Hermanus, South Africa Travel Guide

Though only a gentle stone’s throw from Cape Town, Hermanus has an already entirely different vibe to the big city to the west.  Hermanus is laid-back, quiet, and maybe even hosts a bit of a hippie vibe.  The truth is, too, that most tourists don’t spend nearly as much time here as they do.  Quite often, they simple pop in for a quick run off to do some whale watching or shark diving.  But there seems to be more to Hermanus than that.  The coastline is magnificent, and the fact that you’re now at the edge of the garden route is obvious with so many stunning sections of flora.  If you’ve got the time, don’t just pop in and out of Hermanus, spend a couple days. Relax.

Time Needed: 1-3 Days
Backpacker’s Budget: $30-40USD
Mid-Range Budget: $40-60USD

The Marine hotel, Hermanus, south africa

Things to Do in Hermanus

Hermanus is all about the water, and what lies below it.  The fact that many in the region call this the “Whale Coast” gives away the fact that this is one of the best whale watching venues in the world.  There are, however, other things as well.

  • Shark Cage Diving: This is one of the top spots in the world to dive with sharks.  All the hotels and hostels in town offer it as an option.
  • Whale Watching: Likely the top spot in the Southern Hemisphere to offer whale watching, although Chile and Argentina will likely beg to differ.  Again, all the hostels and hotels offer this as an option.
  • Wineries: There are some really nice wineries within the Hermanus area.  If you head up into the hills a bit you’ll find some gems!
  • The Coast: Although the beaches in Hermanus aren’t perfect, they are stunning.  There’s great hiking/walking to be had along certain paths along the coast in and near to town.

Where to Eat in Hermanus

  • Fisherman’s Cottage: Judging by the atmosphere when I was there, this is the place to be.  Great seafood, fun atmosphere.
  • Two Ocean’s: They have really nice Greek food at this spot.  Good location too.

Where to Stay in Hermanus

  • The Marine: I was completely spoiled by two nights at The Marine which is right on top of the water.  The rooms are incredible, the views are perfect, and the location doesn’t get any better.
  • Hermanus Backpackers: After leaving The Marine, I spent a night at shark-inspired Hermanus Backpackers which was nice.  I had an entire dorm room to myself.  The location is only a block up from the waterfront, and they do well to organize things like the whale watching and shark diving.

The Marine hotel, Hermanus, south africa

Getting out of Town

You’re about 80km from Cape Town, and the International airport outside of the city is the closest to Hermanus.  If you’re trying to get to Cape Town, there are public buses.  If you’re trying to head east, your best bet is likely to catch the BazBus which has connections with Hermanus Backpackers.

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