The seaside town of Hermanus is set on the shores of Walker Bay. It is a comfortable two-hour drive from Cape Town along the scenic N2 highway – 90 minutes from Cape Town International Airport, and an hour from Cape Agulhas, the southernmost tip of Africa. An alternative route from the Mother City is via the picturesque R44 between Gordon’s Bay and Rooi-Els and then through Betty’s Bay and Kleinmond. Both routes provide panoramic views of False Bay, the coastline, Table Mountain, and parts of the Cape Peninsula.
Hermanus is one of South Africa’s favourite holiday destinations. It has a mild Mediterranean climate and offers the best land-based whale-watching in the world. Cliff Path that stretches from one side of the town to the other side, hugs the coastline for about 12 km, allowing whale watchers to get within perfect viewing sight of the gentle giants in the coves below. Telescopes alongside the Old Harbour Museum make it possible to survey the entire expanse of Walker Bay – as well as the whales and dolphins – at close range.
Hermanus is the only town in the world that has an official whale crier. He keeps visitors informed of the whereabouts of the whales as he does his rounds through town. During the whale season (June to November) the haunting sound of his kelp horn helps create the unique charm for which this seaside resort is renowned.
Here you will find a variety of activities, good food, the Overberg’s own internationally renowned wines, popular festivals, music, as well as many boutiques, book, and craft stores. When walking through the town evidence of its beginnings as a fishing village are apparent.
The town centre has many quaint shops down little alleyways, two shopping malls and a relatively large industrial area. The town has excellent health-care facilities, including three hospitals (a provincial hospital, a private Mediclinic, as well as a private oncology hospital) as well as government and private schools.
Hermanus’ 2023 population is estimated at 79,636.
The town offers beach lovers several sandy options. From the expansive Blue Flag Grotto and Onrus beaches to quieter, secluded beaches tucked away between rocky outcrops, cliffs, and dunes – every beach offering a unique experience. Grotto Beach stretches along the coast for more than 18 kilometres and is bordered by mountains and indigenous plant life.
Activities in the area abound, and include golfing at the 27-hole Hermanus Golf Club, as well as nearby courses at Arabella, Kleinmond and Gansbaai; mountain biking; cycling; ziplining; kayaking; hiking; kite surfing; shark cage diving…
Popular festivals are held during winter and spring to attract tourists out of holiday season: the Hermanus FynArts in June, the Kalfiefees in August, the Whale Festival at the end of September and the Hermanus Botanical Society’s spring flower show at the end of September.
With many artists living in the area there are numerous art galleries. Join the fun on the first Fridays of the month when art galleries stay open until late. Here you can socialise with friends while visiting the art galleries.
Explore the interesting surrounding areas and towns which have a lot to offer including nature reserves, historical museums, shipwrecks, wild horses, wine farms – the list goes on…