Photo of Hermanus

About Hermanus

Hermanus is the sort of sleepy seaside town that you imagine yourself settling into for retirement. In the shadow of the Olifantsberg Mountains and perched beside glittering white sea cliffs, it has earned the nickname "the Riviera of the South". This is unsurprising; standing amongst pristine white sand beaches, rolling green pastures, old-world fishermen's cottages and lush vineyards that stretch off into an infinitely blue horizon, Hermanus is an iridescent gem with much to offer. Whether it's whale-watching, wine-tasting, sun-bathing or swimming with sharks, there's something for everyone here, and our collection of the best places to stay in Hermanus are well positioned for accessing all this.

Hermanus is famed for being one of the best land-based whale-watching sites in the world. People flock from all over South Africa just to get a glimpse of the huge Southern Right Whale, weighing at roughly 90 tonnes and measuring 17m in length. While you can hire a boat to get a closer look, whale-spotting is seamless from land, whether you're strolling along the 14km cliff path or scanning the waters with the telescope above the Old Harbour, you will undoubtedly see the whales' big white-speckled head float above the ocean.

This process is made easier by the presence of the world's only "whale crier", whose sole job it is to alert the town that a whale has been spotted by blowing an old kelp horn from their vantage-point on the clifftops. For the adrenaline-gluttons, swimming with Great White Sharks in nearby Gansbaai is an option.

Hermanus is also an excellent spot for any wine aficionado. Winding through the long green valley that flanks the town is the Hermanus Wine Route which is brimming with charming vineyards, most of which offer free tastings and platters of complimentary cheeses as well as guided tours. Standing high above Hermanus is the Fernkloof Nature Reserve, one of the richest floral kingdoms of its kind in the world, that makes for a lovely day-out whether you're hiking or mountain-biking along the 50km trails. The views are also extraordinary spanning all along the Western Cove of Walker Bay across to the big blue expanse of ocean.

For those in search of some sun, the Blue Flag Grotto Beach is the ideal spot to unwind, while those looking to go fly-fishing or boating, head to the marina. As well as having a museum dedicated to the history of the town and its relationship to fishing, there are a number of lovely art galleries scattered across the town, indicative of the many artists who live in the area.

What not to miss

  • Whale-watching: Hermanus is categorically the best place in the world to watch whales from land. Alerted by the world's only "whale crier", you will have the chance to spot whales from the clifftops, town, telescope or by boat. A truly magical experience.
  • Swimming with sharks: head over to nearby Gansbaai, where operators offer trips to swim with these giants, albeit from the safety of a cage.
  • Museums: the Old Harbour Museum is a fascinating detailing of local history and the town's relationship with the sea. There is also an enormous whale skeleton on display.
  • Hiking: take a day trip to visit the Fernkloof Nature Reserve that stands above the town. One of the largest and richest flora kingdoms of its kind in the world, there are hiking and biking trails spanning 50km and some beautiful panoramic views to be had.
  • Wine: the Hermanus Wine Route ambles through the beautiful green valley that sits beside the town. With countless vineyards offering guided tours and free tastings, it is not to be missed. The complimentary cheese and coffee is also an added bonus.

Unsurprisingly the best places to stay in Hermanus tend to get booked up fast so we recommend you plan your trip well in advance.

The best places to stay in Hermanus

For a spa break

  • Arabella Hotel & Spa hotel truly spoils its guests. A coastal country haven with a golf course, gourmet restaurant, award-winning spa and tennis courts. With 145 modern rooms featuring private balconies, this is the perfect place to stay for families or couples on a romantic getaway.

For great value

  • The Auberge Burgandy is a charming Provencal-style guesthouse offering chic yet simple style and gorgeous mountain and sea views. With prices starting from £71 per night it's a real steal too.

For a rural escape

  • Boasting rolling gardens set amidst the area's picturesque wine country The Thatch House is a luxurious option for those in search of a little peace and quiet.
  • Formerly a family owned holiday home, now turned hotel, Birkenhead House is the address in Hermanus for whale watching unsurprisingly due to its epic coastal positioning.

For an apartment or villa

  • Our partner Booking.com has a wide range of villas, cottages and apartments in the nearby area.

Travel information

  • There is never a bad time to visit Hermanus. During the winter (between May and August) the temperature darts between 10 and 21 degrees. During the summer months, the temperature reaches as high as 25 degrees.
  • Fly to Cape Town International Airport and from there take a shuttle bus to Hermanus.
  • If you want to hire a car we recommend you contact our partner Rentalcars.

Still not sure?

Best Hotels in Hermanus

  • House on Westcliff 3 rooms from £50

    Hermanus

    Quaint B&B providing family accommodation surrounding luscious gardens and a saltwater pool. Its charming thatched-roof and cottage style interiors create a homely feel. Rooms include exposed wood floors, wrought-iron beds, and doors leading outside. Great value.

