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Cape Town to Hermanus to Stellenbosch

Harrogate, United...
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Cape Town to Hermanus to Stellenbosch

After 4 nights in Cape Town in early September, I plan on getting a rental car to drive out to Hermanus for 2 nights and Stellenbosch for 1 night. I'm happy to spend a good part of the day on the trip from Cape Town to Hermanus with stops along the way for opportunities for beautiful scenery or wildlife viewing or visiting a winery.

From what I've read so far here on TA, it sounds like the R44 scenic route would most appeal to me. Is that advisable for a solo woman driver?

Is it worth visiting Betty's Bay if I've already visited Boulders Beach? Are there typically other visitors there? If not, is there any other wildlife viewing that I should consider along the route? Should I be concerned about stopping along the way since I'll have all my luggage in the car?

Is there a winery conveniently along the route from Cape Town to Hermanus I should consider for a lunchtime stop or should I plan on visiting some wineries in the Hemel en Aarde valley my next afternoon?

Is it worthwhile to go out on a whale watching trip in Hermanus? I'm considering it because I think I would be disappointed if I didn't see whales from the cliffs.

I'll likely take the most direct route from Hermanus to Stellenbosch since that's the only day I'll have to enjoy the Stellenbosch area.

Thanks in advance for any advice!

Cape Town Central...
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1. Re: Cape Town to Hermanus to Stellenbosch

Hi there

Yes, the R44 is and will be the best way for you to travel from Cape Town to Hermanus for your trip. No wineries along this route but places of interest to visit would be Stoney Point for the Penguins, although you have visited them at Bolders Beach, this will still be a shocker, because the numbers will be more. Another stop to have is the Harold Porter Botanical Gardens for a nice stroll and lunch can also be enjoyed, fantastic sandwiches and cakes. Yes the drive will be quite safe to be used, and you have constant traffic flowing through.

You can also visit the wineries in the Hemel and Aarde Valley the next day, have a look at: Whale Haven, Bouchard Finlayson, La Vierge, Sumaridge and Newton Johnson Estates.

Yes it is worth while taking that boat trip form the harbour in Hermanus, iot brings you even closer to the whales, within metres so to speak. You cna have a look at Southern Right Charters for trips from the harbour.

For a more scenic drive form Hermanus to Stellenbosch: Take the R43 back the way you came into Hermanus and continue until you get the N2 highway. Head onto the N2 and turn right at the junction that says Grabouw. Then head into the town for a few kilometres until you will get a right turn which will be the R321, which will take you to the R45 which will then take you into Franschoek over the Frasnchoek Mountain Pass. Scenic and the best way to get into Stellenbosch.

Best Regards

Hank - Owner - Ulungele Tours and Transfers

Harrogate, United...
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2. Re: Cape Town to Hermanus to Stellenbosch

Thanks so much for all the info! The Harold Porter Botanical Garden sounds like a perfect stop for me. I expect it will be especially pretty given I'll be there in the spring. I can stop at Stoney Point and then the gardens and have a walk, probably just through parts of the cultivated garden area, and have a light lunch at the restaurant.

I'll definitely plan on the route you suggest to Stellenbosch. I hadn't expected to visit Franschoek, but it sounds like that route is well worth the bit of extra driving.

I'll need to do more reading tomorrow about the wineries you suggested and come up with a couple that I might want to visit the afternoon of my full day in Hermanus. I know I've seen another one that several people on here have recommended as well. I'll probably reserve a morning whale watching trip for that day.

I'm so looking forward to my first visit to South Africa!

Leeds, United...
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for Western Cape, Cape Town Central
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3. Re: Cape Town to Hermanus to Stellenbosch

Hi

I would agree with most of Hank's advise!

Yes definitely take the R44. I would probably miss out Boulders Beach and see the penguins at Stony Point instead. There are more of them and many less tourists! The Harold Porter Gardens are definitely worth a stop. They also have a very good tea room. Another worthwile stop is Kleinmond, there are some quirky shops and you can walk down to the harbour.

Then just after the R44/R43 junction, near the Arabella hotel and golf course, you will pass a winery, Benguela Cove. It is situated in a very posh housing complex but has a very good sauvignon blanc, bing so close to the sea.

Then at the junction of the R320/R43, just before you get into Hermanus, you will see the Wine Village. This is the best wine shop I have ever been in and they always have tastings. Definitely worth a stop here. Also next to this are 2 wineries Hermanuspieterrsfontein (must have the longest name of any winery!!) and Whalehaven, where you can also taste Idiom wines.

But it is definitely worth an afternoon in the Hemel en Arde vally, as long as it is during the week, as not all the wineries are open on a Sat pm or Sunday.

