The 30 Best Things To Do in Hermanus

The 30 Best Things To Do in Hermanus

Are you partial to whales, wine and blissful beach walks? Read on…

The de facto capital of the Cape Whale Route, this once-humble fishing village has developed into a world-famous tourist destination. Still, despite its fame, Hermanus has maintained its rustic charm and natural seaside beauty while offering a host of activities that appeal to outdoor enthusiasts and culinary connoisseurs alike. Whale-watching, wine-tasting, beaches, restaurants, art galleries… this resort town has it all. Here’s our guide to the wonders of Walker Bay.

Have you seen, done or eaten something fabulous in Hermanus that you think we should know about? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

Outdoor activities in Hermanus
Wine-tasting near Hermanus
Hermanus restaurants + markets
Hermanus bookshops + art galleries

Outdoor activities

Whale-watching tours

Best Things To Do in Hermanus 2023: Whale-watching Tours

No guide to Hermanus would be complete without mentioning the gentle giants. In fact, if you’re in the Overberg between June and December, they’re probably the main reason you’re here. One of the World Wildlife Fund’s 12 Best Whale-Watching Destinations in the World, Hermanus is a major breeding ground for southern right whales. Book an awesome whale-watching boat trip so that you can get closer (without disturbing the beautiful creatures) and experience the magic. The MV Miroschca is a vessel purpose-built for minimal environmental disturbance and maximum comfort for passengers, with a skilled and professional crew.
Times Daily, 9am; 12pm; 3pm (in whale season)
Cost R1 220 (adults)
R1 120 (student or senior)
R610 (children 3 – 11 years)
Where to find it The Whale Shack, New Harbour, Hermanus
Book Now

Sea kayaking in Walker Bay

Enjoy the beautiful coastal views from a different angle and get up close and personal with Walker Bay’s marine creatures on a sea-kayaking trip, suitable for newbies and experienced paddlers alike. The two-hour guided tour starts with a safety briefing, after which you’ll hop into your super-safe kayak, ready to explore the bay, with possible sightings of seals, penguins, dolphins and more.
Good to know Children 10 years and older are permitted to do this activity. The kayaks may not, by law, go closer than 300 metres to the whales.
Times Daily, 8am; 10.30am; 1pm (summer)
Daily, 9am; 11.30am; 2pm (winter)
Cost R500 per person
Contact 082 739 0159, wbadventures@hermanus.co.za
Where to find it Old Harbour, 26 Marine Drive, Hermanus
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Voelklip Beach

Best Things To Do in Hermanus 2023: Voëlklip Beach

Arguably one of the best beaches in the Western Cape, thanks to its clean, clear water, fine white sand and dreamy setting, this secluded spot will grant you some respite from the crowds that tend to flock to Onrus and Grotto Beach. An especially popular spot for surfers, it’s also a great location for picnics on the surrounding lawns. The sandy portion of the beach is enclosed by rocky outcrops, which make for sheltered swimming.
Good to know Hopside Down, one block up in 10th Street, does pizzas, tacos, fish and chips, burgers, ice cream, milkshakes and beer.
Contact 028 312 2629, hermanustourism2@hermanus.co.za
Where to find it 7th Avenue, Voëlklip, Hermanus

Fatbiking on Die Plaat beach

Best Things To Do in Hermanus 2023: Fatbiking on Die Plaat Beach

Walker Bay Beach (or Die Plaat), on the other side of the bay beyond Grotto Beach, is a magnificent 17km stretch of sparkling white sand and dunes in a protected nature reserve. It does not get a lot of visitors (a permit is required) but you can discover its beauty on a fatbike. It’s an absolute blast zipping through the fynbos on a slender trail that takes you downhill and then up and down and across tall dunes to deposit you on the magnificent beach. A beautiful ride along the water’s edge completes the adventure.
Good to know There are easier routes around the dunes for novices, and steeper options for adrenaline lovers. Your experience is captured on GoPro free of charge.
Times Daily, 9am – 12pm; 4pm – 7pm (summer)
Daily, 10am – 1pm; 3pm – 6pm (winter)
Cost R900 (adult)
R650 (child, 8 – 11 years)
Where to find it The Roundhouse, 61 Ingang Street, De Kelders
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The Cliff Path

