Hermanus & Gansbaai
Top 10 attractions in Hermanus & Gansbaai
- Land and boat based whale watching (June to November)
- Great white shark viewing and diving from Gansbaai
- Cape Floral Kingdom World Heritage Site in Grootbos and surrounding nature reserves
- Wine tasting and gourmet restaurants in the Hemel en Aarde valley
- Shopping in Hermanus
- Brewery tour and beer tasting at Birkenhead Estate in Stanford
- Elim church that celebrates the abolition of slavery in South Africa
- Horse riding through the fynbos or along the beach
- White sand beaches including the 17km “Die Plaat” beach in the Walker Bay Nature Reserve
- Middle Stone Age site at Klipgat Cave outside De Kelders
The Hermanus and Gansbaai area are known for incredible land and boat based whale watching. Sail out to sea for an ocean safari to spot the Marine Big 5 which includes whales, dolphins, African penguins, Cape fur seals and the Great white shark. Scuba diving and shark cage diving are also available. The area also forms part of the Cape Floral Kingdom World Heritage Site, easily the most diverse, complex and beautiful ecosystem in Africa. Guests can enjoy a range of activites – hikes, horseriding, beach and cave exploration, within the many undisturbed and pristine nature reserves.
In Hermanus travellers can enjoy Grotto Beach, a Blue Flag beach with excellent amenities, lifeguards and lots of parking. Voelklip beach is more private and secluded and also more sheltered from the wind. Onrus beach is popular for great surfing, and the lagoon makes it fun and safe for children. In Gansbaai the long sandy coastline of Franskraal beach is known as a birding hotspot, and for nature enthusiasts Die Plaat beach forms part of the Walker Bay Nature Reserve. Pearly Beach is famous for endless stretches of white sand, perfect for beach hikes. Stanford’s Bay offers great swimming and a rich history as one of the first coastal settlements in the area.
Entertainment & food and wine
Hermanus and neighbouring towns are filled with a variety of artists producing high quality art and craft most of which is available for purchase at the Craft Market on Lemm’s Corner. This quaint and historic area is home to many authentic restaurants offering locally sourced, fresh from the earth vegetables, cheese and seafood. The Hermanus wine route, including the Hemel en Aarde wine valley, produces excellent wines. Wine tours are popular and visitors can taste and purchase wine directly from the wine estates.
The Old Harbour complex and museum in Hermanus offers travellers insight into the history of this old town, which was originally started as a fishing community. Gansbaai was also born from the abundance of fish in the area, and the Gansbaai Lighthouse, commissioned in 1895, still operates and has been declared a national monument.
Watersports & other activities
Other than scenic hiking and horse trails through the many nature reserves, travellers may also be interested in cycling trails, boating, kayaking, fishing and surfing. The Hermanus Golf Course offers 27 holes against a backdrop of mountains and ocean.