Paarl is one of the oldest towns in the country and an important part of the Cape Winelands. This charming, sometimes even quaint, region also plays a major role in celebrating the foundations of the Afrikaans language. Therefore, it combines a fascinating history with wonderful wines and spectacular scenery, leaving no shortage of things to do in Paarl.
Here are some of our favourites …
1. The Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve
Just out of the main hub of the town is the idyllic escape of the Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve, where the breath-taking fauna and flora of the region are showcased. The iconic rounded rock formations and endemic fynbos can be found here in abundance, making for absolutely beautiful photographs, and very special memories. In the Millwater Wild Flower Garden, more than a dozen different protea species can be found. There are a number of walking and hiking trails throughout the reserve, as well as inviting picnic spots. This means that families and friends can head out to Paarl Mountain for an entire day of exploring, relaxing and soaking up the natural beauty of South Africa.
2. The KWV Wine Emporium
KWV is a trusted name in South African wines and brandies, known and loved all over the world for producing top-notch labels and flavours. The KWV Wine Emporium allows visitors to sample and purchase the full range of these delicious varieties, which make for awesome gifts and keepsakes. Wine and brandy tastings are conducted every day, as are cellar tours. To add a little pizzazz, there are also wine and chocolate tastings; brandy and chocolate tastings; and biltong, nut and wine tastings.
3. Boschenmeer Golf Estate
Just outside of Paarl lie the scenic greens of the Boschenmeer Golf Estate. This scenic estate was the first 27-hole golf course in the Western Cape. It is characterised by its abundant foliage, including towering trees that flank the fairways. The water hazards present fabulous challenges for the experienced golfer, while the course is suitable for the novice that is looking to learn. To add to the experience, Boschenmeer has an indoor virtual driving range for the ultimate practice sessions, as well as a very popular halfway house that boasts gorgeous views and a varied snack and beverage menu.
4. Historical Walks Through the Town
Because Paarl boasts such a fascinating history, there is a wonderland of old buildings, churches, museums and tales that make for an intriguing walk through the town. The architecture is an eclectic mix, with influences from Victorian, Cape Dutch and Georgian eras, with a surprising dash of ancient Egyptian inspiration!
5. Afrikaans Language Monument
This monument is a must for anyone visiting Paarl, as it provides unique insights into the history and culture of the Afrikaans language and its community. Perched on Paarl Mountain, it delves into the various influences of the language (which include French, Dutch, German, Malay and Portuguese). Guided tours add an interesting perspective and make for great family outings. There is a coffee shop available, as well as picnic facilities (picnic baskets available for purchase on site). There are also a number of hiking and cycling trails around the monument.
To see more things to do in Paarl click here, or do a Google search for “Things to Do in Paarl”. There is so much to do and explore you’ll need a week or two, so book your accommodation in Paarl and explore the Cape Winelands at your leisure.