From whales to wineries: City Sightseeing in Hermanus offers the perfect day out

Hermanus was recently recognised as one of the four Western Cape destinations featured in the prestigious “Most Loved Destinations in the World” by the Tourism Sentiment Index.

Hermanus was recently recognised as one of the four Western Cape destinations featured in the prestigious “Most Loved Destinations in the World” by the Tourism Sentiment Index.

Published Jul 19, 2023


Our journey began at the V&A Waterfront, where anticipation and excitement filled the air. As we boarded the City Sightseeing bus, the vibrant atmosphere of the city gradually gave way to a sense of tranquillity as we drove away for a few hours.

It was a splendid day, one that truly made us appreciate the warmth of the sun amid the icy winter. Our journey took us towards Sir Lowry’s Pass, led by our lively tour guide, Brahm Bester.

Despite the early start, Bester skilfully kept us engaged with captivating facts and intriguing tales of the surrounding areas, ensuring we remained awake and attentive.

This journey was an absolute stunner, with endless views. We headed towards the coastal town of Gordon’s Bay and it was like stepping into a postcard.

We made a quick stop at Pitstop, also known as the Grill Shack, where they serve delicious treats. We had mini corn dogs, sipped on a hot beverage and even took a shot of sherry to get pumped up and ready for the rest of the adventure.

A tourist walks into Pitstop restaurant.

After a hearty breakfast, Bester, took us on a spectacular coastal drive, through Rooi Els, Betty’s Bay and Kleinmond, en route to Hermanus. Along the way, we stopped to take in the picture-perfect views.

Clarence drive.

This scenic coastal route is not only a delight for human travellers but also a playground for baboons. Baboons are social and highly intelligent primates that thrive in the natural habitats of the Western Cape region.

They are known for their complex social structures, with strong family bonds and a hierarchy within their troops

We were lucky to see a mom and her baby sitting on the side of the road, basking in the winter sun.

A baboon with a baby on her back on the coastal drive passing Betty’s Bay.

As we approached Hermanus, Bester led us to a hidden gem known as Rotary Scenic Drive, or as the locals call it, “Lovers Lane”. From this spot, we were treated to a panoramic shot of the whole town.

It was surprising to see how much Hermanus had grown and evolved over the years. It had blossomed into something much bigger and more vibrant than one could have imagined.

Rotary Scenic Drive.

Hermanus is renowned for its whale spotting opportunities, and we were in for a treat. We had the privilege of witnessing, from a distance, a magnificent whale breaching.

Hermanus lived up to its reputation as a prime destination for whale watching, and we were grateful to have been a part of such a magical experience.

“This is my first whale sighting for the season. This means it’s going to be a good season!,’ Bester said, excitedly.

Visitors spot a whale.

At lunchtime, we had a delightful experience at a restaurant called The Wine Glass. It was a wine lover’s paradise. We partook in a tasting of three white and three red wines.

The white wine complimented the lovely day and reminded me of the summer ahead.

The restaurant’s gourmet dishes were equally impressive. We treated ourselves to several delicacies, including crispy deep-fried sukeeni, delectable veggie wraps, duck wraps, and a South African favourite, babotie spring rolls.

For the main course, we had a seafood dish that featured deep fried squid and calamari cooked to perfection, complemented by a fresh, crisp side salad. The variety of flavours and textures tantalised on our taste buds.

Cuisine at Wine Glass

Afterwards, we headed to the Whale Shack, known for its exceptional whale-watching opportunities. The Whale Shack provides a prime spot for visitors to observe these gentle giants as they frolic and breach in the waters just off the shore.

If you are interested in a boat ride for whale watching in Hermanus, Southern Right Charters is a renowned and professional tour operator. Its primary role is to provide visitors with an exceptional and educational experience.

View at the Harbour, the Whale Shack.

Hermanus is not only renowned for its beautiful coastal views but also for its wineries and vineyards. This tour showcases the beauty of these wine farms. We made a stop at the impressive Bouchard Finlayson wine farm, in the the hills of the Hemel-en-Aarde.

Seated in the atmospheric cellar, amid rows of barrels, was a special experience. The unique architecture added to the ambiance, making it a memorable setting.

As we bid farewell to the invigorating sea breeze, Bester took us on a different route home, passing through Elgin and Grabouw. If you have travelled this road before, you will recognise the familiar stop at Padkos Express, nestled within Peregrine Farm Stall.

This quaint spot offers food, beverages, clothing, and plants. The irresistible Houwhoek pie was on everyone’s mind, and we could not resist picking up a few treats to take home. It was the perfect pit stop before concluding our journey.

Cape Explorer bus

Wesgro CEO Wrenelle Stander said Hermanus was recently recognised as one of the four Western Cape destinations featured in the prestigious “Most Loved Destinations in the World” by the Tourism Sentiment Index.

The town has proudly secured its place in the global rankings, landing among the top 50 out of 100 remarkable places across the globe.

This accolade is a testament to the town’s irresistible charm and the captivating experiences it offers to domestic and international visitors.