    Value chic  -  Quaint, excellent value accommodation located right along the coastline
    Sailing  -  Shark and whale watching trips take off daily
    Kayaking  -  Spot seals, penguins, and much more!
    Great walks  -  Along Hermanus' Blue Flag beaches
    Check prices
  • Sixteen on Main 5 rooms from £54

    Hermanus

    Modern, well-priced guest house located in the heart of Hermanus town. This owner managed property provides guests with a comfortable stay within walking distance of its beautiful beaches. A hearty breakfast is served, with plenty of great restaurants nearby. Bikes are available for guests to use.

    Value chic  -  Excellent value stay within walking distance of town and Hermanus' beaches
    Great walks  -  Excellent walking trails through Fernkloof Nature Reserve
    Local markets  -  Hermanus Country Market is held every Saturday
    Sailing  -  Whale Watching Tours
    Check prices
  • Hermanus Beach Villa 8 rooms from £56

    Hermanus

    Charming beach hotel, a beautiful coastal walk from Hermanus town. Each of its eight rooms is beautifully decorated with views across the Atlantic Ocean, and include ensuite bathrooms and tea-and-coffee-making facilities. A delicious breakfast is served each morning with light snacks during the day.

    Value chic  -  Excellent value in a perfect coastal location
    Local markets  -  Held every Saturday, Hermanus Country Market is a favourite with locals and tourists
    Great walks  -  Grotto Beach is a five minute coastal cliff walk
    Traditional
    Check prices
  • Cliff Cottage 3 rooms from £63

    Hermanus

    Traditional thatched cottage providing a family-friendly stay. Charming country inspired interiors, picturesque gardens, and roll-top baths. All this plus a delicious home-cooked or continental breakfast is served out on the terrace each morning. Walking distance from Hermanus town. Delightful.

    Value chic  -  Quaint, coastal accommodation at a great price
    Great walks  -  Take the coastal work into town or to Hermanus' Blue Flag beaches
    Sailing  -  Enjoy whale watching in Hermanus is between July and November
    Kayaking  -  Along The Klein River Lagoon
    Check prices
  • The Potting Shed 9 rooms from £63

    Hermanus

    This charming family-run hotel provides both B&B and self-catering accommodation. An excellent choice for families: large rooms are decorated in a classic style, some opening up onto their own terrace. You're walking distance from town and the owners are very knowledgable about nearby activities.

    Families  -  With family suites and an excellent coastal location, it's a great family stay
    Sailing  -  Whales can be seen from the cliff paths and at the Old Harbour - or you can embark on a boat trip to get a closer look
    Kayaking  -  Where you can often spot cape fur seals, penguins, dolphins, cormorants and other sea birds
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool
    Check prices
  • The Vishuis 3 rooms from £66

    Hermanus

    The holiday house you wish you owned! A collection of charmingly decorated period coastal cottages. Choose from one and two bedroom self-catered accommodation. Ideal for families or a romantic bolt hole. With a kitchen, dining and living room (complete with fireplace), you'll feel right at home.

    Families  -  Beautiful self-catering cottage - ideal for a family stay
    Sailing  -  Famed for its whales boats depart daily in search of whales, seals, sharks and much more
    Local markets  -  Held every Saturday the Hermanus Country Market is a popular visit
    Great walks  -  Along the pristine Voelklip Beach
    Check prices
  • Whale Coast Hotel 15 rooms from £74

    Hermanus

    A stylish collection of self-catering apartments, this property provides guests with a real "crashpad" for exploring the Western Cape. With plenty of room, there is a fully stocked kitchen, living and dining area, as well as outdoor 'braai' spot. Walking distance from much of the action.

    Local exploring  -  A great base to explore the Western Cape - a true home away from home
    Great walks  -  Take a stroll to Old Harbour
    Restrictions on children
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
    Check prices
  • One Marine Drive 5 rooms from £80

    Hermanus

    Fabulous interiors, this chic hotel is decorated in a quirky modern style: leafy wallpapers, with bold pinks and blues. By summer rooms are light and airy, by winter cosy with a fireplace. Take a stroll along Cliff Path into town, and don't forget to keep a lookout for whales. Superb breakfast.

    Value chic  -  Stylish interiors, excellent location, very well priced
    Sailing  -  No trip to Hermanus would be complete without a spot of whale watching
    Great walks  -  Walking and cycling through Fernkloof Nature Reserve - just 5km away
    Local markets  -  Held every Saturday Hermanus Country Market is a popular spot
    Check prices
  • Hermanus Beachfront Lodge 5 rooms from £85

    Hermanus

    Overlooking the 25th green of the popular Hermanus Golf Club this modern B&B provides a comfortable stay. Right on the coast, guests can spot whales passing by in season. Beautiful year round its large suites, some including kitchenettes, provide a spacious stay. A great option.

    Beach Life  -  Right along the coastline, enjoy views of the ocean and coastal walks
    Great walks  -  The coastal walk into town is a beautiful stroll, where you can spot whales and 'dussies' (rock rabbits)
    Local markets  -  Each Saturday, Hermanus Country Market is a favourite spot
    Restrictions on children  -  Adults only
    Check prices
  • Auberge Burgundy 19 rooms from £71

    Hermanus 7200

    A charming Provencal-style guesthouse offering gorgeous mountain and sea views. Simple yet elegant rooms feature white-on-white style with pine and cane furniture. Surrounded by pretty gardens, terraces and boasting a lovely pool. A laid-back base to explore the region from.