Best Things To Do in Hermanus 2023: The Cliff Path

A brisk(ish) saunter along the popular Cliff Path, an almost 12km ocean-hugging route from the New Harbour to Grotto Beach, allows you to soak up Walker Bay in all its majesty. As it winds through the Old Harbour (declared a national monument in 1970), you’ll get a glimpse of the town’s colourful history dating back to the mid-19th century. Naturally, the path has some prime spots for land-based whale-watching (they’ve been sighted as close as five metres from shore), as well as outdoor artworks and info boards about local flora and fauna. You can also access caves and tidal pools from the path. Sections are wheelchair-friendly.
Good to know Gearing’s Point (71 Marine Drive) is a must for its incredible whale-watching. Elevated above the harbour, this viewing point allows a wider view of the ocean (and for those with not-so-fabulous eyesight, there is a telescope). There are also benches and patches of grass to rest on while awaiting the gentle giants.
Contact 028 312 2629, hermanustourism2@hermanus.co.za
Where to find it Accessed from Cliff Drive, Marine Drive or Main Road, all along the Hermanus coastline

Klipgat Cave

Best Things To Do in Hermanus 2023: Klipgat Cave

Klipgat Cave at De Kelders is famed for its natural limestone “window” looking out onto stunning ocean views (and whales in season). Since the recent discovery of stone tools and human bones dating back around 70 000 years, it is also a site of cultural, historical and world heritage significance. From Walker Bay Nature Reserve’s gate at De Kelders, follow the boardwalk and steps down to the cave – it’s a bit of a scramble, but the view and atmosphere will be worth it.
Good to know Wear good hiking shoes, as the cave can be slippery.
Times Daily, 7.30am – 4pm
Cost R60 (adults), R40 (children)
Contact 087 087 3841 (CapeNature)
Where to find it Walker Bay Reserve gate, Normandie Street, off De Villiers Street, De Kelders

Fernkloof Nature Reserve

Covering about 1 800 hectares in the Kleinrivier Mountains above Hermanus, Fernkloof is filled with flourishing and diverse plant and bird life. The reserve contains 1 300 fynbos species of the 9 000 found in the Cape Floral Kingdom. There are few places in the world where you can see so many different species in such close proximity! To help you enjoy it all, a network of colour-coded hiking trails runs through the reserve, offering spectacular views of town, the bay and Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. Less active souls can enjoy the tranquil gardens for a walk and picnic, and visit the Fernkloof Indigenous Nursery.
Good to know The Blue hiking trail is dog-friendly (must be on a leash) and the Yellow trail is suitable for cycling. Maps cost R20 and are available from the Nursery or at the Visitors Centre. There is no restaurant or café.
Times Daily, 6am – 7pm (summer); 7am – 6pm (winter)
Cost Free entry, but donations at the Visitors’ Centre are most welcome.
Contact 028 313 0819 (Hermanus Botanical Society)
028 313 8111 (emergency number)
Where to find it Fir Avenue, off the R43 (Main Road), Hermanus

Hermanus wine-tasting

The Hemel-en-Aarde Valley

Best Things To Do in Hermanus 2023: The Hemel-en-Aarde Valley

With a name fit for a fairy tale, Hemel-en-Aarde (“Heaven and Earth”) is an agricultural region that feels faraway yet is right on Hermanus’s doorstep. This patch of pastoral bliss is where farmers have opted for minimal interference and a non-commercial approach. Its wine farms benefit from elevated altitudes, rich soils and cool Atlantic breezes – grape-growing conditions that result in award-winning wines. Scenically, it’s a stunner: you’ll feel you’ve arrived in proper wine country, distinctly non-urban yet packed with innovation in the cellars, restaurants and experiences.
Good to know All Hemel-en-Aarde’s estates – about 20 of them – are along one meandering road, and run the gamut from garagiste-style cellars where time appears to have stopped to internationally respected labels where some of the finest vintages in the country are being produced (especially pinot noir and chardonnay). There’s even the novelty of being able to hike across some farms, with wine-tasting and dining stops included.
Times Vary, from 9am daily; most close by 5pm, with reduced hours over weekends.
Some are closed on Mondays.
Cost Tasting fees vary (may be waived upon purchase of wine)
Contact details
Hamilton Russell Vineyards: 028 312 3595, info@hamiltonrussellvineyards.com
Bouchard Finlayson: 028 312 3515, info@bouchardfinlayson.co.za
Creation Wines: 028 212 1107, info@creationwines.com
Newton Johnson: 028 312 3862, wine@newtonjohnson.com
Spookfontein: 028 125 0128, james@spookfontein.co.za (tastings), 073 067 7936 (restaurant)
Domaine Des Dieux: 028 313 2126, info@domainedesdieux.co.za
Ataraxia: 028 212 2007, info@ataraxiawines.co.za
La Vierge: 028 313 0130, admin@lavierge.co.za
Bosman: 076 300 0819, taste@bosmanhermanus.com
Bartho Eksteen: 082 920 7108, bartho@hermanus.co.za
Where to find it Along the R320, off the R43

