Travel bucket lists usually include potentially life-changing journeys to faraway lands. Well, it’s time to share the love … closer to home. Join us and explore Paarl as if you’ve never been here before.
Paarl, the third oldest town in the country, has plenty to offer in terms of quality experiences, incredible culture and history, gracious hospitality, and unparalleled natural beauty. We are a summer wonderland with endless hiking options, visitor attractions, wine estates, family-friendly adventures, and many more to tick off your list. The various establishments have enough space to comfortably allow social distancing, while product owners are highly aware of COVID-19 protocols and promote strict adherence to the guidelines. Besides our top attractions there is plenty for you to do during the summer months. Here are a few of our favourites.
GO BACK TO WHERE IT ALL STARTED
Sure, you know your way around Paarl and even the names of all the old buildings, but do you know the history? Often, the story behind how your town was founded and why, can tell some fascinating secrets. Paarl boast a rich and colourful history. Download the Voicemap mobile app and go on a self-guided heritage tour: Paarl Heritage Route – a story of pearls and wine. Discover the historic attractions while an expert virtual guide relates interesting stories that capture the history and heritage of the town. The voice guide is available free of charge in English, Afrikaans and German.
DISCOVER THE UNEXPECTED
When we are too familiar with a place, we often forget that there is a certain mystery that lies within an area. There are many spots that you can delve a little deeper in. Discover the peaceful side of Paarl, whether it is by visiting Paarl’s Arboretum or the Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve.
Set alongside the Eastern bank of the Berg River, the Arboretum, is Paarl’s own green space and climate smart river park. It is 2.8km long and occupies approximately 31 ha. An arboretum is a botanical garden devoted to tress. It is accessible to the public seven days a week and offers playgrounds, walking trails, jogging trails, outdoor gyms and picnic furniture.
Enjoy a cellar tour at the KWV Wine Emporium. Their famous Cathedral Cellar, superb wines and brandies, and fascinating history provide you with a lasting appreciation of the playground of some of SA’s most legendary winemakers and industry stalwarts. A specialised tour guide takes you through parts of the cellar to the world-renowned Cathedral Cellar.
EXPLORE THE IRRESISTIBLE ATTRACTION OF ADRENALINE
Feted by many as the most beautiful town in the Cape Winelands and certainly it’s active capital, Paarl is a magnet for outdoor enthusiasts. Even for those who are slowed down and nailed to a chair during the year, summer brings exciting challenges such as active adventures. Adventure operators such as Wine Valley Adventures, Paarl Adventure Trails, Le Bonheur Reptile Adventures, Winelands Paragliding and Skydive Two Oceans promise to get the adrenaline pumping with various rides and trails on horseback and quad bikes, with superb hiking, trail running and MTB tracks, day and night croc cage diving and extreme sky activities to spice up your day in Paarl.
DISCOVER YOUR FAVOURITE VINTAGE
Paarl plays humble host to a goldmine of undiscovered gems. You might not find Franschhoek’s manicured gardens or Stellenbosch’s gastronomic flash here, but what you will in Paarl is generations-old tradition, proud heritage, and hospitality at its finest. Not to mention fantastic wine made with a whole lot of passion, heart and soul!
Landskroon Wines is well-known for its award-winning red wines and port. Stunning vineyard views set the scene for wine tasting, which takes place in a casual country setting. You can choose a standard tasting or up the ante with a food-and-wine pairing.
Visitors can enjoy delicious breakfasts, light lunches, charcuterie platters and picnic baskets from the magnificent The Manor restaurant at Nederburg. Tantalise your taste buds with the adventurous Five Senses pairing that offers a food and wine experience par excellence. Their Vintage Vault is home to an exquisite tasting of extraordinary wines across four vintages. Primely positioned just outside of Paarl, the captivating views of the Drakenstein mountains, verdant vineyards and stunning garden makes them the perfect backdrop for tasting award-winning wines.
