Heaven on Earth in Hermanusby Roseanna McBain on 19 August 2014
Hermanus is one of the gems of the Whale Coast, and is characterized by lush rolling hills, a wine route of its own, salty ocean air, and eclectic and artsy shops. If you’re weekending at this coastal town, then read on to discover some of our favourite spots in this little piece of heaven on earth:
Area Exploration and Leisure
Village Square and the adjacent outdoor market have numerous quirky shops that you could spend all day browsing through. Everything from handcrafted jewellery, décor, and crockery to eats, clothing, and souvenirs are available.
Pack ‘n Bake, in Sandbaai, have the best cupcakes available along the coast. Here, you can stock up on any baking products you need or enrol in cupcake and icing classes, held throughout the year, to help hone your own baking and decorating skills.
Grotto Beach is a great spot for families with an idyllic sandy beach and swimming opportunities. Picnic here, head to one of the nearby restaurants once you’re done sunning for the day.
If you’re staying over in Hermanus, you should definitely treat yourself to a massage after a day spent running around. Peace & Quiet – Hermanus caters to your every need by having an on-call masseuse, who can also do select beauty treatments.
The Whale House Museum in the Old Harbour is a good educational trip for families. Despite being quite small and dimly lit, you’ll get a good overview of the behemoth mammals that swim in the deep. The miniature two-person submarine is quite a hit with children.
Hermanus Rocks is a wonderful place regardless of your age. Browse the semi-precious stones available, while children have a ball collecting their own from the scratch-patch.
Fernkloof Nature Reserve is well suited for outdoor lovers with numerous picnic spots and hiking trails. The coastal view is outstanding and you could definitely spend a day listening to gull calls and watching whales playing in the waves.
Wine and Dine
The Hemel-en-Aarde Wine Valley’s name literally means ‘heaven on earth’, and it’s easy to see why It is home to the Hermanus Wine Route, and every little farm stall and expansive wine estate within it provides views of the beautiful valley. Some worthwhile wine estates to visit include:
– Whalehaven: a top wine tasting venue with gorgeous views
– Creation Wines: has won numerous awards for incredible food & wine pairings
– Domaine des Dieux: the Rose of Sharon wine is reason enough to visit – as well as being the only Method Cap Classique producing estate in the region
Sun downers and coastal views
With over 83 eateries in Hermanus, we’ve rounded up our top picks for those after a sea view.
Cocos Island Grill and Cocktail Bar is a great choice for families looking to eat out, as they offer live music, good food, and whale watching opportunities. They provide a selection of 10 naturally brewed beers on tap, several choice wines, and as the name suggests, a plethora of cocktails to try.
Harbour Rock Sea Grill and Sushi Bar provides class, crayfish, and fine dining, with beautiful views of the Hermanus harbour. Best of all, they’re open for breakfast, lunch, and supper! With an extensive wine list, a cosy fireplace, and a patio perfect for languid meals outdoors, they’re a great choice for any occasion. Catch whales calving in the bay during season.
Gecko Bar, attached to Harbour Rock Sea Grill, is one of the top pubs for local interaction, sports viewing, and crispy pizzas. The bar interior evokes the feeling of being within a ship – from the ocean facing windows and dark woods, to the rustic bar stools and chairs of varying heights. Enjoy mingling with locals in the delightfully rowdy atmosphere as live bands like Demond and the Tutu’s entertain the crowd.
If you’ve had one too many cocktails, call Tuk Tuk Transport Service on +27 (0)846 885 885. They will ensure you arrive safely drive back at your accommodation.
There are 3 main farmer’s markets held in Hermanus every Saturday morning, where you can wander around with a cup of coffee in hand, browsing the various items available.
Hermanus Country Market is held every Saturday between 09h00 – 13h00, at the Hermanus cricket grounds. It’s great for families, with plenty of food and souvenirs.
Fernkloof Farmers Market, held behind the Montessori School has a large selection of fresh produce, preserves, indigenous plants, and freshly baked bread.
Market in the Garden is found within the Hemel-en-Aarde Wine Village, and is available every Saturday from 09:00 – 14:00. It’s a trendy upbeat place surrounded by art galleries, which remains family – and pet – friendly. Enjoy a live performer, tasty eats, and unique items for sale.
Schulphoek Seafront Guest House is ideal for those after a stay right on the beach. Whales are often spotted by guests on the patio, and the opulent rooms will cater to those who enjoy a stay filled with life’s little luxuries. Find out more.
Villa Blu is set in Voelklip, and is an intimate place perfect for couples. Relax in the courtyard or one of the communal lounges, or splash about in the swimming pool. Enjoy first-class amenities such as a state of the art espresso machine, an incredible breakfast spread, and a welcome cheese platter and champagne on arrival.
Find out more.
Quarters Hotel is situated within the heart of Hermanus, and has all the comforts you could require, including one wheelchair-friendly unit. The rooftop infinity pool has an attached kiddies’ pool so you and your little one can safely splash about. Find out more.
For more great Hermanus tips, check out our Insiders Guide to Hermanus!
Let us know where your favourite hotspots in Hermanus are, in the comments below!
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