The Wine Glass

Best Things To Do in Hermanus 2023: The Wine Glass

A one-stop solution for all your wine-tasting needs, The Wine Glass offers some 124 vintages from more than 40 estates. There’s a particular focus on the Overberg (Hemel-en-Aarde, Bot River/Elgin, Stanford, Elim and Agulhas), but other regions are also represented. The packaged tastings, or “wine flights”, are categorised so you can taste according to your mood, how deeply you wish to delve and how much you want to spend – the pricier Apex flight, for example, combines 10 top-tier SA wines. It’s also a restaurant, so aside from cheese platters, tasting plates and wine-and-food pairings, there are à la carte dishes (and breakfast/brunch on Saturdays), plus bubbly and a selection of craft beers.
Good to know Tasting flights aren’t served during peak dining times.
Times Sunday – Friday, 11am – 10pm
Saturday, 8am – 10pm
Cost Tasting flights from R70
Contact 082 082 0007, foh@thewineglass.guru
Where to find it 2 Harbour Road, Hermanus
Book through DinePlan

Hermanus restaurants

The Marine

Best Things To Do in Hermanus 2023: The Marine

Come for the cocktails, lose yourself in the views, then stay for supper: The Marine is one of those grande dame hotels that embodies the soul of the town’s glamorous side. Despite its old-school fabulousness, it is decidedly contemporary and sophisticated on the inside. And there are few finer places to take in the sunset than in The Sun Lounge & Bar, overlooking Walker Bay (the signature Whale Watcher cocktail really does live up to its name). Afterwards, dinner at the Pavilion is a chic black-and-white affair, with indoor and alfresco seating and a choice of classic or vegan menu.
Good to know There’s a lighter all-day menu ­of wraps, salads and gourmet sandwiches, plus baked treats, homemade ice creams and sorbets, culminating with afternoon tea.
Times Sun Lounge & Bar: Daily, 10.30am – 11.30pm
Pavilion: Daily, 7am – 10.30am, 12pm – 2.30pm, 6pm – 9.30pm
Contact 028 313 1000, reception@themarine.co.za
Where to find it Main Road, Hermanus
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The Gallery Cafe & Deli

Best Things To Do in Hermanus 2023: The Gallery Café & Deli

Emilia Knight is a formidable baker, a kitchen force who likes to experiment and ramp up the taste experience. Especially if you’re craving a croissant with your morning coffee (handmade, flaky and buttery, perhaps oozing chocolate, maybe filled with milk tart or mimicking a Turkish delight, or the signature cheese and Marmite). Emilia’s constantly trying out new combinations, so the possibilities are endless – as are the queues. Stay for breakfast, or pop in later for lunch in the handsome, leafy courtyard of Walker Bay Art Gallery. The menu includes soups, lovely hummus to scoop onto oven-fresh sourdough, sandwiches, quiches, salads and more. Apart from the regular daytime menu, there are dinner events from time to time, usually themed.
Good to know For your caffeine fix, you won’t want to miss the coffee-focused annex/side hustle, Black Medicine (open from 5am).
Times Tuesday – Saturday, 6am – 3pm
Sunday, 6am – 1pm; Monday, 6am – 2pm
Contact 076 837 4231, emiliaknight@gmail.com
Where to find it 22 High Street, Hermanus
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Hermanus Brewing Company

