Paarl, around 62 kilometres from Cape Town City centre, is the third oldest settlement in South Africa. This town is steeped in history, culture, natural splendour and a centuries-old tradition of winemaking.
Paarl is a must-visit and the good news is there are lots of pocket-friendly activities for you to enjoy. Here are the top things to do that won’t break the bank.
READ: The official Paarl guide
What to see and do
Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve
Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve is perfect for those who love adventure. It’s great for hiking, rock climbing, mountain-biking and picnics.
Cost: R19 entry fee. FREE entry during the week.
Afrikaans Taal Museum
The Taal Museum’s exhibitions tells visitors about the history and diversity of Afrikaans. You can also view examples of the oldest Afrikaans written in Arabic script and experience the adventurous journey of Afrikaans music. Pre-booked guided tours are available.
Cost: Adults R40, Children R5, Children under 6 free
The Alpaca Loom Coffee Shop & Weaving Studio
Enjoy a family day out and get to know the alpacas at Alpaca Loom. While there you can feed and pet them, enjoy some coffee and cakes at the coffee shop, or go on a guided tour.
Cost: R20 pp for petting zoo; R20 per feeding bag; Tours are R100 per adult, R70 per kid (3-18) and children under 3 are free.
Le Bonheur Reptile Adventures
Get up close and personal with crocodiles and snakes at Le Bonheur Reptile Adventures. They offer a crocodile pond tour, a snake exhibiting, crocodile cage diving and you can even go fishing, rowing, and stand up paddling. Their Lakeview Restaurant offers unpretentious but classy meals which can be enjoyed indoors or on the balcony overlooking the lake.
Cost: Entry is free. Activities range from R40 – R118
Where to eat and drink
Spice Route Destination
Spice Route Destination, situated on the slopes of the Paarl Mountains, offers tastings and aesthetic experiences at various establishments within walking distance of each other. While you’re there consider buying a Spice Routes passport from the guest liaison office. The passport is a a pocket-sized booklet that offers the convenience of enjoying a selection of tastings and is a perfect way to explore the destination on foot.
Cost: Tastings cost between R35 – R80
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Fairview offers fantastic wines, artisanal cheeses and a wonderful restaurant. The tasting room consists of four barrel-shaped ‘pods’, with various tastings on offer. The tastings start at R20 for a cheese tasting. The most expensive tasting, the Beryl Back tasting costs only R80 and includes 8 wines, a selection of cheeses, and olive oil. Grab a filling breakfast at Goatshed, where a Fairview Farm Breakfast costs R85.
Berg River Brewery
Berg River Brewery is a passion project brought to life. Glen Grier and his team invite you to come and share in their beer enthusiasm. It’s a place to relax and enjoy craft beer and interesting company.
Cost: Beer tasting is R40 – R60 per person
At Mellasat Vineyards you can enjoy the wines from the tasting centre with stunning views of the Paarl valley and the Klein Drakenstein mountains. Don’t miss the Cemetery of Forgotten Wines in the underground cellar – an interesting and bizarre collection of museum wines. This Vineyard also has a white Pinotage amongst their range of award winning wines
Cost: Wine tasting is R50 per person
KWV Emporium offers tastings of a variety of award winning MCCs, sparkling wines, natural wines, fortified wines, liqueurs and brandies. Daily guided tours are available as well as various tasting options and pairings, including a non-alcoholic experience.
Cost: Tastings are between R65-R100