If you are at all familiar with South Africa and the Western Cape in particular, the name Paarl is synonymous with two things; world renowned wine-estates and good old Paarl Rock. The town of Paarl is set at the foot of the second largest granite outcrop in the world (hence the association with the rock) meaning that it is an ever popular destination for South Africa’s climbing fraternity. For those who don’t climb, the granite boulders make a striking backdrop and luckily for Paarl’s tourism industry, striking scenery combined with an abundance of wine farms, culinary delights and nature make Paarl accommodation ever popular.
Within an easy distance of the town centre lie a host of successful wine estates, including the likes of Nederburg, Avondale and Laborie. Many of these estates have in-house restaurants serving up 5 star dishes. Another widely popular activity in Paarl is to buy a gourmet picnic basket and head out into the gardens of the estate, or if you’re feeling adventurous, into one of the beautiful nature reserves in the area.
As is so often the case with Cape Winelands towns, Paarl has a local mountain, Du Toitskloof, which offers the visitor and local alike some great hiking trails. The Limietberg Nature Reserve also has some exciting single or multi-day trails.
When it comes to the town itself, Paarl is home to the ‘Taal’ Monument, a tribute to the Afrikaans language, as well as the ‘Taal’ museum – which hosts a collection of displays investigating the diverse and fascinating roots of this South African language. Furthermore there are numerous examples of Cape Dutch architecture in the town centre and the Paarl Museum showcases antiques, photographs and documents in a tribute to the Cape Dutch heritage of the area.
Whether you are a history buff, outdoor enthusiast or wine connoisseur, at only 40 minutes from Cape Town there are few reasons not to book accommodation in Paarl.