We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Itinerary Review : 4 Days in Hermanus & Franschhoek

Which Cape Town hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Singapore
Level Contributor
444 posts
24 reviews
Save Topic
Itinerary Review : 4 Days in Hermanus & Franschhoek

Dear All,

Me & my wife would be visiting South Africa this September. We are starting with a 3 night safari in Sabi Sands and then we will be spending 4 nights (though only 3 days) in Cape Town (including a day trip to cape point).

We would like to spend another 4 days or so in South Africa and after spending lot of time researching and working out logistics for Drakensberg, Wild Coast, West Coast, Garden Route, (and also Victoria Falls) etc. we now think it would be best to keep it simple and stick to surrounding regions of Hermanus and Winelands. My basic itinerary for this leg is as follows:

Day 1:

- Drive from Cape Town to Hermanus via Route 44 with a stop at Betty’s Bay for penguin colony. Understand it won’t take us more than 3 hours to cover this route with the stop. Are there any other recommended stops on the way?

- Haven’t decided the accommodation yet, but in any case, we hope to have time after lunch to do cliff walk. How long would cliff path walk generally take and is it circular walk or we would need to take some transport back to our hotel/car park?

Day 2:

- As of now, we intend to take a boat tour for whale watching this morning. Is whale watching from boat a very different experience from land based whale watching?

- Rest of the day is free but I may choose some other activity (other than whale watching). Any recommendations e.g. fynbos trails etc.

Day 3 + Day 4:

- This morning after breakfast, we intend to drive via Franschhoek pass to Franschhoek. Understand this is less than 2 hour drive. Any recommended stops on the way?

- We now have 1.5 days in Franschhoek and we wanted to mix up the activities e.g. we wanted to visit vineyards, also visit a cellar, do some tasings including cheese and olive tasting and may be a picnic (if weather permits). Also, any scenic cycling/hiking activity would also be good as we are not really wine connoisseurs so visiting 5-6 wine estates may not be our thing to do. Any suggestions on how we can split our time in Franschhoek?

Day 5: Today we drive back to Cape Town Airport for our 10:45am flight. Believe it’s les sthan 90 minute drive on a weekday so starting at 7:00-7:30am would be fine.

So, how do you think about the itinerary and will appreciate any suggestions that you may have. Thanks in advance.

Edited: 5:58 am, April 08, 2013
Table View, South...
Level Contributor
1,029 posts
95 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Itinerary Review : 4 Days in Hermanus & Franschhoek

On Day 1 you need to plan many stops along the R44 between Gordons Bay and Rooi Els. Also visit the Harold Porter Botanical garden in Betty's Bay.

I would leave Hermanus on the afternoon of day 2 and drive to Franschoek, stop at the Peregrine Road Stall(slightly misnamed) just outside of the entrance into Grabouw. The drive between Grabouw and Franschoek in very pretty so bargain on stopping a few times.

IMO Franschoek is much nicer than Hermanus hence I would spend more time there.

Hamburg
Level Contributor
354 posts
27 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Itinerary Review : 4 Days in Hermanus & Franschhoek

Drive in Kleinmond into Harbour Road, nice little shops and a unique seafood restaurant directly at the shore called "The Shellfish Bar", worth a visit.

Yes, whalewatching by boat is a completely different experience than watching from the shores, as the whales are still quite far from you. In a boat these giants are next and under the boat, it's really a unique experience....do it, you will be excited.

Singapore
Level Contributor
444 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Itinerary Review : 4 Days in Hermanus & Franschhoek

Thanks Lengau for your tips.

When you say we have to plan many stops along R44, do you mean impromptu stops because of scenery or are there several attractions that am completely missing?

Also, Is Harold porter botanical garden very different from Kirstenbosch gardens in Cape Town, as we would be visiting latter in CT.

The reason I wanted to stay 2 nights at each place was to avoid check-in & check-out on successive days. How would you spend 2.5 days in Franschhoek if not visiting a winery everyday.

Thanks onmytravels for your directions as notes. Anything other than boat your which you may recommend in Hermanus ?

Table View, South...
Level Contributor
1,029 posts
95 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Itinerary Review : 4 Days in Hermanus & Franschhoek

Yes I meant impromptu stops to view the scenery. There are also some hiking paths here.