I would start off at the top of the valley at Creation (one of my favourite wineries in South Africa) and have lunch here. It is fabulous!

Then I would head to Ataraxia, La Vierge (where you can also taste Domaine des Dieux - excellent bubbles!), Newton Johnson and then Bouchard Finlayson

I have never done the boat trio, mainly as I suffer from sea sickness. Howver, I can really recommend a walk along the cliffs and I would be very surprised in early September, if you do not see whales fronm the shore.

I would also say that if you take the quicker route to Stellenbosch, then you will have more time to visit more wine estates. There are some very good estates around Somerset west that you will drive close by - Vergelegen, Waterford, Lourensford. It just depends what you want - more scenery or wine estates to visit?

Enjoy!!

Lisa

Harrogate, United...
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4. Re: Cape Town to Hermanus to Stellenbosch

Thanks Lisa!

Creation was the name of the one winery I had seen positive reviews about -- I'm betting at least one of them was yours! Thanks for posting its name here. It will definitely be at the top of my list. How long of a drive from Hermanus would you estimate it to be? It would be a Friday afternoon when I could visit the Hemel en Arde region. From your post it sounds like that should be ok, but I will check to make sure any places I choose to visit are open on Friday afternoons.

Kleinmond sounds like my kind of place, and it would be good to have a second place to stop on my way. I do like quirky shops! A stop just before Hermanus at one of those wineries might make a nice stop, especially if it's a bit early for me to check into where I'm staying when I get to Hermanus.

I think I'll likely stick with the longer, more scenic route to Stellenbosch that Hank recommended. Especially if I do visit the Hemel en Arde area on Friday, I will be happy if I visit a couple wineries on that drive to include a stop at one with a nice setting for lunch.

BTW, you might not recognize my profile photo, but I took it at Whiby Abbey. Love that place and it's setting on the cliff.

Leeds, United...
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for Western Cape, Cape Town Central
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5. Re: Cape Town to Hermanus to Stellenbosch

Hi

Love Whitby! I think one of those reviews is most definitely mine!

You will definitely fit a few wineries in on the Friday afternoon. 4 should be no problem and most don't shut until 4 or 5.

Well worth stopping at one on the way to Hermanus. I would probably choose Bengula Cove or one of the wineries near the R326 junction. You can buy a bottle to take to your accommodation!

If you like quirky shops, then definitely stop at Kleinmond. They are all close to the harbour. You can't miss them!

Lisa

Harrogate, United...
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6. Re: Cape Town to Hermanus to Stellenbosch

Hi, I just returned today from a FANTASTIC trip to South Africa! The advice that I learned from reading trip advisor addictively before my trip and the advice given specifically in response to my questions helped to make it the best it could be. So, I wanted to come back to thank you all!

I did take the coastal route to Hermanus as suggested and the route via the Franschoek Mountain pass for my drive from Hermanus to Stellenbosch. Both were stunning scenery.

I enjoyed a stop at Stony Point to watch the penguins but it was raining a bit too much as I left there and so I gave the Harold Porter Gardens a miss. I had at least visited Kirstenbosch while in Cape Town.

I had a great lunch at Creation and enjoyed the drive through the Hemel en Aarde Valley.

I enjoyed a nice dinner at The Burgundy Restaurant and an extremely nice dinner at Seafood at The Marine thanks to suggestions here on Trip Advisor.

It wouldn't have all been such perfect choices for me if not for the advice that so many of you share willingly here. Thank you!

Cape Town Central...
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7. Re: Cape Town to Hermanus to Stellenbosch

It does show in your report that you had a fantastic time. Very much glad that you did and now you need to start planning the return trip.

Hank Daries - Owner - Ulungele Tours

Leeds, United...
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for Western Cape, Cape Town Central
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8. Re: Cape Town to Hermanus to Stellenbosch

So when are you booking your return trip!

So glad you had a fantastic holiday and enjoyed the Overberg. It is my one of my favourite spots close to Cape Town

Lisa

Tempe, Arizona
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for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
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9. Re: Cape Town to Hermanus to Stellenbosch

Glad you enjoyed my part of SA.. Come again anytime..

Harrogate, United...
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10. Re: Cape Town to Hermanus to Stellenbosch

Yeah, I think I'm hooked. I can see why those who live in the area love it and why others choose it as a frequent vacation spot. I loved the Cape area and there is much more that I want to see and do in South Africa so I do hope to make it back. My trip from start to finish (Johannesburg to Cape Town area to Kirkman's Kamp in Sabi Sands) was phenomenal. I do plan on submitting several reviews.