Paarl is a mere 45 minutes from Cape Town and within close proximity of Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Wellington, Swartland and other Cape Winelands destinations. With easy access of the N1, this historical wine route is the gateway to the Cape Winelands.
Paarl offers historical charm, culture, architectural heritage, wine and fruit farms, breath-taking scenery and many cycling and nature trails. The magnificent countryside, good wines and friendly people welcome you to a town where a feeling of tranquillity still transcends modern day living.
The Paarl Wine Route offers visitors a diverse wine and country living experience. From the large international wine companies to the small micro-producers who share the passion to produce quality wines with a sense of place to give pleasure to the lovers of wine.
The Paarl Wine Route offers you a unique and rare opportunity to live and experience life, as it really is in the wine lands. A true taste of Paarl is staying over on a working wine farm, enjoying fresh produce for the valley along with some of South Africa's finest wine. Make Paarl you base from where you can explore the rest of the Cape Winelands and after each day return to a tranquil setting.
Drakenstein Lion Park
Drakenstein Lion Park was established in 1998 to provide lions in distress with sanctuary, where they could live in safety, free from abuse and persecution, and be treated with the compassion and respect they deserved.
The Park is situated in the scenic Cape Winelands and comprises of 50 acres of sprawling lion habitat.
The Park is actively involved in improving the quality of life of lions in captivity, locally as well as internationally, either by offering these animals a lifetime home or working in conjunction with other animal welfare organizations to secure a safe future for individual animals in dire need.
The Park is not involved in commercial breeding or trade and offers lifetime care to all of it's animals. All the animals brought to the Park are captive bred / hand reared and cannot be rehabilitated to the wild. The animals at the Park are assured a chance of living out their natural lives in an enriched and safe environment.
Visit : http://www.lionrescue.org.za/
Butterfly World Tropical Garden
Butterfly World Tropical Garden, one of the more unique attractions of the Western Cape Winelands, consists of a tropical garden in a 1000 m2 green house. This luxuriant paradise makes the free flying exotic butterflies feel right at home along with many other interesting animals who now call Butterfly World Tropical Garden their home.
Visit : http://www.butterflyworld.co.za/
Afrikaans Language Monument
Afrikaans "just grew' from the soil of South Africa. In the human melting pot of the Cape it was inevitable that, from the original Dutch spoken by the first settlers, a colloquial form would be evolved by people such as the Khoikhoi and slaves from Malaya, Indonesia, Madagascar and West Africa.
These diverse peoples all needed to communicate and a modified version of Dutch, with many words from the other languages, was used as a language common to all. It developed further as Huguenot settlers added words and altered the sound of other words.
Visit : http://taalmuseum.co.za/english/
Drakenstein Correctional Centre
The Drakenstein Correctional Centre was formerly known as Victor Verster Prison and is an unofficial attraction linked to the life and times of Nelson Mandela. Situated between Paarl and Franschhoek in the Cape Winelands, it was here, on a house on the property, that Nelson Mandela spent the last 14 months of his 27 years in prison.
A low-security farm prison, it was previously used for lower-risk political prisoners on their way to being released. Mandela was transferred there from Cape Town’s Pollsmoor Prison in December 1988.
Instead of being locked up in a cell, he was held in a warder’s home on the property – a house whose design he duplicated for his post-release home in the Eastern Cape village of Qunu.
Mandela and his wife, Winnie, walked triumphantly through the gates of the prison on 11 February 1990.
A bronze statue of Mandela by sculptor Jean Doyle stands at the prison gates, depicting him on the day of his release. The house where he lived can also be viewed by the public.
PAARL MOUNTAIN NATURE RESERVE
Enjoy the beautiful landscape of fynbos and massive rounded granite rock formations set among wild olives, and various trees. Take a hike, follow one of the many hiking trails, visit Millwater Wild Flower Garden where 15 species of protea may be viewed, catch trout or bass for dinner or enjoy mountain biking or picnics. Fishing permits available at Paarl Municipality. Hours: Summer: 07h00-19h00; Winter: 07h00-18h00