Each year thousands of domestic and international tourists flock to the shores of the gorgeous coastal town, Hermanus. Internationally renowned for whale and white shark watching, Hermanus is an ideal holiday destination. Despite being one of South Africa’s most loved tourist destinations, Hermanus has managed to maintain the quaint and tranquil atmosphere of years gone by.

This beautiful seaside town has a proud history dating back to the early 1800s when a man by the name of Hermanus Pieters followed a path etched into the ground by a herd of elephants.

Hermanus Pieters was a traveling teacher and sheppard who growing tired of his locality, made the decision to pack up and try somewhere new. He wandered south of Caledon along the elephant trail and ended up next to the sea where he discovered a fresh spring.

Hermanus Pieters decided to set up camps here because of this spring and the fine grazing the land provided for his livestock. This beautiful setting became known as Hermanuspietersfontein (directly translated as Hermanus Pieters Fountain). In 1902 after an irate postmaster’s complaint due to the towns’ exceptionally long name, Hermanuspietersfontein became Hermanus.


  • Meet the world's only Whale Crier blowing his kelp horn.
  • Kayak, canoe, surf or scuba dive, if you are lucky, amongst the whales!
  • Whale watch by boat or plane, or from the unique, scenic 12 km cliff path.
  • Visit the Whale Museum, Whale Show and the historic Old Harbour Museum.
  • Enjoy a boat cruise, horse riding, paragliding and fishing.
  • Book for world famous Great White Shark cage diving.

Visit Fernkloof Nature Reserve. Various hikes and walks to choose from, over 1600 different indigenous species within a 15 sq km reserve. Wheel chair friendly path and mountain bike trail. 50 km's of different walks or hikes.

A visit to Hoy's Koppie. A unique experience - visit the graves of the famous Hoy couple on top of the hill. Have a relaxing and scenic walk to the cave. One of the most significant contributors to the "village feeling" of Hermanus was William Hoy who was a frequent visitor to the village.

Hoy was the general manager of the railways and he ensured that the natural beauty of Hermanus would not be marred by the extension of the railway line into the village. More than hundred years later Hermanus is the only place with a railway station in the country with no trains.

  • Join in the fascinating Hermanus story walk for stories from the past.
  • Hire a bicycle and ride along one of the scenic mountain bike trails.
  • A birdwatcher's paradise - visit the bird hide at Kleinriver Lagoon.
  • Picnic - on the beach (Grotto is Blue Flag beach), at Fernkloof Nature Reserve or on a wine farm.
  • A golf experience on our famous 27 hole course.
  • Wine tasting in the Hemel & Aarde Valley, world renowned wineries with stunning views.
  • Quad biking through the lovely vineyards for old and young.
  • Follow 'Rotary Drive' for a stunning bird's eye view of Hermanus and surrounds.
  • An Art and Shopping Meander - more than 20 art galleries to visit and exclusive boutiques to browse.
  • A choice of over 40 popular restaurants.
  • Three popular markets (every Saturday) - Farmer's Market, Lemm's Corner Market and Hermanuspietersfontein Boeremark.

© Schindler's Africa 2007-2012