There’s a pimped-up container that serves as its bar, but keep in mind that this is first and foremost a brewery, so the focus is on making the beer rather than serving it. Nonetheless, the many-hats-wearing staff will happily sort you out with a delicious serving of Old Harbour Beer, which James Rattle has been making here since 2014 – a good-drinking, well-rounded, crisp and refreshing lager. Sit back and soak up the rustic, industrial, bustling vibe. They don’t serve food, but there is a range of merchandise such as T-shirts, hoodies, caps and a nifty soap-on-a-rope (an all-natural hair and body wash made with Old Harbour Beer).
Times Monday – Friday, 8am – 3.30pm
Contact 073 184 6076, hermanusbrewing@gmail.com
Where to find it 11 Mimosa Street, Hermanus

Just Pure Bistro

Best Things To Do in Hermanus 2023: Just Pure Bistro

The kitchen at this marvellous little corner bistro really has a handle on treating food well – everything’s fresh, in season and sourced from as nearby as possible. Not only does it look scrumptious, it is also (mostly) healthcentric, offering vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and low-carb options – and they’ve been doing this since before such things were #trendy. Expect plenty of variety; from poke bowls and fresh juices to Vietnamese coffee and bunless burgers. The breakfasts manage to avoid looking and tasting like brekkies everywhere else. Of course, you can throw caution to the wind and opt for the sweeter, naughtier treats: buttery scones, baked cheesecake or a cream-pimped French toast that’s as decadent as any dessert.
Good to know Sunday brunch is an institution – cosy and casual inside, with good views of the bay if you sit on the deck.
Times Monday – Friday, 9am – 4pm
Saturday 9am – 3pm; Sunday, 9am – 2pm
Contact 028 313 0060, info@justpure.co.za
Where to find it Corner of Marine Drive and Park Lane, Hermanus
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Mogg’s Country Cookhouse

Best Things To Do in Hermanus 2023: Mogg's Country Cookhouse

Tucked away in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, surrounded by mountains, trees, fields and vines, you’ll find this family-run country-cooking gem. It’s the epitome of an idyllic farmhouse, where Julia Mogg and her team continue to dish up delectable, generous portions of wholesome food using produce from the garden (just as founder Jenny Mogg, Julia’s late mom, had done since 1996). If you’re hankering after slow-roasted lamb shank or beef short ribs, this is the spot; you’ll also discover unexpected delights such as a beetroot fritter and smoked salmon stack or coconut-cashew crusted chicken… Children have their own menu, a playground and dogs to play with and exciting farm surroundings.
Times Wednesday – Sunday, 12pm – 2.30pm (last seating)
Contact 076 314 0671, moggscookhouse@gmail.com
Where to find it Nuwe-Pos Farm, off R320, Hemel-en-Aarde, Hermanus
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Theo’s Taverna

Best Things To Do in Hermanus 2023: Theo's Taverna

With its cobalt-drenched décor and bougainvillea-festooned pergola, Theo’s is a slice of the Greek Isles sprung up in Hermanus. Old photos on whitewashed walls and blue-checked tablecloths in the shady courtyard set a charming backdrop for a simple and delicious menu of authentic Greek. Owners Theo and Claudelle Stathoulis recently moved to the seaside after eight years in the Gauteng restaurant industry, and along with local chef Ter de Waal, they introduced Greek cuisine to the area. A glossary of simple Greek phrases on the menu gets you in a Mediterranean-holiday mood as you choose from classic starters such as dolmades, keftedes and spanakopita. There’s a tempting selection of Greek-style grills and seafood mains, a veg moussaka, pitas stuffed with deliciousness, souvlaki skewers and, for the sweet-toothed, lots of syrup-drenched pastries. The winelist stars the best from the nearby Hemel-en-Aarde Valley.
Good to know A hit with locals, it’s best to book a week in advance.
Times Tuesday – Saturday, 12pm – 3pm; 6pm – 9pm
Sunday, 12pm – 4pm
Contact 072 787 2505, 061 243 2297
Where to find it 10 Harbour Road, Hermanus

