August to November is usually the best time to see the Southern Right Whale in our waters. Walker Bay's Hermanus is an ideal place for whale watching. These mammals, which often come as close as 50 meters (164ft) from the shore, are given to displays of breaching, spy-hopping and courtship rituals.
Depart Cape Town via Elgin, which is the heart of the apple industry, en route to Hermanus, stopping at the Old Harbour Museum. As long ago as 1857, the Old Harbour at Hermanus Pietersfontein provided a rocky but safe shelter for the small fishing boats whose owners were drawn to Hermanus by the abundance and variety of fish. The Old Harbour was proclaimed a 'Museum' in 1972.
Travel to the Hamilton Russell Vineyards established by Tim Hamilton Russell in 1981. He searched for and selected the most suitable 'most southerly vineyards in the Cape' to produce South Africa's top cool climate wines. This was of course in the cool, maritime Walker Bay area, in the beautiful Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. The new generation proprietor, Anthony Hamilton Russell, says he is more interested in soils. The team comes closer each year to realizing the full quality potential of the Hamilton Russell Vineyards terroir.
Take a scenic drive to the town of Kleinmond, for a visit to the Harold Porter Botanical Gardens. This beautiful, secluded garden is set between mountain and sea, in the heart of the Cape fynbos region and encompasses 10 hectares (24 acres) of cultivated fynbos garden and 190.5 hectares (470 acres) of pristine natural fynbos. Situated in the center of the coastal fynbos where the flora is at its richest, the garden encompasses mountain slopes with their wind-clipped heathlands, deep gorges with relict forests, flats and marshes with restios, sedges and bulbs, as well as dunes adjacent to the beach with their specialized salt-adapted plants. The garden is renowned for its waterfalls and amber pools.
The high twisting coastal road leading from Cape Hangklip to Gordon's Bay is one of the most spectacular anywhere, and with its new coat of tarmac is an absolute pleasure to ride. Not only does this route offer wondrous vistas out to sea, across sweeping bays and vertically down into transparent sapphire shallows, it offers a perfect setting for the entrance to the 'Riviera of the Cape' . After a day of scenic splendor, head to Cape Town via the N2, arriving back at the hotels at 5:30pm.