Hermanus has a long and varied coastline that offers a choice of beaches. From the expansive Blue Flag Grotto Beach to quieter secluded beaches tucked away between the cliffs and dunes, every beach offers a unique experience.
Grotto Beach holds the record for achieving the longest uninterrupted Blue Flag status in the country. Kleinmond and Hawston beaches were also granted Blue Flag ranking, which means visitors can expect a clean and well-cared-for environment, changing facilities – and lifeguards.
During peak holiday season, the following beaches will be manned by lifeguards daily from 09:00 to 18:00: Hawston, Grotto East, Grotto West, Voëlklip, Kammabaai, Onrus, Langbaai, Sandbaai, Kleinmond, Kleinmond Lagoon, Palmiet, Betty’s Bay Main Beach and Silversands, Pringle Bay Main Beach and Castle Beach (Pearly Beach).
Hawston boasts one of the best beaches in the area. Children enjoy paddling in the water and adults can laze in the sun while enjoying exceptional views.
This little beach in Vermont is ideal for a relaxed picnic or snorkelling adventures. Thanks to its location between magnificent sand dunes, it offers visitors a protected cove with plenty of space to play, relax and explore. Because of its seclusion, however, it is safer to go there in a group as there have been incidents of women being attacked and robbed when they were alone on the beach.
Onrus Beach offers a perfect place to swim and enjoy the sunshine. The Onrus River Lagoon mouth is ideally suited to family outings, where small children can play in the calmer waters of the lagoon and older children and adults can brave the waves. Onrus Beach is also a favourite haunt for local surfers, but more inexperienced swimmers should be aware that the sea bed drops sharply from the beach, making swimming tricky and sometimes dangerous.
Note: Keep an eye out for the information sign that warns about faecal pollution in the lagoon. The sign has a QR code pointing at a website page with information about the current water status and potential health risks of swimming in the lagoon. The website page can be viewed at http://whalecoastconservation.org.za/goinggreen/eco-community/onrus-river-estuary-lagoon/
Sandbaai Main Beach
Surrounded by rocky outcrops, Sandbaai Beach offers countless tidal pools to explore. The shallower pools are perfect for children to swim in – or for a quick cool down. Excellent diving and snorkelling conditions are just beyond the rocky ledge. Changing facilities and parking make it easily accessible and popular with families.
This small beach is protected on either side by low rocky cliffs that have the effect of funnelling good body-surfing waves into the cove. The beach has limited parking and there are quite a few steps to the sandy shore, but it offers a beach experience that is well worth the effort.
Another beach with shallow water, ample
parking and excellent facilities makes this ideal for family outings. The beach is linked to the larger Voëlklip and Grotto beaches via the Cliff Path.
An alternative surfers’ favourite. This beach is also ideal for non-sand lovers as it offers level grassy lawns to picnic on, as well as a small sandy shoreline. It is popular among younger adults, particularly during the peak tourist season.
The largest beach in the area, it stretches along the coast for more than 18 km. The Blue Flag Beach at Grotto is a small section of this, but it is still the most popular location for beachgoers. There’s plenty of space for any sized crowd and the parking area winds along the road for easy access via several designated pathways. Families can enjoy the calmer waters of the Klein River Lagoon on the eastern side of Grotto Beach, which is also a popular kite-surfing spot.
This Blue Flag beach is at the mouth of Kleinmond Lagoon in a natural and unspoilt environment. It’s easy to understand the reason tourists flock here throughout the year. Having the option of enjoying the sea – or fresh lagoon water – makes this an ideal location for getting those paddle skis and boats out and it’s an ideal space for children.
Silver Sands Beach
Looking for a beach that is the perfect spot for a picnic with the family? Silver Sands Beach, west of Stoney Point in Betty’s Bay – a colony for African Penguins managed by CapeNature – is worth visiting. From building sand castles, swimming and collecting shells, to searching through the rock pools, there is plenty for children to do. You can comfortably relax and tan here while enjoying the surrounding beauty.
– NSRI Station 17 Hermanus: 082 990 5967
– NSRI Station 42 Kleinmond: 021 449 3500
– Sea Rescue Emergency: 112
– Overstrand Municipality 24-hour Fire & Rescue: 028 312 2400/028 313 8980
– Law enforcement: 028 313 8111
– Hermanus Police: 028 313 5300