Perlemoen

Best Things To Do in Hermanus 2023: Perlemoen

This humble little 45-seater opened without much of a splash, but it undoubtedly has one of the best sea views from its tiny deck – you’re just metres from the crashing waves at the Old Harbour. As its name suggests, it specialises in the local delicacy, abalone (sourced from the nearby sea farm) – a rare treat, as wild perlemoen stocks around our coastline have been decimated. The changing menu features tasting plates of abalone in various forms: ceviche, carpaccio, risotto, fishcakes, pan-seared and served with curried aïoli. There are also other seafood dishes, vegetarian and meat options, too. Kudos to Jannie and Annabella Malherbe for renovating the old stone fisherman’s shack (Hermanus’s original perlemoen hatchery) and bringing it back to life and selling only local Hermanus wines.
Times Tuesday, 12pm – 3.30pm
Wednesday – Saturday, 12pm – 3pm; 6pm – 8.30pm
Sunday, 10am – 3.30pm
Contact 082 841 3547 (WhatsApp for bookings), oldharbourperlemoen@gmail.com
Where to find it Old Harbour, 64 Marine Drive, Hermanus
Enquire Now

Bientang’s Cave

Best Things To Do in Hermanus 2023: Bientang’s Cave Restaurant & Wine Bar

Picture this: you’re seated on the water’s edge, devouring a Malay seafood curry and sipping on a glass of local chardonnay. Is there a more perfect way to take in the coast of Hermanus? Add to that the atmosphere of the thoroughly unique setting, a cave – named after Bientang, the last-known inhabitant, a Khoi strandloper, who lived in it self-sufficiently a century ago – which is now the backdrop for a rustic-chic restaurant and wine bar that attracts ocean-lovers and foodies alike. The menu features sustainable seafood, plus crowd favourites such as steaks, ribs, burgers and curries, platters to share and breakfast/brunches on weekends.
Good to know This is a prime whale-watching spot so be sure to book during season.
Times Monday – Friday, 11am – 8pm
Saturday, 9am – 8pm, Sunday, 9am – 4pm
Contact 028 312 3454, bookings@bientangscave.com
Where to find it 100 metres from the Old Harbour and Market Square, below Marine Drive, Hermanus
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The Tasting Room at Creation

Best Things To Do in Hermanus 2023: The Tasting Room at Creation

A foodies’ trip to Hermanus would be incomplete without a visit to Creation. Aside from its excellent wines, the estate is renowned for its creative food pairings, the headliner of which is a six-course wine-and-food pairing (with a vegan option). There’s also an à la carte breakfast/brunch menu as well as a daily blackboard menu (with wine-by-the-glass suggestions for each dish), as well as a six-course summer flexitarian canapé pairing of exciting flavour and texture combinations. Children will love the “young adults” menu and cordial pairing. Sit on the terrace and drink in the epic views of vineyards and the towering Babylonstoren peak.
Times Daily, 9am – 5pm
Contact 028 212 1107, info@creationwines.com
Where to find it Off the R320, Hemel-en-Aarde, Hermanus
Book through DinePlan

Hermanus Country Market

Best Things To Do in Hermanus 2023: Hermanus Country Market

All the things we love about Hermanus are rolled into one at this laidback, pet-friendly market, making it a fitting start to a Saturday (if you’re in Hermanus for the weekend). Sausages, pies, handmade cheese, artisanal breads and pastries, fresh juices, craft beer and ciders, wines, gin, excellent coffee and loads more can be found at the various stalls. DJs spinning vinyls and a selection of arts and crafts contribute to the vibrant atmosphere. Don’t leave without trying a heavenly mini melktert (or five), washed down with a good cup of coffee.
Good to know Nearby is the Hermanus Skatepark, a genuine community-building facility created with funds raised during the Covid-19 lockdown on land provided by Hermanus Sports Club. Next door to that is the Overberg BMX Club’s track, useful if someone in the family needs to burn off excess energy.
Times Saturday, 9am – 2pm
Contact 083 657 0191, info@hermanuscountrymarket.co.za
079 779 0810, hermanusskatepark@gmail.com
071 180 8160, overbergbmxclub@gmail.com
Where to find it Corner of Fairways Avenue and José Burman Drive, Hermanus

