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An update from Evaneos

Paarl (South Africa)

Practical information on Paarl

  • Romantic
  • Vineyards
  • Place or Religious Monument
  • Place or Historical Monument
  • Essential
5 / 5 - One review
How to get there
45 mins from Cape Town by car from the N1
When to go
From spring to autumn, the wine harvest season
Minimum stay
2 to 3 days

Reviews of Paarl

Camille Griffoulieres Seasoned Traveller
111 written opinions

It's one of the main towns of the wine route, nearest to Cape Town. With Franschhoek and Stellenbosch, they form a golden triangle of South African wine production.

My suggestion:
Compulsory stop in the area of the Grande Roche, the most symbolic of Paarl.
My review

The town of Paarl is very pretty, but there isn't much to do there in the evening. To summarise: Stellenbosch is lively both day and night with its student population and its large size. However, Franschhoek is a smaller village and is very calm. The properties around Paarl are magnificent and there you will find the region's best red wines. I thought that the centre is nice, with its small, Cape Dutch style houses, its main church and its thatched roof brought by the French Huguenot 300 years ago.

The Grande Roche organises classy musical brunches, mainly rock, in the summer, and its cellar and its setting are frankly unmissable. To get a balance in your purchases, stop at Fairview Estate, which sells homemade bread and delicious cheese to accompany your wines. The KWV is known for its brandy, if you like Cognac, go and try it, it's very good.

I really liked the French names of properties, such as Montpelier (with a single "l"), a beautiful Cape Dutch farm build by protestants of the town who avoided perquisitions after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. And made-up names such as "Plaisir de Merle", which has really improved the quality of its bottles between the two times I've been there (2009 and 2015).

Homemade bread in Fairview Estate
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