Grotto Beach, Hermanus
Did you know?
Birdlife around Grotto Beach includes numerous seabirds. Look out for the threatened African Black Oystercatcher.
Grotto Beach in Hermanus is an upscale seaside town that overlooks Walker Bay, a protected whale sanctuary. Boasting some of the best land-based whale-watching in world, its pristine beaches are equally brag-worthy.
Grotto Beach stretches for over 2kms from Voëlklip to the mouth of the Kleinrivier lagoon, with the Walker Bay Nature Reserve on its north-eastern flank. Seldom crowded, it's great for long seaside strolls, or an impromptu game of beach volleyball, without fear of disturbing those who just want to bask and catch some rays.
Located roughly halfway between Cape Point and Cape Agulhas, sea water temperatures at beaches in Hermanus can be either warmer or cooler, depending on prevailing winds and the flow of Indian or Atlantic Ocean currents. Shallow, temperate water, and lifeguards on duty from December to February, means the kids can splash and swim to their hearts' content. Expect some windy days, though. Grotto Beach is a top-rated ‘gust spot', an excellent site for kite, wave and windsurfing.
Ample parking, well-cared for ablutions with showers, and public barbeque facilities are among this Blue Flag beach's amenities. Ramp access, and specially designed beach-going wheelchairs for hire, allow otherly-abled beach lovers to enjoy Grotto's scenery, unspoiled nature and wildlife. Between September and November, Southern Right whales gather in Walker Bay to flirt, mate and calve and daily sightings from Grotto Beach are practically guaranteed.
Explore thickets of ancient Milkwood trees beside the lagoon, go fishing or horse ride at Die Plaat, bird watch at Kleinrivier lagoon, or follow the cliff path to Fernkloof Nature Reserve with its indigenous fynbos and herbarium. Dutchies restaurant on Grotto Beach offers panoramic seas views and fresh seafood on the menu. Grab a front row seat and toast a glorious sunset with a glass of famous Walker Bay wine.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Tel: +27 (0)28 312 2629
How to get here
From Cape Town International Airport, hop on the N2 and take the Botrivier (R43) turn-off. Alternatively, turn off at Strand and follow the R44 along the picturesque coast.
Best time to visit
Whale-sightings occur between May and November. September is festival season in Hermanus, when whales, wildflowers, spring and sailing are celebrated.
Around the area
Hiking in the Fernkloof Nature Reserve; whale-watching in season; golf at the Arabella Golf Club; shark cage-diving.
Tours to do
Wander along Hermanus’ wine route, take a trip around the Old Harbour, go on a marine sightseeing cruise, or take a walking tour of Zwelihle Township.
What to eat
Seafood and fresh fish are abundant in Hermanus. Crayfish and perlemoen (abalone) are a seasonal treat.
The Hermanus Whale Festival takes place in September.