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.

  • Paarl Rock
  • The former headquarters of the wine industry in South Africa – KWV
  • Afrikaanse Taalmonument
  • Butterfly World
  • Du Toitskloof Pass
  • Boschenmeer Golf Course
  • Helshoogte Pass
  • Limietberg Nature Reserve
  • Cape Winelands Biosphere Reserve
  • Groot Drakenstein Prison
  • Jonkershoek Nature Reserve
  • Crocodile Farm
  • Animal Zone
  • Drakenstein Lion Park

The summer months fall between November and March and are wonderful and warm with temperatures above 30°C during the day, while the nights are cool. Days are long during the summer months and the sun sets at around 8:00 pm. The winter months fall between June and August and are mild, cool and rainy, while the days are shorter.

  • Scenic beauty
  • Fresh air
  • Lots of exercise
  • A mix of amazing restaurants, cafés, and pubs
  • Rest and relaxation
  • Very hot temperatures in the summer

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Is Paarl not your ideal destination? Explore more popular holiday destinations in the Western Cape.