Paarl, Cape Winelands
Once you've booked your accommodation in Paarl, explore our pages for info on attractions and what to do in Paarl.
A mere hour’s drive from Cape Town brings one to a giant granite outcrop with three rounded domes, the prominent one of which was initially called Peerleberg or Pearl Mountain by Abraham Gabemma. Abraham stumbled on the rock in 1657 en route to find meat for the Cape of Good Hope settlement. This solid rock was to become the name of a town, which today is renowned for its very beautiful countryside, excellent wines and some incredible architecture.
The town of Paarl has a unique character, not least because vineyards still grow in between residential neighbourhoods maintaining a country feel to a town virtually the size of a small city, but also because it is here that the struggle to gain recognition for Afrikaans as a written language was achieved. Today the Afrikaans Language Museum bears testament to this accomplishment and there is a monument to this unique language on the slopes of Paarl Mountain.
A large variety of grapes are grown in Paarl, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinotage, Shiraz, Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc and the Paarl Wine Route is also known as the ‘Red Route’ because of this. Over 25 wine cellars include Backsberg Estate, KWV, Nederburg, Nelsons Creek, Simonsvlei and Avondale that make up the popular wine route.
The magnificent Cathedral Cellar, with its barrel-vaulted roof and large carved red wine vats, depicting the history of the Cape's wine industry, is spectacular. The Paarl Wine Route Office in Main Street will be able to supply visitors with a free brochure and map on the area.
For more info about Paarl see our articles on the SA Travel News Blog:
• 10 Popular Things To Do When Next In Paarl
• Paarl - Overlooked Pearl Of The Western Cape
• Tea Under The Trees - Best Place To Do Tea In Paarl
• Paarl's Twin Obelisks - A Visit To The Taal Monument
• What To Do When In Paarl
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"I can't believe nobody wrote a review about Paarl yet! Its such a stunning town with lots of places to explore, great restaurants and shops and of course the ..." - Candy, Claremont
Featured Attractions in (or near) Paarl
Known simply as the Taal monument or Afrikaans language monument, the most famous Afrikaans icon, die Afrikaanse Taalmonument, sits on Paarl rock, erected in 1975 to commemorate the semi centenary of Afrikaans as an official language, separate from Dutch, overlooking the farmlands of Stellenbosch ... more information
The Afrikaanse Taalmuseum (language museum) in Paarl, set on the banks of the Berg River, and roughly 50 kilometres north east of Cape Town, is at once associated with the Afrikaanse Taalmuseum, and a dedication to the Afrikaans language. The Afrikaans Taal museum offers a contemporary exhibition on the origins of ... more information
The course is laid out over an indulgent 140 hectares and the 27 holes have been grouped into the Berg River, Paarl and Boschenmeer “Nines.” The views, hazard and tree-lined lush green fairways have secured Boschenmeer amongst the must-play courses in South Africa as proven by the voting in of the 4th hole ... more information
Butterfly World, the largest butterfly park in South Africa, lies at the cross roads of Paarl, Stellenbosch and Wellington, just off the N1 at exit 47, near a little village known as Klapmuts. A visit to Butterfly World is a stop that takes little effort, and is invariably richly rewarded with sightings of butterflies from as far ... more information
Lying within the Western Cape's Cape Floral Kingdom, the 322 030 hectare Cape Winelands Biosphere Reserve (CWBR) lies roughly 40 km east of Cape Town. It was officially registered by UNESCO in September 2007. The Cape Winelands Biosphere Reserve is bordered in the south by ... more information
Du Toitskloof Pass lies on the R101 between Paarl and Worcester, although these days most people are not even aware they're on the pass for they opt to use the Huguenot Tunnel, which means you shave a significant 11 kilometres off the original drive. You can still scale the heights of this impressive pass that ... more information
The Groot Drakenstein correctional facility (the former Victor Verster maximum security prison near Simondium, between Franschhoek and Paarl) is a working prison that was renamed in 2000. It is on the map chiefly because this was the last place in which Nelson Mandela was incarcerated and it was through ... more information
Helshoogte Pass, one of the most loved and travelled roads in the Western Cape, links Stellenbosch with the Drakenstein Valley, a scenic pass that transports one over the saddle that separates Simonsberg from the Jonkershoekberge and wends its way past fruit farms and vineyards en route. The ... more information
The beautiful Jonkershoek Nature Reserve lies in the Jonkershoek Valley just above Stellenbosch. Surrounded by the magnificent Jonkershoek Mountains, part of the Boland mountain range, this is the place for wonderful hikes within their peaks and never-ending kloofs. In total, the Jonkershoek ... more information
Lying in the Du Toitskloof Mountains close to Paarl, Limietberg Nature Reserve is a beautiful space in which to spend time, particularly if you are a hiker. There are nine separate hiking trails that wind through fynbos, indigenous forest, rugged and steep kloofs, and valleys through which the Breede and Berg rivers ... more information
The reserve is easy to get to and its network of paths make a walk up the mountain very much a part of the average Paarl resident's everyday life. The circular Klipkers nature trail takes roughly two hours to complete, comes with a guidebook to help you on your way, and was laid out ... more information
Paarl Rock is the bulbous granite outcrop that is part of the larger Paarl Mountain, standing out from miles away for its smooth, flawless appearance, from where it gets its name. The views from here are nothing short of breath-taking, providing perfect backdrops for a hike or walk, and... more information
Paarl Vintners has earned its place as the world’s first ‘red route’ because of its focus on wines such as Roodeberg, Cabernet Sauvignon, port and Shiraz. The Paarl district includes the wards of Franschhoek and Wellington as well as the newer wards of Simonsberg-Paarl and Voor-Paardeberg. more information
This route combines world-class wines with breath-taking scenery to create an idyllic destination for just about anybody. The sweltering, dry summers and chilly winters give Paarl the perfect climate for an array of wine varieties. Whether red white or rosé, sparkling or dessert, Paarl’s ... more information
The Pearl Valley Golf Estate is surrounded by the Simonsberg and Drakenstein Mountains and bordered by vineyards with The Berg River water hazard running through it. Pearl Valley Signature Golf Estate and Spa is destined to become the premier residential golf estate in South Africa. Designed on ... more information
There are those who live in Cape Town and its surrounds who have not even heard of the Wijnland Auto Museum, one of the most interesting places to visit that not only contains an unbelievable amount of history, but one of the most incredible collections of vintage cars you will ever see. Whilst this is a ... more information
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