The Hermanus Cycling is in a town described as the Riviera of the South. It is famous for its champagne air, long stretches of beach, mild climate, rich floral kingdom and the best shore-based whale -watching destination in the world. You will also explore some wine estates in the area. Wheels, whales, wine and wildflowers !
Type Self-guided cycling Location Hermanus, South Africa Group size 1+ people Duration 3 nights Grading Easy/Moderate grade Day Stages 20- 40 km Distance 90 km (3 days) Terrain Trails, country roads Hotels 4 star Meals Breakfast each day Cost From R6 100 per person Dates Oct – April is “High season”
With its unparalleled scenic beauty, modern infrastructure, upmarket shops and endless adventure options, it’s little wonder that Hermanus has grown in size and popularity during the last decade. Hermanus has the status of being the best land-based whale watching destination in the world. Southern right whales visit Walker Bay from June through to December and can be viewed from aboard a boat, an airplane or the shore. Hermanus is home to the world’s only Whale Crier who blows his kelp horn when whales are spotted along the central sea route. Hermanus is a cosmopolitan town but has retained some of its historical fisherman’s village heritage. A number of craft markets sell a range of interesting wares and create a vibrant atmosphere. The old harbour with its restored fishing boats gives a glimpse of times past. Hermanus’s two lagoons and the ocean provide a water sport paradise for kayaking, canoeing, wind surfing, etc. Shark cage diving provides an adrenaline fix for adventure lovers. Hermanus has something for everyone. Hermanus may no longer be a village, but the character and atmosphere of this vibrant town offers a lifestyle few places can match.
Beaches Long stretches of soft, white sand beaches, small rock protected coves and spectacular wave action. One of the most beautiful coastlines in South Africa. The cliff paths are unique. Whale watching Hermanus has the status of being the best land-based whale watching destination in the world. The whale season is from June to December “Fynbos” plants and wildlife The Cape Floral Region is the smallest, but richest of the world’s 6 floral regions- no less than 9,000 species. It has been identified as one of the world’s 18 biodiversity hot spots. Nature Reserve Experience the beautiful Fernkloof Nature Reserve. Discover and learn about the various indigenous plants, animals, geology and the colourful and entertaining history of the area while enjoying the breathtaking views of the Hermanus coastline. Views Magnificent and unequalled views of Walker Bay, the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley and Maanskynbaai Accommodation and restaurants 4 star hotel or guesthouse and a range of restaurants and bars Interesting town A cosmopolitan town, but it has retained some of its historical fisherman’s village heritage. A variety of shops, markets, boutiques, art and artists, creating a vibrant atmosphere. Hermanus Wine Route The route unites the passion and reputation of fifteen wineries, each growing small volumes of premium quality wine in carefully and sustainably managed vineyards. These wines draw wine lovers from all over the world. See details of some estates below. Other activities Other activities in the Hermanus area can be added to the cycling package. Hermanus is a haven for the outdoor enthusiast. There is golf, canoeing, shark diving, horse riding, walking, etc to enjoy.
Arrive in Hermanus and book into your accommodation. You will meet our Route Manager for a cycling briefing.
Starting at the Fernkloof Nature Reserve the route will take you in an easterly direction above the Voëlklip residential area. You will cycle on jeep and single track paths under the mountain range running parallel to the coastline. There are stunning views of Hermanus, the Fernkloof Mountains and across Walker Bay to Danger Point in the distance. Cape Agulhas, the most southerly point on the continent is out of sight just around the corner. On the return leg the route goes down to the Klein River Lagoon with it’s fascinating variety of birdlife. You make your way back towards Hermanus along the lagoon and via a magic mini forest of old Milkwood trees to the lagoon mouth. From there the route back to the start is along the coast on a single track just above the sea front. There are three or four opportunities for a swim and two restaurants on this last leg. Distance 30 km (4 -7 hours)
Explore the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. There are plenty of opportunities for wine tasting at the wine estates along the the cycle route. They are Newton Johnson, la Vierge and Sumaridge at the top of the valley and Bouchard Finlayson, Hamilton Russel and Southern Right at the lower end- a considerable collection of wine estates Distance 20 km (3 hours)
From the Old Harbour you will ride out of town and on single track along the coast, then turn inland onto a dirt road with challenging climbs and panoramic views of the coast behind you. The Karwyderskraal road will eventually take you past the De Bos dam and to the Hemel en Aarde valley roadback to the Wine village – a full circle. Distance 40 km (4-5 hours)
Hermanus Cycling is a “centre based” cycling holiday. It allows you to stay in a great location for the duration of your trip and enjoy local rides before returning back to your guesthouse each day. We offer the choice of two cycling bases, either the town centre or the Voëlklip beach area.
