Top 10 Things to do in Hemel en Aarde Valley and Surrounds
The Hemel en Aarde Valley, which stretches inward from the coastal town of Hermanus, is directly translated from Afrikaans as ‘Heaven and Earth’. This beautiful South African wine region has become an increasingly popular location for a relaxing and well, heavenly getaway. The valley and its surrounding areas are filled with charming activities and attractions enjoyed by locals and tourists alike.
Whether you’re an art lover, a wine enthusiast or an adventurous spirit, you are sure to find something in the area tailored to your tastes.
Here is our list of the top 10 things to do in Hemel en Aarde Valley and Surrounds when you visit Stonehaven Eco Cabins & Farm:
Top 10 Things to do in Hemel en Aarde Valley and Surrounds #1: Art Galleries & Museums
For those who love the finer, artistic side of life and are interested in the rich history of the Hermanus area will have a fantastic time visiting the art galleries and museums this town has to offer.
The Lembu Gallery & Studio is situated in a 100-year-old fisherman’s cottage close to Hermanus’s Old Harbour. The art gallery displays a range of South African and African fine art and crafts such as painting, sculpture, ceramics, African artefacts and jewellery.
De Wet’s Huis Photo Museum – an old Dutch Reform Sunday School re-erected on the Fisherman’s Village in 1987. The museum exhibition of sepia coloured photographs will take you back in time to when Hermanus was a quaint fishing village.
Visit the Whale Museum at the Old Harbour to be taken on an audio-visual journey beneath the surface of the ocean.
(All museums are a 20-25min drive from Stonehaven self catering accommodation in Hemel en Aarde alley)
Top 10 Things to do in Hemel en Aarde Valley and Surrounds #2: Whale Watching
The best time to spot some whales in Hermanus is between July and November either from land, by boat or in the air on a scenic flight. For the more adventurous, you can go out in the sea via kayaks, accompanied by local guides and experience the thrill of a close encounter with these enormous sea mammals!
Hermanus is very well known for its Whale Festival in September when thousands of locals and tourists celebrate the migration of Southern Right Whales (and other marine wildlife) with ocean-themed activities and exhibitions.
- The Cliff Path offers whale watching viewpoints that stretch 12 kilometres from one end of Hermanus to the other.
- Dreunkrans is a popular whale-watching site. Park at Fick’s Pool and walk about 100 metres towards the New Harbour.
- Viewing terraces with incredible ocean views over Walker Bay with information boards about the whales can be found at the Old Harbour
- The Voelklip and Grotto beaches are perfect spots for spotting whales while picnicking on the rocks above the sea.
- Contact Hermanus Whale Cruises to see whales up close in the ocean on an 87 passenger boat.
(All hiking trails are a 20-30min drive from Stonehaven self catering accommodation in Hemel en Aarde alley)
Top 10 Things to do in Hemel en Aarde Valley and Surrounds #3: Shark Cage Diving with Great White Sharks
For the adrenalin junkies and thrill seekers. Head to Gansbaai and come face to face with the Great White Sharks in a safe shark cage diving and surface viewing experience!
Great White Shark Tours guarantees a safe diving experience and ensures that every tourist who dives will have a great white shark swim past them at least a couple of times!
The White Shark Diving Company makes it their mission to educate visitors about the conservation of the Great White Sharks and give them an opportunity to see the sea creatures in their natural environment.
(Gansbaai is +-1 hour away from Stonehaven self catering accommodation in Hemel en Aarde alley)
Top 10 Things to do in Hemel en Aarde Valley and Surrounds #4: Wine Routes
Hemel-en-Aarde valley is situated very close to the entrance of the supreme Hermanus Wine Route. Explore the various wineries for delicious tastings and revel in the beauty of the vineyard-covered hills of the valley. Pair your wine with the many glorious food options at the popular restaurants in the area. A visit to La Vierge is sure to be a delight! This highly recommended wine estate is only 10min away from Stonehaven Eco Cabins & Farm.
Enjoy a world-class wine-ing experience at your own pace by joining the Hermanus Wine Hoppers on an exciting hop-on-hop-off safari-style wine tour. Their fleet of vehicles follows a different route every day to give people plenty of opportunities to experience as many of the Hemel-en-Aarde wineries as possible.
