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Why Hermanus remains a favoured destination for local travellers

Only 90 minutes’ drive from Cape Town lies the wonderful seaside hamlet of Hermanus, bursting with charm and amusement for young and old, and famed for its restful, relaxing pace. Situated on the stunning Overberg coast of the Western Cape, Hermanus offers much-needed respite from the world.


Escape to nature and breathe the crisp, bubbly, “champagne” air along the spectacular Cliff Path – sure to revitalize the spirits. Hermanus has long been known as a destination for those needing health recuperating holidays. A Sanatorium was built in the town in 1896 so that visitors could benefit from the fine air quality and its purported health-giving benefits. Hermanus remains a wonderful year-round holiday destination still today, blessed by a magnificence of mountains and sea and endless beaches. This little coastal town never disappoints.

Whales are one of the most mysterious and beautiful creatures in the ocean, with many people travelling hundreds of miles in the hope of spotting one of these gentle creatures. Hermanus offers some of the best whale watching experiences in the world. The best time to enjoy viewings is between July and November either from land, by boat or from the air via a scenic flight. You are almost guaranteed to spot whales in September, October and November in Hermanus, particularly in Walker Bay, which is the mating and breeding ground of the Southern Right Whale.

For those with a more adventurous spirit, a guided sea kayaking trip promises to get your adrenaline going and offers a unique opportunity to watch whales. Discover the magic of this unique coastline with its abundant marine life during a two-hour gentle paddle, starting from the historic Old Harbour.

And if you’re breathing champagne air, you may as well drink it! Hermanus offers an array of Wineries set in the valley called Hemel-en-Aarde (Heaven and Earth) with its outstanding mountain scenery and lush farmlands. Enjoy a glass of bubbly or a wine tasting experience at any of the wonderful vineyards.

Located just below Marine Drive, where the ground plummets into the ocean, and the sea enters into a sheltered cove, lies Ficks Pool, a perfect spot to take a dip in the sparkly blue tidal pool. Or, pack a cooler box, towel and book and head to one of the beaches. Grotto Beach is well known for its massive stretch of stunning sands and ocean, enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. You may even be lucky enough to spot some whales here, especially from the rocks above the sea.

Looking for somewhere peaceful and luxurious to unwind after a day’s activities? The Marine is one of South Africa’s most spectacular seaside hotels and an ideal location for rest and relaxation – especially now, after all the stresses and restrictions of Level 3-5 lockdown. The five-star luxury destination, a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World TM, is located on Hermanus’ famous Cliff Path, overlooking Walker Bay. This means you don’t even have to get out of bed to experience spectacular views or even whale watching!

The Cliff Path also plays host to an intriguing exhibition of sculptures so that you can engage with an array of stimulating and sometimes provocative art as you stroll and take in the incredible views of the coastline – and hopefully sight some marine giants offshore. With inter-provincial leisure travel now permitted, a visit to Hermanus should be added to the holiday bucket list for all South Africans, especially now, what with whale season adding an attraction rivalled by few other places in the world!