A Local’s Guide to Hermanus

Hermanus is the perfect tourist town, with half the world flocking to see its endless scenery and majestic Southern Right whales. If you don’t know where to go, however, you could easily end up in one of the more touristy haunts that charge a fortune for an average plate of fish and chips. So how should you navigate this popular coastal town? As someone who frequently spends my holidays in Hermanus, I’ve collected a couple of favourite spots that are worth a visit. So here’s a local’s perspective on what to do, where to eat, and how to keep entertained in this quiet little town.

Bientang’s Cave – Restaurant and Wine Bar

Honestly the best calamari and chips I have ever tasted has been at Bientang’s Cave. The restaurant, which specialises in seafood, is set in a cave on the rocks, and is a prime spot to watch the whales passing by as you enjoy a cocktail or three at sundown.

 

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White Rabbit

The White Rabbit Pub, set in the center of the town, is a chilled place to relax and enjoy a locally crafted beer with your mates at the end of the day. It also offers live music and good food, just in case the beer doesn’t have you sold.

Tidal Pools

If hanging out at the beach with hordes of tourists isn’t your scene, you’re not alone. That’s not to say that you can’t still enjoy the refreshing ocean water. Fick’s Pool and the Marine Tidal Pool are two great options for when you don’t feel like battling through people on the beach. Fick’s Pool, situated on the Westcliff road, is a small sheltered tidal pool framed in rocks, with fantastic views over the sea. The Marine Tidal Pool is situated more in the centre of the town, below the Marine Hotel.
I would highly recommend taking dive shoes; I have accidentally stepped on one too many sea urchin spikes! Trust me when I say they are difficult and irritating to remove.

 

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Fernkloof Nature Reserve

If you’re looking to get out and stretch your legs, Fernkloof Nature Reserve is the ideal place to do so. The reserve itself is a few kilometres away from the town centre, and offers hiking, walking and cycling trails. Dogs are welcome, provided they are on a leash and stick to the lower paths. Be sure to pack your swimming-stuff; as the reserve sports a couple massive dams for you to cool off in. For the more adventurous hikers, there is a tower to jump off into the dam; be careful with your belongings though. Our last trip to the dam almost saw our bags searched by a few curious baboons.

 

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Hermanus Country Market

If, like me, you jump at the call of a new and unexplored market, the Hermanus Country market is a must-visit. Taking place every Saturday from 09h00 to 13h00 on the grounds of the Hermanus cricket club, it’s a chance for the locals to show off their wares and simply catch up with one another. Freshly baked bread, local wine and really great breakfasts are on offer, and it’s suitable for the entire family.

 

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Stanford

If you’ve been in Hermanus for a while and you’re looking to experience more, I’d suggest making the short trip out of Hermanus to Stanford.The Birkenhead microbrewery on the Walker Bay Estate is a personal favourite of mine. With names like “Pot Belly” and “Dead Parrot”, the beer tasting is a great experience.

If you want a little more information on what to do and where to eat in the town, visit hermanus.co.za, the town’s official website.

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