    Local exploring  -  Close to local restaurants, the craft market, boutiques, art galleries and quaint shopping malls, with the beach just 50 m away
    Views  -  Boasting a splendid setting between mountains and sea
    Great walks  -  Great walks and nature tours down by Walker Bay
    Restrictions on children  -  Adult only
    Check prices
  • Ocean Eleven Guest House 11 rooms from £116

    Hermanus

    This traditional Cape-Cod style abode strikes an attractive silhouette nestled in between Hermanus' Old and New Harbours. Each of its 11 suites is filled with light and boasts private balconies or terraces. Breakfast is a real treat. There's also a sparkling pool with ocean views.

    Total relaxation  -  Quaint accommodation within easy reach of the charming coastal town of Hermanus
    Sailing  -  Go in search of one of Hermanus' most famous residents: the blue whale
    Great walks  -  Take the coastal stroll along Hermanus' cliff path
    Restrictions on children  -  Children above the age of 12 can be accommodated
    Check prices
  • Arabella Hotel & Spa 145 rooms from £118

    Hermanus (Hermanus,)

    A coastal country estate and relaxing haven - known for its golf course and award winning spa Arabella's caters to all tastes. Rooms are modern with African accents, private balconies and huge jacuzzi baths. There are indoor and outdoor pools plus fine dining options. Relaxing and indulgent.

    Families  -  So many activities packed into one space we defy you to try them all! This plus family suites and babysitting facilities
    Romantic Break  -  Fine dining and sprawling rooms with private jacuzzi baths
    Spa breaks  -  Boasting an award winning spa with an extensive menu
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor and outdoor pool
    Check prices
  • Abalone Lodge 12 rooms from £160

    Hermanus

    This fabulous hotel provides chic, modern accommodation overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Stylish rooms are decorated in nautical palettes: spot whales passing by from the comfort of your own balcony. Relax in the spa or workout in the gym. A superb breakfast is served each morning. Divine.

    Beach Life  -  Chic, nautical inspired interiors within walking distance of the beach
    Sailing  -  Boat trips for whale, seal, shark, and dolphin watching embark from Hermanus Harbour
    Great walks  -  Coastal walks along Hermanus' Blue Flag beaches
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool
    Check prices
  • The Marine 40 rooms from £196

    Hermanus

    Part of the five star Liz McGrath collection, The Marine is the jewel in Hermanus' crown. Each of its 40 rooms is exquisitely decorated lavish bathrooms and unrivalled ocean views. Be sure to book a table at Origins restaurant, one of Hermanus' finest. Walking distance from town. Divine.

    Romantic Break  -  Fine dining, indulgent spa treatments, and unrivalled ocean views
    Sailing  -  Boats take off from the harbour daily: whale watching, shark cage diving, and sunset cruises
    Great walks  -  Cliff Path Walk is a beautiful coastal stroll
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool and marine pool
    Check prices
  • Mosselberg on Grotto Beach 5 rooms from £206

    Hermanus

    Designed by one of South Africa's most prominent architects, Johan Slee, this five-bedroom villa provides laidback living on the charming Grotto Beach. A veritable spread of locally sourced produce is served each morning. Relax in your spacious room or by the pool.

    Total relaxation  -  A short drive from Hermanus, in a quiet coastal locale
    Local markets  -  The Saturday Country Market is a popular attraction
    Sailing  -  Take a boat out and go whale spotting
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool
    Check prices
  • The Thatch House 6 rooms from £253

    R43 Hermanus 7200

    Tranquil, cosy thatched retreat with expansive suites, set in exquisite rolling gardens in the middle of the wine country. With top-notch restaurant and a relaxing pool, as well as many outdoor activities in the area for those wanting to explore.

    Hideaway  -  An exclusive boutique hotel offering respite from everyday life, in an exquisite natural setting overlooking the Hermanus Lagoon
    Kayaking  -  Departing from the Old Harbour, you'll have views of the mountains and the stretch of coastline as you glide across the ocean
    Great walks  -  Outdoor enthusiasts can explore the region by foot or bicycle during their stay, with many winding country and mountain paths
    Views  -  Views over the Hermanus Lagoon and of the magnificent Cape Fold Mountains
    Check prices
  • Birkenhead House 11 rooms from £546

    Hermanus

    Former family owned holiday home turned hotel Birkenhead House is the address in Hermanus for whale watching. A two-hour scenic drive from Cape Town it is well worth the trip. On brand colourful interiors courtesy of The Royal Portfolio it is the perfect family holiday or romantic retreat.

    Families  -  A perfect family break - excellent food and enough to tire out even the most active
    Back to Nature  -  The Atlantic Ocean is right on your doorstep - a great stay for wildlife lovers
    Romantic Break  -  Utterly indulgent, Birkenhead House's wild backdrop makes for a romantic escape
    Great walks  -  Take a walk along the coastal path into town
    Check prices