(22min away from Stonehaven self catering accommodation in Hemel en Aarde alley)
Top 10 Things to do in Hemel en Aarde Valley and Surrounds #5: Mountain Biking
Beautiful views are only part of the enjoyment when venturing on the mountain biking trails of the area. Starting at the Hemel-en-Aarde Village, four different routes will take you deep into the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. Hermanus MTB Trails caters for every class and style of mountain biker with varying degrees of difficulty for each track.
Top 10 Things to do in Hemel en Aarde Valley and Surrounds #6: Kayaking
Walkerbay Adventures allows you to explore the magic of Hermanus’s magnificent coastline with its abundant marine life up close and personal.
With the company of an experienced guide you will board a kayak and glide across vast ocean waters – all while taking in the view of the majestic mountain, sea cliffs and marine life.
(22min away from Stonehaven self catering accommodation in Hemel en Aarde alley)
Top 10 Things to do in Hemel en Aarde Valley and Surrounds #7: Surfing
Looking to catch a wave? The beaches of Voelklip,Onrus, De Kelders, Die Plaat, Danger Point and Kleinmond all have perfect surfer waves. Hermanus beaches are cool and clean with shores that offer long sandy stretches and intriguing rock pools.
Onrus beach is situated on the Onrus River where the lagoon meets the Atlantic Ocean giving you the best of all worlds. Shallow waters make it the perfect location for a family beach day as well as great wave and swell conditions for surfers. Whether it’s playing a game of beach frisbee, going for a romantic stroll or enjoying a good book – the vast sandy shore of Onrus is an afternoon well spent!
Should you be looking for ocean apparel, Walker Bay Surf Shop offers a variety of surfboards, wetsuits, body boards, etc. that are available to rent or buy.
Top 10 Things to do in Hemel en Aarde Valley and Surrounds #8: Horseback Riding
Horseback riding in the Hemel en Aarde Valley is the stuff that storybooks are made of. Entice your senses while exploring the incredibly scenic trails from the back of your horse set amidst picturesque vineyards, breathtaking mountains and bubbling streams.
Here to make all your fairytale dreams come true, Heaven and Earth Trail Rides’ experienced horse riding instructors will guide you along one of many trails through fynbos, wildflowers, orchards, vineyards or beautiful mountain scenery. Whether you have never been on a horse before or have some glory riding days behind you – all are welcome.
Chat to them about their standard, wine tasting, sunset and moonlight guided trails which last from between 1-4 hours. They can even organize a delicious picnic or braai as part of your magical Heaven & Earth experience!
Top 10 Things to do in Hemel en Aarde Valley and Surrounds #9: Adventure Golf
Ahoy Matey! Start practising your best Jack Sparrow impersonation and head to Benguela Cove Adventure Pirate Golf, for some competitive fun that offers thrills and laughs to people of all ages! Make your way around the 18 hole course in as few attempts as possible – while facing the various pirate challenges along the route.
Adventure golf brings the family together and will make any adult feel like a carefree kid again!
Top 10 Things to do in Hemel en Aarde Valley and Surrounds #9: Walking and Hiking Trails
Thanks to the coastal and mountainous location, there are a number of different hiking and walking experiences – whether you’re an expert hiker or beginner.
The Fernkloof Nature Reserve offers the opportunity to walk and learn with an array of endemic plants and wildlife being spotted along all trails. Along these trails make your way to the Three Dams, the waterfall or to the highest outlook point at Galpin Hut (which can be booked for an overnight stay).
For a scenic stroll along the coastline – The Cliff Path is the perfect option with a 10 kilometer walking path hugging the cliffs and features sightings of beautiful plants and some animals as well.
For a unique nature experience in the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom, the Fynbos Trail offers visitors the choice between a fully guided and catered slack-packing trail or a self-guided and catered trail. Choose between two or three-day options where you will venture along coasts, mountains, remote forests and some fascinating environmental and social projects along the way. An ideal choice for nature lovers looking to escape city life for a while.
An escape to the Hemel en Aarde Valley is sure to rejuvenate the soul and ground the spirit in experiences surrounded by nature, friendly locals and majestic creatures.
Stay at Stonehaven self catering accommodation in the Hemel en Aarde Valley to enjoy all of these amazing activities.