptional food and those on the Waterfront have sensational views. In 2019 Hermanus was designated a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy. The children’s playground at the little open-air amphitheatre on the Waterfront lawn offers opportunities for the whole family to enjoy breakfasting, lunching or dining here.
Starting at Grotto Beach, the cliff path snakes along the coast for 12,7 km, which makes it a fantastic walk whether in full or in short walks. It’s ideal for an early morning or early evening walk from almost wherever you stay in the village. Benches are placed along the path for enough opportunities to rest. Take snacks and water along, as the sun can be scorching especially during the summer months. Always use sunblock on your walks and wear a hat. Get tips on how to enjoy a safe and healthy holiday in Hermanus here.
The view from Rotary Way on the top of the mountain is breathtaking and is a good starting point to orientate yourself with a live ‘map’ of the village underneath. Do not feed the baboons if you encounter any there. If you experience any trouble with them, call the baboon hotline.
Hermanus has plenty opportunities for walking. The three dams nestled in the mountains are reachable from Fernkloof, where there are various footpaths to follow. Always walk in groups and do not take dogs on paths where they are not allowed. This precaution is for your own safety.
Hermanus is a proud host of a 27-hole golf course (different course options), with beautiful fynbos, restored wetlands and wildlife to appreciate. There is plenty to keep the whole family busy, so Dad can spend a few guilt-free hours per week on the greens. There are other golf courses in the vicinity as well.
Various bicycles can be rented to explore the village and beach.
Kayaking between the old and new harbours can be done on good weather days.
While the Southern Right Whales visit Hermanus’ shores between July and November every year, a few shy locals (Bryde whales) can be observed in the bay from time to time throughout the year. Other wildlife to to watch on and from the land are the dassies (hyrax), dolphins and penguins, birds and seals. Penguin sanctuaries can be visited in Kleinbaai and Betty’s Bay.
Apart from the permanent Old Harbour Market at Market Square in the CBD, there are plenty markets (at the Wine Village, High Street, and the Hermanus Country Market at the cricket grounds) in and around Hermanus on Saturday mornings and also on Wednesday nights during December/January (at the cricket grounds). The Hermanus NG Kerk (DR Church) has a month-long market in the Grobbelaar hall in town. And St. Peter’s Church has a Saturday morning market in the church garden right through the year. A Saturday morning drive to surrounding towns provide more options.
The CBD offers lots of shopping opportunities with specialty and pop-up shops. In High Street, shops and buildings are newly renovated and upgraded and the street provides a beautiful and vibrant walk within the village, with little coffee shops and restaurants and another Saturday market to visit.
There are a few museums to visit in town. The De Wet’s Huis Photo Museum next to Market Square showcases photos telling Hermanus’ history and in the old harbour, the whale museum houses bones and information regarding our large Walker Bay inhabitants.
Apart from visiting the museum, the Old Harbour is ideal for fishing, snorkelling, diving and swimming in the small cove, with Bientang’s Cave Restaurant & Wine Bar offering a spectacular close ocean view after the activities have left you hungry and thirsty.
The New Harbour (more about its history) at the end of Westcliff Drive (Marine Drive becomes Westcliff Drive at the bend when you leave the CBD), houses three restaurants/bars, as well as the offices of whale boat watching and diving and fishing excursions. The newly renovated Station 17 National Sea Rescue Institute building keeps an eye over the harbour. A tour of the abalone facilities can be booked on weekdays to learn more about this delicacy. Various companies offer fishing opportunities from The New Harbour.
If you have your own set of Bocce/Petang, you can make use of the little court in Swallow Park to play – or you can just enjoy a rest under the trees while walking in town.
Hermanus brags with more than twenty art galleries in the CBD and a few more in the suburbs, as well as in Onrus. The First Fridays Art Walk was extended to an all around the year activity after lockdown, so make sure to plan your trip around a first weekend of the month, because on the first Sunday of the month the Art in the Park exhibition is at the cricket grounds (where the Saturday Country Market is being held).
Picnicking can be done in the gardens at Fernkloof, on the beaches and even on top of the mountain, while watching the sunset. Most of the wine farms in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley also have picnic menus.
Hermanus has it’s own Camino now! So, if you have a few days and fancy a walk, check it out.
The Hemel-en-Aarde Valley also hosts regular adventure activities such as a Zip line, weekly Saturday Park Run, quad biking, cycling and walking are fun day activities for individuals and families to do.
Shark cage diving in Kleinbaai (Gansbaai) is something for the not-so-fainthearted and can be booked here.
Another wonderful and informative visit is the Panthera Africa Big Cat Sanctuary near Stanford.
Stanford offers trips on various river boats for fun family/group activities.
With the long days during summer time, day trips to as far as Paternoster are perfect to experience a different place, but be back in Hermanus by dusk, because once here, you don’t really want to be away for too long! Consider the following possibilities.
Go see the Klipgat Cave near De Kelders, go up in the lighthouse at Danger Point, visit the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary, do shark cage diving at Kleinbaai and/or have an encounter (swimming!) with crocodiles at Afrikanos (near Danger Point).
Go horse riding at Karwyderskraal or Pearly Beach and drive a bit further to visit the cave at Waenhuiskrans/Arniston (at low tide), and end your afternoon where the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet at L’Agullas (and visit Struisbaai harbour while you are there), before you head back for a night of fine dining back in Hermanus.
Driving to Cape Town to go up Table mountain via Clarence Drive through Gordon’s Bay. And on another day, on the same route, visit the Harold Porter Botanical Gardens in Betty’s Bay, sunbathing and swimming at other nearby beaches at Kleinmond, Betty’s Bay, Pringle Bay, Rooiels and Kogelbaai. Or shoot past Cape Town to see Bloubergstrand, Melkbosstrand and Paternoster.
Sleep-over Trips Inland
© 2021 Fielies De Kock
Wife. Mom. Blogger. Freelance writer. Living in Hermanus in the Overberg, South Africa, with a crazy-haired husband and two dogs. Author of a children’s chapter book and a few short reads, and co-author of a writing prompts book with her content writer son, who also has crazy hair.