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Paarl and the surrounding wine farming towns of Franschhoek and Swellendam are famous for their world class whites, reds, sherries, ports and brandies. A highlight of any visit to the Winelands is a wine tasting trip through these picturesque towns and farms and sampling the wine and cheese produced here. Nederburg, Fairview, Laborie and KWV, to name but a few, are some of the famous producers in the area.
No visit to Paarl is complete without a visit to the world famous Fairview Wine Estate with its Goats do Roam label, as well as the country’s leading selection of gourmet cheeses. This Paarl wine farm is a firm favourite amongst local and international visitors.
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The culinary delights of Paarl range from traditional fare to exquisite international cuisine. Restaurants are diverse in character and range from elegant Cape Dutch, Country Cottage and family eateries. Cooking styles reflect individual personalities, the result being a diversity of cuisine from the most formal and elegant to the simplest, yet well-prepared dishes. Top restaurants in Paarl include Bosman’s, Harvest at laborite, Cosecha, Cotage Fromage and Noop to name but a few. Franschhoek, the food capital of South Africa, is only a mere 20 minutes away.
Paarl boasts with two of the top golf courses in the Western Cape. Boschenmeer Golf and Country Estate with its David Frost signature 27-hole golf course and the Jack Nicklaus designed 170-hectare championship golf course, Pearl Valley. Both these golf courses are set against the stunning backdrop of the Drakenstein Mountains. Pearl Valley is rated as a must-play by local and international golfers, amateurs and professionals alike.
Arts and Culture
There are many Museums and Cultural sites in the area. From the Afrikaans Language Museum, The Language Monument and the Paarl Museum. The Open Air Amphitheatre at the Afrikaans Language Monument on Paarl Mountain regularly hosts musical events; everything from Rock to Opera has been performed there in the past. It is a unique venue and well worth a visit. De Poort is the first heritage village in South Africa. Visitors will relive the era of the horse and cart when the Drakenstein valley was the centre of the transport industry.
Hot Air Ballooning
Wineland Ballooning offers the unique and exclusive adventure of hot-air balloon flights in the beautiful wine region around Montagua, Cape Town. Enjoy the wonderful feeling of floating through the sky as slow as a cloud and as free as a bird. Fly near the most southern tip of Africa and see Table Mountain in a distance.
You will be thrilled by the blues of the silhouette of the Hottentots Holland Mountain Range and the endless rolling wheat fields glowing in the sun. Balloon flights in Paarl take place (weather permitting) at sunrise before thermal activity starts. We get you involved in the rigging of the balloon and a gentle ascent takes you well above tree top level and with a light breeze you fly away over fields and vineyards.
Hiking & Mountain Biking
There are various hiking trails in the Paarl area to suit the fitness levels of all enthusiasts. Paarl Mountain Nature reserve has various scenic walking trails from 2.4km to 10km and Laborie Estate offers unique Wine Hiking Trails.
Paarl also offers routes for mountain biking enthusiasts of all fitness levels. The skidding, pedaling and sweating your way up and down the various routes will definitely make you return, not only to ride, but also to enjoy the array of food, wine and sites that you can only experience in the breath taking Paarl Valley.
Trout Fishing & Clay Pigeon Shooting
Both these activities, situated in Franschhoek and Du Toitskloof Resort are only 20 minutes away.
Towards Franschhoek, only 15 minutes from Paarl, lies the former Victor Verster Prison (now Drakenstein Correctional Facility) which grabbed international headlines when Nelson Mandela walked to freedom through its gates in 1990. Here a bronze sculpture of this internally revered statesman can be viewed and “Madiba House” may be visited by appointment.
For Family, Budget holidays or a Romantic getaway – be sure to indulge in all the delights that Paarl has to offer