From all over the world people come to watch whales mate and calve from July to November, as Hermanus is famous for being the best land-based whale watching venue in the world.
Every year Hermanus hosts a "Whale Festival" and the famous "Whale Crier", the only in the world, strides the streets of the town with sandwich boards and maps, sounding his kelp horn to announce where whales have been sighted.
Hermanus is thought by many to be one of the best holiday and fishing resorts in the world. Die Plaat, part of the Walker Bay Nature Reserve, has twelve kilometres of unspoilt, wild beaches, at which fishing, horseriding and walking below the highwater mark is allowed.
It also has a very good reputation as an angler's paradise. There are three factories here that processes the hauls brought in by the local fisherman.
Hermanus grew as a holiday destination because of the restrictions on private travel during WW II. Farmers from the Overberg area used this village as their holiday venues.
You also find the magnificent beaches of Grotto and Voëlklip along Walker Bay. At Voëlklip and Grotto beaches you can swim and surf, while in the Kleinsriviervlei lagoon you can do boating.
Places to visit
Hermanus offers a variety of walks like the one from the new harbour to the mouth of the Klein River. Then there's Die Mond, where canoes, pedal boats, windsurfers, etc. can be hired.
And Onrus River, a resort at the lagoon's mouth, with a natural bathing pool. Birds inhabit the vlei, and the area is frequented by anglers, skin divers and surfers.
Scenic drives include the Rotary Way above Hermanus, with sweeping views down to Danger Point, or follow the Hemel en Aarde Valley, past vineyards and orchards, via Shaw's Pass to Caledon.
The old harbour was converted into a museum with its exhibits housed in restored fisherman's cottages, with a sonar buoy to transmit whale sounds.
The Museum telescope is also available to identify whales in the bay, as they are leaping from the water and lobtailing, as they go about courting, mating and calving. Guided tours are also available.
Fernkloof Nature Reserve
Hermanus also has the 1 446 Ha Fernkloof Nature Reserve, which has magnificent mountain and coastal Fynbos and other plants, snakes and about 48 Erica and 75 bird species.
Various walking and hiking trails are laid out for the nature lover.