Just over the mountains and approximately one hour east of Cape Town, lies the Cape's most jealously guarded secret... The Overberg, sometimes referred to as the Whale Coast.
The Overberg ("the other side of the mountain") was the original name given by Dutch colonists in the Cape when referring to the land that lay east across the Hottentots Holland mountain range.
The region is an all year round destination, excellent for beach holidays. It is a playground of the earth and sea, a nursery of the Southern Right whales and a garden of delight, from its rare floral tapestry, to the fields of grain and orchard of fruit.
For beach holidays and to enjoy the sun of South Africa at its best December - February is the time to visit. The busiest time, however, is December which is the traditional holiday period for South Africans. A quiet period is March - May, when the weather is moderate and the area is fairly quiet. For the best land-based whale watching in the world and the floral spectacular at its best June - November is ideal, and especially August and September.
The Overberg enjoys a Mediterranean climate with warm, dry summers and cool, wet winters. The height of summer is in January with average temperatures 15C. The middle of winter is June with average temperatures from 5C to 22C.
Best land-based whale watching sites world-wide
The coming of the whales to the Overberg creates a stir along the coast when reports of sightings draws crowds who gather to watch the greatest mammal show on earth. The Overberg coast forms part of the MTN Cape Whale Route. There are three types of whales likely to be seen, The Southern Right whale, Humpback and Bryde's are the three types of whale likely to be seen.
The whales may be viewed along the Overberg coast and especially good vantage points are along Hermanus' Walker Bay and at Koppie Alleen in the De Hoop Nature Reserve, the world's most important calving and mating grounds.
In Hermanus a 12km stretch of cliff path provides one of the best land-based spots for whale watching world-wide.
A wealth of indigenous plants and animals
The diversity of the Overberg's natural environment is accompanied by an unsurpassed wealth of indigenous plants and animals.
The Overberg is the heart of the famous Cape Floristic Region and although it is the smallest plant kingdom in the world, it has an amazing 8500 species.
Some of the finest colonies of fynbos in the country are found in the Overberg. Fynbos (fine bushes) is the popular name given for the vegetation of the shrub lands of the Western Cape's winter rainfall area. Although fynbos is at it's most spectacular during late winter and spring, the region offers flowers to be enjoyed throughout the year. A similar variety of animal species includes many mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and terrestrial invertebrates and fish.
Food and Wine
Visitors to the Overberg can expect to find a superb coastal area of fine beaches and quaint villages in beautiful mountain settings. Every town and many of the farms have well preserved historical features, often still in use as part of their everyday life. Those interested in arts and crafts will find a vibrant mixture of indigenous crafts and modern art works to choose from including unique crafts such as decorative works on wagons and dried fynbos arrangements. There is also a variety of art galleries, exhibition venues, pottery clubs and art groups.
The Overberg has developed it's own style cuisine and is renowned for its excellent seafood and traditional 'beorekos' dishes. It's wine estates, many with cellars open to visitors for wine tasting, produce award winners listed on the SAA wine list and are exported to Europe. Wines range from crisp dry whites to full-bodied reds.
Outdoor lovers have a wide variety of activities to choose from. Bontebok National Park, De Hoop Marine Reserve, and the Fernkloof Nature Reserve are just a few of the nature reserves well worth visiting and walks and hiking trails are available including horse trails, mountain bike trails and 4x4 trails. For the more daring, great white sharks can be viewed in their environment whilst in the safety of an underwater cage. For the not-quite-so-daring, there's always angling, swimming, sailing and then there's golf...
Struisbaai, near Cape Agulhas, lies in the picturesque Cape Overberg region, a mere two hour, relaxing drive from Cape Town. The Boardwalk is a modern complex, just 100 metres from the beach, which sleeps six people.
