Named after the HMS Arniston, a British troop ship that sank in 1815 killing more than 300 on board, Arniston is a beautiful little coastal fishing village with one of the longest beaches in Africa. Azure blue water, rocky coves and authentic fisherman cottages add to the magical beauty of this coastal jewel.
A stone’s throw from Franskraal and Gansbaai is the enchanting hamlet of Baardskeerdersbos, which is fast becoming a sought after haven for city slickers as a weekend getaway. Made up of a fascinating patchwork of rolling farmlands and small holdings with quaint homesteads, the hamlet has a fascinating history in terms of how it gained its name, which directly translated means Beard Shavers Bush!!!
A typical rural town with a large farming community known predominantly for farming with Merino sheep and wheat. Bredasdorp offers a fabulous day trip with several little speciality shops with pottery, antiques and local delicacies on offer. Not to be missed is the renowned Shipwreck Museum which is the only one of its kind in South Africa. The museum showcases an extensive collection of artifacts and furniture from ships wrecked along the coast. Audrey Blignault who was born in Bredasdorp has a room especially dedicated to her fine history as one of South Africa’s most prominent writers.
The Cape Agulhas region offers a veritable paradise of nature in all her glory, which will delight even the most discerning tourist, botanist, hiker, photographer, historian, bird watcher or angler.
The region is bordered by blue mountain ranges, set in undulating hills in a kaleidoscope of gold, green and brown, with endless beaches and dunes. Fragrances of fynbos merge with mountain and sea air.
De Kelders, the place that the Southern Right Whales call home! On the R43 beyond Stanford you will find a residential area called De Kelders. “De Kelders” is the Afrikaans name for The Caves. Numerous larger and smaller caves penetrate deep into the rock formations under the houses of De Kelders.
There is a great coffee shop and restaurant called Coffee on the Rocks, overlooking the bay. You will find it in Cliff Street. Just drive all the way down to the sea and turn right. It is truly unique and a good vantage point for whale watching!
Elim, long been declared a national monument is famous for its thatch roofed homes as are the thatchers from Elim who are sought after as masters of their fine craft. The quaint white washed cottages are painted each year before Easter as a tradition symbolizing purity and simplicity – integral to the lifestyle of the village people who live their lives close to their Church.
The picturesque town is one of the oldest surviving mission stations and is inhabited only by members of the Moravian Church.
Gansbaai and Kleinbaai
Gansbaai, beyond De Kelders on the R43 (about a 35 minute drive from Hermanus.) There, depending on your nerves you can go boat based whale watching, scuba diving or shark cage diving.
There are 4x4 trips, plane trips, Danger Point lighthouse to visit and, to end the day, sundown boat trips. Gansbaai is named the Big2 town after the numerous Great White Sharks that cruise in the waters east of Danger Point peninsula and the many Southern Right Whales that hang out around the shores on the western side of Danger Point. Here you will find various restaurants and bars in and around Main Street and many arts and crafts shops. Don’t forget to visit the harbour.
The fishing village of Hawston is located between Fisherhaven and Onrus en route to Hermanus. Hawston was named after Charles Haw who settled in Caledon in June 1859 often visiting Hawston for vacations.
The village of Hawston is rich in traditional history and the locals are eager to share their beautiful beach and ocean's bountiful catch with visitors.
Hermanus was often referred to as the Riviera of the South in bygone days and for all intents and purposes, has maintained its status albeit with a modern fusion of luxury holiday homes dotting the pristine coastline, funky cafes, coffee shops and eateries overlooking Walker Bay, speciality shops to delight even the most selective shopper and craft markets to keep you busy for hours.
Probably best known for its renowned Cliff Paths which meander along the coastline, Hermanus has become a whale watchers paradise. Visitors come annually from far and wide to view one of nature's spectacular events when whales come close into Walker Bay to calve. Their antics will amuse you for hours on end, so be prepared. Pack a picnic or have lunch at one of the many little eateries along the magnificent coastline where the uninterrupted views of Walker Bay will ensure endless pleasure during Whale Season.
Napier, Cape Overberg: The town, named after the governor of the day, Sir George Napier, was founded 12 April 1838 when the first erven were sold. The town is central to a prosperous wheat and wool producing area in addition to producing large quantities of strawberries in summer.
Onrus is a typical laid-back holiday town and home to several famous artists and authors such as Jan Rabie, Elsa Joubert, Uys Krige, Gregoire Boonzaaier and Marjorie Wallace amongst others.
Situated approximately 45 minutes from Hermanus, this peaceful little town is still relatively undeveloped. Although the concentration of permanent residents is increasing, over half the houses still belong to holiday-makers.
Stanford, on the bank of the Klein River, must be one of the Western Cape’s best kept secrets. Stanford offers tranquility, scenery, river activities, brewery, cheese farm, winery, art gallery, shops of interest and restaurants.
As you turn into Stanford, turn immediately left into Daneel Street. On your right you will find Norfolk Square. The Maze Tea Room has a lovely tea garden for children. An inspiring stop, filled with all sorts of activities to keep your children busy!