No Capetown visit would be complete without visiting the charming coastal town of Hermanus. However, do not go UNLESS you can stay at the incredible Birkenhead House. While Birkenhead House is Hermanus luxury accommodation at its absolute best, as they say on their website, the hotel is characterised by a relaxed and easygoing atmosphere where you can breakfast at noon, take tea on your balcony, then watch the ocean at dusk over a cocktail or two. Dinners are leisurely, staffs are friendly and knowledgeable, the pace is laidback. Relaxation is the order of the day.
If shark cage diving sounds exciting to you, this is the place to do it. On average, the diving lasts for 2 hours, but this depends on shark activity, conditions, as well as the number of divers. Weather permitting; take a quick trip through the infamous Shark Alley.
Hermanus weather is moderate year round. During the Summer months, December-February, the temperature can climb to 80F.
From May to November (possibly into December), the Southern Right Whale graces Walker Bay with its massive presence, making Hermanus whale watching a popular activity. August is the height of the birthing season with wonderful vantage points at Birkenhead House.
Information: Rugged cliffs, invigorating air and stirring views characterize the charming town of Hermanus. Situated between the Kleinrivier Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean on the Cape Coast, this is the world’s best location for land-based whale watching and gripping Great White Shark cage diving. Pathways along the cliff edge allow you to explore this wild and beautiful Cape coastline, while the beaches themselves are clean, safe and easily accessible.
On Your Way: Coming from Capetown, on your way to Hermaus, stop off at Stony Point. There is no better place to view the African penguin than here. There are no crowds so you can really watch the penguins in their natural environment. If you like photography, this is a must. Please note that the park closes at 5PM during the summer months, so plan accordingly.
Hike: Depart with local hiking guide – Dave De Beer – on a half cliff path and half Fernkloof walk. Hermanus offers visitors the ideal hiking experience. The surroundings provide walkers several trail options, all of which feature spectacular views of the coastline and, if it is the right time of year, a glypse of the whales.
Lunch: Relax on-property eating lunch overlooking Walker Bay! You will enjoy cheese platters and charcuterie along with delicious wine - what could be better?
Cheers: You can enjoy wine tasting at the hotel with Ricardo or, better yet, go out and visit the local wineries. We decided to go off campus and visit wineries such as Hamilton Russell and Springfontein.
Ahhhhh: Massage - we booked the dual room massage and had a relaxing Deep Tissue massage. I would also recommend the Indian Head massage. The therapists are sensational - we did not want to leave!
Dinner: Delicious! Wine and views included!!
Would I Return: You bet! There are only 11 rooms in this gem of a hotel so book way in advance!