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With a backdrop of mountains, a large lagoon and long white beach, deep rock pools, and a wealth of coastal fynbos, Hermanus was destined to develop into one of South Africa's premier holiday resorts. The best times to visit Hermanus are autumn and spring, when aficionados come from afar to view the whales in Walker Bay. Humpback, Brydes, and Minke whales make occasional appearances, but the bay is essentially frequented by Southern Right whales.

Whales aside, there are numerous wine farms in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley to visit; you'll also find the chance to experience a close encounter with a great white shark, long beaches, and a number of good trails in the Walker Bay and Fernkloof nature reserves. With Hermanus as your base, the picturesque villages of Arniston, Stanford, and Elim are only a day's excursion away.