Paarl Mountain, situated in the Paarl Mountain Reserve, has three granite rocks that are estimated to be 500 million years old. The three rocks are called Paarl, Bretagne and Gordon, and the location has become a popular destination for rock climbing, hiking and mountain biking.
One of the most outstanding features of Paarl is the ‘Afrikaans Taal Monument’ (translated as Afrikaans Language Monument) which was built in 1975 and designed by architect Jan van Wijk. This monument was erected in honour of the Afrikaans language and to acknowledge the influence of a variety of languages such as Dutch, Malay, Malay-Portuguese, Arabic, French, German, English, and the indigenous Khoi and African languages on the development of Afrikaans.
Easily accessible from The Light House Boutique Suites, the monument and the Afrikaans Language Museum can be visited during the day or for a full moon picnic once every month.
The Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve surrounds the monument and includes a beautiful botanical garden for a relaxing walk in nature where visitors can appreciate local flora.
Some of the best known wine estates in Paarl include Fairview, Spice Route, KWV, Nederburg, Rhebokskloof, Laborie, Landskroon, Backsberg, Nelson wine estate and Freedom Hill – to name only a few. In addition, there are a number of artisan wine estates that justifies a visit for their top quality wines produced on a smaller scale with great passion and innovation.
Franschhoek, Stellenbosch and Paarl offer a wide variety of restaurants, ranging from haute cuisine to wine estate chic and hassle-free pizzerias under the trees. Artisan cheese makers, hand-crafted wines and locally produced olives are all accessible within a short drive from The Light House Boutique Suites.
For golfers, Paarl and the surrounds offer a number of world-class golf courses including the stunning and challenging Pearl Valley Golf & Country Estate, and Boschenmeer Golf Estate.
Being at the foot of a mountain presents the opportunity to partake in outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking, trail running and rock climbing.
Val de Vie estate has an active polo club that hosts regular events.
What do you love about Paarl?
It’s authenticity. The people here are truly South African. There is a cornucopia of different cultures and languages here which make it feel authentic and genuinely South African.
What are your favourite wine estates in Paarl?
Mellasat, Black Pearl, Avondale and Druk-My-Niet. These boutique wine estates in Paarl produce some of the highest quality, award-winning wines.
In your opinion, what is the most beautiful building in Paarl?
There are quite a number of beautiful buildings in Paarl but what stands out as an arresting piece of architecture to me, is the Toring Kerk in Main Road (translation: Tower church).
What activities or sights should be on the must-do list for tourists visiting Paarl?
For me, a wander down the historic Main Road is something every tourist visiting Paarl must do. You will walk past numerous beautiful little coffee shops where you can have something to eat and drink. All visitors simply must visit a few estates for some wine tastings and visit the ‘Taalmonument’.
What is your favourite time of the day?
Sunrise and sunset, as Paarl performs the birth and farewell of each day so beautifully.
Which recreational activities can you recommend for our guests?
Cycling around Paarl is really easy as it is so flat and it allows you to see so much.
What is your favourite dish from The Light House’s kitchen?
Our fig & camembert tartlet and Eggs Benedict.