There is no better holiday than a holiday spent on South African soil. A quick squiz at Accommodirect and you will see what I mean. We have everything you could ever wish for. From the big city, shopping, business, bustle destination of Johannesburg to the 5-star treatment in the bush and the many quaint seaside towns along our coast. South Africans are starting to slowly realise they need not spend their hard-earned money on airfare travelling to the opposite side of the world for the perfect holiday. The perfect holiday is just a drive away.
I, for one am a sucker for a holiday by the sea- give me a quaint seaside village anytime. With so much choice it can be very hard to decide on which beautiful spot to choose. I am here to solve that conundrum. Hermanus! Even just typing out the word makes my heart yearn for its natural beauty, throngs of restaurants and majestic cliff-side walks. A quick and extremely beautiful hour-and-a-half drive from Cape Town, Hermanus is situated on the southern coast of the Western Cape. Surrounded by mountains, wine farms and built along a cliffs edge- there is no place quite like it.
Here is a must-do list if you ever find yourself in Hermanus. Whether it is visiting their famous beach, eating at their many restaurants or spending your time on a bench in the middle of nowhere Big Bad Wolf has you covered.
Hermanus is a holiday destination packed to the brim with some of South Africa’s finest BnB’s, hotels and homes to rent. A personal favourite is the Harbour House Hotel. Originally the old Harbour House of the town, it has now grown into a beautiful boutique-type hotel. Situated right in the centre of Hermanus’s town with perfect views of the cliff, bay and mountains. There is no better escape than having a lounge at their world-famous pool and looking on as pedestrians glare in envy.
The Marine Hotel has become synonymous with Hermanus and offers old-world hospitality with a quaint Hermanus flare. Surrounded by rolling gardens and mini-tortoises ( the cutest things you will ever see) The Marine is a treat for the well heeled among us.
If being waited on hand and foot is not quite your cup of tea, Hermanus Apartments offers their guests luxury, spacious self catering accommodation with the beauty of housekeeping ( truly the best of both worlds ). Picturesque sea views, a garden for the kids to play in and a mere minute walk to the village square. This is the perfect accommodation for a family trip.
Mosselberg, nestled on the sands of Hermanus’s blue flag Grotto Beach, offers a form of seclusion the aforementioned does not. This stylish BnB and elegant country house is the perfect escape. Enjoy a mountain bike trail, a picturesque walk along the cliff path or tee off at a perfectly manicured golf course.
For such a minute village, Hermanus is bursting with some of the most unique restaurants in South Africa.
First off and most importantly you cannot go to Hermanus without having a meal at the famous Bientangs Cave. Literally situated in a cave where, as the story goes, Bientang, the last known Khoi Strandloper, lived at the turn of the 19th century. A feisty spirit with a fowl temper, Beintang was known to hurl rocks and curses at anyone who dare enter her cave. The cave was the perfect home for her, keeping her safe from the elements while supplying the freshest seafood the ocean had to offer. Bientang’s keep her name alive by serving some of the best seafood dishes around whilst sitting meters away from the rough sea. A magical way to spend a meal.
While we are on the subject of yummy, yummy seafood there is a special, tiny shack of a restaurant found in Hermanus’s New Harbour. Quayside cabin is something I am sure many of you have never experienced before. This shack offers the best service, atmosphere and seafood in the whole of Hermanus. An apparent locals secret, lets hope they stay as authentic as they are, the more famous they become. Day dreaming about their mussel-pot…Prawn Tower… The list goes on and on.
A breakfast at Betty Blue Bistro is not to be missed! Situated on the main road, it may not have a majestic setting but their food surely makes up for it. Betty brings a breath of fresh yellow, green, red and blue air back into this tiny town. Serving extraordinary dishes focusing on colour makes this little bistro a delight for the senses.
We have you covered on breakfast, bistro’s and seafood, but I know when I am on holiday all I want is to gorge on a pizza or an authentically prepared pasta. Let me introduce you to Paradiso. Found in the heart of the village square this quaint little pizzeria is the perfect restaurant for lunch or dinner and will certainly satisfy your pizza-cravings. Paradiso oozes character in every corner so be sure to give it a visit.
As I only have so much space in this article I am going to finish the Restaurant section on a high with the Pear Tree Bistro. Pear Tree, situated on the Piazza of Hermanus offers a modern bistro feel with creative and tasteful dishes. All your culinary dreams come true.
Things To Do
Hermanus is celebrated the world over for their whale watching season. Walker Bay (the bay which Hermanus looks over) is the mating and breeding grounds of the Southern Right Whale during the winter and springs months ( June- September). Naturally during these months everything is focused on whale watching. The Whale festival, held every September is a famous and fabulous family experience. With the whale-crier sounding a loud horn every time a whale is spotted along the shores of town, the excitement in the air is palpable.
For those of you interested in the whale watching side of things, there are several amazing tours you can book for. These include Dyer Island Crusies, Ivanhoe Sea Safari’s, and Southern Right Charters to name but a few.
Hermanus is situated in the Overberg district of the Western Cape and the best way to explore it is by walking/ Hiking. Luckily for you, the walks in Hermanus are spectacular, especially the Fernkloof Nature Reserve. So many trails to choose from, so many hidden flora and fauna gems to see and so many peaceful moments spent taking in all that is around. A photo opportunity not to be missed. Explore the hidden coves and private beaches at your leisure. This is Hermanus at its finest!
One of my favourite pastimes whenever I find myself in this magical corner of the world is to explore all the tiny villages along the coast. A beautiful morning spent walking the one-horse-town streets of Stanford will shock and surprise you with its quaint shops and eateries. For those fearless few a scenic drive further along the coast brings you to Gansbaai, famed for its shark-cage-diving. If fine wine is your thing look no further than a visit to Creation , one of Hermanus’s many beautiful wine estates. And to top it all off, day spent exploring the beautiful Hemel-en-Aarde valley is exhilarating.
Once you have eaten yourself into a coma, walked the town and nature reserve and then some, the last thing to finally do is spend a day on Grotto Beach. As previously stated this is a Blue Flag beach overflowing with velvet white sand, crystal blue waters and a lovely restaurant just yards away. Grotto Beach offers the perfect day out for everyone.
Sadly our time in Hermanus is up. This may have been your first visit, but I know it wont be your last. I hope this article has inspired you to go and explore our beautiful country. It has riches to offer beyond your wildest expectations. So go on, take a chance! Save some money! Go local! Plan the holiday of a lifetime-right here on your doorstep with Accommodirect .