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A large security estate comprising beautifully appointed homes, cultivated gardens and a range of onsite activities, and with a mountain range as a backdrop, Hemel en Aarde Estate in Hermanus is the picture-perfect seaside retreat. Situated on the main road into Hermanus and alongside the busy Hemel en Aarde shopping village, the estate is a short distance from the restaurants and whale watching boat launch site at the new harbour, the sandy beaches of Sandbaai and Onrus, and within easy reach of all other conveniences.
Once a small fishing village, the town of Hermanus has boomed into a popular year round tourist destination offering whale watching, Blue Flag appointed beaches, shark cage diving and various other seaside activities. And to further enjoy a holiday here would be a stay in a luxurious, secure complex such as that provided at Hemel en Aarde Estate.
Top 8 reasons to visit Hemel en Aarde Estate
1. Here’s a suggested itinerary: rise early for a loosening session at the onsite gym, travel to the Hemel en Aarde Shopping Village for a delightful breakfast, do some whale watching while you let the food settle before returning to enjoy a quick dip in the estate pool followed by a game of tennis, a sauna and end the afternoon off by mingling at the pub. Bliss!
2. For serious golfers, the championship course at the Arabella Country Estate is ranked in the top 10 golf courses in South Africa. Although course fees are quite costly, the scenic environment and silky greens make the expenditure worthwhile.
3. Soak up the sunshine at one of Hermanus’ 3 Blue Flag beaches. The wide open beach at Grotto Bay is the most popular for swimming.
4. Surfing at nearby Onrus is enjoyed by surfers for the left-hand breaks. For those new to the sport, the waves at Kammabaai Beach are uniform enough to master the art.
5. Tour the Abagold facility stationed outside the new harbour, an abalone farming company that harvests this endangered shellfish in an attempt to combat overfishing.
6. Hire a bicycle and ride the various mountain bike trails in and around the Fernkloof Reserve. Stop and admire the fynbos plants along the mountain ridges.
7. Walk the 12km cliff path beginning at the new harbour and ending at Grotto Beach. The walk offers magnificent ocean views and whale and dolphin sightings. Take a break at one of the many sidewalk cafés along the esplanade.
8. For wine lovers, a large wine estate, a boutique winery and a garagiste winemaker have tasting rooms at the Hemel en Aarde Village, otherwise experience a full range of local wines without having to travel the routes at the onsite Wine Village shop. The Hemel en Aarde Village is also the venue for a well-attended Saturday food and craft market.
Hemel en Aarde Estate is 110km away from Cape Town International Airport. Two car rental agencies are based in Hermanus to hire a vehicle or book a rental online. Use the Tuk Tuk Transporter service for location hopping in Hermanus. John’s Hermanus Taxis offer shuttle services between Hermanus, the Cape Town airport and Cape Town & Stellenbosch.
Did you know?
The town’s Whale Crier, of which there have only ever been 3, offers a valuable service. Being a local, he is quite happy to be quizzed on anything whale- or Hermanus-related and to pose for photographs. When whales appear in the bay, he blows his horn – fashioned from dried kelp – to make visitors aware of their presence.
Hermanus has an Art Walk that happens on the first Friday of every month where walkers visit 12 galleries to view the paintings, sculptures and ceramic work furnished by 300 local artists.
Hermanus conservation authorities have a unique project running called the Shark Egg Case Project. Citizens are asked to collect shark egg cases (also known as a mermaid’s purse) for scientists to better understand the shark’s lifecycle and help to conserve the species.