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The Town of Paarl is one of the three main centres in the Cape Winelands, rich in history and culture. The name Paarl means “pearl” and is derived from the granite boulders on top of the Paarl mountain. After rain, they glisten like pearls in the sun.

In 1688 a group of French Huguenots, who fled France after the Edict of Nantes was repealed, settled in the valleys of the Cape Winelands. They brought with them the knowledge and expertise of French viniculture and helped to establish South Africa’s proud tradition of wine production.

The prison from where former president Nelson Mandela walked to freedom in 1990, is just outside the town. Today, a life size monument of Mandela, in the iconic pose that was seen over the world, is at the entrance. It is a popular place for tourists to be photographed.

Another claim to fame in Paarl is the role that its residents played in establishing recognition for the Afrikaans language. A society, called “Die Genootskap van Regte Afrikaners” (Society of True Afrikaners), worked for official recognition of the Afrikaans language. A monument to commemorate their work, is prominently placed at the foothills of the Paarl mountain.

Tours that include Paarl


Duration: 16 days, 15 nights
Tour Type: Scheduled tours
Luxury Level: *** / ****
Price: R24,240 per person sharing (±US$ 1,735 )
R6,085 single supplement (±US$ 435 )

Valid dates: Nov 2014 - Oct 2015

This tour covers the highlights of South Africa and is ideal for first time visitors to the country. It provides a mix of cities, countryside, historical sites, scenic drives, nature, wildlife, culture and people. This is the ‘northbound’ tour version that starts in Cape Town and ends in Johannesburg.

Highlights: Cape Town , Cape Winelands , Stellenbosch , Oudtshoorn , Route 62 , Garden Route , Oudtshoorn ostrich farms , Cango Caves , Knysna , Storm’s River Mouth , Coffee Bay , Wild Coast , Hibiscus Coast , San Lameer , Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve , St. Lucia , Swaziland , Kruger National Park , Panorama Route , Johannesburg .

Fishing boats at Paternoster

Duration: 4 days, 3 nights
Tour Type: Scheduled tours
Luxury Level: ***
Price: R10,945 per person sharing (±US$ 783 )
R250 single supplement (±US$ 17 )

Valid dates: Feb 2015 - Oct 2015

This tour gives you the opportunity to visit the Cape Winelands, taste some of our best estate wines and experience the special kind of West Coast hospitality and cuisine. Visit two factories at Clanwilliam producing two quintessential South African products: velskoene and rooibos tea. Overnight at the quaint Paternoster. Visit Saldanha Bay harbour and the West Coast National Park. In season you might enjoy vast expanses of indigenous flowers.

Highlights: Cape Winelands , Riebeek Valley , Paternoster , The West Coast , Cederberg Mountains & Wilderness Area , Bird Island Nature Reserve .

Fairview wine tasting

Duration: 1 days, 0 nights
Tour Type: City & day tours
Price: R1,000 per person (±US$ 71 )

Valid dates: Nov 2017 - Oct 2018

Our full-day tour to the Cape Winelands, departs daily from Cape Town. The tour includes the historic Winelands towns of Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl, as well as wine tastings at three different wine estates. Tour duration is ±8-hours.

Highlights: Stellenbosch , Franschhoek , Paarl , Cape Winelands , Wine tastings at estates in South Africa , Paarl wine estates .

Paarl attractions

Visitors walk atop one of the three giant rock domes from which the town and mountian gets their names. Paarl is old-Dutch for 'pearl'.

Paarl Mountain

The Paarl mountain dominates the town of Paarl. The name is derived from the Dutch word for a pearl. It refers to three huge boulders on top of the mountain that glisten like pearls in the sun after rain.

Wine tasting at Fairview Wine Estate's popular wine and cheese tasting venue near Paarl.

Paarl wine estates

South African wines are rated with those from the other top wine-producing regions in the world. The district of Paarl in the Cape Winelands boasts approximately 30 of the 100 plus estates in the Cape Winelands. Many of them cater for visitors with the opportunity of wine tasting.

The Afrikaans Language Monument on Paarl Mountain in the Cape Winelands.

Afrikaans Language Monument

The Afrikaans Language Monument is a prominent landmark on the side of the Paarl (“pearl”) mountain in the Cape Winelands in South Africa. This may arguably be the only monument ever erected for a language. It commemorates the history of one of the youngest and most modern languages in the world.