Paarl, The Heart of the Winelands
The Western Cape of South Africa is known for producing some of best wines in the world. However, with a history dating back to 1659 it is still fairly modern in comparison to other wine producing countries like France who have been practising the art since the 6th Century BC. But South African wine has really come into its own within the past century and a Southern Africa holiday gives you the perfect excuse to sample some of the best wines that the country has to offer.
Located just 45 minutes drive away from Cape Town the winelands offer stunning scenery alongside mountain views and traditional homesteads. Boutique hotels and quaint guest-houses provide the ideal base in which to explore the region whilst the Mediterranean climate helps create some of the incredible wines of the region.
The scenic town of Paarl may be known for its brilliant wines, with Nederburg, Seidelberg and Laborie to name but a couple, however, it is also an incredible holiday destination with many activities to suit young and old alike. The town is the third oldest in South Africa and therefore boasts its fair share of historic moments from visits by Charles Darwin to Drakenstein Prison where Nelson Mandela started his walk to freedom. On your travels in South Africa be sure to visit the Afrikaans Language Monument which proudly stands at the top of Paarl Mountain, as it was here that the foundations for the Afrikaans language were laid.
If you’ve taken the children with you on your Southern Africa holidays then there is plenty for them to do in Paarl, especially the more adventurous! Paarl is home to a snake and crocodile farm, but if both of those options are a bit scary for your little ones then you’ll be pleased to note that there is also a butterfly farm located nearby. The town boasts an impressive 23 wine estates and whilst Shiraz is the main vinter a number of other wines including Malbec have recently started to perform well and should be sampled on your luxury African holidays.
Many of the wine estates also have other attractions including adjoining restaurants serving dishes and tapas to compliment their beverages. One of the key highlights of your southern Africa holiday is bound to be enjoying a glass of Shiraz fresh from the keg whilst nibbling on charcuterie items and looking out at the lines and lines of freshly manicured vineyards.
Paarl is also known for its beautiful walking and trekking routes and these are a great way to burn of all those extra calories gained from eating the rich meats and cheeses of the Wine Estate Kitchens. The Limietberg is probably one of the most famous trails, but by far the most enjoyable is the Wine Hiking Trail offered by the Laborie Estate. This trail combines a spot of bird-watching with talks of horticulture and viticulture and like all good wine tours there is bound to be loads of opportunities to sample the produce.