Hermanus is a town filled with fun activities, amazing restaurants and wine farms and, of course, whale watching.
To help you plan your trip to Hermanus , we’ve put together an A – Z list of all the amazing things Hermanus can offer you.
A – Antique Shopping
Hermanus os home to a host of different, beautiful and quirky antique shops. Romantique, located close to the Whale Museum, is a favourite of both local and tourists. Nostaltiques is another antique shop similar to Romantiques. You can expect to find furniture, art and a whole lot of knick knacks at both of these great shops.
B – Betty Blue Bistro
Betty Blue Bistro is undoubtedly one of Hermanus’ best kept secrets. The Bistro, with its fresh foods and fresh decor, has been listed as one of the top restaurants by Eat Out Magazine in 2016, 2017 and 2018. An awesome breakfast spot, you’ll definitely want to tuck into their signature sweet or savoury pancakes when you’re there!
C – Chill Guru Bus
The Chill Guru bus is a great way to explore Hermanus, and the informative tour guides will truly give you sense of what shaped Hermanus to be one of South Africa’s favourite coastal destinations today. You can read more about the Chill Guru Bus and their sister tapas restaurant and wine bar here.
D – Drive the Rotary Way
The Rotary Way is a great drive to take to reach the top of the Hermanus mountain range. From this vantage point, you’ll be able to indulge in stunning views of all points in Hermanus, including Walker Bay and the adjacent towns and villages to this coastal gem. Learn more about the Rotary Way here.
E – Eat Abalone
Abalone is considered a delicacy in South Africa and it’s easy to see why. This delicious, fresh seafood dish has distinctive taste and when cooked correctly will melt away on your tastebuds. There are several seafood restaurants in Hermanus that offer Abalone on their menu, but one of our favourites is the Abalone Pasta at our own Harbour House Hotel. If you’re interested in learning more about this fascinating sea creature, you can book an Abalone tour with Heart of Abalone that also operates in Hermanus.
F – Festivals
There are numerous festivals happening in and around Hermanus throughout the year. The most famous of these festivals is the annual Hermanus Whale Festival which features a host of plays, music shows, art exhibitions and more from local and international artists. The Kalfie Fees, which happens just prior to the Whale Festival, also features a more curated programme of local artists. The Fynarts Festival is also a popular and highly curated festival, bringing you only the best in local talent.
G – Studio G
Studio G at Harbour House is a beautiful – albeit small – art gallery curated by local artist, Gerhard Van Niekerk. The gallery features works from local artists and stunning works by Gerhard himself. Find out more about STudio G here.
H – Hemingway’s Book Shop
As the name suggests, Hemingway’s Book Shop is a treasure trove for book aficionados. The bookshop is somewhat of a legend in Hermanus, and houses several bric-a-brac pieces as well as collectable and classic books. The bookshop has also been internationally recognised as a place to find rare collectables and out-of-print books.
I – Immerse Yourself in Nature with a Walk in Fernkloof
Hermanus is full of natural beauty. One of the most beautiful areas of the town, however, is the gorgeous Fernkloof. Fernkloof Nature Reserve is nestled between the Kleinrivier Mountains and stretches across 18 square kilometers. A walk or trail run through Fernkloof will be good for body and soul.
J – Just Pure Bistro
Just Pure is a collection of home and body products made from beautiful natural ingredients. Their shop in Hermanus is also home to a lovely Bistro, that you simply have to make a turn at. They have a wonderful day and night menu, but it is their famed cheesecake that is undeniably the star of the show. Make sure you stop by for a slice!
K – Kite Surf Hermanus
Hermanus is an excellent kite surfing spot, thanks to the steady winds season round in the area. There are several locations in town where you can get your kite surfing on, including the beautiful Grotto Beach and Voëlklip Beach.
L – Lembu Gallery
Situated in the heart of Hermanus, in a 100-year old fisherman’s cottage, Lembu Gallery is an eclectic gallery showcasing stunning works from local artists. It is also the home studio of local artist, Ed Bredenkamp. Find out more about Lembu Gallery here.
