Paarl Holiday Guide


Paarl is the third oldest European Settlement in South Africa (after Cape Town and Stellenbosch) and the largest town in the Cape Winelands. Today it is home to a very culturally diverse community, the product of its unique history.

The people of Paarl are descendants of the Khoisan, African-, and Eastern slaves, Dutch, French Huguenots, Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe, Italian Prisoners of War, and Xhosa migrant labourers.

Paarl is unusual in South Africa in that the name of the place is pronounced differently in English and Afrikaans: in English it is ‘Paarl’ (rhymes with marl) but in Afrikaans it is ‘Pêrel’ (‘Pair-uhl’), although still spelt Paarl. An unusual feature of the name of the town is that Afrikaners customarily attach the definite article to it: people say (in Afrikaans), “I live in the Pearl” (in die Paarl), rather than “I live in Pearl”.
The district is particularly well known for its Pearl Mountain or “Paarl Rock”. This huge granite rock is formed by three rounded outcrops that make up Paarl Mountain and has been compared in majesty to Uluru(formerly known as Ayers Rock) in Australia. (However, they are not geologically similar. Paarl Rock consists of intrusive igneous rock, while Uluru is a sedimentary remnant).

The Location of Paarl

Simply a 40-minute drive (about 60 kilometers) outside Cape Town on the N1, at the foot of the second-largest granite outcrop in the world, you’ll find an unexpected jewel: the scenic town of Paarl.

The scenic beauty of the Paarl Valley compels visitors to get in the car and drive along the many scenic routes in the valley and along the surrounding mountains.

The Paarl Vibe

Like many towns in the Cape Winelands, Paarl is home to a prosperous community, with many well maintained and attractive Cape Dutch houses, beautiful gardens and streets lined with old oak trees.
Paarl boasts a unique cultural attraction: it was here that the foundations of the Afrikaans Language were laid by the Genootskap van Regte Afrikaners.

Paarl – Amenities

Paarl offers you a diversity of attractions – from museums & galleries to shops selling handmade gifs and products made by local crafters.
Places to see in (or near) Paarl

  • Numerous wine farms
  • Butterfly World
  • Crocodile Farm
  • Snake Park
  • Glass-blowing studio
  • Afrikaans Language Monument and Museum
  • Millwater Wild Flower Garden
  • Bird Sanctuary
  • Paarl Museum
  • Zeederberg Square
  • Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve
  • Off the Wall Contemporary Art Gallery
  • Strooidak Church

Paarl Activities

  • Wine tasting
  • Horse riding
  • Mountain biking
  • Hiking
  • Hot air balloon flights
  • 4X4 trails
  • Rock climbing
  • Trout fishing
  • Golf
  • Spa treatments
  • Shopping
  • Picnics

Eating out in Paarl

The culinary delights of Paarl range from traditional fare to exquisite international cuisine. Restaurants and eateries are diverse in character and range from elegant Cape Dutch Manor to Victorian Villa, Country Cottage and family eatery.

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.

Add to this, some of the finest wines available in the world today, and you have a unique culinary experience, custom-made for you, the discerning diner!

Paarl restaurants :

  • Juno Wine Company
  • 10 Chapters Wine & Tappas Bar
  • Amberg Restaurant
  • Bosman’s at Grande Roche
  • Bossa Nova Restaurant and Bar
  • Butterfly World
  • Cafe Cuba
  • Chippas Restaurant
  • Le Leuwen Jagt Restaurant
  • De Oude Praal Hotel
  • Die Eet Huis Restaurant
  • Dieu Donné Restaurant
  • La Romantica
  • Laborie
  • Marc’s

Guesthouses in Paarl

Please use the links below to access more details on the featured guest houses, where indicated read the owners/ manager page for the inside story!!

Grande Lodge Guesthouse
Skinkikofi B&B Guesthouse

Alternatively access our comprehensive guest house directory here