Simply a 40-minute drive outside Cape Town, at the foot of the second-largest granite outcrop in the world, you’ll find an unexpected jewel: the scenic town of Paarl.

Paarl is a town to visit for all reasons: Food for the soul The balmy summers call for outside entertaining: a light but long lunch in the shade, glasses filled with chilled wine. During the rainy Cape winters everyone moves indoors and huddles around the fireplace with a glass of world-class red wine, produced right here in the Paarl Valley.

At rest The best way to experience the subtle pleasures of the Paarl Valley is to stay over for a night or two. There is ample accommodation in town and on farms, including campsites, homestays, B&Bs, quaint boutique hotels and five-star hotels.

Down memory lane A trip down the 12-km long Main Road, the longest in the country, is a trip down memory lane. The buildings lining Main Road present a mosaic of the most superb examples of Cape Dutch, Victorian, Edwardian and Art Deco architecture.

Giants of Paarl The arboreal giants of Paarl mainly oaks donated by Simon van der Stel, Governor of the Cape of Good Hope colony provide shade on hot summer days. On the bank of the Berg River is an arboretum that boasts some 4 000 trees representing about 700 indigenous and exotic species.

Scenic splendour The scenic beauty of the Paarl Valley compels visitors to get in the car and drive along the many scenic routes in the valley and along the surrounding mountains. The richness in fauna and flora even attracted the attention of Charles Darwin, father of the theory of evolution, when he visited Paarl in 1836.

For the adventurous at heart Explore the Paarl Valley from a different angle, either on horseback along the foothills of the mountains or through vineyards, or from a hot-air balloon in the early morning or on any of the wide variety of hiking trails and bike routes to choose from. For the family Keep the children entertained by paying a visit to some of the interesting attractions in and around town such as the crocodile farm, snake park or glass-blowing studio. Mom and dad can savour the world-class wines on the wine route and visit the oldest existing cooperage in the country.

A rich history Paarl proudly bears the title of the third-oldest town in South Africa. Standing tall on Paarl Mountain and celebrating the birth of Afrikaans is the Afrikaans Language Monument and just outside Paarl is Drakenstein Prison, where Nelson Mandela spent his last years of captivity and started his walk to freedom. We look forward to welcoming you to our valley.





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