Located only 1,5 hours from Cape Town, Hermanus is a perfect weekend away destination from Cape Town. From whale watching, to wine tasting, farmer’s markets and hiking, Hermanus has plenty to offer. Read this comprehensive guide to plan your next weekend getaway to Hermanus.
What to do in Hermanus for a weekend away
Visit the Hermanus Country Market
The Hermanus Country Market runs every Saturday from 10:00-14:00, however, we got there early at 9:00 and things were already in full swing. The market is a classic farmer’s market selling everything from fresh produce, bunches of flowers, coffee, baked goodies, breakfasts to lunches and some crafts. We went for breakfast and were spoiled for choice from breakfast tortillas to eggs bennedict and delicious freshly baked pastries. There is plenty of seating available.
Go for a hike in Fernkloof Nature Reserve
Fernkloof Nature Reserve boasts gorgeous green mountain slopes and trails lined by fynbos. There are a number of hiking trails you can choose from including the green route (3.5km, 1 hour loop around Lemoenkop), blue route (2km, 30 mins easy short loop), red route (3.5km, 1 hour hike on the upper slopes to a waterfall). If you just want a short stroll you can walk 800m up to the waterfall (follow the signs). This is the hike we did. Entrance is free and there is a little hut at the visitors centre with a floral display showing samples of some of the fynbos you can expect to see on the trails.
Galpin Hut Overnight Hike
If you’re wanting more of a challenging hike in Fernkloof Nature Reserve, you can take on the overnight hike to the Galpin Hut. We haven’t done it before but it’s definitely on the bucketlist. The Hut can sleep 4 people in 2 double bunks. Facilities are basic and hikers should bring all their cooking, lighting, food and drink requirements. There is a good Enviroloo. The current hire rate for the Hut is R300 per night all inclusive.
Contact: Peter Coxall +27 (0)82 570 3403 [email protected]
Go wine tasting in the Hemel en Aarde Valley
The Hemel en Aarde Valley is an incredible wine region close to Hermanus. As you drive through the beautiful valley lined with vineyards, fynbos and maginifcent mountains you will be spoiled for choice on wine farms to visit. If you’re spending the weekend in Hermanus, an afternoon wine tasting in the Hemel & Aarde Valley needs to be on your itinerary. Below are some of my favourite wine farms in the valley.
Creation Wines is the jewel of the Hemel en Aarde Valley. Located at the top of the valley, it is one of the most beautiful wine farms with sweeping views of the valley. Creation Wines offers a ‘build-your-own’ tasting experience and has some really delicious wines:
- Creation Estate Wines: R15 per wine
- Creation Reserve Wines: R25 per wine
- Creation Art of Chardonnay & Art of Pinot Noir: R55 per wine
The real showstopper at Creation Wines is their seasonal food & wine pairing experience. The Serendipity Wine and Food Pairing Menu comprises of six scrumptious courses. At Creation the culinary innovation is inspired by the award-winning range of cool-climate wines and rooted in the creativity of their talented chefs and the fresh ingredients sourced from selected local producers. View their spring menu here. Booking essential.
Ataraxia is a gorgeous wine farm where you’ll enjoy your tasting in a quaint chapel on a hill surrounded by vineyards. The wines are delightful and the tasting room is gorgeous. Pay R75 for their standard tasting of two whites and two reds. The tasting fee is wavered for each bottle of wine purchased.
Spookfontein Wine Farm
Spookfontein Wine Farm is another gem nestled within the Hemel en Aarde Valley. The architecture at Spookfontein is stunning with a gorgeous tasting room surrounded by beautiful fynbos gardens and panoramic mountain views.
Express @ R55 Sauvignon Blanc & Rosé & Merlot or Cellar Selection Dry Red
Bordeaux @ R70 Merlot & Phantom & Cabernet Franc & Cabernet Sauvignon
Selection of 5 wines @ R85 Choose any 5 wines from our range
** Cape Ruby @ R20
Lunch at Walker Bay Fish & Chips
No trip to Hermanus would be complete without a classic fish and chips lunch by the sea. Grab your fish or calamari and chips fix from Walker Bay Fish and Chips and wander across the road to the Hermanus beachfront. There are plenty of benches available and you’ll be treated to gorgeous views of Walker Bay.
Walk the Hermanus Cliff Path
This 12km path stretches the Hermanus coastline passing cliffs, beaches, benches and beautiful coastal views. Start near the new harbour and walk along the beautiful rugged coastline to Grotto beach. There are plenty of benches along the way for you to sit and watch the whales or to enjoy ocean views. More details on the Hermanus Cliff Path walk here.
Go whale watching
Whale watching season is June to December in Hermanus, South Africa. The Southern Right Whales migrate to the Hermanus waters from their Antarctic feeding areas to breed, care for their young and play in our shallow waters of Walker Bay, Hermanus for 6 months every year, from early June to late November / early December. There are plenty of whale-watching tours for you to choose from or just enjoy whale watching from one of the coastal benches.
Visit Fick’s Tidal Pool
Fick’s Tidal Pool has recently become a little famous on social media with plenty of viral videos recommending it as a must-see stop. While I don’t think it deserved all the hype it got, there is lovely restaurant located at the tidal pool where you can enjoy some cocktails and small plate dishes, Fick’s Restaurant.
Pear Tree Restaurant
Lizette’s Kitchen, Bar & Restaurant
Visit Onrus beach for an ice cream and a swim in the lagoon
Located a 15 minute drive from Hermanus, Onrus beach is a lovely spot to enjoy for a morning. The beach has a natural lagoon which is wonderful for swimming and during summer the local ice cream truck can be found serving soft serves in the beach parking.
Onrus actually has a really lovely campsite which we have stayed at before and I can definitely recommend it: Onrus Caravan Park.
Hermanus is a lovely weekend getaway spot for Cape Town residents. I hope this guide is helpful in planning your weekend away to Hermanus. If you’re looking for other weekend away guides from Cape Town check out these blogs: Weekend away to Tulbagh, Weekend away to Arniston.