Paarl has the longest main road in the country stretching a full 8 miles (12,8km)! The road is so long and straight because it was the route used by wagons heading to the north. What adds to the uniqueness of this road is the vineyards in between businesses and family homes.
It is one of the best-preserved streets in the country with many original buildings with architectural styles of the last 250 years.
You will notice many oak trees along the 8 MILE ROUTE MEANDER. These Northern Hemisphere giants were imported to SA by a governor in the 1680’s who made it a law that landowners had to plant oak trees on their properties for wine farmers to make their own barrels from the wood. Although the trees flourished and grew fast, the wood proved to be useless as it was soft and porous, because the SA winters are too warm and too short for oaks.
Enjoy a plethora of tasting experiences, including wine, brandy, tea as well as a non-alcoholic experience at KWV Wine Emporium. Daily guided tours are available and brandy tours to the House of Fire on weekdays. A viewing of the iconic Cathedral Cellar is part of the tours.
Grande Roche Hotel is a small, luxury hotel unlike any other. Where the atmosphere of a bygone era brings a sense of gracious, unhurried living. The Grande Roche Hotel is a celebrated historical monument turned 5-star hotel boasting beautiful gardens and innovative cuisine in the Manor House of the Grande Roche Estate.
Laborie Estate is a historic working farm in the foothills of Paarl Mountain, less than an hour’s drive from Cape Town. A gem of an estate located in the heart of Paarl, that has been revived as a one-stop destination in the Cape Winelands. Family friendly stylish restaurants, picnics, luxury guests rooms, and conference and wedding venue set among the vineyards are just some of the comforts which Laborie offers its guests.
Paarl boast a rich and colourful history. Wander back to yesteryear with Hybré van Niekerk of Paarl Historical Walk and Tours and learn more about the roles people such as Abraham Gabbema and Arnoldus Pannevis played in the rich history of the town and the Afrikaans language. Get lost in the rich culture and explore the diverse architectural building styles. Paarl takes its name from the huge granite outcrop that stands proudly on the crest of Paarl Mountain, was founded in 1687 and is the third oldest settlement in South Africa.
The town has many fine examples of Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian and Cape Dutch buildings that compete for space with a wide variety of fine restaurants and coffee shops spread out along the twelve kilometre-long Main Street. If you prefer a self-guided tour, you can opt for the Paarl VoiceMap app or simply pop in at the tourism information centre and get a printed map.
A visit at 24 Station Street is a must. Chef Mynhardt Joubert, winner of the popular Kokkedoor TV cooking competition, creates an overwhelming sensory experience with each dish. The décor, attention to detail combined with passion and skill is the winning recipe for a once in a lifetime dining experience. In Mynhardt’s own words: “24 Station Street tells a story of colour, life, love, inspiration and love of art.” So, whether you pop in for breakfast or lunch or to celebrate a special occasion, you will always remember the time you set foot at 24 Station Street.
For a delightful outing and delectable country cuisine, Noop is just the ticket. Chef Zian has created an informal bistro in this heritage building under two magnificent oak trees along Paarl’s vibey main road. The unpretentious seasonal dishes are created from local produce and are served with top quality wines from an extensive wine list. Her charming hospitality ensures an unforgettable eating experience.
Experience the coffee culture in Paarl and pop in at Kikka Boulevard, Bean in Love and Knus Karoo Kombuis.
Vendôme Wynlandgoed a delightful farm with its leafy old-Cape ambience and characterful tasting room, is owned by the Le Roux family. Produced by Jannie Junior (a 10th-generation Le Roux), Vendôme wines are naturally fermented and matured in French oak barrels.
The uniqueness continues with a vineyard owned and cradled by Strooidak Kerk/Church (Thatched Roof Church). The church that was consecrated in 1805 and lies on the Main Road, is the oldest building being used for devotion by the Cape Dutch Church. The Strooidak Cabernet Sauvignon is a modern symbol for the ancient connection between spirit and wine.
Lockdown has definitely created a new appreciation for the outdoors and Paarl offers some several adventure-filled trips. Explore the network of hiking and cycling routes of Paarl Adventure Trails, which connect the farms around Paarl mountain. Visitors can enjoy awesome views, natural scenic beauty and delicious food and wine. Options range from a family-friendly 3km hike to a more challenging 35km route. Starting locations include Frater Square and Knus Karoo Kombuis.
Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve is a picturesque landscape of fynbos vegetation dominated by massive rounded granite rock formations set among wild olives, rock candlewoods and wagon trees. Take a vigorous hike, or climb Bretagne Rock, follow one of the many hiking trails, visit Mill Water Wild Flower Garden where numerous species of Proteas may be viewed, catch a bass at Nantes dam or enjoy mountain biking, picnics and panoramic views of the Drakenstein valley.
Afrika-Pearl Guesthouse l A’Queenslin Guest House l Auberge de Courtrai l Foundation Stones l Hoogeland Guesthouse l Laborie Estate Accommodation l Ladera Vista l Paarl Mountain Lodge l Pontac Manor Hotel l The Light House Boutique Suites l Zeederberg Corner Executive Apartments
Anglo Boer War Monument l Backs Restaurant & Deli l Bootlegger Frater Square | Cattle Baron Grill & Bistro l Cucina Di Giovanni l Die Afrikaanse Taalmuseum l Die Afrikaanse Taalmonument l Drakenstein Sakekamer l Het Gesticht Museum l Gallery Cecilia | Goedemoed Farm Guest House l Grande Roche Restaurant l Grande Roche Hotel Venue | Laborie Estate Coffee shop l Laborie Estate Weekend Market | Laborie Estate Pub | Linen Drawer l Made in Paarl l Moksh Authentic Indian Cuisine l Mynhardt Kitchen – KWV Cathedral Cellar Kitchen l Nanette Ranger l Paarl Art Society l Paarl Boys High Museum l Paarl Mall l Paarl Museum l Radio KC | Rawson Properties Paarl l Roses Artisanal Confectionery l The Hussar Grill Paarl l The Copper Club Eatery