You will stay in one of Hermanus’s finest hotels or guesthouses and visit restaurants serving mouthwatering international cuisine. A panel of establishments have been selected to allow for non-availability. Any of the guesthouses can be a great base for your holiday. Click on the pictures to view the high standard of accommodation.
Rates & Tour info
Choice of Standard or Superior accommodation. The rate of our package also depends on availability. For the Standard option our rate is from R6 100 per person, sharing. The rate for the Superior package will be quoted on request. The Superior package will be 5 Star or superior 4 Star accommodation. The Standard package is 4 Star. A Minimum of 2 people per group per day
Included3 nights accommodation in selected guesthouses including breakfastHotel to hotel luggage transfer along the trail, if applicableDetailed Route directions.Information about the area
Not includedItems not listed above, egTransport to and from HermanusOther lunches, snacks, drinks with mealsBicycle rent
Easy/Moderate cycling grade Overall rating is Easy/Moderate. You do not need to be ultra-fit, but certainly able to cycle between 30 and 40 km per day and be able to cope with undulating countryside and some hills. The route takes you along stony mountain paths, along field and farm tracks and country roads. There are various routes and you can choose sections which are more challenging if you feel you need an extra challenge. Refer to Cycling grades
Day 1 – arrival: Day 2 – Moderate: Day 3 – Easy/Moderate: Day 4 – Easy/Moderate
Alternative/additional optionsYour trip can be extended or amended to include additional activities. The costs of these options are available on request:Day 4 can be limited to the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, if an easier day is preferred.The route can be extended to 5 days by starting in Kleinmond
Additional options- special interests
The Hermanus area offer a wide range of attractions and activities that can be added to your itinerary Let us know if you have a special interest in any of the following activities. Our Route Manager can assist with bookings and advice.Shark CageDiving Scuba DivingWhale Watching/Bay CruiseHorse RidingHistoric HermanusHoy’s koppie – a bushman caveBird Watching from a hide on the lagoonIndigenous Plants – The Cape Floral KingdomSea KayakingHang Gliding/ParaglidingAdventure activities eg Quad Biking, Tree Top Sliding, Tubing and Rafting, Zip Line Riding Hermanus Forest AdventuresAbalone farmingRiver Cruise on the lagoon
Your trip can be extended or amended to include some of the activities. The costs of these options are available on request.
When to go to Hermanus
Any time of the year, but the weather is more predictable during “High season”. Reserve early to obtain the best rooms. “Low season” is a good option for local guests who are either prepared to accept weather risks or to change their plans at short notice. During low season accommodation is normally more freely available.
Weather in the Western Cape Coastal region is mild Mediteranean. Hermanus enjoys a mild climate. Winter, although the rainy season, has nonetheless many sunny days and is generally mild, with high winds at times. Summer is dry and sunny, with high temperatures tempered by sea breezes. Early autumn (March) is idyllic, with balmy days and late afternoon sea mists – the so-called Hermanus “champagne air”. Hermanus is truly deserving of its reputation for happy holidaying. During the summer months the white sandy beaches are filled with holiday makers enjoying the sunny weather and excellent swimming in the sea. Hermanus is the ideal overwintering resort for visitors who wish to escape the cold Northern Hemisphere.
