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Situated at the entrance to the resort town of Hermanus, pretty Vermont village has a small stretch of beach and borders the Hoek-van-die-berg Nature Reserve. Much of Vermont is undeveloped, however, Hermanus and surrounding areas are booming and the open spaces are unlikely to remain untouched for too long. While the village does not have a swimming beach, there are various locations along the suburb’s coastline to sit on the rocks and watch the whales that attract so many to this region of the Western Cape in South Africa.
Vermont was laid out as a small settlement with 20% retention of natural terrain to provide for green belts and conservation areas. The village has a large salt pan that attracts birdlife, specifically flamingos, and is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy the outdoors. The houses here are fairly new and well maintained and several security complexes and homes for the aged have recently been constructed.
Vermont has an onsite mall but for larger purchases and to experience a lively restaurant scene, visit Hermanus a short 9km drive away.
Top 8 reasons to visit Vermont
1. Pop in to the Bush Pub in the suburb to watch a televised game of rugby or to enjoy the evening’s live entertainment. Mingle with the locals.
2. Take a walk over to Onrus to swim at the village’s enclosed beach and to suntan on the soft golden sands. The rock pools will keep children entertained for hours.
3. Drive into Hermanus town to spend a lazy morning drinking coffee at a pavement café. Most eateries have excellent views of the bay. Watch as the whale crier patrols the bay to notify the public of the presence of whales.
4. The privately owned Hoek-van-die-berg Nature Reserve alongside Vermont contains pristine fynbos (fine bush) and a hiking trail has been established through the reserve. Arrange for a local guide to accompany you on this coastal route where small buck species, birds and Chacma baboon thrive.
5. The Fernkloof Nursery houses indigenous plants sourced from the Fernkloof nature reserve and donated by enthusiastic gardeners. Learn more about the amazing and diverse fynbos plants that make up the Cape Floral Kingdom, the smallest – and richest – floral kingdom worldwide.
6. Travel the scenic route up Rotary Way, above Hermanus town, for sweeping views of Walker Bay extending all the way to the Danger Point lighthouse. Views inland of the Hemel en Aarde wine farms are just as striking.
7. The golf course at Hermanus Golf Course has been carefully laid out around wetlands so as to minimise impact on the environment. Enjoy a round of golf on this attractive course.
8. Walk the 12km cliff path beginning at the new harbour, passing the old harbour and Hermanus town to reach the endpoint at Grotto Beach. The path has superb views of the bay and whale sightings. Look out for dassie (rock hyrax) sunning themselves on the cliff ledges.
Vermont is 100km 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 Vermont, the Cape Town airport and Cape Town and Stellenbosch.
Did you know?
Prior to 1970, Vermont drew its water from 4 springs located in the Onrus suburb alongside. The water was crystal clear as the spring was from an underground source. Today, residents obtain their water from the large De Bos dam in the Hemel en Aarde Valley.
A short distance from Vermont lies Brekfis Bay, a beautiful pristine beach overlooked by large dunes. The name brekfis is a distortion of the word breakfast, how the bay was given this name is anyone’s guess!