Back in my school days, my best friend Merle and I spent a few weekends hitch-hiking from Cape Town to Hermanus because we were determined to find some fun outside Cape Town. It took several trips to show us that we were on the wrong track. In those days Hermanus had few shops, no clubs, no fun whatsoever. It was a sleepy little village and if there were whales, we didn’t care or notice.
Now, just mention the name and everyone knows Hermanus as the whale capital of the world. This accolade is well deserved – every year these huge creatures come all the way from Antarctica to mate and calve in our warmer waters; the spectacle of a pod of these huge mammals as they breach and blow cannot be understated.
But why is Hermanus so popular when there are whales throughout the area and in places like De Kelders, just 25km away, they come even closer to shore? What makes Hermanus so special and why is it an integral part of our Overberg Tour?
Because Hermanus is more than just whales. When the whales depart in November, there’s still lots to do there!
The clifftop walk – surely one of the best walks in the region. A path that winds its way along the cliff tops of the rocky coast, from one end of town to the other. Stop and take a breather at some of the perfectly placed benches, focus your binoculars or just stare at the waves crashing against the rocks… this is a fabulous walk that everyone can enjoy.
Fernkloof Nature Reserve – Lovely hikes up the mountain or just a leisurely stroll through the garden, either way it’s full of beautiful fynbos and the nursery always has something special you can’t find elsewhere.
Hermanus has a fabulous selection of restaurants and coffee shops in the central part of town close to the beach, and the Hemel en Aarde Village on the outskirts will keep you busy for hours with its selection of craft shops, eateries, wine tastings and a myriad other places.
Hemel en Aarde – take this road up into the mountains and be prepared to fall in love. Beautiful scenery and some of the best wine estates in the region. Don’t miss Creation Wines – the perfect venue for a food and wine pairing.
Old village and museum – Hermanus used to be a fishing village and if you don’t look carefully you might miss the very few old fishermen houses that survived modernisation. They’re close to the old harbour and the little museum is worth a visit.
The Daily Bread – on the corner of 7th Avenue and 10th Street, in Voelklip, on your way out of town in the direction of Stanford and Gansbaai, this bakery, coffee bar and deli is a hidden gem worth a visit. Highly recommended, great vibes and the owner, Billy, is a fount of information on the things you should be seeing and doing in Hermanus.
Quarters Hotel – Central and top quality. We recently spent a night at this lovely hotel for the first time and will certainly recommend it to our clients. From the huge comfy bed, the view of the ocean, the massive bathroom where you can watch television from the bath and that extra touch we don’t see often: decaf coffee among the excellent coffee/tea-making offerings.
Merle lives far away these days, I wonder what she’d think of Hermanus today – certainly no lack of stuff to do!