In picturesque Paarl, you can enjoy tremendous scenic drives, wine tasting, hiking trails, bird watching, hot air ballooning and great restaurants.
The picturesque town of Paarl in the Western Cape attracts both local and international tourists due to its range of activities, unique character and wide interests. The town has many examples of Cape Dutch architecture dating from the 17th century, dotted between some of the neighbourhoods, which give the town a country feel despite it being the size of a small city.
Paarl is located in the picturesque Berg River Valley, approximately 60 kilometers or an hour’s drive from Cape Town, and is the largest town in the Cape Winelands.
The town is well known for its fruit growing heritage, excellent wines, beautiful surroundings, and for being the place where Afrikaans was given formal recognition as a written language. The town got its name from a huge granite boulder with three rounded domes, of which the largest was named “Peerleberg” or “Pearl Mountain” by Abraham Gabemma when discovered in 1657.
The town and surrounding area give visitors the opportunity to enjoy activities that include tremendous scenic drives, plenty of wine tasting along the Paarl wine route, advanced rock climbing, a variety of hiking trails, bird watching, hot air ballooning and a selection of great restaurants.
Examples of different architectural styles found in Paarl include restored Victorian, Georgian, Cape Dutch, and Art Deco, as well as 70’s nationalist style and modern buildings. Historical buildings in Paarl include the Strooidak Church – the oldest Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa, Die Oude Pastorie Museum, the Paarl Museum, the Gymnasium, the Afrikaans Language Museum, the Patriot Building and the charming homestead of Laborie. On the slopes of the Paarl Mountain, you will also find a monument to the Afrikaans language.
The “Paarl Wine Route” is also known to many as the “Red Route” due to the many different varieties of grapes grown in the area and there are over 25 wine cellars located along the route including KWV, Simonsvlei, Nederburg, Backsberg Estate, Avondale and Nelsons Creek. There are also a couple of brandy distilleries, cheese dairies, and olive farms in the area.
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