Daans Bakery

Best Things To Do in Hermanus 2023: Daans Bakery

At the end of 2020, having witnessed the world’s newfound appetite for sourdough and the like, Daan Gongrijp and his dad decided to fill a gap in Hermanus’s bread market. From gluten-free loaves, charcoal-activated ciabatta, Dutch krentebollen and potato bread to olive-and-chilli breadsticks, filled croissants and other pastries, this little bakery works hard to impress. It’s all thanks to bakers Phillip Mtonga, Willibe Tarifenyike, Armel Bidounga, Philemon Muchemwa, who knead and bake in the early hours to supply many local cafés and restaurants, schools and make enough for their own shelves to be bulging under the weight of fresh-from-the-oven fare.
Good to know Another spot for wonderful bakes done in a wood-fired oven is Onshore Eatery (14 Hope Street), which focuses on local sourcing, minimal wastage, everything handmade from scratch and respect for ingredients. The deli-café serves pizzas and scrumptious breakfasts – plus their pasteis de nata are exquisite.
Times Monday – Friday, 7am – 2pm
Saturday, 8am – 2pm
Contact 071 115 1205, info@daansbakery.co.za
Where to find it Dirkie Uys Street, Hermanus

Milk on the Beach

There’s so much to love about this eatery on the Onrus estuary: views of the ocean, just a few steps away; family-friendly (including for dogs, who get bowls of water after their run on the beach); and superbly set up for locals to hang out, with wifi and charging stations, happy hours and free safes to store your valuables while you go for a dip. Formerly The Milkwood, new owner Petri Hendriksz has refreshed the look, feel and menu. There’s something for everyone, running from breakfast and teatime to tapas and early suppers. Think buddha bowls, sesame-fried calamari handrolls, eggs Benedict, five-week-matured steaks, beer-battered fish and chips… It’s the epitome of the perfect seaside spot – and the wooden deck over the river means sundowner holiday vibes all year long.
Good to know The wonderful Waffle Shack below doles out loaded waffles, hotdogs, fries and milkshakes by the dozen.
Times Daily, 8am – 8pm
Contact 028 316 1516, info@milkonthebeach.co.za
Where to find it 1 Atlantic Road, Onrus
Enquire Now

SkyBar

Best Things To Do in Hermanus 2023: SkyBar

The view may be the main attraction at this glass-fronted, sea-facing spot, but you have to hand it to the team for dreaming up the cocktails: they’re pure delight, imaginative and innovative, and served in eclectic vessels, containers and jars, always with a theatrical touch. A menu of local and SA wines, plus delectable sushi, jazzed-up oysters dressed in tequila and other surprise ingredients, and satisfying bar snacks make this a fun place to gather, the vibe “permanently on vacation”. Make it a boozy afternoon with the sharing-size carafes of sangria (made with wines from Creation and Raka) or a cheeky “High Tea” (with cannabis-infused energy drink).
Good to know There’s live music on Saturdays from 4pm to 7pm, and Bingo Night on the last Tuesday of every month (with bottles of wine as prizes).
Times Monday – Thursday, 12pm – 10pm
Friday + Saturday, 12pm – 11pm; Sunday, 12pm – 9pm
Contact 082 334 4034, info@lemonicious.co.za
Where to find it Corner of Marine Drive and Market Square Street, Hermanus

The Rock, The Gecko and The Breakfast Room

Best Things To Do in Hermanus 2023:The Rock, The Gecko and The Breakfast Room

The Rock is one of the oldest and best-loved restaurants in town, favoured as much for its seafood as the clifftop location and dreamy views out to sea (there’s a good chance of whale-spotting over lunch in season). Good sushi is served, and whatever’s most recently off the boat will be on the chalkboard menu. A bit more casual is The Gecko, the attached pub-style hangout with an outdoor deck and similarly enchanting views as you tuck into pizzas and draught beer. (In winter there’s a fireplace indoors, plus screenings of big sports matches and occasional live music.) The Breakfast Room is the third part of the puzzle (and open for brunch, lunch and afternoon tea – the baked goods are a treat). It’s a sunny space with cushioned cane chairs, lovely sea views and shelves packed with homeware, crafts and gifts.
Good to know The Rock is child-friendly and wheelchair accessible. The Gecko is also child-friendly and dogs are welcome
Times The Rock: Daily, 8.30am – 9pm
The Gecko: Daily, 11am – 2am
The Breakfast Room: Daily, 8.30am – 4pm
Contact 028 312 2920, reservations@therockhermanus.co.za
028 312 4665, admin@geckohermanus.co.za
028 312 2920, carol@thebreakfastroom.co.za
Where to find it 24A Still Street, New Harbour, Hermanus

