Hermanus, with its legendary champagne air, is an ideal place to explore the Overberg's attractions and provides the perfect setting to spoil your family for a holiday or breakaway weekend.
Only 140 km from Cape Town, the 1.5-hour drive takes you through some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country. Hermanus has definitely outgrown its rustic old fisherman's village image and is now a fast, if not the fastest, growing town in the Overberg region.
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There is no shortage of activities in and around Hermanus to keep visitors busy. Most significantly, Hermanus is the best land based whale watching destination in the world. The Southern Right Whales visit our shores from beginning July and return to their feeding grounds by the end of November. Easily spotted from the cliff paths that run along the length of the town, the southern right whales favour the relatively shallow waters of the bay for breeding and mating. Humpback whales and dolphins can also be seen.
The Fernkloof Nature Reserve, stretching along the fynbos-covered mountains that form the backdrop to the town, offers well-maintained hiking trails and breathtaking views. These trails provide the opportunity for people of all fitness levels to walk among and appreciate the Western Cape's unique fauna and flora.
Exquisite beaches are found along the coastline near the suburbs of Hawston, Vermont, Onrust River, Sandbaai, and Voëlklip. Hawston and Grotto beaches have been awarded Blue Flag status, meaning they comply with international standards regarding beach safety, cleanliness and environmental awareness. Lagoons at Klein River and Onrust River attract all manner of water sports. The beautiful beaches cater for both young and old, swimmers, surfers and body boarders alike.
For the adventurous, there are numerous activities such as paragliding, sea and river kayaking, scuba diving, boardsailing, mountain and quad biking. Shark cage diving with the inimitable great white shark provides the ultimate adrenalin rush.
Hermanus is also home to one of the most beautiful golf course in the country – this 27-hole course offers splendid views of the sea and mountains. An ideal way to appreciate the areas surrounding Hermanus is by horseback or mountain biking. Explore the abundant fynbos, gallop between the orchards in the Hemel-en-Aarde valley or take it easy with a gentle walk on the mountain.
Several acclaimed wines have been produced in the beautiful Hemel-en-Aarde valley recently, and wine lovers can sample some of them by following the Hemel-en-Aarde wine route. Celebrate the good life with our interesting diversity of shops and fine restaurants.
Hermanus boasts a mild, Mediterranean climate. Summer is dry and sunny, with extreme heat tempered by sea breezes. Early autumn (March-April) is idyllic, with balmy days and late afternoon sea mists - the so-called Hermanus 'champagne air'. Winter, although the rainy season, has many sunny days and is generally mild, with high winds possible at times.
Festivals in Hermanus
The Whale Festival is held to celebrate the arrival of the magnificent Southern Right Whales that come to Walker Bay to calve and mate.
The festival offers a variety of eco-environmental activities; a children’s festival; an arts ramble that takes visitors to the studios and galleries of local artists and other live entertainment.
There is also plenty of action for the health-conscious with several sporting events, namely a half-marathon, fun cycle ride, soccer and golf day.
Contact the Whale Festival office for more information on 028-313 0928.
Flower and Eco Fair
This spectacular fair takes place at the Fernkloof Nature Reserve in September each year and provides nature lovers with a colourful and spectacular showcase of the local flora and crafts.
Onrus plays host to the annual Hermanus Times Kalfiefees during August, which brings a cultural experience to the local community.
The mostly Afrikaans festival offers some of the best national and local theatre productions.
For more information call 028-3163748.
Food & Wine Fair
The Hermanus Food & Wine Fair, which coincide with the Kalfiefees, has become an important event on the Western Cape wine industry.
Visitors can chase away the winter chills by sampling wine and other products from over 30 exhibitors. It includes some of the Cape’s top wine estates as well as producers of speciality foods and other delicacies. For more information call the Wine Village 028 3163988
Hawston Sea Festival
The festival is held annually at the beginning of December at the Hawston camping site next to the ocean.
Fresh crayfish, perlemoen, paella and snoek is available. There is entertainment for young and old and festival-goers can take a dip in the Olympic size swimming pool. Cantact Augusta at 072 533 7313.