For international visitors
Fly to Cape Town International airport and drive from Cape Town to Hermanus by car.
From Cape Town to Hermanus
Take the N2 towards Somerset West Continue on the N2 through Somerset West and over Sir Lowry’s Pass Continue for 47 km onto Botriver Take Hermanus off ramp to left (R43) Continue driving for 44 km into Hermanus Town centre
Scenic route from Cape Town
If you are driving from Cape Town and have some time to spare it is worth turning off the N2 onto the R44 (Clarence Drive). Driving from Cape Town take the N2 towards Somerset West turn left onto the R44 to Strand and proceed until you reach Gordons Bay. Travel on the R44 along the coastal road where you will pass the Kogelberg Nature Reserve which is known for its beautiful natura, “Fynbos”. Carry on with the road past Rooi Els, Pringle Bay and Hangklip. You can visit Stony Point in Betty’s Bay which is the home of the African penguins. There are numerous paths leading past the nests which will give you photographic opportunities. After Stony Point the road leads you past Harold Porter Botanical garden. Carry on with the R44 through Kleinmond for about 11 km until you reach the T-junction. Turn right onto the R43 that leads to Hermanus.
Directions from Garden Route
Drive on the N2 heading towards Cape Town, until you pass through Riviersonderend and about 8 km further you get a turn off left to Rietpoel / Stanford / Hermanus on the R326. Drive through wheat fields and sheep farms, until you reach an intersection. Drive straight across the intersection and continue driving until you reach Stanford. Before entering Stanford take the turn right to Hermanus which is 20 km away.
What to take
Wearing a helmet while cycling is mandatory and bicycles need to be equipped with basic repair kit. These items can be provided with bicycles rented via us. Bring your own if you prefer so. If you decide to bring your own, a MTB is the best choice (not a road bike or hybrid).
It is important to be comfortable when cycling so we suggest wearing thin layers of clothing. Fast drying and hard-wearing synthetic fabrics are ideal as a base layer as these allow your skin to breathe and wick the moisture away from your skin to the next layer, avoiding the chill which cotton T-shirts can cause. A thin fleece or sweatshirt is ideal as the next layer. You should also take a lightweight waterproof jacket (breathable and windproof material is best). Sport shoes are fine for cycling and for when you stop off to visit places on foot. For your daily needs, you are advised to have a day-bag, a plastic bag to line your day-pack (to protect the contents from rain), sunglasses, sun block, a water bottle, plastic picnic box (for transporting your lunches), first-aid kit, camera and extra plastic bag for litter. Plan for swimming in Summer.
We recommend that you arrange appropriate holiday insurance covering you against illness, injury, and loss or damage to luggage. This insurance should also cover the possibility of your having to cancel your holiday for any reason.
Our detailed route notes and description allow you to ride self-guided and at your own pace amid splendid scenery while we transport your luggage. As soon as we have finalized your booking and hotel schedule we will forward your Hotel guide per email. This will specify your hotel schedule and directions. (We use different hotels/guesthouses from time to time) The second component of your route description is your Route guide. This specially prepared guide includes route notes, maps and GPS references Going self-guided is simple and convenient with our Route and Hotel guide. It allows you to set out when you like, stop where you want and visit sites en route that are of interest to you. The Route guide will be given to you on the date of your arrival.
Availability and booking
Comments by guests who have experienced a self-guided walking/hiking holiday offered by WalkingHolidays.co.za in South Africa- “Overall, the holiday was invigorating- You certainly went out of your way to make the whole time memorable- We are recommending it to our walking community in the States- Fantastic walks, wines and accommodation” For details, go to Reviews
More about Hermanus
A Hermanus Cycling holiday offers you a relaxing self-guided cycling holiday in a town famous for beautiful beaches,mild climate, rich floral kingdom and whale watching Hermanus is a very attractive tourist destination and the best way to experience it is on a bicycle. The Hermanus Cycling holiday was structured to offer the best of Hermanus. For more information about Hermanus, go to Read more Go back to the top of the page