Hotels in Hermanus, South Africa
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Whale watching and more in Hermanus
The picturesque town of Hermanus is a small seaside settlement on South Africa’s Western Cape coastline, just a few hour’s drive southwest of Cape Town. Known for its whale spotting opportunities, the town is a well-visited holiday destination that provides a base to explore the stunning coastline in both directions. Hermanus’ outdoor focus ensures that nature lovers, sports enthusiasts and active holidaymakers can enjoy an array of activities on and offshore, whilst its laid back, village atmosphere offers a relaxing environment away from big city life.
Just a few hours away from Cape Town
Hermanus benefits greatly from its location to Cape Town, just a two-hour’s drive away. Many city dwellers head to the smaller town for a weekend getaway, plus Cape Town International Airport provides links to the rest of South Africa and beyond. Being a coastal town, Hermanus has been built up along the rocky shoreline and stretches east to west with the majority of commercial activity focused around the harbour area. The main coastal road of R43 cuts right through the centre of Hermanus before winding on along the coastline and it is on this Main Road that many of the hotels in Hermanus are located. Indeed, the compact centre is home to an array of hotel options but there are also several hotels and guesthouses located in both directions along the coastline. Thanks to its small size, much of the town centre is easily discoverable on foot from most Hermanus hotels, enabling convenient access to an assortment of shops, restaurants and bars.
Whale spotting from the coastline
The clear focus of the town is the whale spotting opportunities and it is impossible to not notice this focal point. There are visual images of whales used in the marketing of many local businesses, plus an obvious theme with the tourist information and souvenirs available. Walking around Hermanus town there are dozens of tour operators offering boat trips to get up close to the whales, however Hermanus is also known for having some of the best land based whale watching opportunities anywhere in the world. Therefore, guests of coastal properties with sea views can often witness these majestic creatures directly from their accommodation. Whale watching season runs from June to December and during the peak of the season up to 200 whales have been spotted in a single day, of multiple different species. The Hermanus Whale Festival in October is a particularly busy period in the town, as the entirety of Hermanus is alive with events and things to do, on and off shore.
A small town with an outdoor focus
Aside from whale watching there are also a multitude of outdoor activities to be enjoyed in the Hermanus area. There are boat tours offering fishing and diving trips year-round, plus kayaking trips provide an even closer experience on the water. Hiking is another popular activity with dozens of trails networking the surrounding nature, along the coast and inland. More adventurous tourists can partake in the likes of quad biking, paragliding and sandboarding, plus there is also a surf school in the area. Due to its small size, it is easily possible to begin hikes directly from the centre of Hermanus, enabling guests to enjoy the tranquillity of the rugged nature in close proximity of their hotel. Within the town centre there are also a few attractions for visitors to enjoy, including the Whale Museum and the Old Harbour Museum, both providing further insight into the history of the local area. In addition, there are a variety of buildings and old architecture which give Hermanus a certain charm, for instance The Church of St Peter.
Enjoying wineries and nearby nature reserves
The surrounding region of Overberg is a diverse mix of scenery and landscape which is also known for its wine growing. Indeed, there are several large wineries within a short drive of Hermanus and thus many visitors to the area are keen to sample the local tastes. Many wineries offer tours and tasting sessions, plus there are also tour companies offering day trips which take in several award-winning wineries and include transport to and from Hermanus. The surrounding hillsides also contain multiple nature reserves such as Babilonstoring, Fernkloof and Maanschynkop, all within a thirty-minute drive. These and others offer further hiking and trekking opportunities and make for popular day trips from Hermanus. Likewise, heading along the coast, there are many other small villages and towns, for instance L’Agulhas; famous for being the most southern point of African continent and the dividing line between the Atlantic and the Indian Oceans.