What to See & Do

Hermanus is an endless playground with no shortage of raw adventures and adrenaline pumping moments!

As you head along the coast to this absolute stunning town on the Cape Whale Coast, you pass fascinating little hamlets waiting to be explored. The drive itself makes it definitely worth the effort to go there.

The call of adventure is hard to resist and no matter the season, there are plenty of things to do in and around Hermanus everywhere you look.

A whale watching excursion is billed as one of the whale coast’s must-do attractions and after spending some time at sea with a passionate skipper and crew, you will definitely agree! Wow!

Nothing beats lying in bed watching an early sunrise when the light breaks thin over the ocean and warmth overtake the land- a rare opportunity to capture a pod of southern right whales on film.

These marine giants that visit this area annually from June to December can grow to up to 15 meters in length and can weigh more than 47 tons. They are easily recognized by the callosities, often mistaken for barnacles, that cover their heads and blowholes.

Ready to go on a hiking trail or nature reserve walk? This coastal area is renowned for its rare plantlife, including fynbos — a unique and strikingly beautiful group of flora endemic to a small section of South Africa’s Western Cape. It’s the smallest of the world’s six floral kingdoms, but with around 9,000 species it’s one of the most diverse. The Cape Floral Region is the only floral kingdom to occur entirely in one country. It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2004.

hermanus cliff path

The cliff path starts on your doorstep and hugs the shoreline for kilometres with short detours from the path that leads to the pebbled beaches and rock pools. In season you can enjoy epic sights of breaching whales near and far in the ocean. The callused markings on the whales’ heads are used to track them, as each one is as unique as a fingerprint.

Marine Tourism is strictly controlled, with locals and operators conserving a vast and fascinating variety of marine wildlife in the moody Atlantic Ocean. The all year round cage diving with great white sharks in the nearby town of Gansbaai, is arguably hailed as the best in the world! This absolute must-do marine experience is rated as the number one bucket list adventure in the world.

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An always popular activity is early morning beachcombing on one of the white sandy beaches with the walks, oystercatchers and white-breasted cormorants as your only companions.

The world may be getting smaller, but there are still plenty of fascinating places to see and things to do around this coastal village on the southern tip of Africa. Difficult to choose between skydiving and snorkelling? Then go for sandboarding or windsurfing, treetop zip lining or river rafting.

As if the attractions Hermanus offers are not enough, less than an hour’s drive inland lie the popular wine trails of Hemel-en-Aarde Valley as well as the Botriver, Stanford and Strandveld Wine Routes. Wine-making in the Cape dates from the late 17th century and the arrival of Huguenot migrants from France. Their wines were used as an antidote to scurvy during long sea voyages to the Indies.

Life large. The most uncomfortable situations in life are also the most memorable and often the most rewarding. You do only live once and as Mark Twain says- “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails.”

When visiting Hermanus, the best is if your trip plan is really not to have a plan!