Take an unforgettable flight experience with the ‘Parapax’ tandem paragliding company. The team consists of the most experienced and highly qualified group of pilots. All you need is a good state of health, closed walking shoes and warm clothing. Flights are usually undertaken in the morning for the most favourable wind conditions, and launch sites differ dependent on the wind direction on the day. You will be securely strapped into a comfortable flying harness positioned in front of the pilot. The harness is built for comfort and safety so you can sit back and take in the scenic splendour while your pilot flies you. A tandem flight will last approximately 30 minutes. Google for details and info.
There are some formidable mountain-biking routes all around the Hermanus area. A favourite route is up the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley which is suitable for all levels of fitness. Numerous trails also go through vineyards and farms. Along the coast there are great sand trails on the beach and through the indigenous fynbos. All are well marked and it is advisable to stay on the path. There is a 6 km beach trail to Sopies Klip where you can enjoy a sundowner before you cycle back along the beach. In Hermanus there are several shops where bikes and gear can be rented. Maps of routes are available as well.
The Overberg coastline boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The super white sands of Grotto beach is excellent for long walks and the grassed and terraced Voëlklip beach is safe for the young and old. Kammabaai is perfect for body boarding. Onrus as well as Voelklip are favourite surfing spots. Sandbaai has lovely little coves for snorkeling and is dotted with marine pools. Brekfis Bay is near the Vermont Nature Reserve and is a quiet picnic spot. Hawston and Kleinmond also have two long stretches of beach which is perfect for beach hikes.
There are several walks starting at the parking lot at the top of Fernkloof Drive which meander through beautiful fynbos and offer some awesome views over Hermanus and Walker Bay. Have a look at the map in the parking lot for the duration and fitness level and please stay on the path you have chosen. Baboons are often in the vicinity but are not harmful. Please do not approach them. At the Fernkloof Visitor’s Centre there is a small exhibition room with a display of various fynbos species to be found in the Fernkloof reserve. Water is available at the Fernkloof Visitor’s Centre parking area as well as ablution facilities.
The Cliff Path walk meanders for almost 11 kilometres starting at the New Harbour and ending at Grotto Beach. The path can be accessed anywhere along the main road and Marine Drive and offers the most beautiful vistas of Walker Bay, the breaking waves, whales in season and a huge variety of fynbos. It is completely safe as there are guards all along the way but after dark walks are not encouraged. Wheelchair and pushchair friendly sections have been created wherever possible.
From mid-June to December, the Southern Cape coast is blessed with the presence of the Southern Right whale that comes to indulge in mating and calving in the calm waters of Walker Bay. There are numerous easily accessible whale-watching spots all along the coast as well as some super spots on the coastal road at De Kelders about 30kms from Hermanus. Listen to the whale crier on Marine Drive in Hermanus during the whale season for where the best whale-watching spots are to be found.
Boat Rides
The Klein River is one of the most beautiful stretches of flat water river paddling in South Africa. In summer it is safe, sheltered from the wind and boasts a feast of birds and the Cape clawless otters that frequent these tranquil waters.The steadily flowing water and its surrounding grassy banks make it a great spot to enjoy a lovely picnic while taking in the beautiful views. It’s also perfect for taking a quick dip in the cool water, gliding along by kayak or canoe, or going on a leisurely boat cruise with family and friends.
A typical white shark diving excursion takes between 3 – 5 hours, depending on the weather, sea conditions and shark behaviour. Trips depart from Kleinbaai harbour and anchor sites depend on the sea conditions, weather and previous shark sightings. In the summer months the sightings tend to be more towards the shore and in winter the sharks tend to move to the islands where they start preying on seals. The specially designed shark diving cage is secured to the boat at surface level so that when you are in the cage, your head and shoulders are above the water.
Betty's Bay
The African (or Jackass) Penguins’ breeding ground at Stony Point is near an old abandoned whaling station. It is one of only two shore-based breeding colonies in South Africa with the more famous breeding colony at Boulders Beach near Simonstown. The best times to view the birds are early in the morning or late in the afternoon when they return from their 20 kilometre fishing expeditions. A wooden boardwalk takes visitors directly to the nesting burrows. Also sharing the breeding site with the penguins are the endangered Whitebreasted and Cape Cormorants and the vulnerable Bank Cormorant.
The Hermanus Country Market is a great way to get acquainted with the locals of Hermanus, especially the few who are extraordinarily talented culinary artists and crafts people. Croissants, coffee, cakes and bakes all lovingly roasted and baked with butter. Wooden sculptures, little girl frocks and bone-handled knives all made here at home. You will not find these products elsewhere. So come and relax under a canopy of trees with some local award-winning craft beers and wines, meet new friends and let the kids and dogs roam free. You will find us below the mountain, next to the cricket field every Saturday morning from 9am to 1pm.
The Stanford Sunset Market is a unique, open-air, good food market that takes place in the centre of the heritage village of Stanford on the last Friday evening of the month. This market brings together the best of local food, the Stanford Wine Route and other boutique Agulhas wines, craft beers and gins, breads, books, gifts, preserves and toe-tapping live music from local musos. Bring your friends and family, and hang out with locals at this popular Overberg evening market. Stanford Market Square18h00 - 20h00. Last Friday of the month (September - May) Closed June - August for winter rains. Contact: Cell: 082 667 0619
Housed in a magical space where art deco meets Victorian sensibilities, the Elgin Railway Market is unlike any other in South Africa and offers visitors a veritable smorgasbord of menu options from fragrant curries to Italian pizza and pasta, from oysters to ribs and burgers; fresh fruit juice and smoothies; farm-style bread; charcuterie; cheese and other deli delights. There’s plenty of treats to indulge your sweet tooth too: addictive fudge, innovative ice-cream ‘rolls’, designer donuts, chocolate, cakes or tarts – all of which pair perfectly with a cup of freshly roasted coffee. For those over 18, indulge in an artisanal G&T or two or sample a variety of craft beers and cider from the bar before tasting the exceptional cool country wines from the region at the boutique wine shop. There’s also plenty of needful things to catch your eye and steal your heart: hand-made jewellery, designer clothes, leather shoes, bags and wallets, gorgeous objets d’art, bouquets of cut flowers, elegantly up-cycled furniture and other wooden products. Kids can blow off steam in the specially designed play area, replete with jumping castle and climbing walls while parents chat and chill out to live music. Treat the whole family to a Segway or Mountain Bike tour of the nearby Oak Valley Wine Estate. There’s something for you at the Elgin Railway Market so come #ReimagineTheWeekend with us! Oak Avenue, Elgin. Email: Tel:+27 (0)21 204 1158
Looking for the Smallest Little Market in Hermanus? It’s the Hermanuspietersfontein Food & Wine Market that you’ll find tucked away at the end of Village Lane’s cul-de-sac off the R320. It’s somewhere peaceful where you can kick off your shoes to while a Saturday morning away, savouring a glass of wine and watching the world go by as your breakfast is being prepared. There’s much to choose from for breakfast, brunch and lunch, or for nibbling in between wine tasting. Enjoy the foot-tapping live music and friendly foodserving vendors wearing black aprons, all with a white sheep on the chest. Loads of safe free parking awaits you. What can we say but Smile Mêrim, Smile.
Overberg Wine Guide