The third oldest settlement in South Africa, Paarl is steeped in history, culture, natural splendour and a centuries-old tradition of winemaking. Paarl, Western Cape is just over an hour drive from the Cape Town city centre.
In 1657, Abraham Gabemma once setting out from the Cape in search of resources came across a giant granite rock gleaming in the distance. He called this Pearl Mountain, and the town that grew at its base eventually became known as Paarl. this is the history behind the Paarl.
Paarl one of the oldest towns in South Africa and particularly known for its mountain or “Paarl Rock”. The huge granite rock is formed by three rounded outcrops that make up Paarl Mountain and is the second largest granite outcrop in the world. Paarl boasts a unique attraction in the fact that the foundations of a new language, Afrikaans, combined heritage of Africa and the European mother countries is laid here. The Monument to the Afrikaans language on the slopes of Paarl Mountain, the Language Museum and the Afrikaans Language Route through Dal Josaphat are living memorials to this achievement. There are plenty of tempting outdoor activities in Paarl, especially for mountain bike enthusiasts. There are numerous routes, of varying degrees of difficulty, in and around the Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve.
Berg River and its unrivaled beauty
With Paarl’s scenic splendour and magnificent surroundings, the Berg River majestically winds its way through and brings life to deciduous fruit orchards and vineyards right up to the heart of the town, and luxuriant vegetation, providing sufficient incentive to visit Paarl. More relaxed nature experience is found along the Berg River, where 650 different species of trees make for some spectacular scenery.
Cheetah Experience Ashia is another essential stop in the Paarl area. It is a sanctuary and retirement home for cheetahs. Here one can also pay a visit to ambassador cats and watch the world’s fastest land mammal go for its morning run.
Added to this is the rich heritage of well preserved historic buildings scattered through the town, there are a large number of top-quality restaurants offering traditional Cape cuisine, farming estates, and the inevitable wine industry. Discovering the Paarl wine region is the favourite activity of those who visits Paarl. The Paarl Wine Route, which is the second oldest in the country, is known for its full-bodied spicy reds and crisp whites.
Paarl in each passing years proves that it is renowned not only for its illustrious past and unrivaled scenic beauty, but also presents holiday makers an exciting tourist destination.