With its own lagoon frontage, 3 private jetties and 2 slipways, Waterways is a watersports enthusiast’s paradise. Bring your own equipment and enjoy sailing, kiteboarding, windsurfing when the wind is up, or wait for the wind to die for kayaking, surf skiing, wakeboarding and waterskiing.
Gaansbaai is one of the most popular shark-cage diving spots in the country and most tours from Cape Town take you on the long journey to board a boat from the pretty Kleinbaai Harbour. To get there, simply turn right onto the R34 and it’s a 30-minute drive away from Waterways. Wetsuits and diving equipment are supplied by the tour operators and no previous diving experience or qualifications are necessary to enter the cage.
Grotto Beach is one of the most pristine beaches anywhere in the world. Long stretches of pure, white sand invite you to walk forever, admiring the sea, mountains, dunes and sea life. It is a ‘blue flag’ beach so it’s safe to take a dip in the flagged areas. Surfers, sunbathers and those who want to socialise can head to one of the smaller scenic beach coves such as Voelklip or Langbaai.
Hermanus has been recognised by the WWF as one of the 12 best whale-watching destinations in the world. Between July and November, Southern Right Whales migrate to the bay to breed. During the calving process, they breech out of the water which is a sight not to be missed. This can best be seen from the famous cliff path and even from some of the restaurants near the coast. The more adventurous at heart can take a sea-kayaking tour from the Old Harbour to view these gentle giants in their natural habitat
The Western Cape is the richest floral kingdom in the world and Fernkloof Nature Reserve is a prime example: there’s no other place on earth where you can see so many different species growing in such close proximity. You may also catch a glimpse of a Grey Rhebok, Cape Grysbok, klipspringer, baboon, mongoose and dassie in the 1800 hectare reserve. Add to that well-maintained mountain paths, lush waterfall grottos and stunning see views and you have some of the best hiking you can imagine. Download a map showing the Fernkloof trails.
The picturesque Hemel en Aarde Valley is home to 15 boutique wineries that produce a small quantity of high-quality wine in well-managed, sustainable vineyards. At the Hemel en Aarde Village, turn onto the R320 to make your way through the valley. Don’t miss Bouchard Finlayson – Peter Finlayson was the first winemaker in the valley – and Hamilton Russel Vineyards which offers pre-ordered picnics. Or stop off for lunch at Creation with its handcrafted collection of tables, Biedermeier chairs and eclectic works of art.
Download a map of the wineries.
Galloping along the flat sand of Grotto beach between the sea and the lagoon with the mountains in the background has to be one of the most exhilarating and beautiful experiences on earth. Horse Trail Safaris, which are located in Voelklip a 15-minute ride from the beach, also take mountain rides and offer well-schooled horses suitable for beginners.
To book, call Lizette on 082 729 7776.
Rotary Drive provides the perfect paragliding site when the south easter, the Cape’s prevailing summer wind, is blowing gently. That’s because the ridge is shaped like a wave, causing thermals to lift paragliders up off the ridge and even land back in the original launch point. You’ll get a great bird’s eye view of Hermanus and you may even spot some whales in Walker Bay during the spring months.
Hermanus Golf Club is one of the most scenic in the Cape and you can admire the prolific birdlife and maybe even some wildlife such as deer and baboons while you’re playing. In 2006, the classic country course underwent a major overhaul with the addition of nine new holes with modern greens and superb bunkering. Featuring 27 holes, the course is very popular so it’s advisable to book well in advance. For bookings call +27 28 312 1954 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have your own equipment, you’ll be able to surf the lagoon straight from the property. Or you can head to the sandy flats between the lagoon and sea and choose if you want to surf the shallow, warm waters of the lagoon or head into the waves. If you don’t have your own equipment, or you’re wanting to learn, you can book a course with Walker Bay Kite School. The school provides all equipment, including wetsuits, kites, lines, a harness, impact jacket and a hard hat. The course is divided into three sections (a minimum of 2 hours each) to prepare you to kite alone safely.
Hermanus Country Market
Every Saturday morning, 8am to 12pm, Hermanus Cricket Club.
Enjoy the local feel and live music as you browse fresh organic produce, home-made delicacies, wheat-free bakes plus a range of arts & crafts.
Food and Wine Market
Every Saturday morning, 9am to 1pm, Hemel en Aarde Village.
Arrive hungry. Choose from a range of delicacies from German bread to local perlemoen, treat your tastebuds to Sanmarie’s home-baked pies or tuck into a steak roll with all the trimmings.
Onrus Craft Market
The first Saturday of each month, 9am to 1pm, De Wet Hall, Roos Street, Onrus.
Catch up with the locals or browse the old-school stalls offering a fun, eclectic mix of wares.
Stanford Evening Market
The last Friday of each month, 6pm to 8pm, Birkenhead Brewery, Stanford.
This evening market has a relaxing, rustic village atmosphere with a touch of sophistication.