Cultural activities

First Fridays ArtWalk

Hermanus is a haven for artists and art enthusiasts alike: there are more than 25 galleries in the town, plus outdoor public artworks and creative displays everywhere you look. You can do a tour of it all simply by setting off, or ramp up the social aspect by timing your walkabout for the first Friday of the month, when galleries stay open late. Maps are available at any of the galleries, along with a glass of wine maybe, and a painter, sculptor, ceramicist, photographer or jeweller on hand to chat to. Galleries include SPACE Modern and SPACE Curated, The stART, Intethe Gallery, Art Thirst, Rossouw Modern, Originals Art Gallery, FynArts Gallery, Pure South, Walker Bay Modern Art, Hermanus Art Circle and Lembu Gallery.
Good to know There’s also Art in the Park on the first Sunday of every month (10am to 2pm), held at the Hermanus Country Market.
Time First Friday evening of each month, until 8pm
Cost Free (but you may end up forking out for an investment piece!)
Contact 083 259 8869, originals@hermanus.co.za
Art in the Park: 082 878 9558, gillyshreeve@netactive.co.za
Where to find it Town centre; head to Art Alley off Harbour Road, to The Courtyard, or along Main Road or High Street.

Hemingways bookshop

Best Things To Do in Hermanus 2023: Hemingways Bookshop

One of the quirkiest bookshops in South Africa, Hemingways is any reader’s dream. Get lost in the pages of rare, collectable and out-of-print books, pick up a few classics or fondly remembered vintage comics, or simply soak up the charm of the quirky decor, bric-a-brac and collectables. The Visitors’ Book is worth a squizz, too, as the fame of this shop has travelled far and wide. Any trip to Hermanus would be incomplete without leaving with a tome tucked under your arm.
Times Monday – Friday, 9am – 4.30pm
Saturday, 9am – 3pm; Sunday, 9am – 1pm
Contact 072 933 7140, hemingwayshermanus@gmail.com
Where to find it 5 Victoria Square, 20 Long Street, Hermanus

The Book Cottage

The centre of Hermanus’s literary universe, this independent store carries a pretty incredible selection of books. You can browse till the cows come home and find something for just about every taste and mood, and catch the occasional book launch or speaking engagement. Apart from bestsellers and hot-off-the-press books, you might discover a special imprint or pick up an unexpected literary gem. Along with popular paperbacks and rarer editions, they sell diaries and books and maps that will help you get to know Hermanus a bit better, plus music, gifts, souvenirs and, if you have little bookworms in tow, there is a great children’s selection with a fabulous local selection.
Times Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm
Saturday, 9am – 1pm; Sunday, 10am – 2pm
Contact details 028 313 0834, bookcott@hermanus.co.za
Where to find it 8 High Street, Hermanus

The Old Harbour Museum

The small cove occupied by this museum is where the village of Hermanus began – and for over a century, Visbaai (as it was known) was a rocky-but-safe haven for fishing boats like Debbie, Tunny, Rosebud and co – which can be seen in the outdoor section of the museum, alongside the old sea wall, original brine tanks and a WW2 lifeboat called Nellie II. Inside the building you’ll find antique fishing gear, info about the town’s history and “trophies” belonging to the famed local angler and shark hunter Bill Selkirk. Part of the same complex, across the street, is the Whale House Museum, filled with info about marine mammals and cetaceans, plus an audiovisual show and a massive whale skeleton. Your ticket also includes entrance to the De Wet’s Huis Photographic Museum next door, with its exhibit of historic glass negatives.
Times Monday – Saturday, 9am – 4.30pm
Sunday, 11am – 3pm
Cost R30 (adults), R10 (children)
Contact 028 312 1475
Where to find it 67 Marine Drive, Hermanus

