A spectacular coastal town on the shores of Walker Bay
Hermanus is a spectacular coastal town on the shores of Walker Bay, only a 90-minute drive from Cape Town. This much-loved destination strikes the perfect balance between a tranquil natural paradise and a bustling holiday resort, with an impressive variety of things to do and see all year round. The first thing that visitors notice is the breathtaking scenery. The town is surrounded by majestic mountains covered in indigenous fynbos. Most of the urban area is built along a cliff-top that offers panoramic views over the bay, the quaint Old Harbour below, and a range of white sand beaches in the distance lined with magical Milkwood trees. As the official Whale Watching Capital of the World, Hermanus offers nature lovers an unforgettable opportunity to view whales up close in their natural habitat. A pod of around 60 to 100 Southern Right whales visits the bay between July and December every year to breed and rear their young. For active visitors there is golf, hiking, mountain biking, horse riding, paragliding, abseiling, kayaking, snorkelling, scuba diving, shark cage diving, fishing and more! The spacious beaches are also ideal for swimming, surfing and sand sports, with secret nooks for private sunbathing. Foodies will love the vast array of restaurants, cafes and fresh produce markets that serve everything from fresh seafood and sushi to Cape Malay curries and homemade local delicacies. There are also several picturesque wine routes in the area featuring multiple award-winning wines. For retail therapy and souvenirs, the centre of town offers an impressive selection of fashion boutiques, jewellery shops, art galleries and craft markets – all within close walking distance of each other. Whether you stay for a weekend or months on end, Hermanus will keep you captivated!
- Spectacular coastal town on the shores of Walker Bay
- Perfect balance between a tranquil natural paradise and a bustling holiday resort
- Surrounded by majestic mountains
What to Do
Pull your sleeves up and enter the ocean on a great white shark adventure
Get up close and personal with the magnificent Great White sharks when you take a 30-minute boat journey from Hermanus to Geyser Island. Guests are welcomed with a light breakfast and safety briefing before departing from the boat launch site. Subject to research and current shark spotting, your host will anchor and drop a secure cage “shipside”. Guests are given a wetsuit according to their size and will benefit from exhilarating views from inside the cage and on the boat as the sharks are lured closer.
Cycle the coast through a spectacular mountain and sea paradise
The road between Hermanus and Gordons Bay boasts some of the most breathtaking landscapes and views that the South African coastline has to offer. Take a leisurely two-hour bicycle ride along this gorgeous coastline, where you will be accompanied by a lead cyclist as well as a recovery vehicle at your disposal. At the end of your journey, be rewarded with a celebration lunch, while taking in the sublime and unforgettable beauty of your surrounds.
Grootbos – A luxury experience that’s in harmony with nature
A short journey from Hermanus will take you to the Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, which has earned an exceptional reputation for sustainable tourism development and creating opportunities for the local community through various on-site projects. Spectacular views from Grootbos Forest Lodge will be complemented by a welcome drink and an introduction to your nature guide who will take you on a fynbos safari in an open vehicle. After exploring the unique and indigenous fynbos, delight in a lunch served at Forest Lodge with garden-to-table dining compliments of Grootbos and its inspiring team.
Get a taste of Heaven on Earth
Journey into the Hemel-en-Aarde (Heaven on Earth) Valley and discover the Hermanus Wine Route, a special place of sun-kissed vineyards and serene tranquillity close to the ocean. Enjoy the sensational Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines produced in this valley of cool-climate wines before enjoying lunch at Newton Johnson, a gourmet jewel hidden in the valley of spectacular views, offering exquisite South African cuisine and specialized wines in a terrific winelands setting.
Whistle in tune to the whales of Walker Bay
Hermanus is home to arguably the best land-based whale watching in the world. Follow the sounds of the Hermanus Whale Crier as he follows the location of the whales in the bay and alerts you with his kelp horn. Join an unforgettable whale cruise in Walker Bay for an experience like no other, then share your stories over lunch at Bientang’s Cave, a gloriously idyllic Seafood Restaurant & Wine Bar carved into a century-old cave on the shores of Walker Bay.
Where to Stay
A serene sanctuary set between mountain and sea, the Grootbos Private Nature Reserve is a five-star eco-paradise that showcases an incredible array of flora and marine life. Offering a glimpse of the "Marine Big 5" including whales, sharks, dolphins, seals and penguins; and incredible floral diversity – this is a truly unique luxury African experience. The exquisite 5-star accommodation is laid out between ancient and magical Milkwood trees. Guests can enjoy the tranquillity of this forested environment while looking out across fynbos plans to the azure sea beyond.More information
The Marine is a legendary Relais & Châteaux destination. From its prime cliff-top position, this elegant seaside hotel overlooks the pristine whale sanctuary of Walker Bay. This is the ideal spot for land-based whale watching and from June to November, guests may even catch a glimpse of these majestic creatures from the comfort of their beautiful sea view room. All suites are individually decorated and this attention to detail is also apparent in the personal service available at this owner-managed hotel.More information
Arabella Hotel and Spa
This five-star retreat is situated in the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, a natural utopia hidden between the Bot River Lagoon and Kogelberg Mountains. All rooms have a private terrace or balcony with dramatic views of the surrounding natural environment and manicured hotel grounds. There is a variety of fine cuisine and wine on offer at the hotel’s selection of restaurants, as well as a wide range of leisure amenities including a heated indoor hydro pool, sauna, and an award-winning spa.
Harbour House Hotel
Designed in the style of a thatched seaside manor house, the stately Harbour House Hotel is located above the historical Old Harbour in the heart of Hermanus. On the spectacular lookout terrace, guests can unwind around the impressive infinity pool and enjoy uninterrupted ocean views.. Rooms are well-appointed with plush, contemporary décor and magnificent views of the seaside surrounds. There is a wealth of attractions within easy walking distance including fabulous restaurants, markets, whale watching sites and diverse natural beauty.More information
Perched on a cliff overlooking the whale-watching paradise of Walker Bay, Birkenhead House is the place to be for guests who want the ultimate luxury seaside experience. This beautifully designed guest house offers uniquely stylish décor, a relaxed and tranquil atmosphere, friendly and attentive service and captivating views of the beaches below and the ever-changing ocean. Relaxation is definitely the order of the day! When guests are ready to leave the comfort of their rooms, this is an ideal base for exploring Hermanus.More information
Mosaic Lagoon Lodge
Mosaic Lagoon Lodge at MOSAIC Private Sanctuary is a hidden gem nestled between sea, lagoon and mountains on the renowned Whale Coast near Hermanus. This luxurious boutique guest resort is ideally located for embarking on whale watching, marine tours, shark cage diving and exploring the Overberg Wine Region. Indulge in ultimate tranquility and seclusion in the safari-style suites built with stone, thatch and glass, set amongst ancient milkwood trees on the edge of the Hermanus Lagoon.More information
Without the professional, timeous and effortless support from Zelda and her team this historical event would have been impossible and probably sub-standard. I can highly recommend them for your next event – be it big or small.
~ Thea Eiselen, World Federation of Nuclear Medicine And Biology Congress 2010