38 Marine Beachfront Guesthouse is an award-winning bed and breakfast in Sandbaai, in the Overberg / Whale Coast region. Voted the Top Destination Award for the Best Four Star Guesthouse in South Africa in 2015. It is a luxurious, upmarket guesthouse with
Lidiko Heritage House offers boutique hotel accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis in Onrus in the Overberg / Whale Coast region. Lidiko Heritage House is an iconic and historical 1879, lovingly restored, seaside villa. The villa used to be visited by
Dreams offers self catering accommodation in Pringle Bay, on the Overberg / Whale Coast. You won't be dreaming when you wake up a mere 100m - 3 minutes walk - to the white sand of Pringle Bay's idyllic beach. Relaxation, comfort, family time, nature, suns
Experience self catering heaven in the heart of the Elgin Valley near Grabouw in the Overberg / Whale Coast region. We offer 3 cottages and a farmhouse, all on a self catering basis, set amongst orchards, offering spectacular views of the Elgin Valley, re
Nantucket offers bed and breakfast accommodation in Voelklip near Hermanus in the Overberg / Whale Coast region, Western Cape. Experience champagne air, sweeping panoramic ocean and mountain views, majestic meandering mountain walks and the best land base
Pacem offers visitors self catering accommodation in Hermanus on the Overberg / Whale Coast, Western Cape. Located in the Hermanus suburb of Voelklip it has a magnificent view on the mountain as well as sea views. Pacem is situated in a quiet area of this
Bayview 303 offers luxury self catering apartment accommodation in Hermanus Central in the Overberg / Whale Coast region, Western Cape. Our seafront apartment is centrally situated between the swimming beaches and the Hermanus town centre. This is a spaci
Spatsels offers "on the beachfront" self catering accommodation in Onrus, on the Overberg / Whale Coast. The name "Spatsels" (sea spray) says it all of this house 100 meters from the beach. Panoramic views from the open-plan kitchen, lounge and dining roo
Tides offers three self catering cottages and one Boathouse all are right on the banks of the river and have stunning views, verandahs and braai areas. Bedrooms have Queen size beds, 100% cotton linen. Kitchens are fully equipped.
Norfolk Guest House offers self catering accommodation in Hermanus on the Overberg / Whale Coast region of the Western Cape. Situated in the quiet Hermanus suburb of Westcliff, it is within easy walking distance to all the amenities and a stones throw fro
This large stylish home overlooks the Hermanus Lagoon and is ideal for any water sports enthusiast. A Self Catering House known as Lagoon View situated in Kleinriviers Vlei.Perfect for entertaining indoor or outdoors.
Sandbaai Country House offers quality accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis in Sandbaai, in the Hermanus area in the Overberg / Whale Coast region. Expect the very best at this residence, from luxury bedrooms to quality service and fine cuisine. Each
The house with a perfect location, right on the sea, 4 Bedrooms, of which 2 en-suite and the rest share 1 bathroom. 4 Bedrooms, of which 2 en-suite and the rest share 1 bathroom. 8 meters from the sea...
Fairhill is a private nature and game reserve with fantastic sea and mountain views. This 10 sleeper house is situated on some 200 hectares of pristine coastal property just outside Stanford, on the Stanford - Gansbaai road.
Eastbury Cottage offers self catering accommodation in Hermanus, on the Overberg / Whale Coast, Western Cape. Eastbury Cottage is situated in the quiet, leafy suburb of Hermanus called Eastcliff where one awakens in the morning to the singing of birds or
Situated right on the exquisite natural beauty of the Klein River; 21 hectares, north facing with uninterrupted views of the Klein River mountains that run parallel to the river. Five beautiful double rooms each with en suite bathrooms and covered...
Fairytale, upmarket holiday home which is situated in the peaceful town of Franskraal, 50 km's from Hermanus and 150km's from Cape Town International Airport. Come and relax in our beautiful home, which is a mere 300 metres walk from the unspoilt...
Eastcliff Cottage provides self catering cottage accommodation in Hermanus in the Overberg / Whale Coast region of the Western Cape. This delightful self catering cottage is part of an original Hermanus home, built in 1940, and featuring beautiful Oregon