The picturesque town of Hermanus lies nestled perfectly between mountain and sea. The Kleinriver mountains which overlook the town are but one of the many majestic mountains of the Overberg region. These mountains are inhabitied by a vast array of flora and fauna. The mountains are abundant with indeginous Cape fynbos, found only in this region, and the diversity of this fynbos is more than that of tropical rainforests. The mountains are also teeming with natural wildlife, from the local baboon troops which patrol the area, to small antelope such as Cape grysbok and Klipspringer. From May to December every year the waters of Walkerbay are the stage for the best land-based whale-watching experience in the world. Every year Southern Right whales, as well as Humpback- and Bryde whales, flock to the bay to mate, calve and rear their young. During this time onlookers are treated to the incredible antics of the whales, the most spectacular being where they breach the water by launching themselves out of the water.
Visitors to Hermanus are soon faced with the problem of having to choose what to do. They are hard-pressed to choose between spending the day shopping in the towns boutiques and unique stores, going surfing at- or walking along one of the towns many beaches, sharing conversation over coffee at a quaint coffee shops or bistro, paddling on Walker Bay amidst the whales, or just sitting next to the cliff path breathing in Hermanus' “champagne air”. A list of activities in Hermanus include:
Hermanus received its name around 1830 from Hermanus Pieters, a man who travelled through the Caledon area, teaching and shepherding on farms in the area. One summer, he travelled through the Hemel-en-aarde valley to discover the abundant bays of present day Hermanus. Pieters settled at a spring (which in Afrikaans means "fontein") to tend to his sheep. Word got out to others about these “heavenly” shores and Pieters was joined by the likes of fisherman drawn by the abundant resources of Walkerbay and lime-makers who were attracted to the deposits of shells on the many beaches. This spot eventually became known as Hermanus Pietersfontein (Hermanus Pieters fountain) and was later shortened to Hermanus in 1902, after being officially established in 1891.
Hermanus lies approximately 140km from Cape Town and should take the average traveller around 2 hours. Leaving Cape Town the traveller would follow the N2 towards George, driving past Somerset West and later Grabouw, and after coming to Botriver and taking the R43 turnoff, the traveller would soon find himself in the centre of Hermanus. The town lies approximately 370km from George, following the N2 down towards Cape Town, and then either turning left onto the Standford road after Riviersonderend, which leads straight to Hermanus, or continuing to follow the N2 past Caledon and turning onto the R43 at Botriver which also leads straight into the town.