Hiking in Hermanus, Western Cape
Did you know?
The coastal path stretching from Fick’s Pool to Tamatiebank has been upgraded by the Cliff Path Management Group to accommodate wheelchairs.
Hermanus hiking opportunities are plentiful. They will suit both those seeking a thorough workout and those who simply want to work off breakfast. The coastal town of Hermanus is surrounded by the Overberg mountains. Overberg hiking trails are wonderfully scenic and allow for land-based whale watching hikes when southern right whales frolic along the shore from June to November each year.
Hermanus is skirted by 11km of cliff paths that follow the rocky shoreline. You can walk all the way from the Blow Hole on the far western side of town – near the New Harbour – to Grotto Beach on the far eastern side. Benches along the way allow you to sit down and do some whale watching.
Fernkloof Nature Reserve looks down on Hermanus from the north. The reserve has more than 50km of graded hiking trails that are suitable for everyone. The shortest and easiest hike takes roughly one hour to complete, offering gorgeous views of Hermanus. The longest hike takes five hours and rustic overnight accommodation is offered.
From June to November - whale season - you are also likely to spot southern right whales in Walker Bay from Fernkloof. You’d be well advised to bring a pair of binoculars for the occasion.
At Platbos Forest, the southernmost forest in Africa, an enchanting two-hour forest trail has gentle gradients, making it ideal for young and old. The forest canopy shelters from the sun making it a good choice on scorching hot summer days.
In Vermont Nature Reserve you can enjoy a two-hour walk along the coast from Brêkfisbaai ('breakfast bay') to Hawston harbour, where you’ll walk among fynbos through Hoek van die Berg private nature reserve.
The Hermanus Tourism Bureau provides a list of registered community guides who offer a variety of specialised tours including cultural, historical, fynbos, abalone and birding walks.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Hermanus Tourism Bureau
Tel: +27 (0)28 312 2620
How to get here
Hermanus is roughly 120km from Cape Town and can be reached in about 90 minutes by car. Either take the N2 from Cape Town over Sir Lowry’s Pass and through Elgin, or turn off before Sir Lowry’s Pass onto the R44 past Gordon’s Bay for a coastal drive.
Best time to visit
Whale season is from June to November every year, and the champagne air makes for idyllic conditions in early autumn (March and April).
Tours to do
The Perlemoen Trail is a 2-day Green Flag accredited slackpacking trail from nearby Pearly Beach to Gansbaai. Hike along white beaches, over wrecks, to fisherman's villages and more. You sleep in luxury and don't have to carry your own backpack.
Length of stay
Hikes take anywhere for 1 hour to 2 days and can be tailored around your availability.