The essence of the tour of Hermanus
The tour departs from the arresting city of Cape Town, heading toward the seaside towns of quaint Strand and whimsical Gordon’s Bay, perfectly nestled at the foothills of the Hottentots Holland Mountain range. These charming towns award travellers with exceptional views stretching from False Bay to Cape Point, the most southwestern corner of the African continent. Continue along the remarkable Marine Drive, which skims the rocky coastline, to the white, ethereal beach of Koeël Bay, the secluded villages of Rooiels, picturesque Pringle Bay and heroic Betty’s Bay, alleged to have provided refuge to slaves in days long past. As you enter the beach town of Hermanus, stop over at the Bot River to unwind in the picture perfect Hemel-en-Aarde valley. The setting and maritime climate of the valley encourage the growth of first-class wine grapes used to produce the Western Cape’s world-renowned pinot noir, sauvignon blanc and chardonnay wines at highly praised wine estates like Bouchard Finlayson, Hamilton Russell and Whalehaven.
Hermanus is known across South Africa as a prime whale watching destination, where the colossal yet mythical aquatic mammals edge close to the shore during the second part of the calendar year. The southern right whales mate and calve around this time, choosing the safety of the shallows around this beach town. Explore the cliff paths that run along the entire border of the town, featuring unobstructed and unparalleled vantage points from which to watch the breaching whales, whose massive frames disrupt the calm water, creating effervescent foam on the sapphire surface. Savour a mouth-watering lunch at beach restaurants that serve an eclectic mix of South African coastal fare before browsing the town’s delightful craft markets, awash with African-inspired trinkets. As you head back to Cape Town, pass through the luxuriant apple orchards in Grabouw and Elgin, ending your packed tour with a final stop at Sir Lowry’s Mountain Pass, which promises breathtaking, all-encompassing views of the beautiful Cape Peninsula.