In the verdant Overberg, in the Walker Bay wine region, one finds picturesque Hemel-en-Aarde Valley.
This beautiful valley, as its name (‘Heaven and earth’) implies, is known for its natural Cape beauty, incredible wine farms and dramatic mountain scenes.
In this post, we look at the top ten things to do in Hemel-en-Aarde Valley:
1. Visit a local wine farm
The Hemel-en-Aarde wine valley is home to some of the best, most underrated wine farms in South Africa. So, when in Hemel-en-Aarde, visiting a local wine farm is a must.
Some of the best to check out include Creation Wines, La Vierge Wines, Sumaridge, Bouchard Finlayson and Bosman Wines to name a few.
2. MTB around the valley
Given its rich flora, mountains and farmlands, Hemel-en-Aarde Valley is the perfect place for MTB enthusiasts to visit.
There are four thrilling trail options (spanning 70 kilometres) within the Hermanus MTB trail network.
Trails are divided up according to difficulty and distance: green (6km, easy), blue (12km, easy-moderate), red (30km, moderate-tough) and black (65km, tough).
All trails require a permit; these are available at Village Cycles (near the start of the trails) and at select cycling shops in Hermanus.
Pricing: For latest permit pricing, please see here.
Contact info: +27 (071) 862 1440, email@example.com
3. Explore local restaurants, farm stalls and delis
Beyond its wine farms, Hemel-en-Aarde also offers some undiscovered foodie gems, like country restaurants, cheery farm stalls and delis.
When exploring Hemel-en-Aarde and surrounds, savour the region’s food offerings or shop for local goodies.
4. Soak up the natural beauty
Hemel-en-Aarde is, quite literally, heaven and earth combined in one majestic valley. Because of this, even just visiting the area is a visual treat!
From fynbos to farmlands to encircling mountains, great flora and fauna, the valley has it all! So be sure to immerse yourself in the valley’s natural beauty.
5. Head to Hermanus for some seasonal whale watching
Hermanus is known as the whale capital of South Africa (and according to some, the world) for a reason: it’s arguably the best place to enjoy seasonal whale watching.
While you can usually easily sight whales from land in the region, local Hermanus tour boat operators run guided whale watching trips that take you out onto the water. This allows you to see these majestic mammals up close, yet still from a safe, responsible distance.
Whale season normally runs from early June to late November/early December, so, when planning a visit, keep this in mind.
Contact info: Various
6. Sample platters, picnics and pairings in paradise
Some of the wine farms offer excellent on-site wine pairings, picnic boxes and platters to book and enjoy.
Creation Wines (home to seven pairings) offers a paradoxical wine-and-chocolate pairing, while others, including Bouchard Finlayson, have gourmet platters or tasty picnic boxes to enjoy.
7. Experience the valley on horseback
Another fun, exciting way to experience the valley is on horseback by booking a tour with local Heaven and & Earth Horse Trails.
Pricing: Please contact the provider directly for pricing.
Contact info: +27 (082) 426 1312
8. Book a cellar tour or private tasting
Some of the local estates, including Bouchard Finlayson and Whalehaven Winery, offer excellent cellar tours or private tastings that you can book and enjoy.
These provide a more detailed, thoughtful wine farm experience, as you discover more about the estate, winemaking process and get to sample quality wines.
9. Take a hike
It’s not just MTB- and wine-lovers who adore Hemel-en-Aarde: hikers and walkers do too because the valley and its surrounds offer a wide array of excellent hikes to enjoy!
Best of all, many are found within local estates, like at Bouchard Finlayson and Bosman Hermanus.
Some of the hikes are guided, while others are paid for, self-guided walks that can be enjoyed at your own pace.
For more trail information and pricing, please contact the local tour providers and/or estates.
These are our ten best things to enjoy in Hemel-en-Aarde Valley!
10. Glamp in the forest
Check into your luxury glamping stay with us at Canvas Collective Africa. Hidden within a pine forest on Glen Oakes farm, we have a private chef and staff waiting to serve up daily gourmet meals, drinks by the fire and breakfast bed. Not only is this an opportunity to immerse yourself in nature but do it without any effort on your part.
To book your stay and check availability, click here:https://canvascollectiveafrica.com/hemel-en-aarde-valley/