How to capture the essence of Hermanus with ten themes only? Difficult but a great way to share the Hermanus story in September – Tourism Month.
- Hermanuspietersfontein is an obvious choice as it was the original name of Hermanus. This was before the local postmaster decided to shorten Hermanuspietersfontein to Hermanus to fit better on the postage stamp. The cellar shares the story of Hermanus Pieters, a shepherd who discovered Hermanus. Through its labels and marketing Hermanuspietersfontein spreads the news about Hermanus. A Saturday Wine & Food Market has been re-branded recently as the smallest market in the Western Cape yet there is enough to enjoy to linger around.
- Hermanus Wine Route with its lush vineyards and acclaimed Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Wine and food pairings are perfected at Creation, Moggs Country Cookhouse offers hearty meals, ELL has an organic menu and there are platters at Sumaridge and Bouchard Finlayson that can be ordered to make sure there’s a nibble at hand as the wine tasting proceeds.
- The Walker Bay star attraction from July till November – the Southern Right whales. Words can not describe the emotion of seeing these giant mammals breach. Visitors can enjoy sightings from the Hermanus Cliff Path, take a trip with one of three boat watching operators or take a flight with one of two aeroplanes operated outside Hermanus in Stanford and Pearly Beach.
- Fynbos in Fernkloof and almost everywhere you look. The Fernkloof Nature Reserve boasts more than 1400 species of fynbos and their website claims that nowhere else can the different species of the Cape Floral Kingdom be found in such close proximity as here in Hermanus. Visitors love the walks in nature and the colour and texture added by the indigenous plants. Proteas and pincushions are personal favourites but the tubular Erica blooms and the grass-like Restios all add variety to the landscape.
- Grotto Beach on the fringe of Hermanus has received the internationally awarded Blue Flag status for fifteen years. One of only two South African beaches to receive this endorsement for the full period of the Blue Flag programme, this beach is conserved, clean and safe and provides beach-goers with an improved experience. Whale Coast Conservation regularly presents educational activities focused on eco-awareness on this stretch of sandy shore.
- A point that is often raised when discussing the unique beauty of Hermanus is that it has the sea AND the mountains. There are the Kleine River Mountains and the higher range of the Babilonstoring Mountains, which are geologically part of the range and run as a border along the Hemel-en-Aarde vineyards. The Babilonstoring Mountains are shorter, yet higher than the Klein River Mountains with its highest point reaching 1167m – higher than Table Mountain.
- Abalone or perlemoen. Sustainably produced with the experience available to tourists to view the abalone plant situated in the Hermanus New Harbour. Heart of Abalone offers an educational presentation on abalone and completes the tour with a tasting of the delicacy prepared in three different ways. Jewelry by local designers, Ralph and Heidi Walton, uses the strong mother-of-pearl shell. Pieces are showcased and sold with tinned abalone at Heart of Abalone.
- Adventure. Although the biggest adventure must be diving with sharks just outside Gansbaai, Hermanus does not lack in excitement. Adrenaline junkies can rest assured that there is plenty of action from zip-sliding to kayaking, paragliding, kite-surfing, quad bike riding and mountain-biking. You name it and Hermanus most certainly has the activity.
- Festivals and special events are plentiful and the Cape Whale Coast calendar is filled with affairs tempting all interests. Pinot Noir Celebration, Easter Passion Play, Hermanus FynArts Festival, the June Kalfiefees, Hermanus Wine & Food Festival, Flower Show, Whale Festival which will celebrate its 25th anniversary this year… the list goes on. Hermanus FynArts brought a permanent sculpture installation to the Cliff Path and these sculptures are often cast as a background to holiday pictures.
- Art. Last but not certainly not least comes art. There are seventeen art galleries that participate in the Hermanus First Fridays Art Walk. Harbour Road has a number of galleries dotted along the way with first class art exhibitions within easy reach of one another. The number of artists who have settled in Hermanus has increased in quantity and quality. Shops in High Street have made a conserted effort to decorate walls with colourful paint and streetart. A walk down High Street is bright with great photo opportunities all the way.