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Hermanus is generally considered the best land-based whale-watching destination in the world. From June to December, the bay becomes the swimming grounds for a large number of southern right whales. So what might have otherwise just been a small fishing village is today a large, bustling town with an excellent range of accommodation, restaurants and shops.

The town stretches over a long main road but the center is easily navigable on foot. There’s a superb cliff-path walk and plenty of other hikes in the hills around the town, as well as good wine tasting, and the Hermanus Whale Festival in September. The town gets very crowded at this time and during the December and January school holidays.

Only 76 miles (122km) from Cape Town, Hermanus is also perfect for a day trip.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Hermanus.