Recently we set out on a short trip in the direction of Hermanus and beyond and as so often happens on trips like the question is raised “which route do we take the straight line or the scenic route”? Well. as far as I’m concerned the answer has always been “the scenic route”, whether it be road travel or new experiences in life.
The straight line would be taking the N2 out of town following the signs for Somerset West and Hermanus. This route would take us over Sir Lowery’s Pass and is the route one would take to go to George or Knysna or even Port Elizabeth.
However, we both knew that this route can often be congested and to top it off it is currently beset with road works.
Therefore, we both decided on the scenic route. And what a beautiful route it is. A real indulgence for the senses. I would go so far as to say it is a real mindful experience.
We got off the N2 at the Gordon’s Bay turn-off and immediately we felt the stress of driving the main trunk route disappear.
Gordon’s Bay has long been a favourite for townies to escape the rigors of the City and relax on the various beaches and find a cosy place to eat and partake of the obligatory glass of local wines, especially those from the glorious Elgin valley which is close by. South Hill and Oneric wines are divine to name just two.
Bikini beach has a quaint cosy atmosphere and is located at the far side of Gordon’s Bay, to try it for fabulous seafood is a must.
Travelling along the scenic coast road with its most breath taking vistas is a delight. There are view points located every 200 meters should you wish to garner photographic memories for ‘back home’. Something we will definitely do more of on our next visit.
After about 15 minutes outside of Gordon’s Bay you enter the Kogelberg Nature Reserve and coastal camping sites. Perfect for a true getaway, if you are the outdoor type that is. Here you will also encounter local residents, the Baboons. They are entertaining, cute but also dangerous if they consider themselves cornered. Please be careful and do not feed them
Follow the coast road for the next half an hour or so, winding through Rooi Els, Pringle Bay and Bettys Bay on your right with the breathtaking scenery of the Kogelberg Nature Reserve on your left.
This road takes you to Kleinmond and beyond to the site of Arabella Country Estate. This five-star resort is set on the edge of a lake and 18-hole golf course. The accommodation is fabulous as are the various places to eat.
On the opposite side of the lake and situated back on the main road (R43) is Beguela Cove wine estate and restaurant, both of which offer superb wines and food to satiate the ‘weary traveler’.
Ten minutes drive from here are the small holiday villages of Rawston, Vermont and Onrus. All very cute places to explore or to simply pull in for lunch with a peaceful sea view, a perfect holiday activity I think you’ll agree?
Further along the R43 you will see the signs for the Hemel en Aarde valley. Take the left hand turn at the traffic lights and follow your nose. You will be amazed, impressed, enchanted by the scenery from this ‘long and winding road’ as well as the numerous wines estates waiting to show off their superb products and, of course, offer you tastings, not least of all
Hamilton Russell, Summaridge, Vierge and eventually, Creation. Creation has a wonderful restaurant offering 5-star cuisine and wonderful service too. The chef is Jaco Groe and the co-owner Carolyn Martin,she will always be pleased to see you, especially if you mention our name. To my mind it really is worth staying over in the Valley for a couple of days, if like me, you suffer from FOMO syndrome……FEAR OF MISSING OUT!……
Hermanus itself is really beautiful and at the same time a quaint town. Boasting some of the most stunning views over the Walker Bay area as well as interesting places of historical interest to visit. The Hermanus tourist office located on Mitchell street is, to me, the first place to visit in the town. Or you can call them on 028 312 2629.
There are literally dozens of places to stay, ranging from cosy BnB’s to luxurious 5-star accommodation, the choice is, as always, yours.
Taking a sunset stroll along Westcliffe is just perfect as is driving to Eastcliffe and getting some ‘sand in your shoes’ whilst at the same time admiring the wonderful private homes that grace the beach paths.
You really must take a drive out to De Kelders whilst here especially in Whale season, say July until September.
Approximately half an hour drive from Hermanus you will come across the cute little town of Stanford which is such a special place to relax and unwind. There are (for a small town) some really good places to eat here also. Graze, Mariannes, Springfontein (with its Michelin star resident chef) and Hovercraft to name a few.
We would love to receive your comments should you visit these places or others.
Have a safe and exciting visit to the Overberg and remember…….don’t feed the baboons please.