Here is a link to the Harold Porter gardens, yes it is different from Kirstenbosch - http://www.sanbi.org/node/4925.

The half day out of your 2.5 half day Franschoek stay will be mainly travelling from Hermanus to Franschoek. The R321 between Grabouw and Franschoek is between the mountains and therefore produce wonderful photo opurtunities. You can also spend a bit of time in Grabouw. This will give you 2 full days in Franschoek. For example leave Hermanus at around 15:00 and not the next morning.

Lots of hiking, drive out to Stellenbosch, picnic at Boschendal, browse Franschoek, visit the Hugenot museum. Suggest you search the forum for Franschoek and see what the other visitors get up to.

Hermanus, South...
Level Contributor
259 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Itinerary Review : 4 Days in Hermanus & Franschhoek

The R 44 also known as Clarens Drive is spectacular with many view points for stops.

Harold Porter is smaller than Kirstenbosch and primarily has natural fynbos since it is within the Kogelberg Biophere, a UNESCO registered area.

The cliff paths in Hermanus are not circular. They comprise stunning walk snaking along the edge of the cliffs, sometimes you are elevated high, sometimes the path descends virtually onto the sea. In all they cover a distance of some 12 km with numerous access and egress points. It is extremely popular with whale watching. Many guest houses are next to the cliff path. In Hermanus there is also the Fernkloof nature reserve with beautiful hiking paths of easy gradient and excellent fynbos and tremendous views over the town and sea.

IN the valley behind Hermanus- the Hemel en Aarde (heaven and earth- says it all!) Valley are the wine estates with really excellent wines as well as a number of superb restaurants with spectacular views.

In the village town centre are lovely shops and as many eateries overlooking the bay. You can literally sit at your table and observe the whales!

And there is much more to do in Hermanus.

Then as for Franschhoek I would recommend you take the Winetram. This operates as a hop on hop of and covers six well known wineries. Restaurants are on some of the estates.

WK

Italy
Level Contributor
39,484 posts
206 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Itinerary Review : 4 Days in Hermanus & Franschhoek

Because you have a car I would wing it, we always book our accommodation in Cape town but decide where we want to stop as we go along, when we like a place we stop of at the information affice and get available accommodation, we are hotel people and don't stay at B&B's anywhere else but South Africa is the exception we 've stayed at some pretty nice guesthouses in South Africa, last year we stayed at Mist waves in Hermanus and Ballon Rouge in Franschoek.

Cape Town Central...
Level Contributor
2,962 posts
76 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Itinerary Review : 4 Days in Hermanus & Franschhoek

Seeing that you are in the southern part of Africa, why don't you make a drive to the most southern tip of Africa at the same time? Cape Agulhas, worth the trip as well.

Hank - Owner - Ulungele Tours

Singapore
Level Contributor
444 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Itinerary Review : 4 Days in Hermanus & Franschhoek

Thanks Lengau & Williem for your activity recommendations. So, maybe I need to figure if I split 4 nights between the two places as 1-3 or 2-2 or maybe we just do 3 nights in the region. I have spent some time already on each of these forums to see what are recommended activities but finding it a little difficult to zero-in on the best ones. Anyway would dig deeper now.

Thanks Chrella - just that this is our first time to South Africa (or for that matter Africa) so maybe this time round I would prefer to have my accommodation settled in advance.

Thanks Hank for the suggestion. I did think about it but I saw some very mixed reviews here on TA for Cape Agulhas – most people indicated that apart from having the photoi clicked at the plaque there is little to achieve there fater driving 2 hours each ways. Could you let me know what would you recommend there?

Leigh-on Sea...
Level Contributor
3,659 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Itinerary Review : 4 Days in Hermanus & Franschhoek

many people on this forum rave about The Rouxwil guest farm which describe themselves as being 30 mins from Franschoek and 30 mins from Hermanus . If you do not like packing and unpacking , this might be a good, central place to base yourselves. However, it looks to be 1.5 hours drive back to CT which would mean an early start for your flight. .

Gros Morne National...
Destination Expert
for Newfoundland and Labrador
Level Contributor
1,659 posts
38 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Itinerary Review : 4 Days in Hermanus & Franschhoek

With such little time Cape Agulhas is a waste of your very limited time. There are a lot of white shark and seal tours in that area as well, have you considered those?