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Paarl Highlights

Paarl was the third European settlement to be established in South Africa, after Cape Town and Stellenbosch and is, today, the largest town in the Cape Winelands. It is situated about 60km outside of Cape Town and is renowned for its haunting scenic beauty and deep viticulture and fruit growing heritage. In the 1600s the French Huguenots arrived in the Western Cape and began to settle on farms in the area. The fertile soil and the Mediterranean-like climate of this region provided perfect conditions for farming. The settlers planted orchards, vegetable gardens and above all, vineyards. Thus began Paarl's long and continuing history as a major wine and fruit producing area of South Africa.

Paarl gained international attention when, on 11 February 1990, Nelson Mandela walked out of Victor Verster Correctional Centre (now known as Drakenstein Correctional Centre) in Paarl, ending 27 years of imprisonment and beginning the march to South Africa's post-apartheid era and multi-racial elections. Mandela spent three years in prison here and, today, a bronze statue of Mandela stands outside the prison. The district is particularly well known for "Paarl Rock", a huge granite rock that is formed by three rounded outcrops that make up Paarl Mountain and has been compared in majesty to Uluru in Australia. This enormous granite boulder is a mecca for experienced mountain climbers.

Sun Safaris Says

  • Paarl is one of the most significant stops on the Cape Wine Route - home to a number of famous wineries.
  • The area that is now known as Paarl was first inhabited by the Khoikhoi and San people thousands of years ago.
  • Known for attractive Cape Dutch architecture, beautiful gardens and streets lined with old oak trees.

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Safari Lodges within Paarl

The Villa

The Villa is a 5 star luxury guesthouse situated on the high slopes of Paarl Mountain which overlooks Paarl Valley, renowned for its history and wine route.

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The Light House

The Light House Boutique Suites is located in the historic town of Paarl in the Cape Winelands – just 45 minutes from Cape Town and a stone’s throw from Franschhoek and Stellenbosch. Accommodating in unique, luxury suites.

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Palmiet Valley Estate

Palmiet Valley Estate is a 300 year old wine farm with a luxury 5 star boutique hotel located in Paarl Valley, Cape Winelands. The hotel is an example of Cape Dutch architecture and surrounded by world renowned golf courses and attractions.

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Belair Country Guest House

Belair Country Guest House is located on the slopes of Paarl Mountain. Is is a small, comfy and romantic accommodation establishment. The guest house offers 6 rooms all with a different style and feel.

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Grande Roche Hotel

Grande Roche Hotel is a 5 star graded accommodation located within Paarl. The hotel offers a variety of accommodation, ranging from studio suites to garden suites. The hotel offers magnificent views of the Drakenstein Mountains.

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Sante Hotel

Santé Hotel Resort & Spa combines a luxury hotel with conference facilities and an award-winning wellness centre, in the heart of the winelands in 'the Fairest Cape', just 40 minutes from Cape Town International airport.

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Pontac Manor Hotel

Surrounded by majestic oak trees and manicured gardens, the hotel has been restored to its former Victorian elegance and welcomes guests from around the globe. Situated on the slopes of Paarl Mountain, just a few kilometers along from the renowned Grande Roche hotel, Pontac Manor Hotel welcomes visi...

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Villa Chapelle

Villa Chapelle offer double and twin luxury rooms, both of which include en-suite bathrooms. The guest house offers views of the popular Paarl Mountain that shines like a pearl after the rains.

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Laborie Wine Farm

Laborie Wine Farm is nestled in the fertile Paarl valley, with the beautiful Paarl rock as background.

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Goedemoed Country Inn

Goedemoed Country Inn is a historical Cape Dutch Manor House located within the Cape Winelands. The guest house is the perfect place to stay for guests who prefer the privacy and intimacy of a historical Country Inn to a more commercial form of accommodation.

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Zomerlust Gastehuis

Zomerlust Gastehuis is a comfortable guest house in Paarl which has a variety of rooms to choose from. The 4 star property offers modern amenities and comfort in Paarl.

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De Leeuwenhof Estate

De Leeuwenhof is a wine farm providing guests with accommodation and a beautiful scenery. The estate is family run which has been running since 1698. The guesthouse offers views of Drakenstein Mountains and the Paarl Mountain.

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Cascade Country Manor

Cascade Country Manor is situated amongst olive orchards, vineyards, and buchu land and is an idyllic and luxurious private retreat. A small stream flows through the estate and “cascades” down a little waterfall which creates a serene atmosphere.

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Alba House

Alba House is set below Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve with spectacular views of Paarl town below and Berg River Valley. Alba House is a bed and breakfast established residential area, within walking distance to wine farms.

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Belmonte Guesthouse

Belmonte Guesthouse is a Mediterranean style accommodation with beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and the town of Paarl. The guesthouse is situated on the slopes of Paarl Mountain on 8 hectares.

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Oak Hampton Guest House

Oak Hampton Guest House is situated in Paarl Main Road, lined with 350 year old oak trees and within walking distance of the Paarl central business district, that boasts a vast collection of Cape Dutch buildings and architecture.

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Ridgeback House

Ridgeback House, originally an old farm house, was converted into a 4 star luxurious five bedroom Country Farm guest house in 2008. Located in Paarl, Ridgeback House offers sublime wine tasting on the Cape Wine Route.

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Paarl on display

Activities in Paarl

Paarl's reputation as one of the most significant wine tasting regions in the Western Cape puts it in a primary position on the Cape Wine Route. Visitors travel from far and wide to observe the scenic beauty and to taste the world-renowned wines born from Paarl's exceptional vineyards. The town and its surroundings attract many visitors with an array of activities and interests. There are magnificent Cape Dutch buildings, scenic drives, hiking trails and the many wine tasting opportunities (including vintages from the famous Nederburgestate) and excellent restaurants. The "Paarl Rock" is a popular destination for rock climbers. Nowadays protection is afforded by bolts in the granite and there are a few dozen spectacular, beautiful and difficult routes that attract the best climbers of the current generation.

Paarl attracts locals and tourists alike with its culutural heritage and the tribute paid to its natural beauty and organic resources. Every year, there are fantastic events held to celebrate these features and visitors to Paarl are bound to be kept busy in between their exceptional wine tasting experiences. Horse, cycling and quad bike trails; hot air ballooning; organic markets; nature reserves and wildlife attractions; delectable cuisine at well-reputed restaurants and coffee shops; beauty treatments at salons and spas; and of course, what brings visitors to this superb Western Cape town - the vineyard and winery tours, as part of the Cape Wine Route.

Seasons and Climate

Paarl normally receives about 657mm of rain per year and because it receives most of its rainfall during winter it has a Mediterranean climate. It receives the lowest rainfall (9mm) in February and the highest (121mm) in June. The monthly distribution of average daily maximum temperatures shows that the average midday temperatures for Paarl range from 16.4°C in July (mid-winter) to 28.2°C in February (late-summer). Varying temperatures can see summer days getting as hot as 40 degrees Celsius and winter nights as cold as 5.8°C on average.


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How to Get there

Ideally, visitors travelling around the Western Cape are advised to make use of a rental car, particularly if wanting to explore the wine route. Paarl is about 60km from Cape Town, most easily accessed from the City itself along the main motorway, N1 North; however, there are also scheduled train and bus trips that transport people between Cape Town and Paarl. Sun Safaris takes pleasure in organising guests' transportation in and around the wine route, starting at Cape Town International airport.

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Meet Liselle

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