What to do in Paternoster
Paternoster is exactly how many who’ve been there described it. It’s a little piece of Greece with whitewashed cottages, exquisite shorelines, charming restaurants and home to local fishermen; giving the entire village a romantic air of nostalgia.
145km north of Cape Town along the scenic route of the West Coast lie, Paternoster, tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the hectic city life I’m accustomed too. The origin of the name which means Our Father in Latin is said to come from the heartfelt prayers of shipwrecked Portuguese sailors.
For miles on end, the paradise village is quite touristy during the summer season so expect to book restaurants and other activities well in advance.
Here’s a full guide on what to do, see and eat in this quaint town:
Explore the beaches
The coastal beach is the main attraction of the town with its turquoise blue water, lurking many tourists to Paternoster all year round. As much as it’s the hub for fisherman, it’s the peaceful beach that makes the town so serene. Take a walk along the shores and enjoy the attractive natural scenery of the ocean.
Lunch at Timeless Restaurant
In the main bustling street where strings of restaurants are packed with visitors is Timeless Restaurant nestled between decor stores. The relaxed eatery seemed still during the afternoon rush and it’s the perfect setting, overlooking the ocean.
The menu has a vast selection of cuisines; testing your palette with every item from plates of seafood, burgers and delicious coffees. Try the calamari stripes with a greek salad if you’re looking for a late lunch or the ultimate fish and chips with a barbecue twist.
Visit the Cape Columbine Lighthouse
Built in 1936, the Cape Columbine Lighthouse is a rocky point just five kilometers from the town. It got its name from the British wooden ship ‘Columbine’, which was wrecked 1,5km north of the lighthouse in 1829. The large reserve surrounding the lighthouse offers hiking, bird-watching and a lovely campsite along the beach.
It’s been said that Cape Columbine Lighthouse is the last manned lighthouse on the South African coast.
Roam the Fish Market
The market is right next to the beach, making the ideal spot to stroll around and choose what to have for dinner at home. Not only is it a fish market but it also has various stalls with interesting and fascinating decor items to take home. Have a browse and enjoy the scene with locals and tourists alike.
Visit Die Winkel op Paternoster
Looking for farm stall goods or something uniquely Paternoster? Then pop into Die Winkel op Paternoster for just that. It’s a boutique store with that small town charm that will leave you browsing for hours. Rusks, biscuits, wines, jams, craft beer, and decor items are what you’ll find. They also have a small restaurant where you can eat and relax.
Stroll the quaint town on foot
In its charming form, you cannot just visit the beach. Stroll the narrow streets and admire the whitewashed houses with different colour painted window frames and, captivating fishing items situated in gardens or on front patios of homes. They all unprecedented and, add to the unique character of the town.
Dine at Voorstrandt Restaurant
Many of the restaurants and there are quite a few, are known for the delectable seafood fresh from the sea. Voorstrandt is situated right on the sandy beach. This 114-year-old fisherman cottage serves various seafood dishes and of course, we opted for their hake and calamari combo.
It gets pretty full so it’s advisable to book in advance.
Get a taste of their craft beer
Courtney is a craft beer man but I love to indulge in it from time to time so, we were excited to hear that Paternoster has its own craft beer. If Courtney says it’s refreshing and well crafted then I’ll take his word for it.
Grab a cup of coffee at Ouma Se Kombuis
Established in 2016, Vanessa, the owner wanted to create a space that catered for food other than the seafood lifestyle and choose to serve food like steak pies, mussel curry, and bobooties. If you’re there early morning, sit on the patio and enjoy your strong cup of coffee.
Pop into The Trading Post
The Trading Post is a retail shop offering something for everyone from jackets, dresses, accessories, gift items and even building hardware supplies. It’s a treat to have a look around and you might just find something you like.
There are so many other places to dine and visit and, it’s impossible to explore them all in a weekend so don’t worry, you won’t get bored with options because there’s countless to choose from. Venture off as much as possible and snap every hook and corner. It’s just that spectacular.
Watch the waves and be mesmerized by the sunset nights. It’s the perfect getaway town you won’t get enough of.
Getting there: A mere two hours away from Cape Town along the West Coast Route.
What to expect: There are many restaurants but most of them get full really quickly. It’s best to reserve your seat in advance. It’s a popular destination so it can get a bit crowded at times especially on weekends and public holidays.
Anything unusual: On every corner of every street, someone is selling crayfish out of plastic bags. There’s also petty theft so keep your valuables close by while you exploring.
Websites to visit: Stay in Paternoster is a great site to visit for more information which you can find here.
Until the next adventure.