Whales and Abalone Tour from Cape Town including a stop at Stoney Point

Get collected directly from your hotel in the majestic Cape Town, and travel to Hermanus along the scenic coastal beauty of Clarence Drive. Your first stop will be at Stoney Point, in Betty’s Bay, at one of two dedicated land based African penguin breeding colonies.

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A refreshment stop will take place in Kleinmond before we make our way to Hermanus, to the Heart of Abalone. After a short explanation on Abalone, otherwise known as perlemoen in SA , you will boot up and take a walking tour to see abalone up close in their natural and farmed environment.. This is followed by an optional abalone tasting. Lunch will follow at Harbour Rock, overlooking the Hermanus new harbour before we board the whale watching cruise in Walker Bay, Hermanus. The cruise will take approximately an 2 – 2½ hour’s. We will then travel back to Cape Town via the N2 over Sir Lowry’s Pass, passing the historical towns of Elgin and Grabouw.

The Whale and Abalone Tour starts at 08h00 when you are picked up from your city hotel in a 2016 Ford Tourneo minibus that seats 7 guests. Ian, the owner operator will be your driver/guide for the day. We head out of the city along the N2 and take the beautiful scenic route along Clarence Drive to Stoney Point at Betty’s Bay. Here at you will see one of the only two land based African penguin breeding colonies, with the other being Boulders Beach on the opposite side of False Bay. The abandoned Whaling Station site where 300 whales were once killed annually for their oil (from 1917 – 1930) now gives birth to new life as penguins naturally selected breeding ground. After experiencing the sighting of African penguins, we go to Kleinmond for a refreshing cup of coffee or tea. A half an hours drive later we arrive in Hermanus, arguably the best land-based whale watching location in the world.

We visit Heart of Abalone where we will be provided the opportunity to see how Abagold, a working abalone farm operates. This rock-clinging sea snail is traditionally known for their great taste. Also known by it’s Afrikaans name “perlemoen” referring to it’s mother-of-pearl shell. Learn about the life cycle of this interesting sea snail, the challenges of the farming process, as well as the culture and history of this unique molluscs for South Africans and Chinese. Once the farm walk through is completed, we remove our boots that we were provided with and can now partake in the tasting of this delicasy. The tasting is for your own account and you will be spoilt with a delicious presentation of 3 ways in which abalone can be prepared. After this rare taster we head off to Harbour Rock restaurant.

The beauty of Harbour Rock restaurant is that it is situated on a cliff and overlooks Hermanus harbour from where we will embark on our whale watching cruise. The extensive highly acclaimed menu will for sure satisfy your taste buds. From mussels to mutton, you will be spoilt for choice. Acclaimed by locals and tourists alike, this is a restaurant that draws people back to Hermanus time and again.

After lunch the highlight of the tour begins. We board Miroshca, the purpose-built catamaran from where we will experience the beauty of the oceans majestic mammals in Walker Bay. Whale watching is only offered from June to November when these huge creatures visits the waters of the Cape.

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Full-Day Hemel-en-Aarde Wine Region Private Tour from Cape Town: including a visit to visit to Domaine Des Dieux

Spend an exceptional day exploring the boutique wine producers of the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. Known for its Pinot and Chardonnays, this region is a delight to true wine connoisseurs that want to discover the diverse appeal of South African wines. Drive down the famous coastal Whale Route through Gordon’s Bay, Pringle Bay and Betty’s Bay and then spend the day tasting heavenly world class wine in the renowned Hemel-en-Aarde valley wine region.

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Highlights
All entrance fees included
Led by a local guide
Informative, friendly and professional guide
Private guide for a more personalized experience
Start the day with a beautiful drive along the picturesque Cape coastline, passing through Gordon’s Bay, Pringle Bay and Betty’s Bay en route to Hermanus. This famous drive is aptly named the “Whale Route” because it is known to have the best land-based whale watching in the world. The majestic Southern Right whale can be spotted year round but they are seen in abundance between June and November when they come to breed and calve.

Make your ascent into the adjacent Hemel-en-Aarde valley, with dramatic mountain landscapes and endless vineyard views. There’s no question why this valley appropriately named “Heaven on Earth” in Afrikaans. This region’s close proximity to the ocean makes it prime for cool climate wines, mainly of a French, German and Northern Italian descent. Wines like Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Mourvedre, Chardonnay and even some great bubbles are all produced in this hidden gem of a region. All the wineries here are boutique and small production, but are growing rapidly in terms of a world-class recognition.

After stopping at two of the family owned wineries to taste, arrive at Creation Winery. Situated high up the Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge near Hermanus, Creation’s vines climb the steep hills of Babylonstoren Mountain to a lofty altitude of 350 meters above sea level. Here they bask in generous sunlight, flourish in 450-million-year-old clay loam soils with decomposed Bokkeveld shale and dance in the cool breezes blowing in from the nearby Atlantic Ocean. You’ll experience one of the most impressive food and wine pairings in South Africa. Known for their award winning Pinot noirs and Chardonnays, you can see how the perfectly prepared canapés can enhance the unique flavors of the wines.

Your last stop will be a visit to Domaine Des Dieux, the first and only MCC (sparkling wine) producer in the Hemel-en-Aarde. This small production premium wine estate boasts stunning views of the Valley as you sip on their range of award winning wines. And just when you thought life couldn’t get better, one of the tasting assistants will supply you with some bubbles to do your own sabrage! This experience is offered exclusively for Sideways guests and is really not to be missed.

After you’ve sipped and sabraged, your guide will bring you back to your accommodation in Cape Town or Hermanus. This region is one of our personal favorites and we cannot wait to share it with you.

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