M – Visit a Museum
There are several great museum in and around Hermanus, the most famous of which being the dedicated Whale Museum. Another museum to definitely check out is the De Wet’s Huis Photo Museum. Here you can explore old photographs of Hermanus and the people that once lived in the town.
N – Newton Johnson Wines
Newton Johnson Wines is one of the most prestigious wine farms in South Africa, famed for their delicious Pinot Noir. Nestled in the beautiful Hemel-en-Aarde Valley just outside of Hermanus town, this wine estate is lovely to visit. Why not make a wine estate trip out of it? The Hemel-en-Aarde Valley is home to several, amazing wine estates, including Hamilton Russell Wines, Creation and Hermanuspietersfontein.
O – Origins at The Marine Hotel
If you’re looking for a perfect place for a dinner date, then this is the spot. Origins Restaurant at The Marine Hotel features an array of delicious dishes to indulge in. There is a Chef’s black board that changes daily, as well as wonderful sharing plates that makes it the ideal spot for date night.
P – Picnics at Klein River
The Klein River Farmstead in the beautiful little village of Stanford, just a short drive from Hermanus, is famed for the delightful picnic shed where visitors can spend a lazy afternoon with friends and a delicious picnic. For more info about the picnics, read here.
Q – Quiz Nights at Dutchies
Dutchies Restaurant probably has one of the most beautiful locations in Hermanus. Situated on Grotto Beach, this lively restaurant also holds even more lively quiz nights. Join in on the fun and stay for dinner afterwards, you won’t regret it!
R – Rooftop Pool
Did you know that guests at our sister establishment, Zzzone, have access to a secret rooftop pool?! That’s right, guests staying at Zzzone can enjoy a dip in our secret sky pool and relax on the sun loungers around the pool. Of course, guests at Harbour House Hotel have access to our very own infinity pool.
S – Selkirk’s Restaurant
Selkirk’s Restaurant is our in house restaurant, and has one the most beautiful views in town. Pop on by for their daily, freshly baked croissants or the fish and chips – all while you look out onto Walker Bay from our beautiful Lookout Terrace.
T – Trails for Running and Mountain Biking
There are several, fantastic trails for trail runners and mountain bikers to enjoy in and around Hermanus. Some more treacherous than others, you can choose which will work for you. Read more about trails in Hermanus here.
U – Visit One of the “Unique Lodges of The World”
Grootbos, which is located on the R43 between Stanford and Gansbaai, is a quick drive away form Hermanus and has been hailed as one of the most unique lodges in the world. This eco-reserve truly is something to experience! Find out more about Grootbos here.
V – Voëlklip Beach
Voëlklip Beach is one of Hermanus’ most popular beaches. The beach is a favourite amongst surfers and kite surfers, and it’s white, sandy beaches make it the perfect beach for fun in the sun.
W – Whales, What Else?
Hermanus would not be Hermanus without its whales! These beautiful, mammoth mammals make the trek to Hermanus annually, and turn the town into an absolute whale haven. The whales usually arrive in late winter and stay until early spring, so a visit to Hermanus during this time is an absolute must! It’s no wonder Hermanus is hailed as one of the best land-based whale watching areas in the world.
X – Walkerbay Xtreme
The Walkerbay Xtreme is a multi-discipline sports festival that happens in Hermanus every year and stretches over a couple of days. Perfect for fitness fanatics, this festival draws both participants and crowds from all over the world. Find out more about the Walkerbay Extreme here.
Y – Ylang Ylang Massage at Arabella Spa
The spa at the Arabella Country Estate is renowned for its fabulous treatments. One such treatment is a aromatherapy massage with Ylang Ylang essential oils. Relax and unwind at whilst inhaling the lovely smell of Ylang Ylang.
Z – Zzzzz After a Long Day Exploring Hermanus at Zzzone Peaceful Sleep Sanctuary
Our sister establishment, Zzzone, truly is a sleep sanctuary. Our rooms and Chill Zone has been specifically designed so that you can relax and refresh at your optimum – ready to tackle yet another day of exploring Hermanus!