Movies at Romantiques

Here you can trip down memory lane in a variety of ways. The wonderfully curated shop is full of vintage bric-a-brac (clothing, toys, jewels, silverware, china and much more). There is also a small cinema – Wednesday nights are for classics with a nostalgic twist (and perhaps a bit of a sing-along) and Saturday afternoons are for cult favourites (think Peter Sellers in The Party or Gene Kelly in Singing in the Rain). There are also themed nights (typically Thursdays) when you’re asked to dress up to match the movie, with canapés or a meal and wine before the show starts. They also do immersive murder mystery nights from time to time.
Times Shop: Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm; Saturday, 9am – 3pm
Screenings: Wednesday, 7pm; Thursday, 6pm; Saturday, 1pm
Cost Wednesday R75; Saturday free
Themed movie night R250; Murder Mystery R350
Contact 028 312 4226, 061 582 7344 (WhatsApp), romantiques@hermanus.co.za
Where to find it 14 Aberdeen Street, Hermanus

Heart of Abalone

Fans of this seafood delicacy – called perlemoen in South Africa – will love a visit to this sea farm, as will those who’ve never encountered it. You’ll slip on a pair of white Wellies for an immersive tour of the operation, with a guide taking you through the biology, lifecycle, conservation issues and intricate processes involved in rearing 14 million abalone, homed in some 44 000 individual baskets. Farmed abalone thwarts illegal trade from poaching by supplying the market with legitimately cultivated quotas of the seafood. You can also purchase canned abalone, a cookbook and mother-of-pearl shells and jewellery to support the community.
Good to know The tour takes about 75 minutes, and can include a tasting.
Times Monday – Friday, 11am
Cost R200 (tour only); R400 (tour and tasting)
R100 (child under 16 years)
Contact 064 940 9255, info@heartofabalone.co.za
Where to find it New Harbour, Westcliff Road, Hermanus

SA National Space Agency Hermanus

Best Things To Do in Hermanus 2023: SA National Space Agency Hermanus

There’s a brief window – for an hour a week – when science geeks can get the inside scoop from the Hermanus team working to forecast “space weather”. One of just 17 such centres in the world, this outpost of SANSA conducts geomagnetic research – basically, they keep an eye on the sun, checking out what’s happening in space and watching for any activity that could significantly impact Earth. Once a week they take visitors around, show them the electronics and weather monitoring, and give a little bit of insight into their research.
Good to know If you want to appear knowledgeable, ask your guide what it means to be “magnetically clean”, and why Hermanus is such a place.
Times Wednesday, 11am – 12pm
Cost Free
Contact 028 312 1196, spacesci-info@sansa.org.za
Where to find it SANSA, Hospital Street, Hermanus

Good to know The annual Hermanus Whale Festival usually takes place in September.

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Disclaimer:

The Inside Guide has made every effort to ensure that the information in this post was correct at the time of publication. However, we do not assume any liability caused by errors, such as price, cost, time, and location.

Time of publication: 25 January 2023

Add new comment

8 Responses to “The 30 Best Things To Do in Hermanus”

  1. BernyLottner

    Pls. add vegan food options to restaurants.

    Thanks nd rgds

    Berny

    Reply
  2. Willem

    Guide of vacation for 14days…tour

    Reply
  3. Vhavha

    This adds sooo much flavour to the trip, I’m arriving in Hermanus on Thursday 27th July – on my birthday, looking forward to making the most of this time. Thank you

    Reply
  4. eliav

    very informative
    now i have a long list of activities to do
    visiting between August 15 – 27, 2023
    looking forward

    Reply
  5. Jane Vause

    Can’t wait to visit Hermanus and try some of these fantastic things to do – a great article!!

    Reply
  6. Bisschoff

    Been here since 2017 and haven’t done half of aal the places mentioned. Can’t wait to see what more to.
    Thank you

    Reply
  7. Felicity Swanepoel

    Brilliant article, thank you!

    Reply
  8. Lorraine Barry Martin

    Awesome pics and text. Suggest pic of nature reserve walk gets some people in pic as that attracts. Well done on an excellent marketing tool

    Reply