Only 40 minutes from the Cape Town city centre, and located at the base of the second largest granite outcrop in the world, Paarl is a historically rich town known for its beautiful heritage architecture (a mix of Cape Dutch, Georgian and Victorian buildings).
It is here that the recognition of Afrikaans as a written language was achieved, and today the Afrikaans Language Museum and striking Taalmonument overlook the town – worthwhile landmarks to visit.
Unusually, vineyards still grow between residential neighbourhoods, offering visitors a diverse wine and country living experience. Paarl is known particularly for its red grape varieties – giving it the name ‘the red route’. Expect to find Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinotage growing prolifically – the Paarl winelands are home to some of the most renowned wine estates in South Africa, including Nederburg, Fairview and Backsberg.