"She was walking along the top of the road when all of a sudden, she said, a guy with a beanie appeared from nowhere," said police spokesperson Captain Sandra Janse van Rensburg.
The man pulled out a knife and stabbed tourist Maria Blits in the arm, after which she gave him her handbag and he then ran off.
The incident happened while she was walking to Humewood after shopping at Humerail.
A passing motorist took her to hospital where she will have to undergo surgery to the upper arm.
Blits was in Port Elizabeth to visit her daughter, Melke, who is an exchange student.