Hermann's tortoises are small to medium-sized tortoises from southern Europe.
Young animals, and some adults, have attractive black and yellow-patterned carapaces, although the brightness may fade with age to a less distinct gray, straw, or yellow coloration.
They have slightly hooked upper jaws and, like other tortoises, possess no teeth, just strong, horny beaks. Their scaly limbs are greyish to brown, with some yellow markings, and their tails bear a spur (a horny spike) at the tip.
Adult males have particularly long and thick tails, and well-developed spurs, distinguishing them from females.