• Explore Hermanus
    Explore Hermanus

Things to do during your stay in Hermanus

Hermanus is the heart of the Cape Whale Coast and offers a wide variety of activities, attractions, sport, art, cuisine and eco-adventure excursions such as whale watching, great white shark cage diving, beach activities, sea kayaking, excellent golfing, superb bird watching, mountain trails, deep sea fishing, paragliding and much, much more.

Lavender Manor Guest Lodge is an upmarket but affordable guest house (bed and breakfast) that provide Hermanus accommodation at its absolute best. The guest house is two-minutes walk away from famous Blue Flag Grotto Beach and the magnificent cliff path, which will lead you along the beaches and rocky coast to surprising finds of sandy coves and on to the centre of Hermanus.

Grotto Beach stretches for 20 km along an unspoilt and pristine coastline. During the whale season Lavender Manor guest house will be the perfect base for excellent whale watching. You will not find better accommodation in Hermanus to enjoy all the activities listed below.

Outdoor Activities

Whale watching all along the Cape Whale coastline from June to December

Boat based whale watching (June to Dec)  - In season five permit holding boats launch tree times per day from Hermanus, Gansbaai and Kleinbaai harbours.

Whale watching from the air - Plane whale watching trips are offered by a local operator as well as helicopter trips from Cape Town.

Whale Crier - Hermanus boasts the world’s only whale crier. Listen for the kelp horn blow to indicate where you can watch the whales on land.

Deep sea fishing  -  Fishing charters are available from Hermanus and Gansbaai

Scuba Diving and Snorkelling  - A number of companies in Hermanus and Gansbaai offer scuba diving trips. You will need  experience for these dives.

Scuba Diving and snorkelling trips by boat - Board a luxury catamaran from where you can dive on reefs around Hermanus and as far as Gansbaai.

Eco Marine Boat trips to Dyer Island & Shark Alley! - The only place in the world from where you have the possibility to  see the full  Marine Big 5; seals, sharks, whales, dolphins and penguins, - all on one trip

Sea Kayaking - Daily trips from Gansbaai and Hermanus. Extremely weather depending

Surfing and Body boarding - Voëlklip, Grotto, De Kelders, Die Plaat, Gansbaai, Danger Point and Kleinmond all boast famous surfer waves!

Diving and Spearfishing - Diving and spear fishing can be done all along the coast.
Ask the local fishing companies for the best spots according to your preference. Permits are required and can be obtained from the local post offices.

Beaches  - Swimming, Sun Bathing and or hiking  - Safe swimming from numerous sandy beaches all along the whale coast.  Blue Flag status on 3 of the beaches in the areas

Mountain Bike Trails - Mountainous, beach and forest habitats offer trails for cycle enthusiasts; from beginners to serious professionals.

Hiking Trails:  The Cape Whale Coast lies in the middle of the world’s smallest floral kingdom; The Fynbos Floral Kingdom.  Various hiking routes trail through these habitats. Stunning panoramic views!

  • Hermanus; Fynbos cladded cliff path along the coast ( excellent whale watching in season) Fernkloof Nature Reserve in Hermanus
  • Kleinmond: Harold Porter Botanical Gardens Kogelberg Biosphere,
  • Gansbaai: Platbos, Grootbos, The Fynbos Trail that stretches over n number of farms
  • Beach hiking trails undertaken on Die Plaat, Gansbaai.

Horse Riding  - Stanford, Gansbaai, Hermanus offers horse riding on the beach mountains
Arabella ( Kleinmond) offers horse riding on the beach as well as the lagoon where you might encounter the famous wild horses

Golf - World Class golf courses in Hermanus and Arabella Golf Courses

  • The Hermanus Golf Club has become one of the most popular golf courses in the country - a definite 'must play' course.
  • The Arabella Country Estate, near Kleinmond is home to one of the top ranked golf courses in South Africa, with pristine grass, tricky sand traps and challenging water hazards on the golf estate.

Sports - tennis, squash,

Bird Watching - A birders’ paradise!  Sea-, shore-, fynbos-, as well as garden birding.  Pelagic bird trips also available in Gansbaai.

Quad Biking - Adventure trails through vineyards, mountain, on the beach.

Indoor Activities


  • Old Harbour Museum in Hermanus display the fishing history of Hermanus
  • Whale Museum in Hermanus has an extensive whale collection  depicting the different whale & dolphin species.
  • Strandveld Museum in Franskraal, Gansbaai. Artifacts from shipwrecks along the coast, Dyer Island and Gansbaai. By Appointment during the week.
  • Shipwreck Museum in Bredasdorp. Indoor & Outdoor Displays of a number of the wrecks on the cape whale coast


  • Danger Point light house in Gansbaai is open for visitors. Plaque of the Birkenhead shipwreck depict the rock where it foundered.
  • Agulhas Lighthouse in Struisbaai displays and extensive collection of  lighthouse optical. 360 degree view from the top.

African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary- a rehabilitation centre for injured seabird in Kleinbaai . Observe feeding of the birds daily at 4pm. Beautiful gifts for sale. Coffee shop serves home baked cakes. WiFi available

Arts & Crafts  -  Numerous art galleries covering a wide variety of subjects in Hermanus & Stanford.
Baardskeerders Bos Art Route is a quarterly event that stretches over a whole weekend. Follow a route to in-house exhibitions by resident artists.

Book Shops  -  Hermanus, Gansbaai Stanford & Kleinmond/Hangklip, Pringlebay are bookworm meccas.
Various old and quality second hand bookshop covers stock rare and antiquity books, travel, history, cooking, natural history and non-fiction by all popular authors.

Wine Tasting:  Visit the wine cellars of the Cape Whale Coast Route

  • Botriver Wine route in the Kleinmond area
  • Hermanus Wine Route in the Hemel n Aarde valley
  • Stanford Wine Route in and around Stanford
  • Kleinrivier Cheese Farm has a shop where they sell a huge variety of their locally produced award winning cheeses. They also have a petting farm,  a restaurant  and picnic baskets in season.
  • Elim Wine Route is the most southerly wine route between Stanford and Agulhas

Restaurants, Coffee shops, Deli’s   -  Hermanus, Kleinmond/Hangklip (especially harbour road waterfront), Gansbaai/ Kleinbaai, Stanford all provide gastronomic feasts that include something for every palate.

Day Trips From Hermanus

Greyton: 90 minutes from Hermanus Greyton nestles at the foot of the Sonderend mountains between 2 rivers. Although the village is quaint and natural, with mostly dirt roads, the infrastructure is sophisticated with excellent food shops and eateries. Here you can buy the cheapest, best quality meat, freshly grown produce, freshly baked bread and anything you need for a memorable day. Visit the art meander, historic walk, iconic Saturday morning market, excellent restaurants.

Genadendal: 80 minutes from Hermanus ( next to Greyton) This tree cladded, time forgotten village was South Africa’s first missionary station. Visit the working museum with its excellent displays of some of the country’s firsts: Printing press, fire engine, water wheel that still grinds corn to flour, school, kinder garden, famous pear tree, graveyard, honey bush tea, church visited by Lady Ann Barnard. Also weavers, pottery factory and historic buildings and tea room with freshly prepared bakes.

Agulhas/ Struisbaai: Visit the most southern place in the world.. It is also here the 2 oceans meet: Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean. In the Agulhas lighthouse is an interesting display of optical lights from various lighthouses. Khoi fish traps. A shipwreck museum with indoor and outdoor exhibitions.