#TravelTuesday: Visit Paternoster one of SA’s oldest fishing villages

In Paternoster, one of South Africa's oldest and quaintest fishing villages, life is slow.
In Paternoster, one of South Africa's oldest and quaintest fishing villages, life is slow.
Image: Mujahid Safodien/AFP/Getty Images

The little seaside town of Paternoster on South Africa’s West Coast was properly put on the map earlier this year when one of its restaurants, Wolfgat, was voted Restaurant of the Year at the inaugural World Restaurant Awards in Paris.

Wolfgat aside, you will find yourself falling in love with one of the oldest fishing villages in South Africa, whose beauty is unspoilt. If sustainable fine dining, whitewashed seaside homes, fynbos growing on white dunes, prestine sun-warmed beaches and salty air appeal to you, you may want to take a look at Paternoster when planning your next trip.

When to travel

Paternoster has a pleasant climate year-round with the summer months reaching temperatures that are ideal for basking in the sun on the beach. Winters can get quite cold once the sun sets, making Paternoster best enjoyed during summer between March to September. That said, Paternoster can be much cheaper during winter.

Paternoster’s annual Jazz on the Rocks Festival in Tietiesbaai takes place near the end of February and showcases a number of Jazz musicians from around the world. Next year’s edition will be the 10th anniversary of the festival and will be taking place from the 27th of February to the 1st of March.

The Jazz on the Rocks festival held annually in Paternoster is literally a jazz festival on the rocks, overlooking the ocean.
The Jazz on the Rocks festival held annually in Paternoster is literally a jazz festival on the rocks, overlooking the ocean.
Image: Mujahid Safodien /AFP/Getty Images

How to get there

Paternoster is situated on South Africa’s West Coast, just over 150 kilometres from Cape Town. Depending on where you travel from, the quickest way to travel to Paternoster is by flying to Cape Town and then travelling via road into Paternoster, an hour and 45 minute drive. You can also take a taxi to Vredenburg from where buses run to Cape Town. If you are in search of a cheaper and more authentic experience, take a train to Worcester and travel from there by car to Paternoster, a two and a half hour drive.

Sustainable eating and foraging take centre stage at Wolfgat Restaurant in Paternoster.
Sustainable eating and foraging take centre stage at Wolfgat Restaurant in Paternoster.
Image: Halden Krog /AFP/Getty Images

Highlights you shouldn’t miss

1. Apart from being named Restaurant of the Year for 2019, the 20-seater Wolfgat Restaurant won first place in the Off-Map Destination category for remote restaurants. Head chef Kobus van der Merwe started Wolfgat last year in a 130-year-old cottage and a cave on a beach. Diners at Wolfgat can expect to be treated to a signature strandveld food menu that offers a series of tasting dishes presented in seven courses. Some of the dishes on the menu take weeks of preparation and others are made on the day with freshly harvested ingredients. Space is very limited and bookings are essential. Bookings are made three months in advance and can only be made online at https://www.wolfgat.co.za/bookonline.

Opt for a Beach Buggy ride over the dunes of Paternoster with Deon van Schalkwyk.
Opt for a Beach Buggy ride over the dunes of Paternoster with Deon van Schalkwyk.
Image: Supplied

2. A Beach Buggy tour of Paternoster may be one of the most authentic experiences available to you when you visit the town. Starting out from Farr Out Guesthouse, qualified tour guide Dean van Schalkwyk is ready to whisk you away through the sand dunes of Paternoster while sharing some of the interesting history of the area. If you’re lucky, you may see dolphins or whales frolicking in the ocean.

 3. In July 2018, the Paternoster Art Route was launched. It’s a 2.5 kilometre route that winds through the town of Paternoster and includes a number of galleries, studios and shops. Everything from fine art to oil paintings to glass beads and ceramics can be found on the route.

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