All around the world Hermanus is known as the best land based whale watching destination in the world. Hundreds flock here for whale watching and, of course, the whale festival that takes place every year to celebrate the returning of the Southern Right Whale to the area. Situated between the ocean and the magnificent Overberg mountains, Hermanus is the perfect place for rest and relaxation.
In the Fernkloof Nature Reserve which boasts 1400 different types of plant species, bird enthusiasts are spoiled for choice, with over 100 varieties of birds. Such as the Orange-breasted Sunbird, the Cape Sugarbird, Victorin’s Warbler and many more rare, beautiful and fascinating animals.
The town of Hermanus was founded in 1820 by Hermanus Pieters and was originally called Hermanuspietersfontein. The name was then later changed to Hermanus in 1902 by the Postmaster as it was too long. Over the years the small fishing village has become one of the most popular places around. Hermanus has a rail way station, but no trains or tracks. Plans were being made to build a railway extending from Botriver, when Sir William Hoy decided that there would be no trains as the steam would pollute the fresh air.
Lying on the coastline with it’s beautiful scenery, it is one of those places you just need to see for yourself.
Things to do
The coastal town offers a wide range of activities for couples, friends and families to enjoy. Just a few of the activities you can enjoy include Fishing, Bird-Watching, , Hiking, Kayaking, Scuba diving, Treetop zipline slides, Paintball, Horse riding, Shopping and so much more.
Whale watching is one of the most popular activities to do whilst visiting Hermanus. There are a few ways to do this which includes, boat tours, aerial tours and land based viewing.Shark Cage Diving is also a popular activity and is available all year round for the whole family.
You can also enjoy the Hermanus Wine Route which runs from Benguela Cove all the way down to the village, where you can enjoy your tasting while taking in the beautiful scenery.
If you would like to see all the history Hermanus has to offer, there are a number of Museums you can visit.
There a a wide range of beaches in the hermanus area to visit which include Grotto Beach, Breakfast Bay, Sandbaai Beach, Onrus beach, Langbaai, Kammabaai and Voelklip Beach.
Where to Eat
Hermanus is know for it's delicious seafood, which is indulged in while taking in the glorious views the coastal town offers. For those you are not so keen on the oceans fresh offerings there is a selection of restaurants to choose from to apease your palate.
Fisherman’s Cottage is the place to go for a little history and a wide selection of delicious fresh seafood. The building dates back to 1890 and forms part of the old harbour museum located in the fishermans village.
If you are looking for a great family restaurant that serves Italian food, then Rossi’s Italian Restaurant is the place to be. Established in 1985, Rossi’s has a great atmosphere and a view of the overberg mountains.
For some home made breakfast and good coffee, pop into Anya’s Mum Cafe. Their menu is changed on a daily basis and they have great garden, where you can sit and relax to escape the crowds.
Just Pure Bistro offers you a memorable experience with views that overlook the bay. They use only the freshest ingredients for all their delicious meals.
Looking for some good sushi. Harbour Rock Restaurant is situated on the cliff overlooking hermanus. During the winter they partner up with Gecko and offer you a discount on Fridays known as “Sushi Fridays”.
Want the best steak in Hermanus, then you have to visit B’s Steakhouse to get their famous char grilled steak and signature ultimate onion!
The Blue Roof Pub & Restaurant is located in Fisherhaven, just outside of Hermanus. They have live music on a regular basis and have a R40 pub grub menu, which means all their dishes offered on the bar menu is R40. You can unwind with some music and a good view, overlooking the Bot River.
Situated at the original market square in Hermanus, Tapas Food & Wine Bar offers you a wide range of local and international cuisine. They also have a wide selection of award winning wine that you can taste by the glass.
Where to Stay
Whether you're visiting Hermanus for a few days or weeks, with family and friend, or just with a partner, you'll be sure to find the accommodation to suit your needs!
Hotels: If you are just looking for a place to sleep, then Hermanus offers a wide range of high standard hotels.
Guest Houses & Bed & Breakfasts: There is big selection of luxury and affordable guest houses and bed & breakfasts to choose from in Hermanus.
Self Catering & Apartments: If you are coming in a group or as a family, it would be best to choose an one of many self catering and apartments in Hermanus.
Backpackers: If you are just traveling through hermanus, why not stay at one of the backpacker establishments.
Camping & Caravan Parks: Want to be outside in the fresh hermanus air then one of the caravan/camping sites is for you.
Farm Stays: Hermanus also offers you the opportunity to stay on one of it’s beautiful farms.
When traveling to Hermanus by car from Cape Town, there are two routes you could take. The quickest is to take the N2 over Sir Lowry’s Pass, but if you are looking for a more scenic route then take the drive along the mountain-side by travelling along Clarens Drive.
Air: There is no airport in Hermanus itself. The closest airport is Cape Town International Airport, which is 90 km from Hermanus.
Car Rental: A popular way for getting around Hermanus is by renting a car. There are a number of car rental agencies around the town, or you can organise one at Cape Town International Airport.
Taxis/Shuttle Services: One of the best ways to get around Hermanus is to take one of the many taxis and Shuttle services available. This option is best for tourists or large groups as it pick you up and drops you exactly where you want to be.
Did you know?Hermanus was originally called Hermanuspietersfontein
It is famous for Southern Right Whale watching during the Southern Hemisphere's winter and spring.
Hermanus hosts an annual whale festival to celebrate the returning of the Southern Right Whales to the area for mating season.
Grotto Beach is the largest beach in Hermanus and been proclaimed a Blue Flag beach.
Hermanus has a warm summer Mediterranean climate and temperatures range from 25 °C in February to 16 °C in July but higher temperatures are not uncommon.
The town has one of the richest and highest plant diversity levels in the world.
Hermanus has one of the world's only Whale Criers. He alerts people of whale sighting by blowing his kelp horn.
There is a train station in Hermanus, but no trains or railway lines.