BROWSE PAARL’S MARKETS
The old favourite, Windmeul Cellar, epitomises the traditional country warmth and hospitality that the Paarl Wine Route is known for. Their Farmers’ Market, held on the first Saturday morning of every month, is foodie heaven! Attracting local vendors and artisans, it’s the place to stock up on farm-fresh produce and homemade goodies.
Freedom Weekend Market runs every Saturday & Sunday and you’ll find artisanal bakers, organic merchants, and purveyors of fine food, wine and coffee. Join them for trail runs, live music under the cozy tent and vendors with amazing products. They cater for the whole family and even dogs are welcome.
BID THE DAY GOODBYE IN STYLE
Sunsets in Paarl are spectacular during summer. The stunning scenery from Grande Roche Restaurant makes it the ideal spot for sundowners on their terrace. The global culinary experience chef Kevin has gained at amongst other’s Jan-Hendrik van der Westhuizen’s Michelin starred JAN restaurant in Nice is evident in the menu. He prefers using local produce and creates authentic South African dishes with an international flair.
The menu at Faber at Avondale Wines is undeniably a celebration of the bounty of Mother Nature. Visitors can enjoy spectacular views of the valley, Table Mountain and Paarl Rock from the terrace of this graceful Cape Dutch building. Chef Dale has created a contemporary farm-to-fork menu that is both innovative and impressive.
Location is everything at this gem of a destination. Perched on a hill at the bustling Spice Route destination, but tucked away so it feels like a private experience, Jewell’s Restaurant flaunts generous views of the surrounding farmlands, with the Simonsberg Mountains and Table Mountain framing the scene. Whether you choose to sit indoors in the spacious, beautifully designed dining room, or outside on the view-soaked verandah, you’re guaranteed a spectacular sunset dining experience. They serve fresh, local and seasonal food, most of which is made on the premises, such as olives, ciabatta, red-wine-cured droëwors, and an array of incredible charcuterie.
INDULGE IN A PICNIC
Paarl has a great summertime picnic culture. For all the joys of a picnic without the fuss there are truly divine pre-packed picnics you can indulge in. Pick the spot for your perfect picnic on a wine farm amongst the vineyards
Enjoy a relaxing sunset picnic at La Grapperia on the acclaimed Spice Route Destination. It is a magical experience with sunsets for days with panoramic views overlooking the winelands, stretching all the way to Table Mountain. To add to the experience head over to their beach bar afterwards for the unique experience of sipping on some Wilderer Gin with sand between your toes in the middle of the winelands.
Perdeberg Wines country-style family dining in its restaurant, Eat@Perdeberg, offers casual meals that can be taken outside on the lawn, such as the braai picnic for two. Little ones are kept busy in a fun garden play area and a jumping castle. There is also a Kiddies’ Busy Box, with a selection of treats and activities for children to enjoy while parents are wine tasting.
Rhebokskloof Wine Estate is a quintessentially family-friendly Winelands experience. With rolling lawns and 100-year-old oaks – and the scent of jasmine and lavender wafting through the air, Rhebokskloof is known and loved for its warm hospitality. Tasting exceptional red and white wines in the estate’s tasting room, under the guidance of the knowledgeable and passionate) wine advisors. Their rolling lawn is the perfect spot for a picnic, while the outdoor restaurant offers delicious farm-fresh food and estate wine pairings. There’s also a jungle gym to keep the little ones entertained.
MOVIE NIGHT UNDER THE STARS
Treat yourself to cinematic delights, tantalizing treats and breath-taking scenery under a canopy of stars at Laborie Wine Estate with The Galileo’s picnic outdoor movie experiences. When the sun sets the stars really come out, with old favourites that let you cuddle up and be entertained.
With so much to see and do, take some time to browse our website www.paarl-wellington.co.za beforehand and avoid disappointment by pre-booking. Alternatively pop in at our Visitor Information Centre for personalized assistance. For the latest news follow @Visit Paarl on the various social media platforms.