Hermanus

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Hermanus Travel Guide

This lovely town, on the coastal area of the Overberg, is most well known for its awesome land based whale watching.

Most of Hermanus’ shoreline is rocky cliff, quite high above Walker Bay so it offers fantastic viewpoints from which to observe the huge southern right whales as they come into the bay to mate, calve and just hang out in the (relatively) warm water. (It’s warmer than Antarctica.) A whale crier blows a horn made from kelp and informs locals and tourists alike where the whales are to be found at any given time. The whales usually arrive in late winter – towards the end of June or beginning of July – and stay until autumn, with the last stragglers heading back down south in November, or even December. The town holds a whale festival every year from the end of September to the beginning of October.

There is a fabulous path, most of which is wheelchair-friendly, along the cliff top. As well as the lovely sea views and sightings of whales, there are many pretty and fragrant flowers. It is a wonderful path and it’s generally safe but use your common sense and don’t walk alone on it when there are hardly any other people about. There is also a boat based whale watching operator based in the New Harbour. Other attractions in this lovely town include a wine tasting cellar, a museum, in which you can see many exhibits pertaining to whaling and fishing, and a golf course.

The nearby Hermanus Lagoon is a great place to sail or paddle, and the paragliding is excellent. The diving is great and Hermanus is a popular beach destination, even though there is only one beach. For nature lovers a visit to the Fernkloof Nature Reserve is a great way to get up close to the dainty montane coastal fynbos which attracts scores of jewel bright sunbirds and elegant sugarbirds which flit about the proteas. There are loads of marked trails for strolls or long walks taking in the extensive views of Walker Bay.

Hermanus is just bursting at the seams with good restaurants, lovely guest houses and characterful hotels.

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